5th Annual Smart Freight Symposium Highlights Innovation in Goods Movement and Transportation Infrastructure
The Smart Freight Centre celebrated another successful edition of its annual Smart Freight Symposium on November 10th, 2023, at the University of Toronto. The event, now in its 5th year, continued its tradition of bringing together key stakeholders from government, industry, non-profits, and academia to discuss advancements in goods movement and transportation infrastructure.
This year's symposium featured a distinguished lineup of speakers and , including government officials, industry leaders, and researchers from various universities. Attendees had the opportunity to gain insights into the latest developments in the freight transportation and logistics sector, with a focus on sustainable and innovative practices.
One of the highlights of the event was a spirited and informative debate that engaged participants in thought-provoking discussions about the future of freight transportation.
The Mobility Network's Conference Prep Workshop on November 10, 2023 was held from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The event provided valuable insights on crafting effective presentations, emphasizing the importance of incorporating a personal touch. Attendees learned key strategies to elevate their presentation skills, with a strong emphasis on making content resonate on a personal level. Speakers highlighted the impact of weaving personal anecdotes and experiences into presentations, fostering a deeper connection with the audience.
The upcoming session of the NextGen Mobility Leaders Conference Prep Workshop is scheduled for December 1, 2023.
Mobility Network faculty member, Birsen Donmez, recently offered her research study insights in a feature article published by The Guardian. The article titled "US Pedestrian Deaths are Soaring. Is it Time to Ban Right Turns on Red Lights?" focusses on the rise in pedestrian fatalities in the United States and explores the potential solutions.
In the article, Donmez, discussed the critical need for reevaluating road safety measures. She highlighted the idea of banning right turns on red lights as one of the potential strategies to protect pedestrians and reduce accidents.
The Mobility Network at the University of Toronto Mississauga is thrilled to introduce the recipients of the 2023-2024 Graduate Research Awards. Kerstyn Lutz, Scarlett Rakowska, Rhonda Solomon, and Leila Denise Uy will conduct mobilities research that serve people’s well-being, the planet’s future, and the potential of our growing cities to flourish equitably, sustainably and productively.
Read about these award-winning students and their research projects below:
Kerstyn Lutz is a Ph.D. candidate at UTM in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, supervised by Professor Matthew Adams. Her research interests broadly focus on examining built environment exposures, as well as their impact on health and equity.
Kerstyn's research for the Mobility Network aims to identify populations residing in built environments that do not support active school travel (AST), including walking and wheeling to and from school. This pivotal work will empower the strategic targeting of AST interventions to those most in need, ensuring an equitable and impactful approach to enhancing mobility.
Scarlett Rakowska is a Ph.D. student supervised by Professor Matthew Adams in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment at UTM. She completed her undergraduate and Masters degree within the department. Her research project for the Mobility Network focuses on associating health diseases with exposure (e.g., air pollution and traffic) and accessibility (e.g., park space and infrastructure) in Toronto neighbourhoods. Her research will use geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing to conduct geospatial statistical analyses. She will also create interactive public maps displaying the results to benefit residents.
Rakowska's research interests include urban health, greenness, geospatial analysis, and health diseases.
Rhonda Solomon is a PhD candidate supervised by Professor Ron Buliung in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment and UTM. Her research project for the Mobility Network centres on the provision of equitable transit access across diverse disability groups.
Solomon’s research interests are ableist design and public infrastructure, with a specific focus on public toilet provision for children with disabilities.
Leila Uy is an M.Sc. student supervised by Professor Jue Wang in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment at UTM. Her research project for the Mobility Network focuses on human mobility after natural disasters in the context of socioeconomic factors.
Uy's research interests include exploring the effect of climate change on human mobility, animal welfare, and civil infrastructures.
The Mobility Network's Conference Prep Workshop on October 20, 2023 was held from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm; the event attracted students and professionals eager to sharpen their conference presentation skills for the upcoming NextGen Mobility Leaders Conference.
Attendees acquired knowledge on effectively utilizing Canva, Word, and PowerPoint to enhance the quality of their presentation materials, thereby amplifying the impact of their presentations. Attendees left feeling more prepared and inspired to tackle their upcoming conference presentations.
The upcoming session of the NextGen Mobility Leaders Conference Prep Workshop is scheduled for November 10, 2023.
On October 10, 2023 Lina Kattan led an engaging and enlightening roundtable and seminar that discussed the application of a data-driven approach to network analysis, focusing on the case of non-recurrent congestion.
Attendees participated in thought-provoking discussion and developed an understanding of a framework that captures the impact of network disruptions with regards to an urban transportation network.
Lina Kattan, is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary. She is currently the Director of the NSERC CREATE program in Integrated Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities (IISC), which focuses on finding systematic solutions to understand the multifaceted needs of tomorrow’s cities.
Lina is a member of the College of Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. She also sits on the Royal Society of Canada Council. Lina is also the recipient of the 2014 Killam Emerging Research Leader Award – NSERC category.
Carlos Rivera González is the recipient of the 2023 Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency for his research proposal, "Transforming Urban Logistics: Demand Centric Policy Impacts on Freight Efficient Land-Uses." The scholarship was awarded by the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) and the Urban Mobility program of the World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.
Carlos will present his work at the Transforming Transportation 2024 Conference.
Carlos Rivera González is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, where he leads the Freight Data Warehouse and is the project manager for (CLUE) City Logistics for the Urban Economy.
Purdue University has named Carlos Rivera González, as the prestigious "TrailBlazer in Engineering (TBE) fellow." Rivera González's selection highlights Purdue's commitment not only to academic excellence but also to fostering diversity and representation in the field of engineering.
Rivera Gonzalez's selection as the sole fellow from a Canadian institution underscores the global recognition of his groundbreaking contributions.
Carlos Rivera González is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, where he is the project manager of both the Freight Data Warehouse and City Logistics for the Urban Economy.
The Mobility Network at the University of Toronto Mississauga is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2023-2024 Graduate Research Award.
The Mobility Network, an Institutional Strategic Initiative, allocates stipends of $5,000 to graduate students undertaking research that contributes to the Mobility Network’s mission. To be eligible, research projects must be supervised by a University of Toronto Mississauga faculty member.
This funding is provided on a competitive basis, with a total of two to four awards provided annually based on academic excellence, research experience and the fit between a student’s proposed project and the Mobility Network’s mission to find mobility solutions that serve people’s well-being, the planet’s future, and the potential of our growing cities to flourish equitably, sustainably and productively. For the details of past research awards, please check here and here.
Graduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
The deadline for applications is Friday, September 29, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Awards will be announced in October 2023. The award period is expected to cover research conducted between October 2023 and April 30, 2024.
For potential student advisors, please see the list of UTM Mobility Network members below. Other UTM faculty members who are interested in becoming members of the Mobility Network are welcome to participate as supervisors.
- Matthew Adams, Geography, Geomatics and Environment, Assistant Professor
- Naomi Adiv, Political Science, Assistant Professor
- Shauna Brail, Institute for Management & Innovation, Associate Professor
- Ron N. Buliung, Geography, Geomatics and Environment, Professor
- Beth Coleman, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, Associate Professor
- Tracey Galloway, Anthropology, Assistant Professor
- Tanjim Hossain, Management, Professor
- Marc Johnson, Biology, Associate Professor
- Shashi Kant, Institute of Management & Innovation, Professor
- Stephen Scharper, Anthropology, Associate Professor
- Florian Shkurti, Mathematical & Computational Sciences, Assistant Professor
- Soo Min Toh, Institute for Management & Innovation, Professor
- Tara Vinodrai, Institute for Management & Innovation, Associate Professor
- Alan Walks, Geography, Geomatics and Environment, Professor
- Jue Wang, Geography, Geomatics and Environment, Assistant Professor
- David A. Wolfe, Political Science, Professor
Applications will be evaluated based on academic excellence and future research promise (50% weighting), and the fit of the research proposal to the Mobility Network’s goal of supporting interdisciplinary mobility research that addresses equity and promotes sustainable and just urban growth and prosperity (50%).
Students eligible for this award will be enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Toronto, working under the research supervision of a University of Toronto Mississauga faculty member.
Conditions of Award
- Submit a written project report and deliver a research presentation (either at MN, UTM-MN or UTM research).
- Participate in Mobility Network research network activities.
- Acknowledge Mobility Network funding and affiliation in any publications, presentations, or reports stemming from grant-funded work.
Materials to be submitted by applicant
- Research Statement: A maximum 2-page (single-spaced, 12-point font) statement that includes the following:
- Introduce research topic.
- Why is this topic / question important to the overall study of mobility? How will the research be conducted? Is this research being conducted as part of your graduate thesis?
- Briefly describe proposed research methods.
- Summarize why EDI matters to the proposed research and briefly explain how the proposed research considers and approaches EDI.
- Identify the key research tasks and activities that you plan to undertake, including a timeline.
- Context: Is this research being conducted as part of your graduate work? What other sources of research funding (if any) do you currently hold? (Note that the Graduate Research Award provides a stipend to the award holder).
- CV outlining work, volunteer and extra-curricular experience and activities.
- Unofficial transcripts.
Material to be submitted by applicant’s faculty supervisor
- Request a 1-2 paragraph letter of recommendation from your faculty supervisor that includes an assessment of both the proposed research and future research promise. For supervisors supporting more than one award application, a ranking should be provided.
- Letter of recommendation should be directly sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline of applications.
How to apply
To apply for the UTM-MN Graduate Research Award, email all application materials to email@example.com with the subject line "UTM-MN 2023-2024 Graduate Research Award" by Friday, September 29, 2023.
Dr. Gaurav Mittal
Postdoctoral Fellow, UTM Mobility Network
Congratulations to all graduates!
Mobility Networks’s 2023 Public Transit Short Courses were held August 15-17 and attracted both Canadian and international participants this year. In common to all: a keen interest in learning key concepts and best practices.
Public Transit Planning and ITS was held over two days, August 15 and 16, and focused on transit planning, network and service design, service standards, transit and land use, and the application of ITS technologies.
Public Transit Modelling on August 17 explored advanced tools that can be used for forecasting demand at both the system and route levels, transit assignment, and microsimulation-based analysis.
The two short courses are intensive public transit professional development sessions unique in Canada and have been offered annually at the University of Toronto for the past ten years.
Suburban Mobilities Cluster (SuMo) at the University of Toronto Scarborough is a multi-disciplinary research program that draws on expertise across nine disciplines to tackle four suburban mobility challenges: rising suburban inequalities, improving transportation design and technology, increasing transportation impacts on climate change, and emerging stakes on resilience to shocks.
With support from the Mobility Network, SuMo hosted its first Research Day on Friday, June 09, 2023. The half-day program featured presentations from faculties and students on a variety of research projects that investigated accessibility measures, active travel of older adults, healthcare access, quality of life, and transportation-related investment priorities.
SuMo Cluster’s Director, Dr. Steven Farber, Associate Professor of Department of Human Geography at UTSC delivered the welcoming remarks. Cluster’s Research Coordinator, Dr. Ignacio Tiznado Aitken moderated the session.
The highlight of the Research Day was ‘Scarborough Survey’ which collected data from Scarborough residents on their mobility and built environment barriers, automobility, access to services, politics, social capital, and health outcomes. The survey has been in active use by the cluster members and students, and several ongoing works utilizing the survey have been presented during the program.
Presentations from UTSC:
Dr. Ignacio Tiznado Aitken, Postdoctoral Fellow: Introduction: SuMo Cluster and the ‘Scarborough Survey’.
Dr. Nicholas Spence, Assistant Professor: Predictors of transportation-related barriers to healthcare access.
Alec Khachatryan, Graduate Student: Active travel among older adults in suburban contexts: A mixed-methods approach.
Anton Yu, Graduate Student: 15-Minute City in Scarborough.
João Pedro Figueira Amorim Parga, Graduate Student: Relationships between accessibility and quality of life outcomes.
Zehui Yin, Undergraduate Student: Investment priority on transportation infrastructures.
Note: All research works have been carried out using Scarborough as the study area.
The details of the program schedule are available here.
More information on SuMo Cluster and its activities are available here.
The presentations are available to here.
Positive Zero Transport Futures and the Mobility Network co-hosted the Emerging Mobility Scholars conference on June 22 and 23, 2023, bringing together students and postdoctoral fellows from across Canada and abroad to showcase cutting-edge research on mobility and climate change. This two-day, in-person event was held at the University of Toronto and attracted about 100 attendees.
The event comprised of five sessions featuring graduate student and postdoctoral research talks, alongside a poster session, on topics that included environmental justice, transportation and health, co-benefits of decarbonization, land use and transportation planning, and technological response to climate change. The conference showcased the work of nearly 50 students.
Keynote presentations were delivered by Professors Steve Easterbrook, Eric Miller, and Rebecca Saari, covering topics of net-zero, post-pandemic travel behaviour, and air pollution in a changing climate. Pollution Probe, the Atmospheric Fund and Clean Energy Canada delivered industry perspectives on electric vehicles in the GTHA and Canada, and TransformTO presented Toronto’s strategy for the future of electric mobility.
Presentations and posters were chosen from a Call for Abstracts that closed in March 2023.
The conference was co-chaired by Professors Marianne Hatzopoulou and Eric Miller and was organized by Drs. Shayamila Gamage and Junshi Xu supported by students and postdoctoral fellows from the University of Toronto, the University of Montreal, and Toronto Metropolitan University. All students and postdoctoral fellows attended the conference free of charge.
The Emerging Mobility Scholars Conference provided a unique forum for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in Canada specializing in mobility, transportation, and climate change, to share their work, engage in meaningful discussions, and gain a new understanding of the synergies between transportation, climate, and society. The conference fostered networking opportunities among over 100 emerging Canadian scholars, encouraging collaboration and knowledge exchange to advance sustainable solutions for future mobility and climate challenges.