ICT Student Spotlight: Erman Gungor

photoUniversity of Illinois Ph.D. student Erman Gungor was recently awarded a scholarship through the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) to work on a project that will explore the use of machine learning in airport pavement research.

Erman, an ICT-affilated student, has previously applied the concept of machine learning to an ICT project “Validation and Revision of Fees Charged for Oversize/Overweight Vehicle Permits,” where he used computer models to predict bridge life. In his proposal for the ACRP award, he explains that machine learning “can briefly be described as developing algorithms that iteratively learn from the data and produce reliable, repeatable decisions and results.”

Erman will now have the opportunity to apply this technique to the area of airport pavement engineering, with a goal of developing “an airport pavement analysis engine that will compute structural responses at the desired accuracy with a low processing time.”

This latest accomplishment adds to a growing list of achievements by Erman. He has contributed to several projects in his time at ICT, including “Instrumentation and Analysis of Airfield Pavement Responses,” sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration; “The Impact of Wide-Base Tires on Pavement — A National Study,” sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration; and “Testing Protocols to Ensure Performance of High Asphalt Binder Replacement Mixes using Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) and Recycled Asphalt Shingles (RAS),” sponsored by IDOT.

Imad Al-Qadi, director of ICT, says that Erman has been instrumental in developing correction factors that can be used to calibrate the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design approach for considering advanced finite element solutions and allowing this method to be used for wide-base tires.

“He developed a method to relate bridge deterioration to the cost associated with overweight trucks and helped the FAA in creating a database for airfield instrument response,” says Al-Qadi.

Erman enjoys being a student researcher at ICT’s lab facilities, ATREL. “ICT provides a great research environment by bringing government, industry, and academia together and gives students the opportunity to use their theoretical knowledge to solve real life problems,” says Erman.

“I am surrounded by top researchers that help me keep up with the state-of-the-art progress in research areas other than mine.”

ICT congratulates Erman Gungor on winning the ACRP scholarship and thanks him for his continuing contributions to ICT’s mission.