Civil Engineering Graduate Student Honored for Research on Freight Modeling

Taslima Akter
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Taslima Akter

Taslima Akter, a doctoral candidate in civil engineering, was honored last month by the Institute of Transportation Engineers for her work to better understand freight-truck traffic impacts in Arkansas and beyond.

Akter earned the 2018 Midwestern District Student Paper Award by the Institute of Transportation Engineers Midwestern District at the 2018 Joint ITE International and Midwestern/Great Lakes District Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, August 20-23. 

She was honored at the Excellence in Transportation Awards Lunch Aug. 21.  Along with international recognition for her paper, Akter will receive a $1,500 grant and a travel award to attend the Missouri Valley ITE Fall Meeting in October.

Akter was also recently awarded the Graduate Student Congress Award for Academic Prowess by the Graduate Professional Student Congress at the University of Arkansas. She was chosen for having won three competitive student paper awards in 2018, including the ITE awards and an award at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials GIS for Transportation Symposium conference in April.

Akter's research focuses on developing data to support freight travel demand modeling. Understanding how much freight will need to be moved in the future helps businesses and governments drive decision making about infrastructure development and other key investments, leading to a substantial economic impact.

Akter is working on two research projects: The Effects of Weather Events on Truck Traffic Patterns using Fixed and Mobile Sensors, sponsored by the Southern Plains Transportation Center, and Truck Activity Analysis using GPS data, sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Her work includes development of a model to identify the effects of weather events on truck traffic, as measured by weigh-in-motion sensors. It also includes data reduction and analysis of large streams of truck GPS data to determine how national GPS data can be used to better understand freight movements in Arkansas.

Akter works with assistant professor Sarah Hernandez in the Department of Civil Engineering. More details on Hernandez's and Akter's research can be found at


Travis Hefley, communications specialist
Civil Engineering

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering


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