ODU graduate Bulent Soykan takes second place 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.

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

Bulent Soykan

Under the supervision of Ghaith Rabadi, professor of engineering management and systems engineering in ODU’s Frank Batten College of Engineering of Technology, Soykan 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.”

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.

For more information or to have your recent trip highlighted in our travel section, email travel editor Aaron Gray at aaron@localvoicemedia.com

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Local Voice Media’s travel editor Aaron Gray is an award-winning journalist and published author. He grew up in Herndon, Virginia and graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Specialized Media Arts & Design. He has won several Associated Press Sports Editors awards for breaking news and production design during his 13 years in the media industry. He has worked in Baltimore, Maryland; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). He has visited more than 20 countries around the world and hopes to use his experience as a travel junkie to inspire, educate and entertain the loyal readers of Local Voice Media.