Kontou part of NREL team awarded an ARPA-E grant on intermodal freight optimization!

The Kontou Research Group is collaborating with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), UT Austin, the Southwest Research Institute, Quetica, American Bureau of Shipping, and Parallel Systems on a 2.2-million project funded by ARPA-E on Intermodal Freight Optimization for a Resilient Mobility Energy System (INFORMES)! Our team will develop a national-level intermodal freight modeling framework for infrastructure planning and logistics operations that would provide insights to decision-makers redesigning the national freight infrastructure and intermodal logistics system to meet net-zero targets by 2050. We will also develop and integrate models to identify and quantify the most cost-effective low-carbon infrastructure deployment strategies and robust optimal operations for intermodal logistics over the national freight transportation network. Press release by ARPA-E can be found here: https://arpa-e.energy.gov/news-and-media/press-releases/us-department-energy-announces-9-million-projects-modeling-optimal.

Kontou presents in NAE’s 2023 Regional Meeting!

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) 2023 Regional Meeting and Symposium focusing on the Mobility Electrification Revolution took place on April 4-5th at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign! Dr. Kontou discussed the grand engineering challenge of transport decarbonization! NAE’s overview of the transport electrification insights can be found here: https://www.nae.edu/294393/2023-NAE-Regional-Meeting-Focuses-on-the-Future-of-Travel- The first symposium day is available here (Kontou’s presentation at 3:39:42): 

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.

Kontou presenting research on electric vehicle rebates disparities during WSTLUR!

Dr. Kontou is presenting Shuocheng Guo’s and her research on their empirical analyses that uncovered disparities in California electric vehicle rebates allocation, during the 2021 WSTLUR conference. Her presentation is on August 11th 4-4:45pm central. A 5- minute video on her research is available. The paper was published in Energy Policy earlier in 2021 and is openly accessible here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112291.

Undergraduate students present their research during Undergraduate Research Week!

Joe Ye received a research support grant to conduct research under the advisement of Prof. Kontou.

This year our group mentored two undergraduate researchers who conducted sustainable transport research. Tinghan (Joe) Ye from the department of civil and environmental engineering presented his work during the Undergraduate Research Week on residential electric vehicle charging data analytics and Simon Balisi from the department of industrial engineering modeled chargers deployment for electric vehicle evacuations. Simon was advised by PhD student Denissa Purba through the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship program of UIUC and Joe was advised by Prof. Kontou and received a research support grant.