Summer 2020 Graduates

Headshots of Ernest Tufuor and Huiyuan Liu.
Ernest Tufuor (left) and Huiyuan Liu (right).

The Nebraska Transportation Center congratulates Huiyuan Liu and Ernest Tufuor on graduating with their PhDs in Civil and Environmental Engineering after the Summer 2020 session. Both students have made their mark at NTC throughout the years, participating in valued and innovative research and earning awards for showcasing their accomplishments in that research.

Huiyuan Liu spent his time as PhD student focusing his research on traffic safety, particularly when it came to highway-rail grade crossings. He has been able to present his research findings through reports and papers, including at the 2020 Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference in which his paper won the Best Paper Award. Although the years has been tough for 2020 graduates, Huiyuan landed a job and is currently working at a transportation data and safety research company as a Data Scientist. He says he “looks forward to applying [his] knowledge acquired from UNL to real world problems,” and is glad he can continue contributing to a safer road environment.

Ernest Tufuor's research consisted of estimating and forecasting arterial travel time distributions for reliability analysis. This improved upon the current road travel time reliability methodologies and published in the 6th edition of the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM6). He was the first researcher to validate this methodology using empirical travel time data on an arterial corridor and received the 2019 best paper by the HCM Committee of the TRB for his peer-reviewed article. He was also the first researcher to analyze the HCM6 component errors and formulate a calibration methodology, on which the paper was awarded one of the 2020 American Society of Engineers Editor's Choice for Transportation and Development. Ernest has also published six articles, two currently submitted, and three more accepted for conference presentation during his collaboration at NTC.

Ernest's future goal is an engineering professor, so he continues his time at NTC as a postdoctoral research associate where he can learn more about effective proposal writing for research grant and funding applications that are key components for tenure-tracked faculty positions.

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