Dan McCabe Named C2SMART’s 2020 Outstanding Student of the Year

The C2SMART Center has selected Dan McCabe, a master’s student in the Transportation Engineering at University of Washington, as its 2020 Outstanding Student of the Year. This annual award recognizes a student from one of C2SMART’s consortium member schools based on accomplishments in three areas: technical merit and research capability, academic performance, and leadership.

Dan earned a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in 2017. In between receiving his B.S. and enrolling at UW, he worked for two years as a Research Associate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he contributed to optimization-related projects with applications in power systems and national security. As a researcher at UW, Dan is interested in using methods from operations research to guide better decision-making for transportation systems. In his career, he hopes his work will help harness new technologies’ potential to improve the efficiency, sustainability, and equity of transportation systems.

Dan’s thesis, titled “Optimization Model for Battery-Electric Charging Infrastructure” develops a mathematical programming model to identify optimal sites for battery-electric bus charging stations. The model balances real-world detail with computational efficiency and relies primarily on standardized, readily available data in the general transit feed specification (GTFS) format to enable its easy application to different bus networks. A case study developed in collaboration with King County Metro Transit illustrates the model’s usefulness for an upcoming electric bus fleet conversion in South King County, WA and quantifies its impact with a detailed simulation.

As a researcher, Dan has demonstrated leadership by developing an original idea (originating in a NSF GRFP proposal) into a funded research project with the guidance of his advisor, Professor Jeff Ban. Both research projects to which Dan contributed in his first year as a graduate student resulted in papers, one as first author, that were recently accepted to the 2021 TRB Annual Meeting.

The 30th Annual UTC Outstanding Student of the Year Awards event honoring Dan will be held on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., using the live virtual event platform, Remo. A Certificate of Achievement and a UTC Student of the Year booklet, featuring all of this year’s awardees, will be mailed to each award recipient.

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