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Chancellor's Graduate Research Fellowship Awardees

The Chancellorís Graduate Fellowship Program supports increased multidisciplinary scholarship opportunities and exposure to varied research and creative fields for graduate and professional students.


Zahra Heidary

Zahra Heidary is a PhD student in the Civil Engineering Department. Zahra worked as a full time trainee in an engineering company which does structural design and computer modeling. Since January 2010, she has been working with Dr. Ozevin in the field of nondestructive testing of civil structures. Her PhD research focuses on developing numerical methods to enhance traditional acoustic emission techniques and transform the practice of damage detection by providing efficient real-time continuous monitoring of the safety of civil structures. In addition to her PhD research, she completed an independent study on the crack detection in orthotropic bridge decks using acoustic emission.

Zahra received a Graduate Student Fellowship award for the 2012 NSF CMMI engineering research conference and selected as a winner of the UIC student research forum competition. Her long term research goal is to extend her research on the analysis of fracture mechanics using tools from wave propagation theory, finite element analysis, signal processing and gradually move towards probability theory and quantitative understanding of uncertainly and risk of engineering applications, which will lead to more accurate assessment and use of the engineering characteristics and potentials of materials, sites, and processes. Her ultimate career goal is to conduct independent research to be one of the pioneers in the field of wave propagation approach for damage detection in structures.


Surlya Vallamsundar

Suriya is a final year PhD student in the department of Civil and Materials Engineering at UIC. Her research advisor isDr. Jane Lin. Her research interests include sustainable transportation planning, vehicular emission, air quality estimation, and health impact assessment. Her PhD research focuses on developing an integrated framework to evaluate the environmental and human exposure to vehicular traffic. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in academia by developing models that help policy makers evaluate transportation investments based not just on profitability, but also on sustainability and socio-economic value.

She received the ASCE Transportation Group Scholarship Award for the Illinois section and Leadership Legacy Scholarship from Women in Transportation Science. Suriya is originally from India, holds a Bachelors in Engineering from Anna University, India and Masters in Applied Science from University of Waterloo, Canada. In her free time, Suriya enjoys painting and cooking.


Qin Chen

Qin Chen received the B.S degree in transportation engineering from Tongji University, Shanghai, China in 2008. She is currently pursuing the PhD degree in civil and material engineering and serves as Research Assistant in Urban Transportation Center, UIC.

Qin works with Dr. Jane Lin on freight transportation and city logistics. Her research is particularly focus on urban cooperative delivery----a last mile solution for sustainable and efficiency logistics system. By establishing cooperation among the supplier, carrier and customer, the urban cooperative delivery can better utilize the resource and significantly alleviate the urban congestion and environmental problem with the co-benefit of reducing the logistics costs. The social benefits include the reduction of number of trucks and vehicle mile travel (VMT), less emission and noise, as well as pedestrian safety.

Andrea Hicks

Andrea Hicks is a Graduate Research Assistant at IESP (Institute of Environmental Science and Policy) and a graduate student pursuing a PhD in the Department of Civil and Materials Engineering. She received her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Her M.S. in Environmental Engineering is from Clemson University focusing on sustainable systems with research in modeling greenhouse gas emissions from conventional wastewater treatment. Prior to beginning her time at UIC, she worked as an ORISE Research Associate through Oak Ridge National Labs at Region 5 EPA Superfund Division.

Andrea’s research advisor is Dr. Thomas Theis. Her research interests focus on utilizing environmental systems analysis to reduce anthropogenic impacts on the natural world. Andrea’s research focuses on lighting as a consumer application of nanomaterials. Particularly on how nano-enabled lighting technology will change how humans consume light and the impacts of the consumption of light. Andrea’s career goal is to utilize environmental systems analysis in the academic or governmental setting to minimize impacts on the natural world.

Topic revision: r3 - 2013-12-05 - 22:45:59 - Main.tmatthes
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