Somaye Fakharian Qom

Degree: Ph.D. in Civil Engineering

College/School: College of Engineering and Computing

Growing up in Tehran, Somaye Fakharian was strongly encouraged by her parents to pursue an education. They worked tirelessly so that she and her sister could become engineers, and their mom was their biggest champion.

Somaye earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the Iran University of Science and Technology. When professors informed her that transportation engineering was a growing field, particularly in the United States, Somaye saw an opportunity. After working for three years at the Department of Transportation in Iran, she made the difficult decision to leave her family in pursuit of a Ph.D. at FIU.

Somaye’s research helps transportation officials make decisions about the future of highways and set toll policies. She credits Professor Mohammed Hadi as an important mentor at FIU. With his support and through her own hard work, Somaye has published five articles in prestigious journals and made presentations at 15 national and international conferences. She won the best paper award at the International Conference on Managed Lanes and third place in the Intelligent Transportation System Americas student essay competition, and she was awarded the Dwight David Eisenhower Fellowship by the United States Department of Transportation.

As our nation recognizes the profound need for more women to diversify and strengthen the field of engineering, Somaye stands as an example and an inspiration. She has reached out to her peers by co-founding and serving as president of the FIU student chapter of the national Women’s Transportation Seminar. And she has made us proud by receiving five job offers for senior-level positions, including one she is seriously considering with a transportation company in Texas.