Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"DURI: Optimizing Energy Consumption for Ground Service Vehicles"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2017 - DURI
Research area(s):
Sustainablity, Ground Vehicles, Air transport, energy, emissions
Project Description:
Global sustainability is connected to the choices made for transportation, energy, and operational methods. While waiting for a flight at any busy airport, one may see the vehicles around the airplane and wonder how many vehicles are there at airports and what do they do? Ground vehicles contribute an astounding amount to the efficiency and costs of air transportation, the amount of fuel consumed, and the amount of emissions produced. In this research, students will learn more about ground service vehicles and their purposes at airports. Students will contribute to the research by developing models and ideas for potential changes to vehicles and/or operations. It is anticipated that this work will have implications to other industries using ground vehicles such as construction, mining, warehouses, and shipyards.
Expected Student Contributions:
1. Develop a relational map of global sustainability, air transportation and ground vehicles. 2. Develop a matrix of the types of ground vehicles, how they are used, the fuels consumed, power trains, frequency and duration of use, maintenance cycles, and the energy sources. 3. Identify the opportunities for energy reduction, storage, regeneration; and alternative energy sources. Such as: vehicle weight reduction, substitute fuels for diesel, more effective maintenance, and so on.
Related Website(s):
Work with two professors: one in aviation and airport operations, and one in ground vehicles and power train.
Desired Qualifications:
Junior standing is preferred. Basic knowledge of freshman physics, excel, communication, and writing. Competent in energy units and the basics of how vehicles work. Interested in learning more about sustainability, ground vehicles, and airports. Self-starters who can work independently, use creativity, and persistently pursue needed information.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Johnson, Mary
School of Aviation and Transportation Technology

Student Supervisor

Mary Johnson
Associate Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Jose Garcia-Bravo
School of Engineering Technology