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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K00915X/1
Title: Centre for Sustainable Road Freight Transport
Principal Investigator: Cebon, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Sutcliffe, Professor M Babinsky, Professor H Jamasb, Professor T
Kingsbury, Professor N Collings, Professor N McKinnon, Professor A
Walker, Professor GH Cole, Dr DJ Boies, Professor A
Piecyk, Professor MI
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 01 December 2012 Ends: 31 May 2018 Value (£): 4,423,783
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The CfSRFT brings together two of the UK's leading academic groups to make road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. This will be the first time that a team of international standing has fully addressed the complete 'triple bottom line' of sustainability in the sector. The team combines expertise in logistics, road freight vehicle engineering, human factors and sustainability. It will work in partnership with industry players, who will help set the research agenda and drive the adoption of results by the road freight industry.

The overall aims of the Centre are to:

(i) perform a comprehensive programme to research on the sustainability of road freight transport: from tactical to strategic; fundamental to applied; micro and macro-level perspectives

(ii) develop innovative technical and operational solutions to road freight transport challenges

(iii) assess solutions to meet short, medium and long-term Government emissions reduction targets for the road freight sector, in particular, develop an achievable roadmap to provide an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions due to road freight transport by 2050

The research of the Centre will be run under four 'themes' coordinating the contributing disciplines, spanning the stakeholders and beneficiaries:

Core Activities: managing the research portfolio to maximise quality and impact; disseminating results, insights and technology and mapping the road freight sector's path to meeting Government's emissions targets.

Data Management, Scenario Analysis and Decision Support Tools: creating integrated databases, assembling data on logistics systems, freight traffic flows and related costs and externalities; performing studies to determine the best ways to optimise logistic operations so as to minimise CO2 emissions, developing decision-support tools for companies and policy-makers.

Optimising Long Haul Transport: optimising the energy efficiency of long haul vehicles through engineering of their size and weight, tyres, structures and aerodynamics, their management and the logistics infrastructure within which they operate.

Sustainable Urban Freight: optimising the efficiency of urban delivery vehicles through their engineering design and driver interfaces, their management and the city logistics systems within which they operate

The Centre will have six full-time research staff and six PhD students with twelve associated academic investigators. A computer officer will build software and database infrastructure and tools needed to disseminate the outputs to industry and government. A full time Manager will manage the engagement with industry and build the Centre into an economically sustainable unit capable of generating income streams from research, exploiting IP and identifying and providing services as appropriate.

The Centre will be supported by an Industrial Consortium of companies from the sector, steering the research, providing collaboration and implementation partners and providing about 20% of the funding over the first five years.

Beneficiaries of the Centre's work will include transport operators and customers within the sector, achieving higher efficiencies and reduced costs and impact. The manufacturing supply chain will gain new engineering options and design guidance in new technologies, while adjacent industries such as software and electronics will gain new product and service opportunities. Policy and decision-makers will benefit from new insights and tools, offering better information and prediction capabilities as well as a roadmap which provide practical routes to addressing emissions targets. The academic community will gain a rich and integrated data resource, a wide variety of related tools and methodologies in logistics and vehicle engineering and a centre of excellence in logistics management and heavy engineering. The public at large stand to gain from reduced cost of goods, congestion, noise and environmental impact.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk