University of Vermont

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Sustainability and Energy

Research Project: Quantifying Second-by-second Driving Style for Tailpipe Emissions Modeling

PI: Lisa Aultman-Hall

Co-PI: Britt Holmen (UVM CEE) , Karen Sentoff, Jon Dowds and Jim Sullivan (last three from UVM Transportation Research Center), Erioc Jackson (UConn)

Graduate Students Involved: Nathan Belz

Description: Mobile devices and GPS have allowed researchers to track human travel behavior including quantifying a driver’s second-by-second driving style. The differential engine load that accrues from different vehicle speeds, acceleration and road grades results in different levels of emissions, both greenhouse gasses and air toxics. Field data collection to understand driving style can not only help improve tailpipe emission models but also informs programs to promote countermeasures such as eco-driving.


Sentoff, Karen, Lisa Aultman-Hall and Britt Holmén, Implications of Driving Style and Road Grade for Accurate Vehicle Activity Data and Emissions Estimates. forthcoming Transportation Research Part D.

Dowds, Jonathan, James Sullivan and Lisa Aultman-Hall. (2013) Seasonal Comparison of Discretionary Passenger Vehicle Idling Behavior using GPS and OBD Devices. Transportation Research Record.

Belz, Nathan* and Lisa Aultman-Hall (2011). Analyzing the Effect of Driver Age on Operating Speed and Acceleration Noise Using On-board Second-by-Second Driving Data. Transportation Research Record 2265 pp. 184-191.

Jackson, Eric* and Lisa Aultman-Hall (2010). Analysis of Real-World Lead Vehicle Operation for Integration of Modal Emissions and Traffic Simulation. Transportation Research Record Vol 2128.

University of Vermont Car

The UVM team has tested emissions and driving style in both conventional and hybrid vehicles.

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Research Project: Measuring Long Distance and Overnight Travel Behavior

PI: Lisa Aultman-Hall

Co-PI: Jeff LaMondia Auburn University and Chester Harvey UVM TRC

Graduate Students Involved: None

Description: Despite the relatively high contribution to greenhouse gas emissions especially from airplanes, long distance and overnight travel patterns are poorly understood and real world data is very limited. The UVM team has collected a one-year on-line survey of overnight long distance trips undertaken by participants in the United States and Canada. We are using this data to inform future survey design to better collect trips and to compare travel patterns between people and between work and leisure travel.


LaMondia, Jeffrey, Lisa Aultman-Hall, and Elizabeth Greene. (2014) Long-distance Work and Leisure Travel Frequencies: An Ordered Probit Analysis of Stated Preference Data, Transportation Research Record, Volume 2413, pp 1-12.

Aultman-Hall, Lisa and Jeffrey LaMondia, Analyzing Changes in Response Quality from a One-Year Longitudinal Travel Survey, 10th International Conference on Transport Survey Methods: Embracing Technological and Behavioral Changes, November 16-21, 2014 in Leura, Australia.


Circles indicate the relative number of travel destinations for 229 Vermonters surveyed in 2013.

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Research Project: Quantitative Environmental Risk Assessment of Energy Extraction from Deep Shale Formations

PI: George Pinder

Co-PI: None

Undergraduate Students Involved: James Montague and Anna Waldron

Description: Hydrofracking to enhance the permeability of low permeability geological formations for petroleum resource recovery entails the creation of fractures to enhance the flow of petroleum fluids. If such fractures encounter pre-existing well bores that provide access to potable aquifers, there is the possibility of groundwater contamination. This project seeks to use existing field information in combination with risk analysis to assess the probability of such contamination occuring.


None, one is in review.

Quantitative Environmental Risk Assessment of Energy Extraction from Deep Shale Formations Image

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Research Project: Microbial Community Engineering Based Resource Recovery from Wastewater

PI: Huijie Lu

Co-PI: None

Undergraduate Students Involved: Andrew Carter, Austin Grant

Description: Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biopolymers synthesized by wastewater microorganisms as intracellular carbon and energy storage compounds during the removal of organic matters. These naturally produced, biodegradable PHAs are sustainable alternatives to petroleum based, non-degradable plastics. Dr. Lu’s research group is interested in engineering wastewater microbial communities to enrich bacteria that can synthesize PHAs more efficiently, and produce PHAs with desirable monomeric compositions from various wastes. Dr. Lee's research group will work on investigating and improving various material properties and identifying potential industrial applications of waste-based PHAs. It is hoped that this project will improve current understandings of PHA-synthesis by wastewater microorganisms, and will also broaden the scope of PHAs’ applications as biodegradable polymers.



MResearch Project: Microbial Community Engineering Based Resource Recovery from Wastewater Image

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Research Project: Emissions and Performance of Alternative Vehicles: Hybrid-Electric Passenger Cars Under Real-World Driving

PI: Britt A. Holmén

Co-PI: None

Graduate Students Involved: Matthew Conger (M.S.) , Karen Sentoff (M.S.), Mitchell Robinson (M.S.)

Description: Very little real-world data existing on how hybrid-electric passenger cars perform under real-world driving, especially for places like Vermont with hilly terrain and cold climate. We designed and built the Total On-board Tailpipe Emissions Measurement System (TOTEMS) to collect vehicle emissions and performance data on two Toyota Camry vehicles – one conventional vehicle (CV) and one hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV). This is the first data comparing CV and HEV passenger cars of the same vehicle model, thus accounting for vehicle aerodynamics and size. Data collected over an 18-month sampling period are being analyzed to answer the following questions:

  1. What vehicle operating modes result in significant differences in particle- and gas-phase exhaust emissions between the conventional and hybrid-electric vehicles?
  2. How do particle number distributions vary with operating mode?
  3. What are the real-world fuel consumption advantages of the HEV compared to the CV?
  4. Are the air toxic emissions from both vehicles similar? If not, why not?
  5. How do tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions vary with vehicle type, ambient temperature and road grade?


Sentoff, Karen and Britt A. Holmén, (2014) Fuel Economy Benefit of a Hybrid-Electric Light-Duty Vehicle across Real-World Operating Modes. 93rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 2014, Washington, DC. Paper No. 14-4583.

Conger, Matthew and Britt A. Holmén (2012) Real-World Engine Cold Start and “Restart” Particle Number Emissions from a 2010 Hybrid and Comparable Conventional Vehicle. Transportation Research Board 91st Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., January 2012, Paper No. 12-4570.

Robinson, Mitchell K. and Britt A. Holmén (2011) Onboard, Real-World Second-by-Second Particle Number Emissions from 2010 Hybrid and Comparable Conventional Vehicle. Transportation Research Board 90th Annual Meeting Washington D.C. 2011, Paper No. 11-1775.

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Research Project: Electrically Enhanced Oil Recovery in Geological Formations

PI: Ehsan Ghazanfari

Co-PI: None

Graduate Students Involved: Maria Peraki

Description: Electrically Enhanced Oil Recovery (EEOR) is a new technique that has great potential in resource recovery specifically in heavy oil reservoirs. We are conducting laboratory investigation on natural and synthetic cores o understand the effect of petro-physical characteristics of formation (i.e., pore structure, constitutive relationships) on flow characteristics and important parameters affecting oil recovery in clay rich formations using state of the art tools. We are also developing a mathematical model to predict the two-phase flow under applied hydraulic and electric gradients based on the petro-physical properties of the formation and the physical/chemical properties of the crude oil.


Peraki, M., Ghazanfari, E., Pinder, G.F., Harrington, T.L. (2016) "Electrodialysis: An Application for the Environmental Protection in Shale-gas Extraction". Journal of Separation and Purification, Vol. 161, pp 96–103

Peraki, M., Ghazanfari, E. (2014), "Electrodialysis Treatment of Flow-back Water for Environmental Protection in Shale Gas Development", ASCE Shale Energy Eng. Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, 2014

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Last modified May 08 2017 10:23 AM