Ross Wang: Driving clean mobility with data analytics

Ross Wang has been intent on resolving traffic jams since he rode a city bus every day through 40 minutes of traffic to get to his elementary school. That daily journey left an impression that would shape his career.

Years later on the front row of his civil engineering classes in college, Wang was eager to learn all he could about how cities and streets are managed. Today, Wang is leveraging his expertise in transportation systems engineering, data analytics, and modeling and simulation to unsnarl some of the nation’s most congested roads as a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, Wang and his colleagues are collecting data from hundreds of traffic sensors, including signal controllers and smart cameras, and using them for real-time situational awareness and energy efficient decision-making. He is helping develop signal timing and other solutions to tame traffic, cut fuel consumption by as much as 20% and reduce vehicle emissions. Wang is participating in a similar project in Honolulu, Hawaii, to optimize 34 intersections to reduce traffic delays and save fuel.