University Scholar Abolfazl ‘Kouros’ Mohammadian

Abolfazl ‘Kouros’ Mohammadian at UIC professor
Abolfazl “Kouros” Mohammadian. Photo: Jim Young/ UIC Engineering

The University Scholars Program, now in its 36th year, honors faculty members for superior research and teaching, along with great promise for future achievements. The award provides $15,000 a year for three years.

Abolfazl “Kouros” Mohammadian
Professor and Head, Civil, Materials and Environmental Engineering

Years at UIC: 19

What are your research interests? 
Transportation engineering, smart cities, emerging mobility.

How did you become interested in these topics? 
I have lived my entire life in large metropolitan cities with many transportation problems. I have been always fascinated with the idea of using math, science and analytical thinking to solve transportation problems and help designing sustainable and smarter cities.

What do you teach? 
Urban Transportation Planning, Highway Design and Traffic Engineering.

How do you balance teaching and research? 
With difficulty! I try to manage my time by budgeting for teaching, research, service and administration responsibilities. My teaching is also highly influenced by my research. The beauty of transportation problems is that people can easily understand them. Therefore, it is easy to bring current issues, research findings and ideas to the classroom for discussion.   

What’s your advice to students who want to focus their future careers on research?
Pursue research topics that you really enjoy and are enthusiastic about. Consult with more experienced researchers. First, do a thorough literature review and avoid reinventing the wheel. And most importantly, once in a while stop staring at your monitor, look out the window and think carefully whether your research would have a real impact on the lives of people out there!

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