Yinhai Wang, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, a professor of transportation engineering at the University of Washington, has been honored with inclusion by ASCE in its 2023 class of distinguished members for leadership in smart transportation systems research and education through pioneering innovations in traffic-sensing technologies, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence methods and applications toward safer and more efficient infrastructure system management and operations.
Wang is also a fellow of IEEE, a UW adjunct professor in electrical and computer engineering, and the founding director of the university’s Smart Transportation Applications and Research Laboratory (STAR Lab). His work in cross-cutting, multidisciplinary areas – also to include smart mobility, connected and automated transportation, and traffic system simulations – has made him an eminent researcher and engineer in the field. Particularly useful are his contributions on artificial intelligence method development and applications in transportation engineering, such as data mining of smart cards for transportation ridership information.
Throughout his academic career, Wang’s research productivity has been extraordinary, both in China and at UW (Seattle, USA). He has shown outstanding leadership characteristics through his involvement with ASCE and his long-time directorship of the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans), USDOT University Transportation Center for Federal Region 10.
Wang joined the board of the Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) at ASCE in 2013 as an appointed governor, and again in 2016 as an elected governor. He was the institute’s president in 2018-19. Under his leadership, T&DI completed restructuring of all technical committees, launched an “engineering smart x for smart cities” task force for standard development, and initiated a new council to focus on education and workforce development. He co-chaired the ASCE International Conferences on Transportation & Development (ICTD) in 2018, 2020, and 2022.
He is currently a member of ASCE’s Committee on Technical Advancement and chair of the Paper Review Committee. He also chairs the AED50 Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Computing Applications Committee of the TRB and is the founding chair of the IEEE Smart Cities Conference (ISC2). He is principal investigator or co-PI for 117 research projects with a total funding of over $90 million and has three patents, nearly 290 journal articles, and around 550 invited talks and other presentations to his credit.
Wang’s research on truck parking management and availability prediction received a 2022 high-value research project award from AASHTO. He was also given the Best Paper Award by the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering (2003). The Chinese Overseas Transportation Association (COTA) honored him with the 2012 Outstanding Leadership Award, and he is the connected and automated transportation special section editor for the Journal of Transportation Engineering Part A and the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems. He received the ASCE Francis C. Turner Award in 2023.
Twelve of his students are now university professors and his 42 master’s graduates are employed with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Uber, WSP, etc., as well as government agencies. Wang has received a slew of coveted educational recognitions.