January 22, 2024

The Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Rhode Island Chapter has awarded Efthymia (Fay) Kostopoulou, a PhD student under the mentorship of Dr. Eleni Christofa, the prestigious Jannet Walker-Ford Leadership Legacy Scholarship for 2023. This accolade is part of the WTS-RI Local Scholarship Program, which supports female students excelling in transportation-related studies.

In 2023, the program acknowledged the efforts of graduate and undergraduate students by awarding $2,000 and also provided $1,000 to deserving junior college, trade school, and high school students. Recipients like Kostopoulou gain a one-year complimentary membership to WTS International, fostering professional growth and networking in the transportation field.

Kostopoulou's groundbreaking PhD dissertation is at the forefront of this honor. Her research focuses on developing a real-time signal control system for intersections within signalized arterials, where vehicle platoons are common. Her system uniquely optimizes signal timings to minimize emissions from both auto and transit vehicles, a significant step towards sustainable urban transportation.

Utilizing analytical models, Kostopoulou estimates delays using Kinematic Wave Theory and emissions through Vehicle Specific Power. This approach calculates emission rates for different operating modes (like cruising and acceleration) and vehicle types. Multiplying these rates by the time spent in each mode provides a comprehensive understanding of emissions. Additionally, her research thoughtfully includes constraints to prevent excessive delays for pedestrians.