Alumni Spotlight: Shirin Noei, Ph.D.

Dr. Shirin Noei graduated in August 2020. She is now a research assistant professor at Tennessee Technological University

Dr. Shirin Noei’s interest in transportation engineering grew while working on her master’s degree in construction management at Florida International University through a project related to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). As she describes it, this experience solidified her belief that “no civil engineering concentration could fulfill my passion for technology except transportation engineering.”

Dr. Noei came to the University of Florida because her drive to accomplish great things meant she wanted to attend a top-ranked university. During her graduate studies, Dr. Noei worked on six funded projects and one submitted project proposal. Of all those projects she says that “Safe, Efficient, and Resilient Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems” was her favorite. She recalls that “this project enabled me to hone in on my programming skills and acquire knowledge on cyber-physical systems.” The projects Dr. Noei worked on taught her to embrace big-picture thinking and helped her understand the importance of conveying research to a general audience.

In July, Dr. Noei successfully defended her dissertation, “Longitudinal Control in Traffic Microsimulation” and graduated in August 2020. Dr. Noei’s doctoral adviser was Dr. Xilei Zhao, an assistant professor in the UF Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering. She is now a research assistant professor at Tennessee Technological University where she will work with faculty at the Center for Energy Systems Research, an interdisciplinary center engaged in research on smart grid, resilient infrastructure, and wireless power. Dr. Noei shared that she is “looking forward to collaborating with faculty members and graduate students from various academic departments, including mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, mainly on verification and validation for cooperative driving automation.”

Outside of academia, Dr. Noei was involved in volunteer organizations at UF; she was a Graduate Student Council representative from January 2018 to January 2019 and the WTS-UF Student Chapter vice president from January 2017 to May 2018. 

To students starting out with the UFTI, Dr. Noei recommends to “be specific about what you want to achieve, develop time-bound objectives, clearly discuss their plans with their advisor, and balance extracurricular activities and academics.” 

When not working hard to reach her career goals, Dr. Noei enjoys exploring nature, watching movies, singing Karaoke, visiting historic locations, and shopping.