CTECH researcher and UTEP M.S. candidate, Emiliano Ruiz, Strives to Optimize Airport Security Screening Checkpoints

Anahy Diaz | September 18, 2020

Emiliano Ruiz

Emiliano Ruiz

Emiliano Ruiz is the definition of hard work. As a civil engineering graduate student at The University of Texas at El Paso, Ruiz has strived to achieve success and help his community by working alongside engineering professionals in a project aimed at improving airport security checkpoints.

“Dynamic Workforce Management at a Network of Screening Facilities,” is a collaborative project funded by the Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency (CAOE), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence (DHS COE) that involves the provision of new technology to assist the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in creating security checkpoints that are more efficient and continue to keep air travel safe.

UTEP is a partner of the CAOE consortium led by Arizona State University (ASU). The COE network is an extended consortium of hundreds of universities conducting groundbreaking research to address homeland security challenges.

As a leading researcher of the project, Ruiz’s role is to develop a digital and detailed simulation model of screening checkpoints and their corresponding screening operations. The model serves to evaluate performance under uncertain conditions and produce virtual animations of these operations. The goal is to make the system more responsive to customer demand and provide passengers the immediate benefits of avoiding long queues and delays at checkpoints.

“What I particularly enjoy about my role as a researcher in this project is that it has expanded my career interests,” Ruiz said. “It has also allowed me to enrich my interpersonal and professional skills.”

Driven by curiosity, Ruiz initially became interested in transportation-related topics in the summer 2018, when he interned as an undergraduate student at the Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH) at UTEP. There, he focused on research and innovation capable of supporting the sustainable mobility of people and goods while preserving the environment and improving community health.

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