Tackling urban freight emissions with improved measurements & models

Photo by Andy Li on Unsplash

Photo by Andy Li on Unsplash

Researchers Dr. Amanda Giang and Dr. Patrick Kirchen are working to improve urban freight systems emissions through mitigation planning in a new five-year project. Looking at marine, road and rail freight transport, they will develop planning tools that integrate real-world data, allowing government and industry to make informed decisions that reduce greenhouse gasses. The project has received $2,433,660 in funding from the Government of Canada.

As well as being Mechanical Engineering faculty members, both work with UBC’s Clean Energy Research Centre. Jointly appointed with UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Dr. Giang is an expert in environmental modeling of air quality and pollution. Dr. Kirchen’s expertise is in reducing emissions caused by internal combustion engines. They are joined by fellow MECH investigators Drs. Naomi Zimmerman and Steve Rogak, as well as Drs. Bhushan Gopaluni (UBC Chemical and Biological Engineering), Allan Bertram (UBC Chemistry), and Chris Carlsten (UBC Medicine). Dr. Kirchen explains their collaboration:

“Government and industry need improved data and tools to support planning for freight decarbonization in the near (2030) and long term (2050)… In this project, real-world data integrated into decision-support tools will inform which new technologies and future fuels are best at reducing emissions, and worth investing in to scale upwards.”

Dr. Giang highlights the multiple impacts of their work, which will not only enable planners to address climate change through reduced emissions but also to improve air quality for Canadians:

“People who live along key transport routes are exposed to more pollution, which can have serious long-term consequences for their health… Addressing freight transportation isn’t only a question about addressing climate change, it’s also an issue of local air pollution and disparities in human exposure.”

The project involves nine government and industry partners, and is supported by the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund, via Environment and Climate Change Canada – one of 24 announced by the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change in November.

Read the full announcement by the Faculty of Applied Science.