ASCE's Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) is pleased to congratulate Sheida Khademi, a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Arlington, for winning the 2021 Jack E. Leisch Fellowship Award. The Jack E. Leisch Fellowship is a memorial to the outstanding professional accomplishments and contributions of Jack E. Leisch, M.ASCE, to the fields of geometric design, traffic engineering, and transportation planning.

Ms. Khademi mission as a transportation engineer is to preserve resources by providing efficient services which ensure the safety, health, and welfare of people and to improve their quality of life. Her dissertation focuses on examining the capacity of multiple weaving segments on freeways. The goal is to develop a series of models that will be able to estimate capacity and levels of service using VISSIM. Most recent studies showed that emerging automated vehicle technology can improve the operations and increase the capacity of weaving sections. As a main part of her dissertation, she is examining how the great potential of the automated vehicles can reduce headways and the required gaps for lane changing maneuvers, and in turn, increase the capacity and influence traffic operation. The research and its data could be useful to agencies to assist in their design and planning functions. Data can significantly help in reduce traffic congestion over road network.

Ms. Khademi has been president for several student chapter organizations such as ITE and ITS, as well as holding officer positions at XE Honor Society, ASCE, and many more. Her dissertation is under supervision of Dr. Jim Williams, Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, and Dr. Behruz Paschai, Transportation Operations Director at C&M Associates. Inc.

T&DI also wishes to congratulate runner up Alyssa Ryan, doctoral candidate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research focuses on leveraging advanced technologies and data analytics to address safety, economic, and equity engineering challenges as core issues that uphold the barriers to achieving sustainable transportation systems for the diverse populations they serve. Ms. Ryan is a current member of the ASCE Key Contact Program, Boston Society of Civil Engineers, Transportation and Development Institute, and sits on several ITE committees and councils.