News | USC Hosted the 2020 Emerging Scholars Transportation Research Symposium

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by Adylbek Abdykalikov, USC, IPPAM 2020

On March 6, 2020, PSR held its annual Emerging Scholars Transportation Research Symposium (ESTRS) at USC. Each year, ESTRS is a valuable opportunity for students, emerging scholars, academia, and industry professionals to exchange new research ideas and discuss modern transportation-related challenges with an audience of students, academics, professionals, and members of the community. Each year this event is held free of charge on the USC campus and is open to the public.  This year, the attendees enjoyed the presentations of scholars from the University of Southern California (USC); the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); the University of California, Irvine (UCI); the University of California, Davis (UCD); and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).


Professor Giuliano poses a question to a speaker.


The day was divided into three thematic sessions; each included several presentations on the theme. The first session, “From Port to Warehouse: Managing the Impacts of Freight Movements” was moderated by Executive Director of the Center for International Trade and Transportation Thomas O’Brien.  Presenters introduced their vision for managing ports' challenges regarding freight movement and its impact on ports. CSULB Global Logistics Professional student Diana Sanchez presented her work on Chassis Management in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, CSULB undergrad in Mathematics and Economics Nicholas Roy examined the problem of port disruptions and its impact on port governance, and doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UCI Monica Ramirez Ibarra addressed the specific challenge of building a regional microscopic simulation network from the San Pedro Bay Ports to the Inland Empire.


In the second session, titled “Urban Transportation and the Environment” and moderated by PSR Director and USC Professor Genevieve Giuliano, presenters exchanged their research ideas on various urban transportation problems, including de-carbonization, mobility, and resilience of transportation systems in urban areas. The speakers included UC Davis Masters of Transportation Technology and Policy students Anish Kumar Sinha and AliMurtaza Kothawala presenting “Transitioning Medium/Heavy Duty Sector to Zero Emission” and “Mobility in The Sustainable City (TSC) Dubai” respectively. USC doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering Eyuphan Koc presented his work on “Comprehensive Resilience Assessment for Transportation Systems in Urban Areas.”


UC Davis' AliMurtaza Kothawala and "Mobility in the The Sustainable City".


In the third session,  “Mobility, Technology, and Travel Behavior,” moderated by UCLA Professor Michael Manville, doctoral students in Urban Planning from UCLA Bo Liu and Miriam Pinski presented “Planning for Sustainable Transportation through the Integration of Technology, Public Policy, and Behavioral Change: a Data-Driven Approach” and “ The Impact of Residential Bundled Parking on Auto and Transit Use” respectively, and doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering Farzana Khatun from UCI presented  “An Analysis of TNC and Transit User Characteristics based on the 2017 National Household Travel Survey”.  


Attendees also had the opportunity to enjoy presentations from welcome speaker Thomas O’Brien and from  keynote speaker Professor Knatz. Knatz is both an academic and a professional with an impressive four decades of first-hand experience at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and now service as Professor of the Practice in both Engineering and Public Policy.  Professor Knatz shared her research on nearby Catalina Island, titled "Catalina: A Case of Residents Shaping Policy for Island Port O'Call."


Professor Knatz presents her Catalina Island research.


Overall, the 2020 Emerging Scholars Transportation Research Symposium once again has served as an excellent platform where all the participants could share ideas, listen to the feedback and network in a friendly and professional atmosphere.  We look forward to the third annual symposium next spring.


About the Author:

Adylbek Abdykalikov is a recent graduate of the Masters of International Public Policy and Management Program at USC Price. He has working experience in various positions at the Ministries of Transport and Communication and Investment and Development of Kazakhstan and was in charge of Transportation and Civil Aviation policy development and implementation. He served as the lead writer to METRANS Newsletter and lead student event coordinator for METRANS and PSR.