Sponsored Research Projects
- Corridor-Wide Surveillance Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Sponsored by National Center of Congestion Relief, USDOT National UTC, 02/2020-08/2021, $221,046 (PI: Yu Zhang; co-PI: Achilleas Kourtellis): To develop a protocol for the use of UAS to monitor freeway traffic conditions that complement Part 107 of FAA regulations. Design and conduct an experiment aimed at establishing the protocols, standards, and guidance for the effective and safe use of drones for monitoring corridor-wide traffic conditions. Aspects such as suitable flying positions relative to the location of bottlenecks or potential bottlenecks, the effective and safe location of the operator with respect to live traffic conditions, weather factors, and suitable formats for processing video data collected by drones will be considered. Using the proposed protocol, conduct trials of corridor-wide surveillance of freeway conditions to validate the effectiveness and safety aspects of UAS.
- Leveraging Deep Leaning in Understanding the Impact of Convective Weather to Airfield Efficiency, Sponsored by FAA NextGen Office, 09/2019-11/2020, $82,512 (PI: Yu Zhang): Although there is extensive research in quantifying how convective weather affect section and airfield capacity, at tactical operational level, how convective weather in TRACON and terminal areas affect the airfield efficiency in terms of utilization of runway capacity has not been well studied. This research project proposes to leverage learning-based method to tackle this problem and take Atlanta International Airport as the case study to demonstrate the proposed method.
- Scenario Analysis of Future Roadway Network of Tampa Bay Area, Sponsored by Florida Department of Transportation, 10/2019 - 12/2020, $225,321 (PI: Yu Zhang): Transportation infrastructure in Tampa Bay Area carries the travel demand needs of the growing population and contribute significantly to economic development of the region. To prepare for the future, this study proposes a comprehensive analysis to research possible future roadway networks of Tampa Bay Area and explore alternatives of improving the mobility and livability of the Tampa Bay Area.
- Multi-stage Planning for Electrifying Transit Bus Systems with Multi-format Charging Facilities, Sponsored by TRB Transit IDEA Program, 11/2019-5/2021, $100,000 (PI: Yu Zhang; co-PI: Tingting Zhao): The objective of this proposed study is to provide a decision support tool to public transit authorities for facilitating the process of electrifying their transit buses. Specifically, given the periodical budget and transit network and features, the tool will provide outcomes at different stages including (1) which routes the acquired electric buses should serve; (2) where to deploy charging facilities (both plug-in at stations and dynamic wireless charging facilities embedded in road pavement); and (3) what should be the right size of on-board battery for a specific route.
- Performance Evaluation of e-Scooter Sharing Pilot Program in the City of Tampa, Sponsored by the City of Tampa, 5/2019-7/2020, $73,061 (PI: Yu Zhang; co-PI: Jason Jackman): City of Tampa started an e-scooter pilot program with four service providers in May. 2019. Sponsored by the City, a USF Team lead by Dr. Yu Zhang, performed a research study looking into this real-world testing of the e-scooter sharing, evaluating the performance of this new shared mobility (e.g. usage, equity, safety, level of service, etc.), and proposing recommendations of effective regulations if the City determines to embrace this mobility service
- Doctoral Fellowships in Civil Engineering for Redesigning Resilient Transportation and Water Critical Infrastructure, Sponsored by Department of Education, 10/2018-9/2023, $746,250 (PI: Jim Mihelcic; Co-PI, Dr. Zhang, $248,650): The primary objective is to recruit, select, train, and mentor six doctoral students with excellent academic records, who demonstrate financial need and are from diverse backgrounds, preparing them for impactful career paths in higher education and/or research that influence how we design and manage two critical and interdependent infrastructures, transportation and water. The two areas that Dr. Zhang focuses are (1) Optimization problems in emergency management of interdependent transportation and water infrastructure; (2) Planning of infrastructure needs of emerging mobility services, including shared mobility and urban air mobility.
- USDOT Tier 1 University Transportation Center: Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH), Sponsored by US. Department of Transportation, 1/2017-1/2022, Federal funding $7,000,000 (Institutional PI: Yu Zhang: Federal funding $1,600,000 + matching fund $800,000 ): The proposed Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH) will pursue research and innovation to support sustainable mobility of people and goods while preserving the environment and improving community health. It will leverage behavioral and economic sciences, epidemiology, information technology, and environmental and transportation sciences and technologies to address critical issues falling under the FAST Act’s priority area of Preserving the Environment: greenhouse gas reduction, use of alternative fuels and energy technologies, environmentally responsible planning, and impacts of freight movement.
- CRISP Type 2: Integrative Decision Making Framework to Enhance the Resiliency of Interdependent Critical Infrastructures, Sponsored by NSF, 9/1/2016-8/31/2020, $1,963,542(Co-Investigator: Yu Zhang: $273,668): This CRISP project will advance our understanding of the effects of different types of interdependencies on the resiliency of critical infrastructures (CIs), targeting water, transportation and cyber infrastructures. Instead of focusing on different infrastructures, this project focuses on different interdependencies including physical-based (primarily co-location), virtual-based (primarily information), and socioeconomic-based (primarily resource management). The project will enhance the resiliency of interdependent critical infrastructures and transform infrastructure management by the integrative decision framework developed for the evaluation of design, operational and organizational strategies. The integrated research and education provides a fun self-learning environment and wide dissemination of project findings and products through the interactive website hosting the competition-based learning game.
- Florida Airport Sustainability Tracking/Monitoring System, Sponsored by FDOT Aviation and Spaceports Office, 2/2017-1/2019, $200,000 (PI: Yu Zhang, $150,000): This research project, based on the outcomes of existing studies in related areas, proposes to explore the unique needs of Florida’s airport system and produce a Florida Airport Sustainability Performance Tracking/Monitoring System that can be easily used by airport sponsors and related transportation agencies.
- Florida Aviation Activity Forecast Methodologies and Tools Development, Sponsored by FDOT Aviation and Spaceports Office, 1/2017-7/2018, $150,000 (PI: Yu Zhang, $89,000): This study proposes to develop new user-friendly tools for airport aviation activity forecast for FDOT, and furthermore, to explore the uncertainties of aviation activity and seek the ways of incorporating them into the forecasting.
- Measuring Metroplex Performance in Convective Weather, Sponsored by FAA NextGen Office, 9/15/2016-9/14/2017, $92,500 (PI: Yu Zhang, $92,500): The objective of this research is to understand how the airspace changes support more efficient operations during convective events by evaluating differences in performance of the airspace in terms of trajectory efficiencies and airport throughput under convective weather conditions with and without Metroplex airspace re-design implementations. The study area is DFW Metroplex.
- Improving Safety in Pavement Field Testing, Sponsored by federal fund flow through FDOT, 4/12/2016-10/1/2017, $140,769 (Co-PI: Yu Zhang, $14,381): The objective of this project is to determine the state-of-the-practice for collecting pavement condition and performance data at highway speeds or within maintenance of traffic or work zone or at slow speeds, to develop and standardize a practical method for improved safety during testing, and to develop a Computer Based Training (CBT) course and handbook to properly educate operators on best practices and safer testing protocols.
- Application of Demographic Analysis to Pedestrian Safety, Sponsored by FDOT, 8/1/2016-7/31/2017, $102,000 (Co-PI: Yu Zhang, $20,000): The objectives of this research project are to (1) to develop a demographics-based methodology that identifies low-income areas that possess a combination of “pre-conditions” for greater pedestrian hazard, and (2) produce recommendations for both engineering countermeasures and pedestrian safety education/outreach plans that will resonate with a given area’s demographics.
- Verification and Recommended Improvement to International Guidance on Performance Metrics, Sponsored by FAA ATO, 7/1/2015-6/30/2017, $165,000 (PI Dr. Zhang: $165,000): The purpose of this research is to provide support in validating and verifying the procedures for metric development for the operational performance measures recommended by CANSO and ICAO to determine if there are gaps or shortfalls. Given world traffic trends, the research team will work to build collaborative work partnerships with ANSPs in the Asia-Pacific region.
- ACRP 02-50, Deriving Benefits from Alternative Aircraft-Taxi Systems, sponsored by Transportation Research Board Airport Cooperative Research Program, 7/2014-12/2015, $300,000 (Institutional PI: Yu Zhang: $13,000): The objective of this research is to develop a resource guide for airport practitioners in three sections that includes: (1) Section 1–an introduction to existing and near-term alternative aircraft-taxi systems; (2) Section 2–a compendium of defensible benefits, impacts, and considerations related to each system; and (3) Section 3–a summary and vision to maximize future potential of these systems given anticipated advances in technology, equipage, and infrastructure.
- Airport Users’ Perception towards “Remote and Virtual” Control Towers at Small Airports, sponsored by Transportation Research Board Airport Cooperative Research Program Graduate Research Award, 10/2013-9/2014, $10,000 (Adviser: Yu Zhang $0): The objective of this study is to gain insights in technical aspects of RVT operations and its expected influence on the operations and safety of future at “no control tower” airports in the U.S. and to understand small airport users’ perceptions on no-control tower and RVTs and their possible reactions in small airport usage due to the changes of air traffic control
- The Role of Air Cargo in Tampa Bay Regional Goods Movement, sponsored by Florida Department of Transportation, 1/2014-12/2014, $81,789 (PI: Yu Zhang: $55,286): The objective of this research is to Understand the air cargo market and airport operations in Tampa Bay Region, identify issues hindering efficient air cargo movment in the region and explore solutions and provide recommendation.
- Bull Bikes (Share-A-Bull)- A Smart Bike Sharing Program for USF Bulls, sponsored by Student Green Energy Fund of USF, 8/2013-8/2016, $446,879 (PI: Yu Zhang: $446,879): The objective of this project is to design and implement a smart bike sharing program that can be used by students, staff and faculty of USF Tampa campus. The purpose is to reduce the across-campus auto trips and consequent excessibe fuel consumption and emissions.
- ACRP 02-38, Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace (Institutional PI), sponsored by Transportation Research Board Airport Cooperative Research Program, 10/2012-4/2014, $450,000 (Institutional PI: Yu Zhang: $55,440): The objective of this research is to produce a guidebook, supported by empirical evidence, that provides best practices for aviation safety associated with planning, developing and constructing energy production and transmission technologies at and around airports.Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace.
- Graduate Scholarships to Achieve Sustainable Infrastructure at the Water-Energy-Global Nexus (Co-PI), sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF), 2010-2014, $600,000 (PI: Jim Mihelcic; Co-PI: Yu Zhang: $120,000): The objective of this program is to provide a full-circle mentoring plan implemented between faculty and doctoral students, as well as between PhD students and MS students. Efforts are being made to recruit and retain a diverse cohort of graduate students (with and without first degrees in engineering) into advanced engineering programs and to prepare students to be globally competitive by promoting knowledge transfer between students and faculty that have different global perspectives while integrating the most appropriate knowledge, methodologies, techniques, and practices from both the developed and developing worlds.
- Design of Advanced Traffic Responsive Signal System, sponsored by Florida High Tech Corridor and Albeck Gerken Inc., 1/2012-12/2012, $44,800 (PI: Yu Zhang: $44,800) : The objective of this study is to design and improve advanced Traffic Responsive Signal System (TRSS). TRSS is an ITS system responding to dynamic traffic patterns by collecting and processing traffic data and optimizing the day plan of signal systems. By doing so, it will lead to effective operation of traffic signal system by reducing travel time, alleviating travelers’ delay, increasing level of service of intersections, mitigating Green House Gas emissions, and improving the reliability of transportation network.
- Bulls Walk and Bike Week Campaign for Improving Pedestrain and Bicyclist Safety, sponsored by Florida Department of Transportation, 2012, 2013, 2014, $48,000, $50,000, $55,000 (Co-PI: Yu Zhang: $12,000, $15,000, $16,000): The purpose of the campaign is to promote the awareness of pedestrian and bicycle safety at the USF Tampa campus. Dr. Zhang leads the before and after comparison study for evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign.
- Tampa Bay, FL In-Vehicle Driving Behavior Field Study, sponsored by Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) , 2010-2013, $1,900,000 (PI: Pei-Sung Lin; Investigator: Dr. Zhang: $38,000): The objective of this study is to mitigate traffic injuries and fatalities by preventing, or reducing the severity of collisions. The entire research plan includes two tracks: a large field study of driving behavior and performance using volunteer drivers and a comprehensive, state-of-the-art instrumentation package installed in the volunteers’ vehicles; and a video system to record the movements of all vehicles at specific road sites such as an intersection. This study focuses on the in-vehicle passenger behavior field data collection and management.
- Research on FAA Performance Indicators, sponsored by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Organization (ATO), 2009-2010, $70,000 (PI: Yu Zhang: $70,000): The objectives of this study are to develop an approach based on consistent data sources and methodologies to measure and compare airport ATM operational performance in the U.S. and EU, and to identify ATM-related best practices that could possibly help in raising the level of performance in a relatively short term, with today’s technology and operational concepts.
- Performance Metrics Development and Analysis Support (PI), sponsored by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Organization (ATO), 2009-2010, $30,000 (PI: Yu Zhang: $30,000): The objective of this study is to specify tasks, deliverables, and resources needed to support the FAA ATO-P International with Performance Metrics development and assessment and with Operational Performance Assessments supporting Next Generation Air Transportation development.
- Demand Management of LaGuardia Airport in New York (Investigator), sponsored by Federal Aviation Administration, 2006-2007: The objective of this study is to develop market-based mechanism and administrative mechanism for demand management at LGA airport. It was used to support FAA’s decisions on demand management rules to replace High Density Rule implemented at LGA since 1968. Dr. Zhang worked as a Graduate Student Researcher on this project and was in charge of developing new administrative rules for air traffic demand management.
- Statistically Modeling Inter-arrival Time and Airport Capacity (Investigator), sponsored by Federal Aviation Administration, 2005-2006: The objective of this study is to introduce a new methodology to estimate airport capacity by analyzing inter-arrival time in PDARS data. Dr. Zhang worked as a Graduate Student Researcher on this project and led the statistically modeling to estimate the airport capacity.
- Research on Air Traffic Controller Operational Error (Investigator), sponsored by Federal Aviation Administration, 2003-2004: The objective of this study is to develop a controller load factor indicator with outputs from flight simulation in FACET, software developed by NASA and analyze the relationship between controller load factor and controller operational errors. The outcomes of this study provide guidance on managing sector capacity and improving air traffic safety. Dr. Zhang worked as a Graduate Student Researcher on this project and performed most of the technical parts of this study.
International Collaborative Sponsored Projects
- Multimodal, Efficient Transportation in Airports and Collaborative Decision Making (Advisory Board), 2012-2014, US-EU collaborative project
This study will deliver a broad understanding of systems strengths and weaknesses, the areas where co-ordination can be improved and an assessment of the implications of disruptive events from many perspectives. Clear messages in these areas will help scope the frame for new EU research that can deliver the tools and procedures to ensure greater system resilience and a better passenger experience when crises strike.
Dr. Yu Zhang is serving on the advisory board for this project.
- Towards Sustainable Transportation and Development: Applying Advanced Econometrics Theory in Multimodal Public Transportation Studies (PI), 2012-013, US-China collaborative project
Sponored by USF Global Academic Partners (GAP) Program for Innovation in Collaborative Research, Teaching and Creative Activities
- Air Traffic Demand Analysis between U.S. and China (PI), 2010-2011, US-China collaborative project
The objective of this study is to model the passenger and freight traffic demand between U.S. and China and provide suggestions on new service launching at Chinese airport