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She Wants Women to Get Moving in Transportation

Somaye Fakharian Believes in Paying It Forward


Somaye Fakharian – FIU

More than three years ago, Somaye Fakharian, a native of Iran, arrived alone in the US to study transportation engineering.

Now she is a recent Florida International University (FIU) PhD civil engineering graduate with a focus transportation, and on assisting other women in the field.

FIU is a metropolitan public research university located in Greater Miami with two campuses in Miami-Dade County, with its main campus in University Park.

[See STEMRules gallery on the Top Schools for Latino STEM Graduates.]

Changing Lanes

Her cutting edge dissertation was on Multi-Resolution Modeling of managed lanes with consideration of autonomous/connected vehicles. The subject is a top priority for Florida’s transportation agencies as the modeling assists in foreseeing how to direct drivers to certain lanes to manage volume.

In 2015, she was an FIU Outstanding Dissertation Year Fellow.

Assisting Women

In 2013, Fakharian co-founded and was president of a student chapter for Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS). It is a global organization “dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation.”


Somaye Fakharian (third from right) and other executive board members of the FIU chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar

During her time at FIU, to attract women scholars and transportation engineering agencies Fakharian submitted 15 articles to journals and conferences.

Before coming to the US, she received her BS and MS degrees in Transportation Engineering from the University of Tehran and worked as a Project Engineer and Manager in Iran’s Department of Transportation.

Fakharian, who studied in the FIU College of Engineering and Computing’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, told the FIU news service that, “I like that transportation engineering is a multidisciplinary field; I find that very exciting. You need to know about management, programming, planning and modeling, and how to combine them.”

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