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Mei Chen's involvement with transportation started when she entered the graduate program of Transportation Engineering at Southwest Jiatong University in 1989. After she got her Master’s Degree in Transportation in 1992, she stayed on at the University as a lecturer in Department of Transportation Engineering, where she taught Introduction to Transportation Engineering, Traffic Management and Control, and Urban Light Rail Systems. At the same time, she participated in many transportation projects including the comprehensive transportation planning of Chengdu City, a decision support system analysis, and urban light rail transit system planning.

Desiring to improve her professional skills, she entered the Ph.D. program of Transportation Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1995. Aside from taking courses to fulfill her requirements for the degree, she has been working as a research assistant on a variety of transportation projects. These projects include developing an integrated congestion pricing and traveler information system, and the right of way impact analysis. Particularly, her research on the design and dissertation, based on this work, is in its final writing stage.

In addition to the research assignments from the university, she also volunteered to help the Community Board of Greenpoint, New York to prepare its 197-A comprehensive plan. She provided the analysis of the current transportation system in the area, as well as the traffic operational and management suggestions on how to improve the efficiency of the system.

In addition to her studies and research, she also an active member of various professional organizations, such as ITE, ITS America, and WTS. She helped the founding of the WTS NJIT Student Chapter and served as its first president. Her student chapter has recently been designated as the first student chapter in the nation.