Dr. Mehrnaz Ghamami, assistant professor in the MSU College of Engineering, is a dedicated transportation engineer, planner and mathematical modeler who has taken a strong interest in sustainable transportation modes, including bikes and alternative fuel vehicles (AFV).
Her research focuses on transportation systems analysis and planning, with applications in sustainable transportation and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
“This combination led to my development of a comprehensive modeling framework for analyzing various policy and planning issues related to plug-in electric vehicles,” Ghamami said. “The primary motivation of my research came from the current deficiencies of electric vehicles, such as the limited range, sparse and scarce recharging facilities and the large capital cost.”
Her ambition, coupled with her extensive reserach and impressive professional background, has allowed her to make advances in the evolving field of sustainable and intelligent transportation systems. This includes developing and implementing a modeling framework for electric vehicles’ charger placement for the state of Michigan.
“The recommendations and results of the project are being used to develop a statewide network of charging stations,” Ghamami said. Phase 1 of the Electric Vehicle Charger Placement Optimization in Michigan can be seen here.
When asked which discoveries she takes most pride in, Ghamami stated that in her ten plus years of work with electric vehicles, she has remained on the front line of research via publishing papers in the most prestigious journals of transportation research, which further built her reputation as an AFV transportation planner.
She is a member of the Committee on Alternative Transportation Fuels and Technologies (AMS40) and the Committee on Transportaton Energy (AMS30) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She has also been appointed as the co-chair for the Integrated Modeling sub-committee of the Transportation Research Board.
Additionally, Ghamami’s served as principal investigator and co-principal investigator on various Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) projects.
“Mobility is intertwined in many aspects of our lives, including but not limited to economy and social justice,” Ghamami said. “The increased demand requires infrastructure investment and operation and maintenance plans.”
This demand, however, brings many challenges. Ghamami notes that carbon footprint and emission production are some of the highest concerns within the current transportation systems, so finding alternative transportation modes and fuels are top priority.
In response to what makes MSU a leader in the mobility field, Ghamami explained how within the past five to six years, MSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has hired four new faculty in the field of transportation, to expand research and education among this field.
“Recently, SPARTRANS, a multidisciplinary center, is established to further advance transportation research, teaching and outreach by CEE faculty,” Ghamami said.