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Sustainable Transportation Networks

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Exploratory Domains

See the event speakers, agenda, and attendees.

Safe, efficient, resilient, and sustainable mobility is essential to the quality of life of our vibrant society. Transportation - the movement of people, goods and services – relies in turn on the infrastructure, both physical and digital, that underpins transportation networks and modes. 

New transportation networks and modes will embrace efficient energy usage, produce low or no emissions, utilize alternative materials and novel construction and manufacturing processes, enhance the efficiency of freight and logistics, and utilize appropriate levels of automation and connectivity. We must emphasize safety, affordability, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in mobility to drive the positive impacts on social and economic conditions that will improve all communities.

Future transportation networks will optimize transportation by land, sea, air, and the next generation of technologies that supports these networks are advancing at a rapid pace.  

The shift to electrified transportation is well underway, and advancements in autonomous vehicle operation across all modes of transportation are moving forward at full throttle. Infrastructure and mobile assets are becoming increasingly connected to enable improvements in efficiency and safety, and the evolution of the human-computer interface is propelling the transportation system at pace.  Such technological advancements coupled with multimodal transportation strategies, transportation demand management, and land use/development planning will play a critical role in the future of sustainable transportation networks.

Potential subthemes explored where engineering can lead:

  • Infrastructure - We have the opportunity to develop new, green construction methodologies and smart materials to improve the lifecycle of transportation infrastructure networks.  Can we envision interconnected transportation modes that transform our infrastructure that improves societal and life cycle benefits?
  • Vehicles and Transportation Modes - Today, we expect high performance, cost-effective, reliable, robust, and safe vehicles/modes. How can future vehicles and modes provide more value than today’s while also achieving zero emissions?
  • Data - Sensors and networks are ubiquitous in today’s society; we are interconnected.  Can we envision interconnected transportation modes (land, sea, and air) and networks that communicate and make decisions that safely and efficiently move and connect people, goods and services?
  • Our People and Community - Access to transportation is a contributing factor to diversity, inclusion, equity and access/accessibility in every society.  As everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, what are systemic engineering practices regarding movement of people, goods and services that foster thriving communities and accommodations for all?



  • September 2022
  • November 2022
    Visioning Event
  • February 2023
    View Final Report


Photo 1 for bell transportation

Erin Santini Bell

Professor and Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of New Hampshire
Photo 5 for choi co-chair

Cathy Choi

Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of Engineering
Photo 9 for myers

Kristin Myers

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University

Thematic Task Force

Photo 13 for birgisson

Bjorn Birgisson

Professor, Chair of the School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering
University of Georgia
Photo 17 for chandra bhat

Chandra Bhat

University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Joe J. King Chair in Engineering
University of Texas-Austin
Photo 21 for chieh (ross) wang

Ross Wang

R&D Associate Staff Member in the Transportation Analytics & Decision Sciences (TADS) Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Photo 25 for chris atkinson

Chris Atkinson

Deputy Director of Advanced Research, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
U.S. Department of Transportation
Photo 29 for david cummins

David Cummins

President & CEO
Blue Sky Maritime Coalition
Photo 33 for gordon

Bethany Gordon

Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Washington
Photo 37 for gregory winfree

Gregory Winfree

Agency Director of the Transportation Institute
Texas A&M University
Photo 41 for keith hall

Keith Hall

Principal Associate and Geographic Discipline Leader
Colliers Engineering & Design
Photo 45 for nachtmann transportation

Heather Nachtmann

Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Endowed Chair & Professor of Industrial Engineering
University of Arkansas
Photo 49 for stanley young

Stanley Young

Advanced Transportation & Urban Scientist
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Photo 53 for yanfeng ouyang

Yanfeng Ouyang

George Krambles Endowed Professor in Rail and Public Transit
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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