PI Spotlight: Xianming Shi

Xianming Shi, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, is serving as the principal investigator of a current IDOT/ICT Project: “Design of Living Barriers to Reduce the Impacts of Snow Drifts on Illinois Freeways” (R27-164).

Shi focuses his work on applied research that can mitigate the environmental footprint of transportation systems and infrastructures. What drew him in particular to this project are the challenges facing transportation in a cold northern climate such as Illinois, in addition to the fact that he participated in past projects sponsored by the Clear Roads Pooled Fund program, of which IDOT is a member.

Xianming Shi

Xianming Shi

The goal of the project is to investigate living snow fences as an alternative to structural fences, in an effort to study the design of these living barriers and optimize their intended effect. According to Shi, “Our multidisciplinary approach is novel and results oriented.” With the project underway, he adds, “We hope that the upcoming winter season in Illinois will not be too warm so that we can capture some valuable field data related to snow drifting and snow fences to integrate into our snowdrift model and help the design of living snow fences.”

Shi has been on the faculty at Washington State University since 2014. He also serves as associate director of the Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates and associate director of the Center for Advanced Multimodal Mobility Solutions and Education. Previously, he worked at Montana State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Shi holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and a M.Sc. in industrial management engineering from Montana State University. He has won several awards for his work, including the 2016 ASCE ExCEED (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) Fellowship and the AASHTO 2016 Sweet Sixteen High Value Research Project award for a project sponsored by the New Mexico DOT.