How Transportation Can Help Reduce Minnesota's Carbon Footprint

Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 8:30–10:00 am

About the Webinar

This webinar featured two presentations focused on different methods of reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Minnesota. The first presentation highlighted University of Minnesota research on intelligent energy management systems for commercial electric trucks. These trucks have potential to significantly reduce Minnesota's carbon emissions footprint due to their high daily mileage and energy usage. Intelligent energy management is necessary to allow commercial fleets to electrify without significantly impacting range requirements and for adding range certainty during winter months. The presentation discussed how telematics data and two-way communication with fleet vehicles can be effectively used to enable electrification of this transportation sector.

The second presentation reviewed MnDOT's Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation in Minnesota project. This project began a conversation about moving Minnesota toward a low-carbon transportation future. The presentation included a brief overview of the key Pathways components: modeling, public input, and proposed actions and recommendations. It also included an update on implementation of the proposed actions and recommendations, like the new MnDOT Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee.

This webinar was held in conjunction with a meeting of the CTS Environment and Energy in Transportation Research Council.

Webinar Recording & Materials


Will Northrop is an associate professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota and director of the TE Murphy Engine Research Laboratory. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from University of Michigan in 2003 and 2009, respectively, and a B.S in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997. Northrop is a CTS scholar and the principal investigator on many Minnesota and federal projects in the areas of energy and emissions from vehicles. His recent work has focused on energy management of electrified commercial vehicles using data science and machine learning methods.

Siri Simons is the principal sustainability planner in MnDOT's Office of Sustainability and Public Health. She leads coordination of sustainability planning and implementation to meet fleet fuel use, energy, water, waste, and other sustainability targets for MnDOT operations. Simons also provides support on agency efforts to reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector in Minnesota. She received her master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and her undergraduate degree in environmental sciences, policy and management from the University of Minnesota.


To the best of our knowledge, this webinar meets the continuing education requirements for 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and 1.5 American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certification Maintenance credits.