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Research

uSMART uses agent-based modeling, life cycle assessments, system dynamics, big data analytics, and GIS to study the environmental implications of emerging technologies from the systems perspective. Her research interests include energy-water nexus, emerging transportation systems, energy policy, and urban sustainability. Current ongoing projects are summarized below.

Environmental benefits of smart transportation

The recent development of information and computational technologies is transitioning our transportation system. We use real world individual travel data to study the potential environmental benefits of emerging smart transportation systems such as ride sharing, autonomous vehicles, vehicle to infrastructure connections, and mulit-model transportation systems.

Environmental implications of clean vehicles

Clean vehicles refer to vehicles that can use alternative transportation fuels such as electricity and biofuel. While clean vehicles can reduce gasoline consumption and tailpipe emissions, they may increase natural resource use (e.g. water and land) in certain regions. We conduct system analysis to identify the potential environmental tradeoffs associated with large-scale adoption of clean vehicles.

"Big-Data" informed infrastructure development

GPS devices, smart phone apps, smart cards, and other various types of sensors have significantly improved our ability to track how people interact with each other and with the urban infrastructure. We use these data to inform infrastructure development for emerging systems (e.g. identify where to build charging stations to better match charging infrastructure with charging demands).

Sustainable consumption

Our daily environmental footprints are locked in at the moment we make purchase decisions. We use innovative approaches to collect consumer decision making data and study how product sustainability information can be best communicated to the consumers.