The convergence of rapidly improving sensing and computing capabilities is enabling a new deep understanding of civil and environmental engineering systems. Yet, the number of students who see the beauty and criticality of computing in civil engineering is too few to unlock its full potential. My educational activities are therefore motivated by the critical need to increase computational skills within transportation engineering because it is vital to understand computing in order to develop meaningful solutions to some of the most complex challenges facing society.
My main activities at Vanderbilt are as follows:
Course instruction: Since joining Vanderbilt, I have taught three distinct courses for a total of eight course offerings. At the undergraduate level, I teach CE 3501 Transportation Systems Engineering (four times), and ES 3890 Future of Mobility (one time, introduced in 2021). I also teach a mezzanine course CE 4240/5240 Infrastructure Systems Engineering which is split between senior undergraduate and first year graduate students (three times, including an initial offering in 2018F as a graduate special topics course). The content of these courses are continuously revised and improved to modernize the content and to respond to feedback from students. I regularly serve as a guest lecturer in ES 140X Introduction to Engineering (three guest lectures per semester; four offerings). These courses are described and discussed in detail below. My instructor quality and course quality scores are above both Departmental and School averages for every semester and every course I have offered.
Previously at Illinois I co-taught CEE 310 Introduction to Transportation (ten offerings) and CEE 498 Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (six offerings), where I was named to the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent” ten times.
Graduate student supervision: Since joining Vanderbilt I have graduated two PhD students (one at Vanderbilt Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE); one at Illinois CEE) and three Master’s students (two at Vanderbilt and one at Illinois). I created a new research group at Vanderbilt in 2018 which now consists of six PhD students (four in CEE, two in CS) and three MS students (all in CEE). My students are at various stages of their studies and have expected graduation dates from 2022 to 2026. I have served on the committees of 28 PhD students from Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering, Dept. of Control, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Vanderbilt, Illinois, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), and Université de Grenoble (France).
Throughout my career, I have mentored and supervised to completion five PhD students, 13 Master’s students, and two post-doctoral scholars.
Undergraduate education beyond the classroom: I currently serve as the advisor for all undergraduate students in Civil Engineering class of 2021. My research group currently supports four funded research assistants in Fall 2021. I have provided funded undergraduate research positions to 34 students (17 since joining Vanderbilt) with durations spanning one semester to four years.
Course instruction at Vanderbilt
CE 3501: Transportation Systems Engineering
Semesters taught: 2018S, 2019S 2020S, 2021S, 2022S (planned).
Catalog description: Planning, design, and operations of transportation systems. Particular emphasis on the design process, traﬀic engineering, urban transportation planning, the analysis of current transportation issues, and the ethics of transportation safety.
Enrollment: 42 (2018S), 30 (2019S), 24 (2020S), 35 (2021S).
Evaluations: In each of the four offerings, my evaluations are above both CEE and VUSE averages in the corresponding year. My average rating for Instructor Quality is 4.83, which is 0.35 points above the CEE departmental average (4.48), and 0.51 points above the VUSE average (4.32). My average rating for Course Quality is 4.57, which is 0.32 points above the CEE departmental average (4.25) and 0.40 points above the VUSE average (4.17).
CE 4240/5240: Infrastructure Systems Engineering
Semesters taught: 2018F, 2019F, 2020F, 2021F.
Catalog description: Systems-level approach to the infrastructure of the built environment. Elements of systems engineering. Case studies of infrastructure under duress. Smart infrastructure. Transportation, building, and water and wastewater supply and distribution systems. Infrastructure interdependencies and concepts of smart cities. Applications to infrastructure system design.
Enrollment: 3 (2018F), 9 (2019F), 8 (2020F), 9 (2021F).
Evaluations: In each of the offerings, my evaluations are above both CEE and VUSE averages in the corresponding year. Note in 2018, the course was offered as a special topics graduate course. The small overall size of our graduate program makes it challenging to achieve the minimum threshold of students to receive evaluations, which partly motivated the decision to offer the class in a mezzanine format in subsequent years. My average rating for Instructor Quality is 4.75, which is 0.43 points above the CEE departmental average (4.32), and 0.60 points above the VUSE average (4.15). My average rating for Course Quality is 4.50, which is 0.46 points above the CEE departmental average (4.05) and 0.68 points above the VUSE average (3.86).
ES 3890: Future of Mobility
Semesters taught: 2021S, 2022S (planned).
Catalog description: This course will provide a historical and practical overview of the past, present, and future of mobility. Topics include the transportation planning process, transportation environmental impacts, multimodal transportation systems, shared mobility systems, transportation safety and vision zero, and transportation technology disruptions. This class will help students become familiar with mobility in a variety of contexts. Lectures will consist of visits from relevant speakers
Enrollment: 23 (2020S).
Evaluation: My evaluations are above both CEE and VUSE averages. My rating for Instructor Quality is 4.57, which is 0.35 points above the GENE departmental average (4.22), and 0.33 points above the VUSE average (4.24). My average rating for Course Quality is 4.71, which is 0.70 points above the GENE departmental average (4.01) and 0.74 points above the VUSE average (3.97).