Smart Freight Centre welcomes new partner Ryerson University

Ryerson joins York, McMaster and U of T at centre of excellence for goods movement

The Smart Freight Centre welcomes Ryerson University, its first new university partner since the centre was established.

“Ryerson has a rich research community actively engaged in projects that are related to the scope of the Smart Freight Centre,” says Smart Freight Centre (SFC) Chair, Professor Matthew Roorda. “Ryerson participation will, without a doubt, enhance the SFC collaborative research network.”

“The existing partners – York, McMaster and U of T – look forward to a fruitful new association with Ryerson as a valued SFC partner.”

Four Ryerson faculty – Drs. Said Easa, Bilal Farooq (Ryerson SFC Lead), Atefeh Mashatan and Sharareh Taghipour (see short bios below) – will be involved initially, and Ryerson plans to connect more faculty to SFC research project collaborations going forward.

Ryerson faculty affiliates will contribute and collaborate towards three key areas of SFC research:

  1. Freight Data: Management, Fusion, & Analytics
    • Drs. Bilal Farooq and Atefeh Mashatan work on the security and privacy issues related to cyber-physical systems and are expected to contribute to freight-specific issues.
  2. Freight Logistics & Asset Management: Reliability, Maintenance, Routing, & Matching
    • Dr. Sharareh Taghipour will contribute to the research on reliability and maintenance issues in freight transportation.
    • Drs. Sharareh Taghipour, Atefeh Mashatan and Bilal Farooq will develop new freight asset management research using IoT, blockchain, and cloud technologies.
  3. Freight & Road Network: Geometric Design, Safety & Service
    • Dr. Said Easa will contribute to the geometric design and safety issues arising from the automation of freight vehicle operations on highways and urban streets.
    • Drs. Said Easa and Sharareh Taghipour will work on path control and planning of autonomous freight vehicles on highways and optimizing their operations for docking and drayage.
    • Dr. Bilal Farooq will contribute to the planning, design, and operations issues of multi-modal automated on-demand delivery systems.

As a partner, Ryerson University will provide space, computing infrastructure, and other resources towards SFC research. The Centre of Urban Innovation will host most Ryerson SFC activities. Ryerson’s new Brampton campus, focused on cybersecurity research, will also be leveraged.

“We are looking forward to joining forces with the Smart Freight Centre,” says Dr. Sri Krishnan, Associate Dean, Research and External Partnerships, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Ryerson University. “We believe that research in collaboration with SFC is the best path to solutions needed – here, now, today – in freight and goods movement.”

The partnership is effective immediately.

Ryerson University SFC faculty affiliates

head shots of four Ryerson SFC faculty affiliates
The Smart Freight Centre welcomes four new faculty affiliates from Ryerson University: (L-R) Drs. Said Easa, Bilal Farooq (Ryerson SFC Lead), Atefeh Mashatan and Sharareh Taghipour.

Dr. Said Easa (Civil Engineering) is the Director of Road Safety Research Lab at Ryerson University. He is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of geometric design and safety engineering. Dr. Easa has published extensively on the topic and is the editorial board member of several well reputed journals in transportation engineering. In 2018, he was awarded the International Association for Advanced Materials Medal for “notable and outstanding research in the Advanced Materials Science & Technology.” Dr. Easa is the President of Online Network Enabled ITS research Society. His current research is focused on studying the impacts of automation in freight and passenger traffic on geometric design and safety.

Dr. Bilal Farooq (Civil Engineering) (Ryerson SFC Lead) is the Canada Research Chair in Disruptive Transportation Technologies and Services and an Associate Professor at Ryerson University. He received B.Eng. degree (2001) from the University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan, M.Sc. degree (2004) in Computer Science from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan, Ph.D. degree (2011) from the University of Toronto. He did his postdoctoral fellowship (2011-2013) at EPFL, Switzerland. He received Early Researcher Award in Québec (2014) and Ontario (2018). Bilal is interested in understanding the network and behavioural effects of smart mobility and in developing the associated algorithms, models, and solutions.

Dr. Atefeh Mashatan (Ted Rogers School of Management) is the Director of the Cybersecurity Research Lab (CRL) at Ryerson University. Dr. Mashatan’s expertise at the frontlines of the global cybersecurity field was recognized by SC Magazine in 2019, when she was named one of the top five Women of Influence in Security. Through strategic collaborations with government and industry, Dr. Mashatan seeks to spearhead crucial, ongoing dialogue with the Information and Computer Technology (ICT) industry in Canada, and to help solve industry problems through cutting edge information security and research into cyber risk mitigation strategies and solutions. Dr. Mashatan serves on the board of directors at Compute Ontario.

Dr. Sharareh Taghipour (Industrial and Mechanical Engineering) is the Director of the Reliability, Risk and Maintenance Research Laboratory (RRMR Lab) at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University. She is Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Physical Asset Management. Her research aims to develop advanced descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics-based solutions for physical asset management, especially in the context of freight. The goal is to close the gap between optimal and actual practices in maintenance and other novel applications such as sustainable assets management. The research topics that she is working on includes reliability, diagnostics, and prognostics; maintenance and spares optimization; sustainable asset management, and smart asset management.

About the Smart Freight Centre

The Smart Freight Centre, a centre of excellence for goods movement, was established in 2019 with seed money from the Region of Peel. It is a collaborative network between McMaster University DeGroote School of Business, the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute, the York University Lassonde School of Engineering and recently, Ryerson University.

Its mission is to improve the economic vibrancy of business, environmental sustainability, and quality of life for residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area by providing innovative evidence-based research, decision support, advocacy, training, and trend monitoring in order to coordinate transportation infrastructure, land development, regulation, technology tools, and resources that improve goods movement activities. The goal is to evolve the Smart Freight Centre into a formal network between governments, academics, and industry that work on goods movement issues of regional significance.

For more information

Dr. Judy Farvolden
Executive Director, University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute