Kara Kockelman to speak on sustainable transport at UT Austin May 3rd, 2012

Dr. Kara Kockelman, Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, will speak May 3rd, 2012, at UT Austin on the topic, “The Search for Sustainable Transport: Anticipating Americans’ Vehicle and Travel Choices.” The event takes places at 5:15 p.m. in Mezes Hall on the UT Austin campus in Room 1.306.

Dr. Kockelman holds PhD, MS, and BS degrees in civil engineering, a Masters of City Planning, and a minor in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She has received an NSF CAREER Award, U.C. Berkeley’s University Medal, MIT’s Technology Review Magazine Top 100 Innovators award, CUTC’s inaugural Young Faculty Award, RSAI’s Hewings Award, and ASCE’s Harland Bartholomew Award and Huber Prize. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Andes of Ecuador, and has advised UT’s student chapters of Engineers Without Borders, Society of Women Engineers, and Women in Transportation Studies.

Dr. Kockelman’s primary research interests include energy and climate issues (vis-à-vis transport and land use decisions), the statistical modeling of urban systems (including models of travel behavior, trade, and location choice), forecasting transport policy impacts and crash consequences. She is an author of over 100 published papers – the majority of these with her terrific UT students. Recent and current projects include NSF grants for spatial econometric models of discrete response and studies of plug-in-electric-vehicle ownership and use, an NSF RCN on sustainable cities, an EPA STAR grant for land use, transport, and air quality models, NCHRP projects on demand modeling of non-motorized travel and tolled roadways, and TxDOT projects for holistic evaluation of competing network improvement projects and the development of a transportation economics reference for practitioners.


Transportation constitutes nearly 20 percent of household expenditures, 30 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 70 percent of domestic petroleum consumption. In a world of volatile fuel prices, energy security issues, and climate concerns, it is imperative to understand and accurately model how vehicle ownership and usage patterns – and associated traffic conditions, land use patterns, petroleum use, and emissions – can change under different policies and contexts. This presentation offers new data on ownership decisions and traveler preferences, coupled with behavioral models for microsimulating the nation’s personal-fleet evolution under various scenarios. It examines adoption opportunities for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) under long-run travel patterns, PEV cost effectiveness, and the performance of integrated land use-transport models in urban-system simulations. Modeled scenarios reflect different gas prices, PEV pricing, feebate policies, urban-growth boundaries, and network pricing.

In the long term, widespread adoption and use of alternative-fuel vehicles will depend on thoughtful marketing, competitive pricing, government incentives, reliable driving-range reports, energy pricing shifts, and – in the case of PEVs – adequate charging infrastructure. This presentation highlights many of the directions U.S. households, and their GHG emissions, may head, while describing methods for simulating the broader urban system.

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Posted by clair  |  Category : Transportation Policy