US Department of Transport discusses electric vehicles, smart cities at Imperial

The US Department of Transport’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, Diana Furchtgott-Roth visited the College last week.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary toured the Intelligent Infrastructure and Transport Systems Lab where she saw a demonstration of an autonomous vehicle simulation programme and met with Imperial’s engineering and transport researchers to discuss research developments in transportation and smart cities.

Furchtgott-Roth focuses on the deployment of innovation in America’s transportation system, with the goal of lowering barriers in the development of new technology. She is responsible for directing federal research and technology budgets on future transport and mobility.

Furchtgott-Roth, whose father studied Civil Engineering at Imperial in the 1930s, said: “A lot of the challenges we’re facing are the same - making cities safer, autonomous vehicles, intelligent transport systems, reducing emissions and maintenance of roadways. We are very keen on international collaboration.”

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Nigel Brandon , welcomed her to the College and talked about some of the key drivers in the electrification of vehicles and movement to clean emissions.

Furchtgott-Roth also met with Professor Daniel Graham and Dr Marc Stettler, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who shared insights into urban transport networks and infrastructure, electric vehicles and city strategies to curb vehicle emissions.

Professor Julie McCann, from the Department of Computing , leads the Adaptive Emergent Systems Engineering (AESE) group , and spoke about her research into sensor networks, precision farming and smart cities.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary also met with researchers from the Transport Strategy Centre including Richard Anderson , Mark Trompet , Lindsey Morse and Colin Foley.

The Centre focuses on three areas within the transport industry; benchmarking and performance measurement, urban and regional transport operations and management, and transport economics and policy.

Imperial and the USA

The United States is Imperial’s top international research collaborator with 2,750 joint papers published every year. Imperial’s top collaborators include: MIT, Harvard University, University of California, and California Institute of Technology. Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or Imperial College London.

Stephen Johns
Communications and Public Affairs


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  • College and campus