Department of Engineering / Research / Strategic Themes / Energy, Transport and Urban Infrastructure

Department of Engineering

Energy, Transport and Urban Infrastructure

Energy, Transport and Urban Infrastructure

Strategic Aim: Creating sustainable integrated solutions for the provision of energy, transport, information, buildings, water and waste treatment in the context of the urban environment.

The urban population of the world now exceeds the rural population and continues to grow. Towns and cities dominate the demand for energy, transport, water and waste treatment. There is a pressing need to find integrated solutions for energy, transport and infrastructure, if towns and cities are to become truly sustainable. Urban systems are more easily optimised if built on greenfield sites and this is the focus of many efforts around the world; but we have chosen to focus on the harder problem, which is also the biggest problem. Our aim is to find engineering solutions for the vast numbers of existing towns and cities around the world where rebuilding from scratch is not an option. We are researching solutions that will enable these communities to become self-sufficient in energy and water, while at same time providing their citizens with cleaner air, greater mobility and flexibility.

There are many projects currently underway as part of the ETUI theme. Here is a sample:

Wirelessly-charged electric buses operating in Milton Keynes:  A five-year demonstration project of battery-electric buses with contactless charging points.  See BBC news item featuring Professor John Miles, the project director.

The Energy Efficient Cities initiative (EECi) is a cross-disciplinary research project at the University of Cambridge. EECi aims to strengthen the UK's capacity to address energy demand reduction and environmental impact in cities by research in building and transport technologies, district power systems, and urban planning.

The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight is a collaboration between Cambridge and Heriot-Watt Universities and organizations in the freight and logistics sectors.

The UK Indemand Centre aims to understand the performance of the whole material and energy system of UK industry; to understand our patterns of consumption both in households, and in government and industry purchasing; and to look for opportunities to innovate in products, processes and business models to use less material while serving the same need.

Professor David Cebon is the theme leader for Energy, Transport and Urban Infrastructure.