C2SMART Hosts First Annual Joint Campus Transportation Research Summit

On May 18, 2022, transportation and smart cities researchers and colleagues across the three global NYU campuses met to hold the NYU Transportation Joint Campus Research Summit. Faculty from each campus (NYU-New York, -Shanghai, and -Abu Dhabi) brought a unique set of perspectives, experiences, and expertise to a conversation not just about how transportation research and education operates at NYU, but also how mobility underpins many aspects of daily life in our cities, from hyperlocal – and even individual – levels, to global and societal mechanisms. They discussed cities as ecosystems for connection, for crisis response, and for vital innovation that will not just keep us moving, but keep us moving forward.

From NYU Abu Dhabi, we learned about how each of their programs and projects are tackling the rapid urbanization rates of cities to ensure that they evolve into more resilient, equitable, and sustainable environments across (as its Center for Interacting Urban Networks describes it) their social, digital, and physical infrastructures.
NYU Shanghai shared its interdisciplinary Lab of Urban Design and Science, which brings expertise from urban planning to the fore, and demonstrated how a city like Shanghai is responding to and increasingly incorporating Electric Vehicles onto the roadway.

And finally, NYU New York (Tandon) discussed some of the valuable research coming out of their C2SMART USDOT-funded University Transportation Center, some of its key educational innovations like the Student Learning Hub, and its vital work with city agencies to address urgent infrastructure and resiliency problems throughout the city, such as on its Smart Urban Roadway Testbed with NYCDOT.

In order to continue building the connections between each campus, several key ideas regarding some of the ideas that came out of the final discussion panel. Particular highlights of initiatives proposed were:
  1. Joint, modular, and virtual graduate courses for themes like electric vehicles, simulation, and sustainability;
  2. Joint Capstone courses which would pair students on different campuses on a project;
  3. A collaborative mailing list and forum which crosses all three campuses to advertise events, classes, and opportunities;
  4. Study away semesters and faculty exchanges which would permit students and faculty to benefit from multiple campus offerings; and
  5. Interlinked and complementary virtual testbeds in each of the three cities to further learn from each other and harness unique expertise and situations from each campus’ faculty research and collaborations.

We hope to meet again on an annual basis to continue this initiative and further collaborative activities between the campuses.


Kaan M.A. Özbay joined Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) at NYU in August 2013. Since 2017, Ozbay has been the Founding Director of the C2SMART Center (Tier 1 UTC funded by USDOT). He is also Global Network Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering, NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and Global Network Professor of Engineering and Computer Science, NYU Shanghai (NYUSH). Ozbay was a tenured full Professor at the Rutgers University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He joined Rutgers University as a tenure track Assistant Professor in July, 1996. In 2008, he was a visiting scholar at the Operations Research and Financial Engineering (ORFE) Department of Princeton University. Ozbay is the recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award.

Professor Ozbay served as the elected member of Board of Directors of the Intelligent Transportation Society of New Jersey in 2013. He has been an active member of national and international scientific and professional committees and organizations, including IEEE, ITE, ASCE, AASHTO and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the US National Academies. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) at the City University of New York – USDOT’s Region 2 University Transportation Center.

Joseph Chow is an Institute Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Urban Engineering and the Deputy Director at the C2SMART Tier-1 University Transportation Center at NYU, and heads BUILT@NYU: the Behavioral Urban Informatics, Logistics, and Transport Laboratory. Chow’s research expertise lies in transportation systems, with emphasis on multimodal networks, behavioral urban logistics, smart cities, and transport economics. He is an NSF CAREER award recipient, a former elected Chair of the Urban Transportation SIG and appointed TSL Cluster Chair at INFORMS Transportation Science & Logistics Society, chair of the TRB subcommittee on Route Choice and Spatiotemporal Behavior, and is an appointed Associate Editor for International Journal of Transportation Science & Technology and Transportation Research Record, the journal for the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. At NYU Chow is an Associated Faculty at CUSP and Rudin Center.

Semiha Ergan is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering (courtesy) at New York University, and an associated faculty at CUSP. With her background in civil engineering, data science, and building informatics, she works on improving buildings’ performance during design, construction, and operation phases. Ergan leads the Building Informatics and Visualization Lab (biLAB), where she actively seeks data-driven and model-based solutions to operational challenges associated with construction and operation of civil infrastructure systems, with an emphasis on buildings. Her work has been supported by DOE, NSF, DARPA, and private organizations. Ergan’s achievements have been recognized by a number of awards, including most recently the DARPA Young Faculty Award (2015) and the Construction Industry Institute New Scholar Award (2015). She is the Vice Chair for ASCE TCCIT Visualization, Information Modeling and Simulation Committee, an Associate Editor of ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, and academic committee member of Construction Industry Institute.

Masoud Ghandehari serves on the Faculty of Civil and Urban Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and is an associate faculty at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress. Ghandehari is the author of Optical Phenomenology and Applications: Health Monitoring for Infrastructure Materials and the Environment, 2018, the founding investigator of the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storm Events, and founder of Chromosense LLC., which is supported by the National Institutes of Health for innovation in environmental sensing. His research in optical spectroscopy, sensing, imaging, and data analytics has led to the development of applications and technologies suitable for diverse environments and multiple scales; ranging from the molecular to the urban landscape.

Shri Iyer serves as the Managing Director for the C2SMART Center, overseeing the operations of the center as well as agency outreach and strategic planning of the center. Prior to joining C2SMART, Iyer worked at MTA New York City Transit on promoting data-driven policy and analysis within the agency. He is also experienced in working with other agencies in the New York area, and brings with him extensive knowledge of the regional transportation system. Iyer completed his MS in Civil (Transportation) Engineering at Rutgers University in 2009 and received his MPA for Public Service Leaders from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service in 2020.

Molly Seeley completed her MSc in Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2020 and received her B.A. in Anthropology and Comparative Literature from New York University in 2013. Prior to coming on board at C2SMART, Seeley spent six years at the Institute of Global Homelessness at DePaul University, working with a portfolio of thirteen cities across six countries to measurably and sustainably reduce homelessness. At C2SMART, Seeley is responsible for overseeing, tracking, and coordinating multiple parallel research efforts undertaken by Principal Investigators, staff, and students. She manages project stakeholders across multiple sectors and is responsible for the organization and facilitation of meetings, workshops, and training to ensure successful technology transfer.

Monica Menendez is the Associate Dean of Engineering for Graduate Affairs and a Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi, as well as a Global Network Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at the Tandon School of Engineering in New York University. She is also the Director and Lead PI of the NYUAD Research Center for Interacting Urban Networks (CITIES); and the recipient of the NYUAD Distinguished Research Award for 2021. Between 2010 and 2017, Menendez was the Director of the research group Traffic Engineering at ETH Zurich. Prior to that, she was a management consultant at Bain & Company. She joined Bain after receiving a PhD and a MSc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2006. During her studies there, Menendez received, among other awards, an NSF Fellowship and the Gordon F. Newell Award. In total, she is the recipient of more than 20 scholarships and awards from well-known and prestigious organizations, professional societies, and universities. Menendez also holds a dual degree in Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering from the University of Miami, from where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2002.

Samer Madanat, Dean of New York University Abu Dhabi’s Engineering Division, is the Xenel Distinguished Professor of Engineering, former Chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and former Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. He received a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Jordan in 1986, and a MS and PhD in Transportation Systems from MIT in 1988 and 1991, respectively. From 2001 to 2011, Madanat served as the Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems. He is currently  Editor of  Transport Policy, Associate Editor of the European Journal of Transportation and Logistics, and an editorial board member of Transportation Research D, and Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Systems. Madanat serves on several advisory committees, including for the National Research Council, and has served as an external reviewer of Civil Engineering departments at MIT,  Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, and Tongji University.

Saif Jabari an Associate Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi and Global Network Associate Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering. Prior to joining NYUAD, Jabari was a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Mathematical Sciences and Analytics Department at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. Jabari received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2012. His doctoral dissertation received the 2012 Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award for best dissertation in Science and Technology.

Ali Diabat received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan in 1999, M.Sc. degree in Operations Research from North Carolina State University, USA in 2003, and his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, USA in 2008. In June 2008, Diabat joined Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi as an Assistant Professor of Engineering Systems and Management, and due to his exceptional performance, he was promoted to Associate Professor in June 2012, and to Full Professor in June 2016. Right after completing nine years at Masdar Institute, Diabat joined New York University Abu Dhabi as a Global Network Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering.

Zhibin Chen is an Assistant Professor of Engineering, NYU Shanghai and a Global Network Assistant Professor, NYU. Prior to this appointment, he was a research fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Chen’s research goal is to identify, develop, and implement emerging technologies to achieve a safer, more efficient, and environment-friendly transportation system. Chen was the recipient of the Stella Dafermos Best Paper Award and the Ryuichi Kitamura Paper Award at the 95th TRB Annual Meeting.

ChengHe Guan is an Assistant Professor of Urban Science and Policy at NYU Shanghai. He also serves as a research consultant at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at the University of Oxford and as a senior visiting researcher at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Guan is the co-director of the International Urban Innovation Research Center, a nonprofit organization. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University. Guan has published more than 30 papers in internationally renowned journals indexed in the Science/Social Science Citation Index. Guan has taught courses at both NYU Shanghai and Harvard University.

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