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From Transportation to Air Pollution and Public Health—Are We Doing the Right Thing, and Doing it Right?

Date: 4/11/2018, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM EDT

Location: 1200 New Jersey Ave, SE, Washington, DC, (West Building) Conference Center Room 6

Speaker: H. Oliver Gao, Ph.D.,  Director, Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH); Director, Cornell Systems Engineering; Associate Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University

Organization: Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH), Cornell University

OST-R Office: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), University Transportation Centers Program

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If you experience issues viewing it here, you can watch it here.


Transportation-related air pollution, GHG emissions and energy problems are a significant issue in the U.S., China, and across the world. The World Health Organization estimates that urban air pollution causes 200,000 deaths per year worldwide and that it will be responsible for 8 million premature deaths from 2000 to 2020. Sacrificing transportation needs for environmental quality and public health is simply infeasible. How do we meet the transportation needs in the age of development without sacrificing environment sustainability and public health? 

Infograph on transportation emissions and air pollution

The Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH) pursues research and innovation to support sustainable mobility of people and goods while preserving the environment and improving community health. It leverages behavioral and economic sciences, epidemiology, information technology, and environmental and transportation sciences and technologies to address critical issues falling under the FAST Act’s priority area of Preserving the Environment.


Photo of Dr. GaoDr. Gao, Director of CTECH and Director of Cornell Systems Engineering, is an Associate Professor with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. He is an elected member in the graduate fields of 1) Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2) Air Quality in Earth and Atmospheric Science, 3) Cornell Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA), and 4) Systems Engineering at Cornell University. His research focuses on quantitative modeling and development of engineering systems solutions for sustainable and intelligent infrastructure and lifeline systems, low carbon and low emission transportation systems, and the closely related environment (especially air quality and climate change)-energy systems. He also studies alternative transportation/energy technologies, systems innovation, and green supply chain and logistics (e.g., sustainable food systems, quantifying and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from food supply chains).

Gao received his graduate degrees (Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, M.S. in Statistics, and M.S. in Agriculture and Resource Economics) from the University of California at Davis, M.S. degree in Civil Engineering, and duel undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Civil Engineering from Tsinghua University, China.

Sponsored by: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), University Transportation Centers Program. 

 DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions reflected in this presentation are the responsibility of the authors only and do not represent the official policy or position of the USDOT/OST-R, or any State or other entity.

 For more information, contact Denise E. Dunn at

 Sign language interpreters will be available for deaf participants who wish to attend this event. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please email or phone at 202-366-9433 / TTY: 202-366-6242 at least 3 business days prior to the event. 

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Last updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2018