Research Projects

METRANS

by Adylbek Abdykalikov, USC, IPPAM 2020

On March 6, 2020, PSR held its annual Emerging Scholars Transportation Research Symposium (ESTRS) at USC. Every year, ESTRS is a valuable opportunity for students, young scholars, academia, and industry professionals to exchange new research ideas and discuss modern transportation-related challenges. This is one in a series of three articles highlighting the Symposium itself and individual presenters.

 

Nicholas Roy is a recent graduate of Long Beach State University (CSULB), with a double major in Applied Mathematics and Economics and a minor in Philosophy. Roy is a Research Assistant at both the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at CSULB and at Resources for the Future, a Think Tank in Washington, DC.

 

His research interests relate to the policy decision process and variation of outcomes across different regulations, including using methodology from economic theory, ethical theory, econometric modeling, mathematical modeling, and data science.

 

At ESTRS, Roy presented his research titled “Port Disruptions and Their Impact on Port Governance” during Session 1, Managing the Impacts of Freight Movements.

 

Roy addresses the audience during his ESTRS presentation.

 

In his research, Roy analyzed the determinants of port container drayage disruptions and interventions, and the overarching governance models which organize these events. He focused on the urban context within which these disruptions, interventions, and governance models exist by narrowing his scope to port cities. Roy shares insight into his methodology, explaining that, by “using a dataset [to categorize] different types of regulatory interventions and freight disruptions, the research quantifies the relationship between interventions and disruptions while controlling for economic indicators and urban contexts.” A significant finding based on the research methodology is that larger ports with municipal authorities have a decreased likelihood of disruptions. Roy was able to conclude that different intervention types are more impactful than port throughput for the likelihood of disruptions.

 

When asked about his experience as a speaker at ESTRS, Roy shared that the Symposium was a great opportunity to practice presenting in a professional environment where faculty and research professionals are present and observing. “All the feedback really helps improve research before you put it out there for the world to criticize,” he noted.

 

Roy believes that it is essential for researchers to open themselves up to constructive criticism and to actively listen to other researchers’ reports. “This exchange of ideas improves research in the field as a whole,” he emphasized. “As an ‘emerging scholar,’ it is great to screen your work past people you trust. It means that you will get great feedback and input on how to improve your modeling and presentation style.”

 

In keeping with his advice, Roy revealed that he particularly appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed USC Viterbi PhD Candidate Eyuphan Koc’s ESTRS presentation, “Comprehensive Resilience Assessment Framework for Transportation Systems in Urban Areas,” focusing on natural disaster effects on transportation systems. “His research was really representative of how transportation research should be done across disciplines,” noted Roy, adding that he will keep Koc’s presentation in mind for any upcoming transportation research pursuits of his own.

 

Roy is looking forward to conducting further research in economics at Resources for the Future. There, he focuses on climate policy, infrastructure and transit development, and energy policy. His guiding mission is to make policy decisions more efficient and fair, while preparing for graduate school in the near future.

 

We wish Nicholas Roy the best of luck in his new position with Resources for the Future, where he is sure to discover groundbreaking research! We look forward to his many contributions to the transportation field as an emerging scholar.

 

About the Author:
Adylbek Abdykalikov is a recent graduate of the Masters of International Public Policy and Management Program at USC Price. He has working experience in various positions at the Ministries of Transport and Communication and Investment and Development of Kazakhstan and was in charge of Transportation and Civil Aviation policy development and implementation. He served as the lead writer to METRANS Newsletter and lead student event coordinator for METRANS and PSR.