Daniel Sperling

  • Founding Director, ITS-Davis
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Professor, Environmental Science and Policy
  • Faculty Director, Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy
Contact
Sperling, Daniel

Research Interests

  • Transportation technology assessment
  • Energy and environmental aspects of transportation
  • Transportation policy

Biography

Dr. Daniel Sperling is Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis (ITS-Davis). The Institute has over 150 faculty, staff and student researchers. He has led ITS-Davis to international prominence by building strong partnerships with industry, government, and the environmental community, integrating interdisciplinary research and education programs, and connecting research with public outreach and education. In June 2013, he was named a recipient of the Blue Planet Prize from the Asahi Glass Foundation. The prize has been described as the Nobel Prize for the environmental sciences. He was recognized for his unique ability to bring together the top thinkers and strategists in academia, government and industry to develop new vehicle- and fuels-policy approaches that are models for the world. In February 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed him to the “automotive engineering” seat on the California Air Resources Board. His appointment was confirmed by the California Senate in January 2008. His chief responsibilities are oversight and design of the state’s climate change, alternatives fuels, vehicle travel and land use, and zero emission vehicle programs. He also served as co-director of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard study, requested in the Governor’s January 2007 Executive Order. In 2008 he was appointed chair of the “Future of Mobility” Council of the Davos World Economic Forum. ITS-Davis won the 2006 Robert M. Zweig Public Education Award of the National Hydrogen Association, 2005 TRANNY award for Organization of the Year by the California Transportation Foundation, 1998 Employer of the Year Award of the Women’s Transportation Seminar of Sacramento, and was selected as a finalist for the 2003 World Technology Energy Award. He is recognized as a leading international expert on transportation technology assessment, energy and environmental aspects of transportation, and transportation policy. He has testified 10 times to the US Congress and state legislatures, and provided keynote presentations and invited talks in recent years at international conferences in Asia, Europe, and North America. In the past 25 years, he has authored or co-authored over 200 technical papers and 11 books, including Two Billion Cars (Oxford University Press, 2009). He has made 500 professional presentations in his career, including many keynote talks in the past few years. Sperling is an international expert on transportation technology, fuels and policy, with a focus on energy and environment. His research is directed at accelerating the global transition to cleaner, more efficient transportation and energy, and mitigating climate change. The award recognizes Sperling for his unique ability to bring together the top thinkers and strategists in academia, government and industry to develop new vehicle- and fuels-policy approaches that are models for the world. He was lead author of the transportation chapter in the 2007 IPCC report, “Mitigation of Climate Change” (IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008) and a member of 13 National Academies committees on Energy Efficiency, Gasoline Taxes, Hydrogen, Transport in China, Biomass Fuels R&D, Sustainable Transportation, and related topics. He was founding chair of standing committees for the U.S. Transportation Research Board on Alternative Transportation Fuels (1989-’96), and Sustainability and Transportation (2006-08). He is the founding organizer of the premier conference on transportation and energy policy, bringing together every two years since 1988 the leaders from industry, government, academia, and the environmental community. He serves on many advisory committees and advises senior executives of many automotive and energy companies, environmental groups, and national governments, including review committees at three DOE national laboratories. He is widely cited in leading newspapers, has been interviewed many times on NPR radio, including Science Friday, Talk of the Nation and Fresh Air, and in 2009 he was featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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Dr. Daniel Sperling is Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis (ITS-Davis). The Institute has over 150 faculty, staff and student researchers. He has led ITS-Davis to international prominence by building strong partnerships with industry, government, and the environmental community, integrating interdisciplinary research and education programs, and connecting research with public outreach and education. In June 2013, he was named a recipient of the Blue Planet Prize from the Asahi Glass Foundation. The ...

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2013 Blue Planet Prize of the Asahi Glass Foundation

2012 Sacramento News & Review Top Climate Changer

2010 Heinz Award with Special Focus on Global Change

2009 Robert Zweig Public Education Award of the National Hydrogen Association

2007-Present Board member of California Air Resources Board

March 2007 Testimony, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Highway and Transit Subcommittee

2006-Present Associate Director, Energy Efficiency Center, UC Davis

May 2006 Testimony, California Senate Select Committee on Alternative Energy Strategies

2006 TRANNY Award for 2005 Organization of the Year by the California Transportation Foundation

July 2005 Testimony, House Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy and Resources

Feb 2004 Testimony, Select Committee on Air and Water Quality of Sacramento

2004 Named National Associate member of the National Academies

Feb 2002 Testimony, US Congress, House Science Committee at Washington, DC

2002 Carl Moyer Memorial Award for Scientific Leadership and Technical Excellence by the Coalition for Clean Air

1998-Present Member Emeritus (lifetime), Transportation Research Board, Committee on Alternative Transport Fuels

1997 “Clean Air Award” by the American Lung Association of Sacramento

1996-Present Associate Editor, Transportation Research D (Transport and Environment)

July 1996 Testimony, Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment at Washington, DC

1996 Distinguished Public Service Award by the University of California, Davis

March 1994 Testimony on AB2495 (Richter Bill), California Assembly at Sacramento

1993 Gilbert F. White Fellowship by Resources for the Future (Washington, D.C.)

Dec 1991 Testimony, California Assembly Subcommittee on International Trade and Business Development at Los Angeles

Feb 1991 Testimony, US House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Power at Washington, DC

Feb 1990 Testimony, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on International Scientific Cooperation at Encinitas, CA

ECI 163 Energy and Environmental Aspects of Transportation (4)

Lecture—3 hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: Economics 1A and course 162. Engineering, economic, and systems planning concepts. Analysis and evaluation of energy, air quality and selected environmental attributes of transportation technologies. Strategies for reducing pollution and petroleum consumption in light of institutional and political constraints. Evaluation of vehicle emission models.

 

ECI 165 Transportation Policy (3)

Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: Economics 1A and Engineering 106 recommended. Transportation and associated environmental problems confronting urban areas, and prospective technological and institutional solutions. Draws upon concepts and methods from economics, engineering, political science and environmental studies.

 

ECI 252 Sustainable Transportation Technology and Policy (3)

Lecture—2 hours; discussion—1 hour. Prerequisite: course 165. Role of technical fixes and demand management in creating a sustainable transportation system. Emphasis on technology options, including alternative fuels, electric propulsion, and IVHS. Analysis of market demand and travel behavior, environmental impacts, economics and politics.

 

ECI 258 Transportation Planning in Developing Countries (3)

Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 160 or consent of instructor. Investigation of the role that transportation investments and policies play in the development of regions and countries. Emphasis is on identifying appropriate technologies, policies, and planning methods for designing transportation systems in regions of differing socioeconomic, geographic, and institutional settings.

 

ESP 163 Energy and Environmental Aspects of Transportation (4)

Lecture—3 hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: Economics 1A and Civil and Environmental Engineering 162. Engineering, economic, and systems planning concepts. Analysis and evaluation of energy, air quality and selected environmental attributes of transportation technologies. Strategies for reducing pollution and petroleum consumption in light of institutional and political constraints. Evaluation of vehicle emission models.

 

ESP 252 Sustainable Transportation Technology and Policy (3)

Lecture—2 hours; discussion—1 hour. Prerequisite: course 160 or the equivalent. Role of technical fixes and demand management in creating a sustainable transportation system. Emphasis on technology options, including alternative fuels, electric propulsion, and IVHS. Analysis of market demand and travel behavior, environmental impacts, economics and politics.

 

TTP 281 ITS Transportation Seminar Series (1)

Seminar—1.5 hours. Transportation seminars by guest speakers, on varied topics.

 

TTP 283 Professionalism, Leadership, and Ethics (1)

Seminar—2 hours. Speakers from industry, government, academia, and NGOs will lead discussions about succeeding and performing in the professional world. They will address leadership, ethics, and other workplace issues.

November 18, 2014

Daniel Sperling, professor and founding director of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, is a leading expert on the effect of environmental policies on the market and one of the principal architects of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard program. As the Summit’s keynote speaker, he shared with retail attendees his provocative views about climate policy, as well as insights on how the market is adjusting to the push for environmental sustainability.

September 18, 2014

Apps play a central role in our lives and are revolutionizing the transportation industry, a sector that has been starved of technological innovation for a while. “Transportation has barely changed in the last 10 years,” Daniel Sperling, founding director of UC-Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies and professor of civil engineering, told Tech Page One. “What these app-based services are doing is providing the opportunity and first step to changing how we use vehicles.” One of the major ways that app-based innovations are changing transportation is through ride sharing.

September 10, 2014

The Fuels Summit will feature an esteemed lineup of expert presenters and facilitators. These include Dr. Daniel Sperling, professor of civil engineering and environmental science and policy, and founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California – Davis (ITS-Davis) who will speak about the effects of environmental policy on market development.

September 8, 2014

"This agreement is an important milestone in coordinating global efforts to accelerate clean vehicle commercialization," said Daniel Sperling, director of ITS-Davis. "We are honored to join forces with CATARC, whose important leadership in this area will allow California, the United States and China to promote best practices and policy initiatives that will bring new energy vehicles to market not only in China and the United States, but also around the world."

August 27, 2014

The new Honda Fit EV is parked at West Village Square, across the street from West Village’s other Zipcar, a Honda Insight, in front of the Hub Market. Both vehicles are available to all Zipcar members ages 18 and older for hourly reservations, starting at $8.50 per hour. Zipcar has had vehicles at UCD since 2009; the company has nearly 40 vehicles in approximately 20 locations throughout the greater Sacramento area. “As our West Village community reaches net zero building energy use, climate-warming carbon from vehicles in California still accounts for 40 percent of the carbon we emit,” said Daniel Sperling, founding director of UCD’s Institute of Transportation Studies.