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Utah State Transportation Students Honored During College of Engineering Research Week

Posted: Jun 28, 2022

Prasanna Humagain was named "Doctoral Researcher of the Year" because of his impressive publication record (six peer-reviewed articles in 2021); a timely dissertation, which advanced theory and knowledge about COVID's impacts on tourists' decision-making for outdoor recreational travel; and impact on critical issues in Utah, including transportation connections with air quality and recreation tourism. Read more.

Hossein Nasr Esfahani was named College of Engineering Outstanding Ph.D. Scholar of the Year. Esfahani's research explored how to predict the hourly demand for public electric vehicle charging stations. The purpose of his research was to understand how often electric vehicle charging stations are used and how many people use them at once. Making sure there are enough public charging stations to satisfy the demand from electric vehicle users is an important part of supporting their adoption. Esfahani said if there is not enough access to charging stations, this could slow the adoption rates.

Sailesh Acharya was the College of Engineering Graduate Poster winner. The poster outlined Acharya's research to evaluate the number of severe crashes at diverging diamond interchanges in Utah. His research showed there is a slight decrease in the proportion of severe crashes in Utah's diverging diamond interchanges overall, but not all interchanges saw the decrease. To better understand the accidents at these interchanges, factors such as speed and inclement weather need to be further explored.

According to Acharya, there are multiple ways his study's findings can be utilized. "These results can be used by the Utah Department of Transportation and other agencies to improve the safety performance of existing diverging diamond interchanges," he said.

Acharya's and Esfahani's research was previously recognized with a Best Paper Award from the Utah Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Read more.

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