Denissa at INFORMS and as a mentor for UIUC URAP

Congratulations to PhD student, Denissa Purba, who will present our paper on Alternative Fuel Vehicles Evacuation Planning at INFORMS this November! She was also selected to participate as a graduate mentor at the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! Through this program, Denissa will get the opportunity to inspire undergraduate students to conduct research in sustainable transportation systems.

Project on Community Charging Hubs Selected for Award by Department of Energy

The Department of Energy and its Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) announced $139 million in federal funding for 55 projects that will support innovative advanced vehicle technologies: Our project on integrated modeling and technoeconomic assessment of electric vehicle community charging hubs was selected for award! The list of the selected projects can be found here. Our group at the University of Illinois is excited to work with VTO to create a novel modeling framework for community charging hubs operations in an effort to support equitable access to sustainable, electrified mobility.


Funded Digital Transformation Institute COVID19 project

C3ai DTI Rapti et al. project overview

The Digital Transformation Institute has selected 26, out of more than 200 submitted, research proposals that advance Digital Transformation Science to mitigate COVID-19 and future pandemics. Kontou is co-PI of a project that will focus on novel spatial modeling of COVID-19, being led by Associate Professor of Mathematics Zoi Rapti. The funded research will offer a comprehensive approach to the spatial dynamics of COVID-19 based on partial differential equation and metapopulation models. The teams aims to fill the modeling gap between studies with a detailed description of the disease dynamics, but lacking spatial dynamics, and those that while spatial in nature, do not account for the intricacies of the COVID-19 disease. The team aims to leverage a diverse array of techniques ranging from dynamic traffic assignment models, which will inform the links in the metapopulation model, to manifold learning techniques for model parameterization. Access to the C3 AI Suite and Microsoft Azure computing and storage resources were awarded to the team. Very excited about our group’s contribution to COVID-19 epidemic tracking and recovery!

Kontou to participate at ASCE’s ExCEEd Teaching Workshop

ExCEEd ASCEDr. Kontou received an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) ExCEEd Faculty Fellowship and will participate in the upcoming workshop scheduled in 2020 summer. Dr. Kontou is committed to implementing new pedagogies and active learning techniques to improve CEE educational outcomes. Due to COVID-19 the workshop will take place online.

iSEE Levenick Teaching Sustainability Fellowship Awarded

Dr. Kontou was awarded a University of Illinois iSEE Levenick Teaching Sustainability Fellowship for introducing a new graduate course this Fall 2020 on Urban Transportation Models. The graduate course learning objectives aim to prepare the workforce of the future to address issues at the transportation-energy-environment nexus:

  • Introduction to environmental issues that arise in transportation’s setting.
  • Viability of a transportation network’s demand and flow constraints by a network flow pattern under environmental quality standards.
  • Policies design for sustainable transportation networks including: emissions pricing, pollution permits.

Kontou gives Kent Seminar in ICT

Kontou will present her work on electric vehicles charging pricing and willingness to pay during the Kent Seminar Series, invited by the Illinois Center for Transportation. The research outcomes that will be discussed include those recently published at Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews and Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment journals. The presentation will be broadcasted here and will take place on Thursday February 13 2020  from 12:30pm to 1:30pm in ATREL Classroom of ICT in Rantoul IL.

2020 TRB Meeting – Ria’s Poster & Short Presentation

The 2020 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting is right around the corner. Please stop by Ria’s and Noreen‘s poster (Board Number A122) on Monday evening from 3:45 PM to 5:30 PM (session 1332) at Hall A of the Convention Center! Ria will also present this work during the Joint Meeting of the Shared-Use Vehicle & Ridesharing Solutions Subcommittee on Wednesday morning. I will be in DC on Sunday, January 12th until Thursday the 16th so please reach out to me in case you are interested in meeting!

New publication on willingness to pay for public EV charging

Willingness to pay for EV chargers varies by vehicle range (Greene, Kontou, et al. 2020)

Our paper on willingness to pay (WTP) for electric vehicle public charging infrastructure appeared at the Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment journal. We construct three WTP functions that describe the maximum amount that potential users of charging infrastructure are willing to pay to access the current level of charging availability. We determine functions that describe WTP for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle drivers, and battery electric vehicle drivers for inter-regional & intra-regional travel. A numerical experiment leveraging data from the State of California demonstrates that existing public charging infrastructure worths $1,500 for the average intra-regional battery electric vehicle driver and is valued at over $6,500 along intercity routes! More info here.