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A Low Carbon Transportation Transition for the US Southeast

Dr. Valerie M. Thomas
Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems
H. Milton Stewart School of ISE
Georgia Institute of Technology
Friday, September 3, 2021: 3:30-4:30 pm

Abstract: Global expectations are for a transition to low carbon transportation systems. Approaches to low-cost transitions to electric and other low carbon transportation options will be discussed with a combination of optimization modeling, technology assessment, and environmental life cycle assessment. Options for low carbon freight and air transport are evaluated across multiple technologies including biofuels and carbon capture. A low-cost path to light-duty vehicle electrification is identified that reduces costs for both electric and gasoline vehicle owners.

Bio: Dr. Valerie M. Thomas is the Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, at the Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Engineering. She holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Public Policy. Her research is in the area of energy systems analysis, environmental lifecycle analysis, industrial ecology, and sustainability. Dr. Thomas is chair of the US National Academy Committee on Current Methods for Life Cycle Analysis of Low Carbon Transportation Fuels. From 2013 to 2019 she served on the DOE/USDA Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee; from 2004 to 2005, she was the American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow, and from 2003 to 2009 she was a Member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Physical Society. She received a BA in physics from Swarthmore College, a PhD in high-energy physics from Cornell University, and completed post-doctoral training at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy.