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$1.5M NASA Grant: San Jose State University Engineering Faculty to Study Ways to Reduce Air Traffic Congestion

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748,; Joy Leighton, 408-924-3838,


SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 14 /Standard Newswire/ -- Professors Wenbin Wei and Kevin Corker of San Jose State University's Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering have won a $1.5 million National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant for "Integrated Approaches for Surface Traffic Optimization," a project that aims to decrease air traffic congestion while improving safety at U.S. airports. The project is part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System Integrated National Plan, which will completely transform air traffic control from a ground-based system of radars to a satellite-based system. The new system is needed to handle future air traffic, which is expected to double by 2025.


Professor Wei of the aviation and technology department and Professor Corker of the industrial and systems engineering department are the principal and co-principal investigators, respectively. Corker is also director of San Jose State's Human Automation Integration Laboratory and has received numerous NASA and Federal Aviation Association (FAA) grants for related air traffic research. This interdisciplinary project will provide research opportunities for graduate student assistants from the computer engineering department and industrial and systems engineering department within the Davidson College of Engineering as well as the computer science department within the College of Science.


The team will build mathematical optimization and simulation models addressing the multiple uncertainties and constraints airports face in order to increase capacity and reduce congestion and delays. The models will be tested at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, then provided to NASA, which will work with the FAA to apply the team's findings to U.S. airports. Industry partners for the project include Professor Emeritus Larry Ho, Harvard University; Victor Cheng, Optimal Synthesis Inc., Palo Alto; David Davis, VGO Associates, Cambridge, Mass.; and Jim Poage, JLP, Boston, Mass.


The Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University, the largest provider of engineers to Silicon Valley companies, has nearly 5,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The college offers engineering degrees in aerospace, chemical, computer, electrical, materials, mechanical, civil and environmental, industrial and systems, and aviation and technology. SJSU's engineering program was ranked 16th nationally among master's-level programs in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of "America's Best Colleges 2008."


San Jose State -- Silicon Valley's largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 4,000 employees -- is part of the California State University system. SJSU's 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation's 10th largest city.