Michael Todd

Principal Development Engineer for CE-CERT

Michael Todd

Michael Todd is a principal development engineer at CE-CERT.

At Mr. Taco, a popular Mexican restaurant on Main Street, Mike Todd waits for his shrimp tostadas to arrive. The 20-year Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) employee is anxious about being interviewed, which is funny because at six feet three inches tall, Todd should be an imposing figure. But while Todd may look like a basketball player, he speaks and acts like a scientist.

Which makes sense, since Todd is one of CE-CERT’s principal development engineers. His job is to research intelligent transportation systems and their impact on traffic, energy consumption and fuel consumption. Every day he manages several projects involving research teams that consist of staff, faculty and students.

“One of the things I love about UCR is the unique research that’s always taking place and constantly changing,” Todd said. “We’re always doing new things.”

“New things” might be an understatement; the variety of projects that Todd oversees often affects everyone on campus and beyond.

For instance, Todd worked on a project where he had to evaluate traffic flow on the 60 and 215 freeways. His work resulted in the implementation of a truck-only lane that reduced congestion and overall traffic.

Todd also worked on improving computer systems for an autonomous vehicle (a vehicle that drives itself and can navigate through various terrains). The vehicle had to drive through a course at CE-CERT without touching any obstacles. As a project coordinator, Todd found himself dodging cars and corresponding with a team of French researchers.

One of Todd’s favorite projects was UCR IntelliShare, funded in part by Honda. For the project, he worked to design a keyless management system that matched electric vehicles with drivers at various stations around UCR (a system somewhat similar to the Zipcar’s). Unfortunately, since the project was not economically viable for Honda, it was eventually dropped.

But each project offers its own unique perks.

Todd showcased the IntelliShare system at the Tokyo Auto Show. For another project, he was flown to China.

Over his finished plate at Mr. Taco, Todd reflected on his long career in CE-CERT. He said confidently, “UCR continues to grow and there are always tremendous opportunities.” — Konrad Nagy

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6049
E-mail: konrad.nagy@ucr.edu

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