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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Grad a Top Finisher in National Airport Design Contest

Anyone who has taken air travel has ended up spending minutes, or hours, motionless on a runway, stymied by the bottleneck of airplanes pulling into and out of boarding gates. That also has financial and environmental costs.

An Old Dominion University doctoral engineering graduate has designed a "simulation-based optimization framework" to decrease both the delays and the cost of runway operations.

Under the supervision of Ghaith Rabadi, professor of engineering management and systems engineering in ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering of Technology, Bulent Soykan's project, titled "Multi-Objective Simulation-based Optimization of Runway Operations Scheduling Using a Hybrid Metaheuristic Algorithm," won second place at a national airport design competition hosted by the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), an agency of the U.S. Transportation Research Board.

Soykan, a recent Ph.D. graduate in engineering management and systems engineering, tied for second in the Airport Management and Planning Challenge of the ACRP University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs.

As a part of his dissertation, the simulation accounts for uncertain conditions. It includes realistic aspects to help air traffic controllers solve real-life runway scheduling problems.

"This is a national competition supported by the Transportation Research Board and Federal Aviation Administration," said Rabadi, who conducts research on planning, scheduling and operations research, including aircraft operation scheduling.

"This national award is significant recognition of Bulent's work against graduate researchers from nationally recognized institutions," Rabadi said.

Soykan tied for second with a submission from the University of Texas. An engineering team from the University of Rhode Island won the competition.

The ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agencies but are not adequately addressed by existing federal research programs. The research covers a variety of subject areas involving administration, environment, legal, policy, planning, safety, human resources, design, construction, maintenance and operations at airports.

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