Donors establish innovative workshop to promote research

September 11-17, 2017

By Angie Faller

UA Little Rock


A recent anonymous donation to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will fund a workshop designed to promote academic breakthroughs and career counseling for academics studying the intersection of transportation and telecommunications research.


The Chan Wui and Yunyin Rising Star Workshop brings together early-career academics and senior fellows with at least 30 years of experience for a unique, one-week workshop to promote collaborative research and career success.


 “Transportation and telecommunications research is what I would call the cutting edge of the future of transportation,” said Dr. Yupo Chan, UA Little Rock professor of systems engineering who has been selected as director of the Rising Star Workshop.


 Chan pointed to the development of driverless cars as a well-known application of transportation and telecommunications research and a potential research topic that could be discussed at the upcoming conference.


 “The benefits are quite tremendous,” he said. “Theoretically speaking, driverless cars would allow a lot more traffic on the street to be accommodated. If everyone drives at the same speed, there would be no congestion and no accidents. There would be very smooth traffic flow.”


 The Rising Star Workshop will be held in the Como Lake region of north Italy, near Bellagio, in summer 2019. The anonymous donors agreed to pay for all expenses for the workshop and each participant’s travel.


 In addition, the donors signed a second gift agreement to contribute $27,000 annually to support a graduate assistant in the UA Little Rock George W. College of Engineering and Information Technology who will help plan and promote the workshop.


 Mustafa Alassad, a first-year doctoral student in the systems engineering program, is the first recipient of a graduate assistantship funded through the Chan Wui and Yunyin Research Assistantship Fund.


 During the workshop, participants will have in-depth discussions about the critical research questions raised by recent changes in transportation and telecommunications. Additionally, the senior fellows will provide career advice and guidance to the early-career academics on the skills essential for success in academic careers. After the workshop, each participant will author a paper for publication in an academic journal.


 Research papers written by participants of the first Rising Star Workshop, held in 2016, will be published in a 2017 edition of the Transportation Research Record journal, a widely recognized journal of the Transportation Research Board, National Academy of Sciences and Engineering.


 UA Little Rock is partnering with Imperial College, the University of Munich, and the University of Kentucky in a joint Steering Committee to plan and operate the workshop.


For more information, contact Dr. Chan at 501.569.8926 or  




Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Christian O’Neal and UA Little Rock Professor Dr. Yupo Chan. (Photo submitted)