Cityscape with abstract theme icon

Taken together, transport and the built environment account for over a third of a global carbon dioxide emissions. Addressing these, and related problems such as air pollution, requires research and innovation across a diverse range of disciplines, from chemical engineering and materials science to civil and environmental engineering. Crucially, it also requires a deep understanding of human behaviour and how consumer choice is influenced by economic cues, social pressures, technology and other factors.

Our Low-Carbon Cities and Transport theme encompasses a wide range of important work in these fields and others. From modelling transport demand to the development of lighter, more energy-dense batteries for electric vehicles, Imperial researchers are at the forefront of the drive for a more sustainable transport system. Our researchers are also helping to reduce the environmental footprint of buildings, leading ground-breaking work in advanced building materials, low-carbon heating, demand-side management and energy efficiency.

Theme Leads

Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas - Research Theme Lead, Low Carbon Cities and Transport (Transport)

Ricardo Martinez-BotasProfessor Ricarod Martinez-Botas has an MEng (Hons) Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London and a DPhil from the University of Oxford University. he is currently Professor of Turbo Machinery and head of the Thermofluids division in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His work is in the area of unsteady flow aerodynamics of small turbines, with particular application to the turbocharger industry. His group has become a recognised centre of turbocharger turbine aerodynamics, and more particularly in the application experimental methods and one dimensional calculation procedures.

Dr Aruna Sivakumar - Research Theme Lead, Low Carbon Cities and Transport (Cities & Transport)

Dr Aruna SivakumarDr Aruna Sivakumar is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a BTech in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


Research Groups

Centre for Transport Studies

Led by Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng, the Centre for Transport Engineering and Modelling is based within the Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe team carries out teaching and research in a broad range of aspects of transport studies including transport engineering, planning, operations and management as well as geomatic engineering and surveying. They also run an intercollegiate MSc Course in Transport with University College London.

Transport & Environment Laboratory

Led by Dr Marc Stettler, the Transport and Environment Laboratory is based within the Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe group’s work aims to advance our understanding and mitigate the effects of transport on the environment. Their research spans across different transport modes, uses a range of environmental monitoring and modelling approaches, and is in collaboration with a number of industry and academic partners.

Electrochemical Science and Engineering Group

Led by Dr Greg Offer, the Electrochemical Science and Engineering Group is a cross-departmental group with researchers from the departments of Mechanical EngineeringEarth Science and Engineering and Design EngineeringThe team have a wide range of areas of expertise including batteries, fuel cells supercapacitors, 3D tomography and imaging, techno-economics and additive manufacturing with a particular interest in their application in electric vehicles.

Urban Systems Lab

Led by Professor John Polak, the Urban Systems Lab is based in the Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe lab exists to undertake the highest quality research in the fields of urban and cities research, in order to inform policy and the understanding of key issues affecting society. It aims to facilitate collaboration and cross-disciplinary working, provide training and thought leadership and to enhance the application and practical impact of Imperial’s research.

Turbocharger Testing and Research

Led by Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas, the Turbocharger Testing and Research Group is based in the Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe team has world class expertise in turbocharging and exhaust gas energy recovery. Alongside turbochargers their research interests include turbogenerators and electrical superchargers, airflow and heat transfer in electrical machines and modelling of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Payne Research Group

Led by Dr David Payne, the Payne Research Group is based in the Department of Materials. The group’s work focuses on understanding the surface chemistry and bulk electronic structure of a wide range of materials, from oxides to metals, nanomaterials to biomaterials. One of their key project’s is RELAB, through which they are developing a novel, low temperature, lower energy recycling process for lead acid batteries.

The Composites Centre

Led by Professor Emile Greenhalgh, the Composites Centre is a multi-departmental group featuring researchers from the departments of AeronauticsChemistryChemical EngineeringMechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental EngineeringTheir diverse research portfolio ranges from fundamental, exploratory research to very-focused research targeted at the immediate needs of industry. In the energy sector they are working with car manufacturers on use of new materials and creating multifunctional composites that store electrical energy.