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Graduate Student Spotlight: Nooralhuda ‘Noor’ Saleh

Nooralhuda ‘Noor’ Saleh

Nooralhuda ‘Noor’ Saleh is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate with a concentration in transportation materials. She was born in Iraq, grew up in Lebanon and is advised by Dr. Richard Kim. She recently traveled to Sacramento, California, to train a team from the California Department of Transportation on material test methods that were developed by Kim’s research group at NC State.

 

What influenced you to go into engineering?

SALEH: I am drawn to the problem-solving mindset instilled by engineering education and practice. It gives me confidence in being able to solve all kinds of problems inside and outside my profession.

 

What problem(s) are you trying to solve? Why was NC State / CCEE a good fit for you?

SALEH: I am developing protocols that bridge the design of asphalt pavements, construction quality and the long-term performance of paved roadways. The NC State research group is at the forefront of cutting-edge research in the field of asphalt paving. It is important for me to understand the intricacies of new advanced test methods and models to be able to communicate research findings to decision-makers in easily digestible formats, diagnose any knowledge gaps and develop plans to address them.

 

Where did your passion for this particular focus come from?

SALEH: As it stands, all the capabilities that the tests and models provide in terms of performance prediction are not being utilized adequately. Understandably, construction can change hour-to-hour, while advanced mixture performance testing takes days, making the feedback loop impractical. This is where there is a substantial room for improvement and where I am excited to make a contribution.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

SALEH: My goal is to become a subject-matter expert who can provide solutions and the knowledge on how to bring research into engineering practice.

 

 

This story was originally published in the Spring 2022 CCEE Newsletter.