07/22/11 Institute of Transportation Studies — The Federal Aviation Administration awarded four undergraduates from Dr. Jasenka Rakas' airport design class a first prize for their proposal to improve airport efficiency. Their paper, "Collaborative Gate Assignment," suggests airlines and airport operators share gates as well as real-time information on gate utilization in order to reduce the time, fuel and emissions that are wasted when an arriving aircraft must wait on the tarmac for a gate to open.
06/16/11 Institute of Transportation Studies — The time may finally be right to sell Americans on eco-driving, according to a group of transportation experts from four University of California campuses as well as representatives from industry and government who attended an all-day conference on May 18. Sometimes called green driving, eco-driving refers to techniques drivers can use to maximize their mileage while saving fuel and minimizing tailpipe emissions.
11/04/10 — Domestic flight delays put a $32.9 billion dent in the U.S. economy, and about half that cost is borne by airline passengers, according to a study led by UC Berkeley researchers and released last month. The comprehensive report analyzed flight delay data from 2007 to calculate the economic impact on both airlines and passengers, including the cost of lost demand and the collective impact of these costs on the U.S. economy. The report was commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration to clarify key discrepancies in earlier studies.
11/13/09 — In November 2008, California voters passed a $9.95-billion bond issue to build a bullet train that would zip passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles via the Central Valley at speeds up to 220 miles per hour. A few months later, the Obama administration threw its heft behind the high-speed rail concept by offering nearly $10 billion to HSR projects. Clearly, many Americans are smitten with the romance of the rails. But last month, at an overflow symposium at UC Berkeley, a panel of experts in the fields of transportation engineering and city and regional planning urged caution.
11/13/09 — Twenty miles out to sea, far from seabirds and boat traffic, a 300-foot wind turbine spins in the breeze. It's not alone. Thirty wind turbines are generating electricity in something called an offshore wind farm. Each turbine is integrated into a highly advanced floating platform and tethered by thick chains to the sea floor. Electricity flows into a giant undersea cable that extends toward shore. At 200 megawatts, this floating farm of clean energy powers more than 60,000 homes. It's still a futuristic vision, but ocean engineers and entrepreneurs Dominique Roddier (Ph.D'00 Naval Architecture) and Christian Cermelli (M.S'90, Ph.D'95 Naval Architecture) are one step closer to bringing their unique solution, WindFloat, to life.
09/04/09 — Barney Smits (B.S.'92 ME) rides Bay Area Rapid Transit every weekday from his Oakland home to his office, two blocks from Oakland's 19th St. station. "I take it just about everywhere I can," he says. "To the opera in the city, to the airport when I'm traveling. Once you're used to it, it's the absolute best, easiest way of getting around." But then he might be biased. Smits, 53, is the transit system's principal mechanical engineer, a job he's held for several years. He's one of the guys who makes sure that the 20 miles of tunnel and 208 miles of track and all the stations and system facilities are safe for riders like him, and you.
10/02/08 — In the fall of 1975, a young General Motors engineer named Larry Burns loaded up his customized Chevy and headed to Berkeley. The Michigan native came west for doctoral studies in transportation engineering. “It's an area that has served me quite well,” he says. Today, Burns is in charge of next-generation cars and other leading-edge technology for the world's largest automaker. “I wake up every day focused on reinventing the automobile,” he says. A 2007 New York Times article called him “the most visible executive at the American auto companies on green issues.”