InTrans / Sep 09, 2020

InTrans graduate receives environmental award

Georges Bou-Saab

Institute for Transportation (InTrans) graduate Georges Bou-Saab recently earned a Young Professional Best Paper Award for work completed as part of his doctoral degree from Iowa State University.

Bou-Saab, now a transportation engineer at Arcadis Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, earned top prize in the environmental management category from the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) for his paper titled “Generic Calibration Guidance to Assess the Precision of Vissim to Generate Real-World Vehicle Activity for Reliable Emissions Estimates.”

The association’s technical council consists of four main categories: (1) Atmospheric Processes and Measurement, (2) Sustainability, Climate Change, Resource Conservation and Waste Management, (3) Industrial, Government and Public Sectors, (4) Environmental Management.

The A&WMA recognizes young professionals doing the best to fulfill its mission of assisting in the professional development and critical environmental decision-making of its members to benefit society.

“I was very thrilled when I heard the news that my paper earned the YP best paper award in the environmental management category because this is an international conference,” Bou-Saab said. “The 113th annual conference and exhibition was supposed to take place in San Francisco last June, but they had to go virtual due to the pandemic.”

He added, “I was working from the office when suddenly I received a message on LinkedIn from one of the A&WMA board of directors congratulating me for an award I received. This would not have been possible without the collaborative effort of Archana and the guidance of both my advisors, Dr. Hallmark and Dr. Smadi. I am thankful for all the opportunities that were provided to me at InTrans.”

The paper was co-authored by current InTrans graduate student Archana Venkatachalapathy, InTrans Director Shauna Hallmark, and Center for Transportation Research and Education Director Omar Smadi.

The paper studied the capability of traffic microsimulation tools to replicate field conditions to accurately estimate vehicle emissions in work zones. It was part of his PhD dissertation work where he utilized the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study data to examine how different work zone configurations on the freeway roadway system have an impact on emissions from passenger cars.

The first half of his dissertation also won a prestigious award from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and his full research paper was one of the four finalists that was published in TRB’s Transportation Research Circular E-C243: SHRP2 Safety Data Student Paper Competition 2017–2019.

The A&WMA, founded in 1907, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional organization that promotes global environmental responsibility. Bou-Saab is currently serving as the secretary of the Sustainability and Resource Conversation Division, the Chair of the Planning and Land Use Technical Council Committee and the Chair of the K-12 Environmental Education Council.