Elizabeth Traut headshot JPG (108K)

Elizabeth J. Traut, Ph.D.

Urban Studies, University of Glasgow
Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

etraut [at] cmu [dot] edu
Elizabeth [dot] Traut [at] glasgow [dot] ac [dot] uk
@ElizabethJTraut | LinkedIn


I am a postdoctoral researcher with a dual position in Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow and in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. My current work takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the potential benefits of electric vehicles in urban areas. My research areas include green design, engineering design, transportation, energy, sustainability, and environmental policy.

Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2010
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2008, Summa Cum Laude, with a concentration in Green Engineering and a minor in Spanish


NSF SEES Fellowship

As a Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability Fellow, funded by the US National Science Foundation, I am performing research towards identifying desirable regional scenarios of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure by determining the impacts of existing land use patterns and public transit availability on life cycle cost and emissions of electric vehicle systems, including charging infrastructure. My research mentors are Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah, in Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow, and Chris Hendrickson, in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

The research is an international collaboration comparing Chicago, Illinois, in the US and Glasgow, Scotland, in the United Kingdom. While both of these cities are large and densely populated and both have an interest in supporting plug-in vehicles, their land use patterns, public transportation systems, and policy approaches to electric vehicles have differences that make them appropriate for comparison. The research questions are (1) What scenarios of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure will cost-effectively reduce transportation emissions in Chicago and in Glasgow? (2) What is the impact of land use patterns on these scenarios? (3) What is the impact of public transit, shared transportation, and non-motorized transportation availability on these scenarios? and (4) What are the implications for sustainable transportation policy in the US and the UK?

The award abstract is available on the NSF's web site here.

PhD Research

My PhD dissertation work examines tradeoffs between electrified vehicle design and deployment of charging infrastructure, including implications for social cost, greenhouse gas emissions, and fuel consumption of personal vehicles. Methods include life cycle cost and GHG emissions modeling of electrified vehicles and infrastructure for slow-charging, fast-charging, and battery swapping; developing scenarios of electrified vehicle adoption and charging availability; optimizing those scenarios with respect to electrified vehicle design parameters and charging infrastructure deployment; and examining the implications for policy and for engineering design and consumer adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles. My PhD research advisors were Jeremy J. Michalek and Chris Hendrickson.

Prior Research

Prior to my PhD work, my research projects included work on solar thermal absorption refrigeration at the University of Zaragoza in Zaragoza, Spain (2006); work with a PEM fuel cell at the Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures at Virginia Tech (2005-2006); and an NSF REU project on technology and policy in sustainable road transportation decisions at Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2005).

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Also see Google Scholar.

Traut, E.J., Cherng, T.C., Hendrickson, C., Michalek, J.J., 2013. US residential charging potential for electric vehicles. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 25, 139-145. Available from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1361920913001260 and from http://www.cmu.edu/me/ddl/publications.html.

Traut, E., Hendrickson, C., Klampfl, E., Liu, Y., Michalek, J.J., 2012. Optimal design and allocation of electrified vehicles and dedicated charging infrastructure for minimum life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and cost. Energy Policy 51, 524-534. Available from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512007434 and from http://www.cmu.edu/me/ddl/publications.html.

Traut, E., Hendrickson, C., Klampfl, E., Liu, Y., Michalek, J.J., 2011. Optimal Design and Allocation of Electrified Vehicles and Dedicated Charging Infrastructure for Minimum Greenhouse Gas Emissions, in: Proceedings of the Transportation Research Board 90th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Current and Past Research Group Affiliations