InTrans / Jun 06, 2024

InTrans students find success at infrastructure management symposium

InTrans doctoral students, from left to right, Abdallah Alhamdan, Sara Arezoumand, and Farhad Aghasi at AISIM in Boulder, CO

An important part of a graduate student’s education is to gain knowledge beyond the classroom. For three Institute for Transportation (InTrans) students, that experience recently took them out to Colorado for the opportunity to interact with global leaders in infrastructure.

InTrans doctoral students Farhad Aghasi, Abdallah Alhamdan, and Sara Arezoumand—all studying under advisor and Center for Transportation Research and Education Director Omar Smadi—recently traveled to the 18th Annual Inter-University Symposium on Infrastructure Management (AISIM) in Boulder, Colorado.

All three students returned from the symposium with valuable insights and a positive experience.

“The experience was incredibly rewarding and enriching, allowing me to learn from various presentations and discussions,” said Arezoumand, whose research is in transportation asset management, with a specific focus on pavement management, which involves analyzing and enhancing methods to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of pavement maintenance and repair systems.

For Alhamdan, the symposium overlapped entirely with his research on infrastructure management.

“That is why the symposium was an excellent opportunity for me to present my research work, keep in touch with the most recent research work in the field, and network with asset management professionals and faculties,” said Alhamdan, who’s co-majoring in transportation and intelligent infrastructure engineering, with a specialization in transportation asset management, transportation analysis, and Geographic Information Systems.

Likewise, Aghasi found the symposium to be a great opportunity to learn about the latest advancements and research in the field of asset management and pavement management systems, particularly where it overlapped with his research.

“The event provided valuable insights into various innovative methodologies and approaches, which I found very relevant to my current research interests and dissertation topic, which is utilizing connected vehicle data for monitoring road assets,” said Aghasi. “It was fascinating to see how different researchers approach the analysis of different types of data like satellite imagery to monitoring and managing road-related infrastructures.”

In addition to the important information exchange and networking, Arezoumand and Alhamdan presented their own work. Arezoumand’s presentation was titled “Comparative Analysis of Flexible Pavement Preservation Methods Using Pavement Performance Models” and Alhamdan’s was “Weighting Variables for Condition Indices Using Subjective Data Framework.”

InTrans students Abdallah Alhamdan, left, and Sara Arezoumand, right, presenting at AISIM in Boulder, CO

While Aghasi did not present, he made a note of pointing to some presentations—including Arezoumand’s—that were highly relevant to his research interests.

“These presentations offered a detailed analysis and use of available data, which were particularly insightful and provided new perspectives on how to integrate various data sources for better road asset management and maintenance,” said Aghasi.

Aghasi wasn’t the only one to recognize Arezoumand’s presentation, as AISIM awarded her with one of the best presentations at the symposium. As part of the award, her presentation was accepted directly for a poster session at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in 2025.

“This recognition is a significant motivator for me, and I am thrilled about the opportunity to showcase my research on such a prestigious platform,” said Arezoumand.

Per the event website, AISIM was created to meet the need for future stewards of the infrastructure to remain updated continually on ongoing issues and research at various institutions. Over the years, it has carved out a critical role in graduate education pertaining to infrastructure management.