UTAR academic receives ICRA grant from EASTS Japan

UTAR academic-cum-researcher Assoc Prof Ir Dr Khoo Hooi Ling from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) was selected to be the recipient of the International Cooperative Research Activity (ICRA) Grant.

The grant, worth JP¥1,000,000, was allocated for two years (2020-2022) for the research topic titled “Shared Space Design and Modeling: Case Studies in Asian Cities”. It was funded by the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS-Japan) c/o Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute.

In the year 2018, Dr Khoo established an international research group on “Shared Space Design and Modeling”. The research group was led by Dr Khoo with two other members, namely Dr Raymond Ong Ghim Ping from the National University of Singapore and Dr Hsu Yu-Ting from the National Taiwan University. All of them shared the same research interest in road design for non-motorized road users.

Dr Khoo said, “Shared space is an area or zone that has no traditional traffic management systems such as traffic light, road marking or shared spaces, thereby forcing vehicles, alternate transport modes and/or pedestrians to share the same road or sidewalk space. Although the concept is not new, its implementation has faced various issues and challenges.”

Dr Khoo’s research mainly aims to identify issues and challenges in shared space implementation; understand the design principles for shared space; review successful case studies on shared space design implementation; model drivers’/commuters’/cyclists’ behaviours with roadway facilities and understand the impact of shared space.

“Researchers have to be sensitive to the recent issues and challenges in their research discipline and must be able to venture into some new concepts for future development. In addition, working together with peers who share the same research interest will make the research life more interesting. No one is expected to work in a silo,” Dr Khoo advised.

EASTS (Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies) is an umbrella organisation for science transportation societies in Eastern Asia. It was founded in November 1994, following the meeting with transport experts from 13 economies/regions. The society has members from 19 economies/regions such as Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Philippines, China, Taiwan, and others which are majorly from the Asia Pacific region. The society now has about 1,800 members. The primary objective of EASTS is to foster and support excellence in transportation research and practice as well as to stimulate professional exchange in all aspects and modes of transportation.

Assoc Prof Ir Dr Khoo Hooi Ling

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