Student Spotlight: ABM Tausif Ullah Chy, M.S., UAB

ABM Tausif Ullah Chy, M.S.

A B M Tausif Ullah Chy completed his graduate work this spring and graduated with a master’s degree in transportation engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). As a research assistant, he mostly concentrated on traffic operations and management with a focus on freeway work zones.

Along with his master’s thesis adviser, Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku, Chy worked on UAB’s tasks related to STRIDE project “Development of Guidance for Scheduling of Freeway Work Zones to Minimize Congestion Impacts,” which is being led by Dr. Rod Turochy of Auburn University. The study summarized the findings from a microscopic simulation analysis developed in VISSIM of an approximately 10-mile freeway segment of I-65 in Birmingham, Alabama.

More specifically, Chy says the objective of the study was to investigate the operational impacts of 3-2 lane drop scenarios (where 3 lanes merge into 2 lanes) along a study corridor under two traffic control strategies (early merge and late merge control), including variation in Temporary Traffic Control (TTC) orientation, traffic demand, driving behavior, and composition of traffic. He says the results of the analysis can help identify conditions and options for minimal impact on traffic operations in work zone areas for decision-makers.

“The study findings can guide transportation agencies in their future efforts to develop strategic lane closure plans that minimize congestion,” he said. “Effective work zone planning and design can significantly benefit the traveling public as improved work zone operations can have a positive impact on user satisfaction, mobility, and traffic safety.”

Tausif Ullah Chy at the UFTI reception during TRB 2020.

The results of the study were presented during the STRIDE Student Poster Showcase/Competition on January 13, 2020, where Chy’s poster titled, “Examining Temporary Lane Closures Placement Impacts on Freeway Construction Zones Operations” won 2nd place. The student poster competition was held in conjunction with the University of Florida Transportation Institute’s Reception during the 99th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. Chy also won 1st place in Southern District ITE Graduate Student Technical Paper competition on May 4, 2020.

So, when did Chy become interested in transportation? He says that it happened when he was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). During his last semester, he participated in a project where he was tasked with collecting traffic data and analyzing the peak and off-peak hours of the day to calculate the cost of delay.

“Eventually, I dove into deeper concepts when I started my graduate program and started working on microsimulation, where I had to replicate real-life scenarios into computer software, and from there, my interest in microsimulation software grew,” he said. “Microsimulation software has the capacity to replicate real traffic conditions and analyze different scenarios, and this unique problem-solving approach using the simulation model mesmerized me. As time progressed, eventually, I developed my passion and love for transportation engineering.”

Tausif Ullah Chy with his master’s thesis adviser, Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku

As for extracurricular activities at UAB, Chy served as the secretary of the Institute of Transportation Engineer (ITE) Student Chapter. He also was a senator in the Graduate Student Government (GSG) and served as the International Relationship Officer of the Bangladeshi Student Association (BSA). Under his charge as UAB’s ITE Traffic Bowl Team leader, his team won the Regional (Southern District ITE) Championship held on February 29, 2020. His team also won the William H. Temple Scholarship Challenge for Traffic Bowl. The team is slated to compete at the International Bowl Competition that will take place at the ITE Annual Conference in New Orleans, August 2020.

As for the future, Chy is looking forward to building on his skills to work as a consultant in the transportation industry. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the near future but not after spending some time in the transportation industry.