The IEEE ITS Best Dissertation Award is given annually for the best dissertation in any ITS area that is innovative and relevant to practice.


The IEEE ITSS Best Dissertation Award is given annually for the best dissertation in any ITS area that is innovative and relevant to practice. This award is established to encourage doctoral research that combines theory and practice, makes in-depth technical contributions, or is interdisciplinary in nature, having the potential to contribute to the ITSS and broaden the ITS topic areas from either the methodological or application perspectives. (Established in 2017)


Three awards to be given annually for first, second and third place – Each recipient receives the full prize based on ranking. First Place receives $2000, Second Place $1000, and Third Place $500. In case of a two- or three-way tie, the prize awards for the two or three prizes at issue will be summed and divided equally among the winning candidates. No travel allowances are made for the award.


Eligible applicants must have written a doctoral dissertation and received a Ph.D. no more than 18 months prior to the submission. Students of sitting selection committee members are should be excluded from eligibility.

Basis for Judging

Submissions are evaluated based on the dissertation’s 1) technical contributions, 2) significance, 3) the quality of publication record, and 4) the quality of recommendation letters. Each category is scored on a 1-10 scale and summed for a total score averaged among committee members during the first round. The second round of scoring ranks the top submissions for final award after committee discussion.


The award is presented during the banquet during the society’s flagship meeting, the Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference.

Past Awardees



2021 First Prize: Zhiyong Cui, University of Washington
Title: Deep Learning for Short-term Network-wide Road Traffic Forecasting

Second Prize: Alina Roitberg, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Title: Uncertainty-aware Models for Deep Learning based Human Activity Recognition in Intelligent Vehicles

Third Prize: Akshay Rangesh, University of California San Diego
Title: Intelligent Human-in-the-Loop Vehicular Automation with Real-Time Vision Models

2020 First Prize: Negar Mehr, University of California, Berkeley
Title: EffiSmart Traffic Operation: from Human-Driven Cars to Mixed Vehicle Autonomy

Second Prize: Shuo Feng, Tsinghua University
Title: Testing Scenario Library Generation for Connected and Automated Vehicles

Third Prize: Holger Banzhaf, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Title: Non-holonomic Motion Planning for Automated Vehicles in Dense Scenarios

2019 First Prize: Cathy Wu, University of California, Berkeley
Title: Learning and Optimization for Mixed Autonomy Systems – A Mobility Context

Second Prize: Woongsun Jeon, University of Minnesota
Title: Active Sensing and Estimation for Nonlinear Systems with Applications to Car-Bicycle Collision Prevention

Third Prize: Yihang Zhang, University of Southern California
Title: Integrated Control of Traffic Flow

2018 First Prize: Anahita Jamshidnejad, Delft Center for Systems and Control, Delft University of Technology
Title: Efficient Predictive Model-Based and Fuzzy Control for Green Urban Mobility

Second Prize: Maria Kontorinaki
Title: Advanced Nonlinear Control concepts for Freeway Traffic Network

Third Prize: Nikola Bešinović
Title: Integrated Capacity Assessment and Timetabling Models for Dense Railway Networks

2017 First Prize: Eshed Ohn-Bar, University of California, San Diego
Title: Contextual Visual Object Recognition and Behavior Modeling for Human-Robot Interactivity

Second Prize: Kun Xie, New York University
Title: New Opportunities in Urban Safety Analytics Using Advanced Quantitative Methods and Big Data

Third Prize: S. AliReza Fayazi, Clemson University
Title: Connected Vehicles at Signalized Intersections: Traffic signal Timing Estimation and Optimization


First Prize:  José Ramón D. Frejo, University of Seville
Title: Model Predictive Control for Freeway Traffic Networks

Second Prize:  Matthias Schreier, Technical University of Darmstadt
Title: Bayesian Environment Representation, Prediction, and Criticality Assessment for Driver Assistance Systems

Third Prize:  Mohammad Shokrolah Shirazi, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Title: Vision-Based Intersection Monitoring: Behavior Analysis & Safety Issues

2015 First Prize: Mohsen Ramezani Ghalenoei, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Title: Traffic Modeling Estimation and Control for Large-Scale Congested Urban Networks

Second Prize: Meng Wang, Delft University of Technology
Title: Generic Model Predictive Control Framework for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Third Prize: Nanxiang Li, University of Texas, Dallas
Title: Modeling of Driver Behavior in Real World Scenarios Using Multiple Noninvasive Sensors

2014 First Prize: Rahul Kala, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, India
Title: Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

Second Prize: Mehdi Keyvan-Ekbatani, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Title: Real-Time Urban Traffic Control under Saturated Traffic Conditions

Third Prize: Prashanth L.A., SEQUEL project, INRIA Lille – Nord Europe, France
Title: Resource Allocation for Sequential Decision-Making under Uncertainty: Studies in Vehicular Traffic Control, Service Systems, Sensor Networks and Mechanism Design

2013 First Prize: Samah El-Tantawy, University of Toronto, Canada
Title: Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning for Integrated Network of Adaptive Traffic Signal Controllers

Second Prize: Xiqun Chen, Tsinghua University, China
Title: Stochastic Evolutions of Dynamic Traffic Flow: Modeling and Application

Third Prize: Manuel Fogue, University of Zaragoza, Spain
Title: Design and Evaluation of a Traffic Safety System based on Vehicular Networks for the Next Generation of Intelligent Vehicles

2012 First Prize: Markus Enzweiler, University of of Heidelberg
Title: Compound Models for Vision-Based Pedestrian Recognition

Second Prize: Anna Petrovskaya, Stanford University, USA
Title: Towards Dependable Robotic Perception

Third Prize: Anastasios Kouvelas, Technical University of Crete, Greece
Title: Adaptive Fine-Tuning for Large-Scale Nonlinear Traffic Control Systems

2011 First Prize: Daniel B. Work, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Title: Real-time estimation of distributed parameters systems: Application to traffic monitoring

Second Prize: Vicente Milanés, University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain
Title: Traffic management system based on V2X communication using automated vehicles

2010 First Prize: Brendan Morris, University of California, San Diego

Second Prize: Thomas Paul Michalke, Institut für Regelungstheorie und Robotik, TU Darmstadt

2009 First Prize: Arne Kesting, TU Dresden
Title: Microscopic Modeling of Human and Automated Driving: Towards Traffic-Adaptive Cruise Control

Second Prize: Verena Schmid, Vienna University
Title: Trucks in Movement: Hybridization of Exact Approaches and Variable Neighborhood Search for the Delivery of Ready-Mixed Concrete

Second Prize: Andrea D’Ariano, TU Delft
Title: Improving Real-Time Train Dispatching: Models, Algorithms and Applications

2008 First Prize: Shinko Y. Cheng, University of California, San Diego
Title: A Multilevel Framework for Human Body Structure and Pose Estimation and Human Gesture Analysis Using Volumetric Scene Reconstructions with Applications in Driver Assistance Systems

Second Prize: Caspar Chorus, TU Delft
Title: Traveler Response to Information

2007 First Prize: Thao Dang, Karlsruhe University
Title: Continuous Self-Calibration of Stereo Cameras

Second Prize: Yiting Liu, Ohio State University
Title: Applications of Wireless Communication in Traffic Networks Using a Hierarchical Hybrid System Model

2006 First Prize: Shuming Tang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Title: A Preliminary Study for Basic Approaches in Artificial Transportation Systems

Second Prize: Jianlong Zhang, University of Southern California
Title: Practical Adaptive Control: Theory and Applications