• November 04, 2021

    Alumni Spotlight Series: Shangjia Dong

    PacTrans comprises a diverse cohort of people hailing from a variety of places, institutions and backgrounds. Our stories bring us together and give us the opportunity to get to know each other better. We want to take a moment to look back at some of our previous student researchers and see where those alumni are today. 

    Shangjia Dong graduated from Oregon State University with a PhD in Transportation Engineering in 2018. He is currently located in Newark, Delaware, and serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware.  Here are a few words from a conversation we had with Shangjia:

    Q. Please share your best college memory.

    A. Traveling to conferences with my colleagues and interacting with other professionals at different conventions have created many wonderful memories. And PacTrans conference is always the one we would look forward to attending. I also enjoyed participating in various ITE events, including fundraising projects, field trips, social events, and the traffic bowl competition.

    Q. How did PacTrans help prepare you for what you’re doing today?

    A. I was fortunate to work on a PacTrans funded project, which got me started on the urban resilience research path. PacTrans has also provided lots of opportunities for me to showcase my research work. Additionally, thanks to the great effort led by the UW students, they always organize a student conference every year, so we can present and interact with fellow researchers from other universities. It was also interesting to hear different perspectives from guest speakers and panelists about the pressing issues in transportation engineering.

    Q. What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

    A. I would strongly encourage them to actively share their research findings through publication and presentation and seek constructive feedback. Effective communication through both writing and conversation is critical for success in academia. Also, I suggest the aspired students talk to specialists outside of their disciplines. It opens doors for new collaborations and also provides new perspectives on existing research problems.

    In his free time, Shangjia plays tennis and hikes. He says exercise not only keeps him physically healthy but also boosts his energy for research activities.

    Stay up-to-date on Shangjia’s career by connecting with him on LinkedIn