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NRC Postdoctoral Fellows Help EAR Program Solve Transportation Issues

The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) conducts research across a wide range of topics and disciplines. To supplement the expertise of the permanent staff, it is important to bring in researchers with the appropriate backgrounds to investigate specific problems on a short-term basis. Through the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) utilizes the Resident Associateship (or Postdoctoral Fellows) Program of the National Research Council (NRC) for this purpose. The NRC provides a process for selecting candidates on a competitive merit basis and (subsequently) for administration of the resident fellows during their tenures at FHWA.

Through this program, the EAR Program is able to:

  • Provide postdoctoral scientists and engineers of unusual ability and promise an opportunity to conduct research on problems, largely of their personal choice, that are compatible with the research interests of TFHRC.
  • Contribute to the general research effort of TFHRC.

Associates have worked on topics as diverse as nanoadditives for concrete and asphalt, alternative intersection and interchange design, and modeling to predict collisions based on driver behavior and environmental conditions. A list of current FHWA research opportunities can be found here.

The EAR Program's Research Associates Program 2018 summary document contains descriptions of some of the research projects that the resident fellows have been involved in during their respective tenures at FHWA.

New NRC Associates Arrive at TFHRC

Photograph of five research associates standing on stairs.

The NRC Associates from top: Zhou Yang, Milena Rangelov, Mohammad Goli, Heng Liu, and Sattar Dorafshan.

In January 2019, the EAR Program welcomed five new NRC Research Associates. The associates and their research projects are:

  • Dr. Sattar Dorafshan – “Networks for Interpretation of Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges.”
  • Dr. Mohammad Goli – “Design and Implementation of an MPC-Based Framework for Vehicle Platooning.”
  • Dr. Heng Liu – “Artificial Intelligence-Aided Bridge Condition Assessment System Using Deep Learning Approaches.”
  • Dr. Milena Rangelov – “Integrating Life Cycle Thinking into Current Pavement Practices.”
  • Dr. Zhou Yang – “Performance Management Strategy by Integrating Multiple Transportation Data Sets.”
Updated: Monday, December 2, 2019