Yalda Ebadi, an Industrial Engineering and Operations Research doctoral student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has won the prestigious 2020 Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Boston Helene M. Overly Memorial/Ann Hershfang Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to women who are currently enrolled in a transportation-related graduate program and plan to pursue a career in a transportation-related field.
The scholarship is for $4,000, as awarded by WTS Boston and the WTS Foundation, and will be presented to Ebadi at the WTS Scholarships & Awards Banquet in June. The Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship was established in 1981 to honor the first executive secretary of WTS International and to encourage women to pursue career paths in transportation.
Ebadi is an industrial engineer with several years of experience and a versatile, bilingual professional skilled in transportation, human factors, data analysis, and project management. She obtained her M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tehran in 2016 and her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Azad University – Tehran North Branch in 2008.
As a graduate research assistant in the MIE department, Ebadi’s present primary research is based on human factors and safety. Some of Ebadi’s research projects have involved the “Impact of Automated Systems on Drivers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” the “Impact of Cognitive Distractions on Drivers’ Hazard Anticipation Behavior in Complex Scenarios,” “A Simulator-based Assessment of the Effect of Cognitive Distraction on Drivers’ Hazard Anticipation Behavior in the Presence of Bicyclist Hazards,” and others.
Among her honors, Ebadi has won the Outstanding Paper Award from the Transportation Research Board at a 2019 Simulation of Vehicle and Operator Performance Committee Meeting, two Best Poster Presentations at Safer-Sim symposiums in 2018, a Graduate Fellowship Award from the UMass MIE department in 2017, and a Graduate School STEM Faculty-student Award from UMass Amherst in 2017. She was also the top graduating student with high honors at Azad University.
WTS International was founded in 1977 by a group of pioneering women in transportation who realized that women’s careers would benefit from professional development, encouragement, and recognition to support their advancement in transportation professions. WTS is now an international organization with more than 6,500 members (including women and men) and 79 chapters. WTS is also connected to a network of 40,000 transportation professionals. (March 2020)