NSF CAREER grant to help bridge technology and transportation

March 31, 2021

Portrait: Yaw Adu-Gyamfi

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Yaw Adu-Gyamfi

Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering (CEE), recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant. This award is to further his current work with his DASH platform plus additional proposals with deep learning and adaptive computing to design management solutions for transportation systems.

“The DASH project really focused on traffic management. This grant will help me go beyond just traffic management to use interactive AI (artificial intelligence),” he said. “For instance, if you want to know which sections of a road will probably have potholes after winter, this AI will tell you. This will allow you to potentially improve those sections before winter.”

According to the grant’s abstract, Adu-Gyamfi’s research could ultimately lead to fundamental “new sources of data to speed up the safe introduction of autonomous and connective vehicle technologies”. These sources would work across different types of transportation modules.

Adu-Gyamfi has additional goals with this five-year grant. These include outreach opportunities to high school students in the Columbia area and workforce development for future civil engineers.

“There is an intersection between transportation and computer science right now. There are a lot of IT (information technology) issues that need to be solved in the transportation industry,” he said. “I want to bridge this gap. I want to graduate students that have both IT skills and transportation skills.”

“Dr. Adu-Gyamfi is an expert in applying machine learning algorithms to transportation problems,” Praveen Edara, professor and chair of CEE, said. “As a transportation engineer, I am excited as his CAREER award will help him develop the next generation of traffic management centers for urban areas such as St. Louis and Kansas City.”