News

PhD student Zhang selected to present her MUD charging hub research at C3E!

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.

C3E Poster of research led by PhD student Ruolin Zhang; project collaboration University of Illinois Urbana-champaign and Argonne National Laboratory

PhD student Purba publishes alternative fuel vehicle evacuation planning paper in Transportation Research Part C!

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.

Evacuation route designation in D.C.
Photo credit: Dr. Kontou

Dr. Kontou was quoted in Daily Herald on IL EV charging infrastructure planning!

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.

MSc student Wu and Dr. Kontou publish electric vehicle incentives design paper!

Yen-Chu Wu and Prof. Kontou outside of Newmark Civil Engineering Lab at the University of Illinois.
Celebrating Wu’s upcoming graduation this August. Yen-Chu will join MIT’s CEE this fall to pursue her PhD degree.

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 named a 2022 Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Faculty Scholar

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/.

PhD student Liu and Dr. Kontou publish transportation energy vulnerability paper!

Additive and Multiplicative Transportation Energy Vulnerability

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.

Dr. Kontou is now a member of the Transportation Research Part D Editorial Advisory Board!

Dr. Kontou was invited to join the Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment journal’s Editorial Advisory Board. TR-Part D is one of the premier journals in transportation and is in the forefront of sustainable transportation systems research. It has a high-impact factor of 5.49 and a citescore of 9.1. Dr. Kontou looks forward to contributing to this new role!