Skip to main content

Sustainable transport

Sustainable Transport research addresses a range of low-carbon transport alongside associated infrastructures such as electricity and hydrogen to support existing systems and to deliver the transport of the future.


Greenhouse gas emissions have global consequences which we all must strive to reduce. The Climate Change Act 2008 sets a target to reduce UK emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050. Emissions from transport represent 21 per cent of total UK domestic greenhouse gas emissions with domestic road transport being the biggest emitter at around 92 percent.

Transport underpins our quality of life and economic prospects and is essential for the future success of our nation. Our challenge is to balance these two seemingly opposing facts, giving people and businesses more low carbon choices about when, where and how to travel, or to transport goods.

The possibilities to reduce our emissions are far-reaching and include:

  • electrified road and rail (powered by clean electricity)
  • lower carbon aircraft designs
  • radically different information and traffic management systems.

Such advances will have additional benefits in terms of reducing our reliance on oil and our import requirements.

These key challenges are linked to a number of the UK Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges which aim to maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth, and the future of mobility, which sees the UK becoming a world leader in shaping the future of mobility.

Our aims

Our researchers are working to deliver a whole system approach. We are exploring drivers for change within the transport system including technology innovation, individual mobility needs and economic requirements for change alongside environmental and social concerns for sustainability. We also need to consider the role, social acceptance and impact of policies and regulations to result in emissions reduction.

This integrated approach addresses short, medium and long-term challenges covering the supply system, future charging infrastructure and associated vehicle technologies.

Our research areas

A key feature of this theme is the interdisciplinary approach to the development of sustainable transport solutions across several areas including:

  • aerospace
  • automotive
  • rail
  • infrastructures
  • alternative fuels: sustainable biofuels
  • promoting lower carbon choices
  • using market mechanisms to encourage a shift to lower carbon transport.

Funded opportunities for PhD students

We have been awarded an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Hub in Sustainable Transport  This will offer a unique programme that provides an holistic understanding of the entire transportation industry and will provide a number of fully funded PhDs with enhanced stipends to eligible students.

Research funding

The members of the team have already received £5 million for projects covering electric vehicles research and £8 million for research relating to Smart Grids.


We work with industrial and academic partners to support our key research areas.

Industrial partners

Some of the partners we work with include:

  • National Grid
  • Transport for London
  • TATA Steel
  • Welsh Government
  • Aston Martin
  • Western Power Distribution
  • Boeing
  • Innovate UK.

Academic partners

Our academic partners include:

  • Cranfield University
  • Birmingham University
  • Bristol University
  • Southampton University.

Our researchers

Theme leaders

Picture of Liana Cipcigan

Professor Liana Cipcigan

Professor of Transport Electrification and Smart Grids

+44 29208 70665
Picture of Carol Featherston

Professor Carol Featherston

Research theme leader – Sustainable Transport

+44 29208 75328

Research team

Picture of Liana Cipcigan

Professor Liana Cipcigan

Professor of Transport Electrification and Smart Grids

+44 29208 70665
Picture of Mark Eaton

Mr Mark Eaton

Lecturer - Teaching and Research

+44 29208 75793
Picture of Ze Ji

Dr Ze Ji

Senior Lecturer (Teaching and Research)

+44 29208 70017
Picture of Jun Liang

Professor Jun Liang

Professor of Power Electronics and Power Networks

+44 29208 70666
Picture of Rossi Setchi

Professor Rossi Setchi

Professor in High-Value Manufacturing and Director of the Research Centre for AI, Robotics and Human-Machine Systems (IROHMS)

+44 29208 75720

Contact us

The Sustainable Transport Group,
School of Engineering,
Cardiff University,
Queen's Buildings,
The Parade,
CF24 3AA.