Rebekah Yang, a master’s student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was recently awarded the Helene M. Overly Graduate Scholarship from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), Greater Chicago Chapter. She plans to continue on toward her doctorate at Illinois next fall.
Yang has assisted on ICT project R27-044-T1, which updated teaching material for an Illinois Department of Transportation course on pavement design. Additionally, she is a research assistant on a project for the Illinois Tollway and is playing a key role in developing pavement life-cycle assessment tools that will allow the agency to evaluate the environmental burdens of its roadway network.
As she begins her doctoral studies next fall, Yang will research methods that can be used to objectively measure pavement sustainability, such as life-cycle assessment. She is also interested in optimization techniques that can be developed to find meaningful balances between the economic and environmental costs of large-scale pavement networks.
Imad Al-Qadi, Founder Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Illinois, is Yang’s advisor. “Rebekah’s intellect and hard work are clearly demonstrated by her 4.0 GPA, which reflects not only dedication to her studies but also the depth of her commitment. To be able to do this in the highly competitive civil engineering program at Illinois is indeed an impressive achievement.”
Yang holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Outside of her studies and research, she enjoys running and experimenting with new recipes.