photo of Qichao Wang

Qichao Wang

Postdoctoral Researcher-Computational Sciences

Orcid ID

Qichao Wang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Complex Systems Simulation and Optimization Group within the Computational Science Center. His research is in the area of transportation systems modeling and simulation, optimization, and control. His work at NREL includes modeling emerging transportation systems, developing simulation software utilizing high-performance computing resources, and developing and deploying traffic control algorithms. At NREL, he has proposed, developed, and improved a high-performance simulator, Airport Shuttle Planning and Improved Routing Event-driven Simulation (ASPIRES), further developed and deployed his dissertation research algorithms for arterial traffic control, and co-developed a NEMA traffic controller module for a SUMO traffic simulation package.

For additional information, see Qichao Wang's LinkedIn profile

Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed on LinkedIn are the author’s own, made in the author's individual capacity, and do not necessarily reflect the views of NREL.

Research Interests

Transportation systems modeling and simulation


Traffic control

Reinforcement learning


Game-aided pedagogy


Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

M.S., Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

B.E., Traffic Engineering, Nanjing Tech University

Featured Work


ASPIRES: Airport Shuttle Planning and Improved Routing Event-Driven Simulation (GitHub)


Offline Arterial Signal Timing Optimization based on Virtual Phase Link Model - A Real-World Case Study, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (2021)

Route Optimization for Energy Efficient Airport Shuttle Operations—A Case Study from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (2021)

Introducing Offsets to the Virtual Phase-Link Street Traffic Model for Arterial Traffic Control, IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC) (2020)

The Green Light SONATA: Foundations for Musical Agents Controlling Traffic Signals, IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC) (2020)

Comparing and Contrasting NEMA-Based Virtual Phase-Link Control with Max Pressure Control in Arterial Signal Systems, IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC) (2019)

Optimal Urban Traffic Model Predictive Control for NEMA StandardsTransportation Research Record (2019)

Designing Web‐Games for Transportation Engineering Education, Computer Applications in Engineering Education (2018)

Visualizing Vehicle Arrivals in Coordinated Arterials Using a Colored PCD Concept, IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC) (2017)

Awards and Honors

Outstanding Mentor to NREL’s Postdocs, Graduate, and Undergraduate Interns (2020)

Via Teaching Fellowship, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2018)

World Transport Convention Best Paper Award (2018)

ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day Process Award (2018)

2nd Place - Pavement Management Challenge, 9th International Conference on Managing Pavement Assets (2015)

Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis, Jiangsu Province (2014)

Outstanding Undergraduate Student, Nanjing University of Technology (2012)

Ashland Fellowship (2011)

2nd Place, Products Information Modeling National Competition, China (2011)

1st Place, College Students CAD Competition in East China Region (2011)