Congratulations to Denissa Purba for being recognized for her work on evacuation route planning for alternative fuel vehicles! Her poster was among the 9 finalists out of a pool of more than 200 posters!
Ruolin Zhang, PhD student, recently passed her qualifying exam! She was also selected to present her research on multi-unit dwelling (MUD) charging hub management and techno-economic assessment during the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative event in DC, which advances women’s leadership in clean energy! Find more information on the C3E event here https://c3e.org/2022-c3e-symposium; you can access the preprint of Ruolin’s research here https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4246024.
Dr. Kontou was invited to present her DOE-funded research on management and techno-economic assessment of community charging hubs at multi-unit dwellings on September 30, 2022. The video recording of Dr. Kontou’s presentation is available below.
Congrats to my fantastic graduate students, Shanshan Liu and Yen-Chu Wu, for winning Greater Chicago Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) scholarships 👏 Feels great to mentor promising young scholars in the field of sustainable transportation systems!
How can we evacuate with alternative fuel vehicles? PhD student, Denissa Purba, shows that conventional evacuation plans are infeasible for electric vehicles, particularly those with low driving range. Purba and Drs. Kontou and Vogiatzis develop an optimization model that designates evacuation routes for gasoline, electric, and other alternative fuel vehicles, which can be concurrently followed during preemptive evacuations. We recommend that evacuation coordinators and emergency planners design routes that minimize the system’s evacuation time, are seamless in that they eliminate forking and evacuees’ divergence, apply contraflow principles so that each road in the network can be used at maximum capacity, and provide reliable access to charging and refueling infrastructure. Our research paper is openly published at Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trc.2022.103837.
Illinois is ramping-up policies to incentivize the transition to electrified transportation. Dense charging infrastructure and its timely rollout, as well as electric vehicle rebates, are important drivers in reducing CO2. Dr. Kontou was quoted in the Daily Herald on the state of Illinois plans to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure: https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20220804/places-to-recharge-illinois-to-build-network-of-electric-vehicle-chargers-beginning-in-2023.
Dr. Kontou accepted the invitation to serve as a member of the Editorial Board of Nature’s Scientific Reports in Civil Engineering.
Masters of Science student at CEE UIUC, Yen-Chu Wu, is the leading author of a paper that was recently published in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment focusing on designing and allocating rebates and charging infrastructure investments to induce electric vehicle adoption and achieve emission reduction targets. The analysis indicates that rebates should be provided earlier than chargers due to neighborhood effects of electric vehicle adoption and the minimization of expenditure; availability of home charging influences consumers’ choice and the drivers electrified travel distance; rebates are more effective for modest drivers while charging stations should be prioritized for frequent drivers; network externalities should be further investigated because of their impact on electric vehicle demand. Find the publication, openly accessible, here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2022.103320.
Dr. Kontou is named a 2022 Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Faculty Scholar. Vulnerable communities in Southern Lake Michigan need to be protected from extreme flooding with robust evacuation plans that account for using alternative fuel vehicles by evacuees (e.g., battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles) under a changing climate. My proposed project aims to design evacuation routes for alternative fuel vehicle drivers in Southern Lake Michigan transport networks responsive to flooding hazards. Such models can bring the necessary information and tools to decision-makers, foster resilient economies, and protect communities from the threats of climate change. Find more here: https://iiseagrant.org/new-iisg-research-projects-will-study-coastal-concerns-and-recruit-young-scientists/.
Transportation energy vulnerability is amplified as gas prices rise. PhD student Shanshan (Shirley) Liu and Dr. Kontou measure exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity to transportation energy burden and provide composite scores of transportation energy vulnerability in the US in our new Sustainable Cities and Society open-access paper https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2022.103805.
A greater share of electric vehicle adoption and use can lower census tracts’ transportation energy vulnerability scores and reduce spatial disparities. Due to unavailable or underfunded transit systems, adaptive capacity cannot discount exposure and sensitivity to transportation energy burden.