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Dr. Didier M. Valdés-Díaz is a Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM). Dr. Valdés obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He has continued working on education, research and community service at the UPRM with more than 20 years of academic and research experience on the national and international level.

For the past eight years, Dr. Valdés has been a representative on the board of directors of UTRC region 2 and has collaborated with other universities of the consortium on research and educational projects. Dr. Valdés and his collaborators are currently working on the development of two prototypes concerning mobile and tablet applications that will streamline the administration and inspection process of highway projects considered a necessity by the Department of Transportation and the Highway and Transportation Authority. These prototypes aim to streamline and standardize procedures that are expected to have a great impact on how project management is performed during the construction of highway projects.

Dr. Valdés’ research interests include the application of operations research tools, simulation and systems engineering, and system dynamics to the analysis, modeling, and control of transportation systems; highway safety; information and traffic control strategies on urban networks; urban rail transportation systems; information supply strategies during incident situations; Intelligent Transportation Systems; optimal control and fuzzy logic and their applications to traffic control; graduate and undergraduate engineering education; research ethics and ethics across the curriculum; professional development programs and pre-college outreach programs. He has been involved in high quality research projects for several agencies including NSF, FHWA, UTRC, the PR Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP), PR Highway and Transportation Authority (ACT), PR Authority for Public-Private Partnerships (AAPP), and the PR Infrastructure Financing Authority (AFI). He has served on various TRB committees and NSF peer review panels.

As director of the PR Summer Transportation Institute (STI) for the past 12 years, Dr. Valdés has worked with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in order to encourage high school students to pursue careers related to the transportation industry. He also encourages undergraduate students at the UPRM to pursue PhD degrees in the US and elsewhere through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Alliance for the Graduate Education and the Professoriate and the SLOAN Foundation graduate program.

Dr. Valdés’ teaching experience is on the undergraduate and graduate level. He has taught graduate transportation courses in Colombia at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá and Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla. These universities are well known for their outstanding academic programs international level.

Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying