News | UCI's Youngeun Bae Presents Heavy-Duty Vehicle Fleet Research at ISERT 2020

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by Adylbek Abdykalikov, USC, IPPAM 2020

From January 17 through 18, 2020, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and sponsor Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center (PSR) hosted the Third Annual Irvine Symposium on Emerging Research in Transportation (ISERT 2020). Each year this Symposium brings together academics, researchers, graduate students, and industry professionals in transportation to exchange ideas on emerging research and applications in transportation. ISERT spotlights new research ideas that may still be under development or that involve preliminary results. This is the fourth in a series of articles detailing the Symposium itself as well as individual presenters.


Youngeun Bae, PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCI, presented her research on heavy-duty vehicle fleet operator perspectives towards alternative fuels at ISERT 2020 in both a lectern and a poster session. Bae’s doctorate research aims to provide demand-side policy measures and technology recommendations to facilitate the diffusion alternative fuel use across medium and heavy-duty vehicle fleet operators. These measures and recommendations are designed to reduce vehicle-generated greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air pollutants. In addition to significant work experience, Bae holds BS and MS degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Seoul National University.


Youngeun Bae on the UCI campus.


Bae’s study, “Factors Influencing Alternative Fuel Adoption Decisions in Heavy-duty Vehicle (HDV) Fleets in California,” attempts to identify the factors that influence the decision for alternative fuel adoption or non-adoption made by HDV fleet operators in California. Bae anticipates that alternative fuel adoption by HDV fleets can bring substantial benefits to local communities in the present and to future generations by reducing air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Gaining a better understanding of HDV fleet operator perspectives towards alternative fuels as a precedent can serve as the basis for developing effective policy suggestions that aim to accelerate the diffusion of these innovative technologies throughout the entire vehicle market.


Bae’s study included 18 in-depth qualitative interviews and a total of 25 adoption and 41 non-adoption cases investigated across various alternative fuel options. “Content analysis of the interview data yielded that the primary and most common factors comprised functional suitability, environmental consciousness, availability of vehicles, and regulations. Other important but less common factors were overall costs, vehicle purchase price, fuel price, fuel infrastructure, vehicle reliability and safety, contracts with municipalities, and financial incentives,” Bae explained. The study results provide a better understanding of the demand-side aspects of alternative fuel adoption in the HDV sector in California. This project is co-authored by Dr. Suman Kumar Mitra and Dr. Craig Ross Rindt, and is supervised by UCI Professor Stephen Ritchie.


Bae proudly shows off her work on HDV Fleets.

Bae shared that ISERT afforded her a chance to become familiar with various research projects being conducted by UCI alumni, colleagues, and other professionals in the transportation field. “I feel grateful to have [had] such a valuable opportunity to learn about how to develop my research skills by exchanging ideas and sharing different viewpoints with the experts!”


In the short- and long-term, Bae expects to continue her research so that it will contribute to statewide and U.S.-leading efforts to advance transportation systems ensuring environmental sustainability and public health equity. Her other research interests include sustainable freight systems, advanced transit systems, and the application of information technologies. After obtaining her PhD degree, she aspires to be an academic researcher in the transportation engineering field.


We wish Youngeun Bae the best of luck in future endeavors, and are excited to see the impact that her research has on HDV fleet operations.


About the Author:

Adylbek Abdykalikov is a recent graduate student of the Masters of International Public Policy and Management Program at USC Price. He has working experience in various positions at the Ministries of Transport and Communication and Investment and Development of Kazakhstan and was in charge of Transportation and Civil Aviation policy development and implementation. He served as the lead writer to METRANS Newsletter and lead student event coordinator for METRANS and PSR.