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Snow Mitigation in Transportation Industry: From Prediction/Detection to Prevention of Accumulation

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Thursday, October 14, 2021 4 pm

This is a past event.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series

proudly presents

Hossein Sojoudi, PhD

University of Toledo


Snow accumulation pose major safety concerns in transportation industry. For example, accumulation and shedding of wet snow from bridge cables is a serious threat to the safety of traffic on bridges. Another example is blockage of sensors, camera lenses, LIDARs, and RADARs in semi or full autonomous vehicles (AVs) by snow that interrupts their safe operation in extreme weather conditions. In this talk, various active, passive, and administrative techniques are discussed to mitigate snow accumulation issues in transportation industry. First, a numerical model is developed utilizing weather data to predict the shape and thickness of snow accumulation on bridge cables and their shedding behavior. This model is coupled with an experimental study and a novel snow/ice detection sensor to assist bridge operators in optimally utilizing their active systems for mitigation of snow issues on bridges with minimal interruption to transportation.

Next, two different navigators are designed to actively prevent snow accumulation on AV visual sensors via airflow across the lens surface. The airflow changes the air streamlines around the lens and causes the snowflakes to experience higher drag forces in directions that are diverging from the lens, resulting in lower collision efficiency (α1) for snowflakes. In addition, the airflow across the lens entraps a thin air pocket between the snowflakes and lens, resulting in lower sticking efficiency  (α2) values. The proposed designs significantly reduce and eliminate the snow accumulation on the camera lenses and are promising to be applied in future AVs. Finally, I will discuss how a combination of passive, active, and administrative strategies provide foreseeable means to address snow accumulation issues in transportation industry.


Hossein Sojoudi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Toledo (UT). Prior to UT, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a join appointment in the Chemical Engineering Department. Hossein obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Sojoudi has been invited as keynote speaker to more than 20 different universities and international conferences. He has more than 50 journal publications with > 3100 citations and 4 U.S. patents. His work has received considerable attention from scientific media such as Georgia Tech News, MIT News, and UT News as well as popular media such as Forbes. His current research on atmospheric icing is funded by various companies and government agencies such as Clearway, Vena Energy, Ford Motor Company, and Ohio Department of Transportation. Dr. Sojoudi is the recipient of Excellence in Supervision of Undergraduate Research and Excellence in Research Awards from UT College of Engineering in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Invited by: Hassan Masoud

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