News: CEE

city landscape, focus on road and NYC flat iron building in background.

Smart intersections could reduce autonomous car congestion

By: By Melanie Lefkowitz

December 16, 2019 In the not-so-distant future, city streets could be flooded with autonomous vehicles. Self-driving cars can move faster and travel closer together, allowing more of them to fit on the road – potentially leading to congestion and gridlock on city streets. A new study by Cornell researchers developed a first-of-its-kind model to control traffic and intersections in order to increase car capacity on urban streets, reduce congestion and minimize accidents. “For the future of mobility, so much attention has been paid to autonomous cars,” said Oliver Gao, professor of civil and... Read more

Software helps planners design walkable cities

By: Melanie Lefkowitz

Walkable cities reduce traffic congestion, which causes around 3.3 million deaths and $121 billion in economic losses every year. But when architects are developing pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, they often rely on trial and error, intuition or specialized simulations that are hard to use and to incorporate into their designs. Urbano, a free software launched Oct. 26 by Cornell researchers, employs data, metrics and an easy-to-use interface to help planners and architects add and assess walkability features in their designs as effectively as possible. Read more

Professor Gu wins Ralph Fuhrman Medal for Outstanding Water Quality Academic-Practice

Professor April Gu was selected by the Water Environment Federation as the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Ralph Fuhrman Medal for Outstanding Water Quality Academic-Practice Collaboration in connection. Gu shares this award with her colleagues, Charles Bott, James Barnard, Peter Schauer, Andrew Shaw, Imre Takacs and Paul Dombrowski. The research paper associated with this award is titled, "The Investigation of the Mechanisms for Optimization and Design of a Side-Stream EBPR Process as a Sustainable Approach for Achieving Stable and Efficient Phosphorus Removal." WER writes, "this pioneering... Read more

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To rid electric grid of carbon, shore up green energy support

By Blaine Friedlander October 28, 2019 Cornell and Northwestern University engineers, along with a federal economist, have created an energy model that helps to remove carbon-generated power from the U.S. electric grid – replacing it with a greener, financially feasible wind, solar and hydro energy system. Their new model is explained in a paper published Oct. 28 in Nature Energy. “We’re trying to balance the priorities of maintaining a reliable, low-cost, efficient electricity system in the U.S., while shifting to a cleaner, greener system,” said co-author Jacob Mays, a Cornell postdoctoral... Read more

Oliver Gao and Shuai Pan stand outside looking forward

Curbing diesel emission could reduce big city mortality

By: Blaine Friedlander

U.S. cities could see a decline in mortality rates and a related beneficial reduction in health care costs through midcentury if federal and local governments maintain stringent air pollution policies and diminish concentrations of diesel freight truck exhaust, according to Cornell research published in the journal Environment International. “The U.S. must reduce emission in the transportation sector. By improving air quality through better policies and technology in the freight transportation sector, we can breathe better and save lives,” said senior author Oliver Gao, professor of civil and... Read more

Cornell partners with MTA to jump-start transit innovation

The “New Day at the MTA” conference, co-sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech and the Empire State Development Corporation, explored solutions for an aging transit system that moves 8.6 million people a day. Read more

Welcome, Greeshma Gadikota, new Assistant Professor

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to introduce Greeshma Gadikota, CEE’s new Assistant Professor and Croll Sesquicentennial Fellow. Greeshma Gadikota was recently awarded a grant from the Department of Energy’s early career program. Melanie Lefkowitz writes in the Chronicle article, Three on faculty awarded DOE early career grants, "Gadikota will use the funds to pursue her research in developing clean methods for storing and delivering energy, while simultaneously converting the carbon dioxide created in energy production to a useful, environmentally harmless solid... Read more

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Reed selected as AGU 2019 Paul A. Witherspoon Lecturer

Patrick Reed, the Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was selected as the 2019 Paul A. Witherspoon Lecturer by the Hydrology Section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world's largest Earth and space science society. The Witherspoon Lecture Award recognizes significant and innovative contributions in hydrologic sciences by a mid-career scientist, which includes the awardee’s research impact, innovative interdisciplinary work, application of research to socially important problems, and inspired and dedicated mentoring of young... Read more