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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

Energy and Transport

25% of the energy demand within the UK and around 30% of carbon emissions, there is a significant imperative to reduce energy demand across the sector in the medium-term (e.g. to meet the UK 2027 Carbon Budget targets) and in the long-term (e.g. to meet the UK 2050 targets, to reduce GHG emissions by 80%). Our work within the Centre integrates engineering and the social science perspectives on both surface and air transport. For example, we combine the technological insight (e.g. tribology and combustion processes) and behavioural insight (e.g. driving styles) required to design internal combustion engines that are technically efficient (e.g. our work on alternative fuels), and used efficiently by drivers. Other aspects of our work look at how to change patterns of living so that they are less dependent on carbon intensive travel - e.g. developing frameworks and composite indicators for energy use and resilience of the transport infrastructure, and the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

For further information on this theme please contact Dr Zia Wadud (, Professor David Barton ( or Professor Susan Grant-Muller (

Electric car charging

Aspects of our work look at how to change patterns of living so that they are less dependent on carbon intensive travel.

Sustainable Social Network Services for Transport; CIER Lead - Dr Susan Grant-Muller; Sponsor - EC FP-7;

The SUNSET (SUstainable social Network SErvices for Transport) innovation project is based around the new concept of user-centred objectives meeting higher sustainability and other goals. It uses the following mechanisms to create new sustainable mobility solutions:

  • Web 2.0 and pervasive computing technologies: to create social media based communities that are involved in mobility, to collect individual travel patterns and to distribute information
  • Positive incentives: to encourage and help travellers to adopt more sustainable mobility behaviour. Incentives may stem from all parties involved and may contain information about the current and future status of the transport infrastructure, travel alternatives to support smarter choices, personal carbon and energy use, health impacts or financial incentives
  • Living labs: to evaluate the SUNSET system under well-monitored conditions. In the Enschede Living Lab two releases of the full system are evaluated. Two other locations (Leeds and Gothenburg) are used to benchmark the SUNSET results

The SUNSET consortium contains partners from the complete value chain: providers of location based services, mobile operators, local authorities, green mobility solutions and well-known research centres. The consortium will design, build, implement, test and evaluate the application. This includes research on the effects of various incentives, on mobility-pattern recognition techniques by mobile applications, on community-building mechanisms in newly developed portals, and on the roles and influences of all parties involved. The evaluation approach will be designed to reflect achievement of specific sustainability goals (carbon, energy, social sustainability).