New Center to Focus on the Impact of Transportation Emissions on Human Health

UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology part of university consortium funded by U.S. Department of Transportation

A photo of the mobile emissions testing lab at CE-CERT.

UCR’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) is part of a new University Transportation Center (UTC) that will bring together experts in transportation emissions and public health.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The Center for Environmental Research and Technology at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering is part of a new Department of Transportation (DOT) University Transportation Center (UTC) that will combine experts from two disciplines traditionally not known for research collaboration—transportation and public health.

The Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health (CAR-TEEH) will focus on the impact of transportation emissions on human health. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) leads the CAR-TEEH consortium with four partner universities: UC Riverside, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas at El Paso.

CAR-TEEH is funded for a five-year period, at over $11 million. The CAR-TEEH consortium will focus on transportation emissions in a more comprehensive manner, mapping the holistic tailpipe-to-lungs spectrum, which includes the impact of transportation emissions on the environment and public health.

“CAR-TEEH’s unique contribution is in advancing research that addresses emissions in the context of public health, by bringing together experts from two disciplines that have not traditionally worked together,” said Joe Zietsman, the head of TTI’s Environment and Air Quality Division and the center director.

In the first year, UCR’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) will lead a research project to develop and evaluate the benefits of connected vehicle technologies for battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric trucks.

“UC Riverside is very pleased to be part of CAR-TEEH. Southern California suffers from some of the worst traffic congestion and air pollution issues in the nation, so we are ideally placed to study the connection between transportation emissions and public health and try to make positive impacts through research, education, and technology transfer,” said Kanok Boriboonsomsin, associate research engineer at CE-CERT, who is the CAR-TEEH lead at UCR. “We hope that our effort benefits not just this region, but cities and regions across the U.S. and beyond.”

A total of 32 UTCs were established with grant funding totaling over $300 million over the next five years to address “critical transportation challenges facing our nation.”

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