Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Graduate Research Assistant Xiaoqiang “Jack” Kong was recently presented a 2022 Association of Former Students Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research — Doctoral by Texas A&M University’s Graduate and Professional School at an awards ceremony Apr. 25 in the Rudder Forum. One of Texas A&M’s highest honors, the award recognizes Kong’s outstanding academic record and significant contributions in research, which rounded out a strong candidate application.
“I’m very humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award from the graduate school,” says Kong. “To be recognized as a distinguished graduate student at a university where there are so many exceptional and talented graduate students in different departments makes it truly special.”
Kong currently works in TTI’s Mobility Division and is a Ph.D. student in Texas A&M’s Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Since joining TTI in 2015, Kong has been a key contributor to the processing efforts for producing mobility analysis reports, including the Urban Mobility Report and the Texas 100 Most Congested Roadways List. In addition to his work in TTI’s Mobility Division, Kong has published 21 peer-reviewed papers in various academic journals.
“It’s been quite a journey for me to work on my Ph.D. while working at TTI as a graduate research assistant,” says Kong. “I would like to thank my academic advisor Dr. Yunlong Zhang for his guidance, support and patience with me through these years. My gratitude also goes to my doctoral program committee member Dr. Bill Eisele for his guidance and willingness to help me whenever I needed it, and my TTI colleagues Dr. Subasish Das and Dr. Lingtao Wu whose knowledge and dedication to research have deeply motivated me to push myself to become a better researcher. Last but not least, I’d like to thank all my colleagues in the Mobility Analysis group for their monitoring and support.”
Since 1965, The Association of Former Students and Texas A&M’s Graduate and Professional School have recognized outstanding graduate students for their exemplary accomplishments in research and teaching. These awards are presented annually to 15 or more outstanding graduate students and are accompanied with a framed certificate and custom gold watch from The Association.
Senior Research Engineer and Head of TTI’s Mobility Division Bill Eisele notes, “Throughout his time at TTI, I have been amazed with what Jack has been able to accomplish over such a short period of time. In particular, Jack’s dedication to big data analytics have greatly contributed not only to the Mobility Division at TTI, but to the entire transportation industry. I can’t think of a graduate student more deserving of this honor than Jack.”