Adapting Transport Systems: Towards a Low Carbon Future

Academic Lead – Susan Grant-Muller (Leeds)

Note: This is a four-university Network involving Hull.

The network provides a coherent framework for highly innovative research into mechanisms to de-couple economic development from environmental deterioration and operate within ecosystem limits. Tackling the challenge will require adaptation of transport systems towards a low carbon future. The network investigate; 1) how governance, supply chains, ICT and bio-materials can facilitate transport supply under a low carbon future and 2) how these components require adaptation or contribute towards an adaptation process under climate change.  The network goals start with governance challenges involved in switching from fossil fuel-dependent land uses and transportation to low-carbon alternatives, led by Hull. Further research in the business sector (led by Sheffield)  investigates the role of supply chains, looking towards the low carbon agenda for vehicles and fuels. The third area (led by Leeds) concerns the need for resilient transport systems for people and goods and how this can be facilitated under the move towards a digital economy. Finally, for the automotive industry, research into the potential role of biomaterials replacing traditional materials is led by York.Exhaust pipe.

The Institute for Transport Studies is the largest academic transport unit in the UK with significant international collaborations, but the opportunities for regional academic synergy on transport research and low carbon issues remain relatively unexplored. Alongside new academic partnerships, the topics are defined such that the research could not be undertaken in any single institution thereby enabling a new tranche of multidisciplinary research that would not take place otherwise. The topics are complementary to the objectives of:

  • the WUN global challenge: (adapting to climate change),
  • the CLCF: (bringing together world-leading research expertise based within Yorkshire and Humberside to help build a competitive, sustainable and carbon efficient regional economy), and the specific research areas of: Global and Local Environment (topic 4), Business and economy (topic 3), People and Society (topic 2) and Science and technology (topic 1).

The alignment of the network to the Universities strategic priorities is as follows: Leeds: transformation proposals in Future Cities and Energy, EPSRC DTC in Low Carbon, strategic studentships in intelligent transport, ESRC centre for Climate Change, Economics and Policy. Hull: White Rose Sustainability Science Network. Sheffield: Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Kroto Research Institute, EPSRC DTC in Energy, NERC National Centre for Terrestrial Carbon Dynamics, Low Carbon Combustion Centre, Logistics and Supply Chain Management Research Centre. York: The Stockholm Environment Institute, The Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence and Centre for Ecology, Law and Policy.

Network Projects

 Sustainable cities: land use, transport and environmental governance

Principal Supervisor – Andy Jonas (Sheffield)

Industrial bio-transformation: Exploring the Potential and  Institutional limits

Principal Supervisor – Samarthia Thankappan (York)

Use of digital data and ICT systems to improve resilience of the transport system to future climate extremes 

Principal Supervisor – Susan Grant-Muller (Leeds)