Mobility @ Mehrnaz Ghamami

April 16, 2021

Supporting sustainable transportation modes

Mehrnaz Ghamami is a transportation engineer, planner and mathematical modeler who has taken a strong interest in sustainable transportation modes, including bikes and alternative fuel vehicles (AFV).

"Mobility is intertwined in lives, including economy and social justice." - Mehrnaz Ghamami
"Mobility is intertwined in lives, including economy and social justice." - Mehrnaz Ghamami

An assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, her research focuses on transportation systems analysis and planning, with applications in sustainable transportation and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

"This combination led to my development of a comprehensive modeling framework for analyzing various policy and planning issues related to plug-in electric vehicles," Ghamami said. "The primary motivation of my research came from the current deficiencies of electric vehicles, such as the limited range, sparse and scarce recharging facilities, and the large capital cost."

Ambition, extensive research and professional background have allowed her to make advances in the evolving field of sustainable and intelligent transportation systems. This includes developing and implementing a modeling framework for electric vehicles' charger placement for the state of Michigan.

"The recommendations and results of the project are being used to develop a statewide network of charging stations," Ghamami explained.

Phase 1 of the Electric Vehicle Charger Placement Optimization in Michigan can be seen here.

Ghamami is an active member on a long list of organizations, including the Committee on Alternative Transportation Fuels and Technologies (AMS40) and the Committee on Transportation Energy (AMS30) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She has also been appointed as the co-chair for the Integrated Modeling sub-committee of the Transportation Research Board.

Ghamami has served as principal investigator and co-principal investigator on various Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) projects.

"Mobility is intertwined in many aspects of our lives, including but not limited to economy and social justice," Ghamami said. "The increased demand requires infrastructure investment and operation and maintenance plans."

Ghamami pointed out that emission production and the current carbon footprint are among the highest concerns within today’s transportation systems. Finding alternative transportation modes and fuels are top priorities.

Ghamami said MSU is a leader in the mobility field in several ways. MSU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) has hired four new faculty in the field of transportation in the past five or six years – expanding research and education in this field. 

"Also, SPARTRANS, which is a multidisciplinary center, has been established to further advance transportation research, teaching and outreach by CEE faculty," she added.

This mobility feature story is by McKenzi Roe and courtesy of the MSU Innovation Center Business Connect.