Equitable Transportation Electrification Learning Module for Civil Engineering Students

The project team proposes to develop a hands-on learning module for Civil Engineering students. In this module, students will learn how to craft policies and facilitate operations for sustainable deployment of electric transportation. To achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, there is an added impetus to accelerate the process of workforce development in the transportation electrification sector. Specifically, engineers in public infrastructure management need understand the barriers of using electric transportation and the impacts of their decision on the systems level performance. However, the current civil engineering curriculum does not provide opportunities for students to engage with data and methods related to electric transportation. The project team will focus on designing two types of learning activities - 1) designing incentives, rebates, and policies to promote equitable and accelerated adoption of electric transportation; 2) planning and operating charging infrastructure with varying vehicle technologies and systems needs. These learning activities will be equipped with real world case studies and user preference data. Using a ‘sandbox’ approach, the students will learn how to meet consumer needs and preferences and how to sustainably assimilate new technologies. In addition, the students will quantify the impacts of investment decisions on different communities before and after equity considerations. The students will learn electric transportation as a system-of -systems problem; where the traveler activity system interacts with the vehicle system and consequently impacts the electric grid system. The Cal Poly team will develop the operational and systems level learning activities. The USF team will develop behavioral, economic, and policy decisions related activities. The developed learning module will be tested as part of three graduate courses in Cal Poly and USF. A website will be designed to disseminate the learning module to external stakeholders. The module can be expanded as a short course or workshop for practicing engineers.