Virginia Tech®home

Hesham A. Rakha

Samuel Reynolds Pritchard Professor of Engineering
Hesham Rakha
305-B Patton Hall
Blacksburg, VA, USA 24061
Mail Code: (0105)

Program Area : Transportation Infrastructure and Systems Engineering
Professional Registration : Ontario (P. Eng.).
Personal Homepage : https://sites.google.com/a/vt.edu/hrakha/

In addition to serving as the Samuel Reynolds Pritchard Professor of Engineering in the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Courtesy Professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Rakha directs the Center for Sustainable Mobility at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. His research focuses on large-scale transportation system optimization, modeling and assessment. He works on optimizing transportation system operations, including vehicle routing, developing various network and traffic signal control algorithms, developing freeway control strategies (speed harmonization and ramp metering), and optimizing vehicle motion (lateral and longitudinal) to reduce their energy consumption while ensuring their safety. A key component of these control algorithms are the tools needed to predict the system evolution while capturing the inherent stochasticity. In this area, Dr. Rakha and his team develop and apply modeling, artificial intelligence, and statistical techniques to predict the spatiotemporal evolution of the system. Additionally, Dr. Rakha and his researchers apply machine-learning techniques, as needed, in the development of the control systems that can adapt to the dynamic changes in the surrounding environment. In the area of large-scale transportation system modeling, Dr. Rakha and his researchers have expanded the domain of knowledge (in traveler and driver behavior modeling) and developed a suite of multi-modal agent-based transportation modeling tools, including the INTEGRATION microscopic traffic simulation software. This software was used to evaluate the first dynamic route guidance system, TravTek in Orlando, Florida; to model the Greater Salt Lake City area in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games; to model Beijing in preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games; to optimize and evaluate the performance of alternative traveler incentive strategies to reduce network-wide energy consumption in the Greater Los Angeles area; and to develop and test an Eco-Cooperative Automated Control (Eco-CAC) system. In the area of transportation system assessment, Dr. Rakha and his researchers continue to develop the theory and models needed to quantify the efficiency, safety, energy, and environmental impacts of these systems. In this domain, one of Dr. Rakha's distinctive technical contributions is in the area of transportation energy modeling and optimization. Specifically, he has developed various vehicle energy and fuel consumption models that are used world-wide to assess the energy and environmental impacts of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) applications and emerging Connected Automated Vehicle (CAV) systems. The models include the VT-Micro, VT-Meso, the Virginia Tech Comprehensive Fuel consumption Model (VT-CPFM), the VT-CPEM, and the VT-CPHEM models. Finally, Dr. Rakha is an IEEE Fellow (class of 2020).

Area of Interest

Traveler and Driver Behavior Modeling, Large-scale Transportation System Modeling, Transportation Network Control, Dynamic Traffic Assignment, Optimization, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Connected Automated Vehicles Research, Transportation Energy and Environmental Modeling, and Transportation System Safety Modeling.

  • B.Sc. (Honors) in Civil Engineering, Cairo University.
  • M.S. in Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.
  • Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.
  • Samuel Reynolds Pritchard Professor of Engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech (2014 - Present).
  • Courtesy Professor, Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (2014 - Present).
  • DirectorCenter for Sustainable Mobility at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (2004 - present).
  • Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech (2003 - 2007).
  • Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech (2007 - 2014).
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech (1999 - 2003).
  • Leader of Transportation Systems and Operations Group, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (1999 - 2004).
  • Research Scientist, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (1997 - 1999).
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (1996 - 1997).
  • Transportation Systems Analyst, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (1993 - 1997).
  • IEEE Fellow (Class of 2020) for contributions to optimization, modeling and assessment of transportation systems.
  • User Information Systems (AND20) 2019 Best Paper Award, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Washington DC, January 12-16, 2020.
  • Best Paper Award, 4th International Conference on Vehicle Technology and Intelligent Transport Systems (VEHITS), Madeira, Portugal, March 15-18, (2018).
  • Most Cited Article Award, International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology (IJTST) for paper Rakha H., Ahn K., and Moran K., (2012), INTEGRATION Framework for Modeling Eco-routing Strategies: Logic and Preliminary Results, International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology, Vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 259-274. (2018).
  • Best Paper Award, 2nd International Conference on Vehicle Technology and Intelligent Transport Systems (VEHITS), Rome, Italy (2016).
  • Best Scientific Paper Award, 20th ITS World Congress, Tokyo, Japan (2013).
  • Best Scientific Paper Award, 19th ITS World Congress, Vienna, Austria (2012).
  • Best Paper Award in the TRB Truck and Bus Safety Committee, Transportation Research Board Meeting, Washington DC, USA (2011).
  • Research Excellence Award, College of Engineering at Virginia Tech (2007)
  • Research Fellow Award, College of Engineering at Virginia Tech (2004-2006).
  • Outstanding New Professor Award, College of Engineering at Virginia Tech (2002).
  • Dean's List of Excellent Teachers (3 times).
  • Queen's Graduate Fellowship, Queen's University (1991-1993).
  • Mclaughlin Award, Queen's University (1990).
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Queen's University (1989).
  • Dean's Award, Queen's University (1988).
  • Civil Engineering Award, Cairo University (1982-1987).
  • CEE 2804 : Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 3804 : Computer Applications in CEE
  • CEE 3604 : Introduction to Transportation Engineering
  • CEE 4604 : Traffic Engineering
  • CEE 5604 : Traffic Characteristics and Flow
  • Developing and Acquiring a Fully Instrumented City (NSF)
  • Energy and Emission Modeling of ITS Applications (MAUTC)
  • Studying the Impact of Inclement Weather on Traffic Stream Behavior (FHWA)
  • Analyzing Driver Behavior within the Dilemma Zone at Signalized Intersection Approaches (FHWA)
  • Transit Signal Priority and Emergency Vehicle Pre-emption (VDOT)
  • Full List of Projects