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Volpe Engineer Kevin Green Receives Prestigious SAE Award

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Volpe engineer Kevin Green recently received SAE International's Barry D. McNutt Award for Excellence in Automotive Policy Analysis. This distinguished award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of improved federal automotive policy.

"I'm really honored to have been thought about in connection with a pioneer like Barry McNutt and to receive an award in his name," said Green, who was presented with the accolade during the January 30 SAE Government/Industry Meeting.

McNutt served as a long-time senior policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Energy and was a steadfast proponent of strong and reasonable fuel economy standards. "I think he saw the balance as important—the balance between the nation's need to improve its energy position and, on the other hand, real considerations involving the availability of the technology, safety concerns, and ultimately vehicle affordability," said Green.

Green was quick to share the honor with others in his field, saying that the award says as much about the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) achievements in fuel economy as it says about his personal achievements. "I stood on the shoulders of people like [Volpe Director Emeritus] Dick John, who led the Volpe Center's achievements in fuel economy in the '70s and '80s, and during a time when the Center and NHTSA both had very large teams working on fuel economy," said Green.

A member of Volpe's team since 1995, Green is chief of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Program Office and leads analytical work to support the development of new CAFE standards. Administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the CAFE standards help reduce the nation's energy consumption by requiring manufacturers to increase the average fuel economy of vehicles.

Volpe experts in automotive engineering, environmental science, physics, economics, computer science, and operations research have played a significant role in CAFE for nearly four decades, conducting detailed analyses and modeling to help determine the feasibility of these standards. To support the CAFE program, Volpe's team collects and analyzes volumes of data in order to

  • Evaluate potential technologies to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Define a range of regulatory alternatives for consideration
  • Estimate potential technology deployment rates
  • Estimate how manufacturers could change the design of vehicle models in response to future CAFE standards
  • Evaluate the costs, energy and environmental effects, and consumer and social benefits of each technology and regulatory alternative

Using assumptions and estimates agreed to jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOT, and the California Air Resources Board, Volpe's team recently estimated that CAFE standards affecting vehicles produced between 2010 and 2025 could cause consumers to pay about half a trillion dollars more to buy new vehicles over that period of time; however, the same analysis indicates that the accompanying benefits could total $1.5 to $2 trillion. "And most of that would be benefits for the consumers," said Green.

A Distinguished Career

Green's considerable achievements in transportation policy analysis span two decades in which he has provided guidance to the United States and countries abroad on greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation strategies. (See page 33 of SAE's Government/Industry Meeting Guide or PRWeb for a summary of Green's work.)

Notably, Green supported the first comprehensive national study of emissions from nonroad engines and the first federal regulations to limit such emissions when he worked for EPA in the early 1990s. He has assisted developing countries with their efforts to quantify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, represented DOT at international workshops and negotiating sessions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and led DOT's first detailed examinations of potential climate-change policies, such as greenhouse gas emissions trading. Green also steered the development of the CAFE Compliance and Effects Modeling System (commonly referred to as the "Volpe Model" or the "CAFE Model"), which is used to estimate the costs, effects, and benefits of potential new CAFE standards. NHTSA uses this model to inform its decisions about new fuel economy standards.

Additional Publications

  • Stock Modeling for Railroad Locomotives and Marine Vessels (2004)

  • Modeling of Advanced Technology Vehicles (2003)

  • Promising Transit Applications of Fuel Cells and Alternative Fuels (2002)

  • Transport-Relevant Policies and Measures: U.S. Experience (2000)

  • Transportation Fuels and Vehicles (1999)

  • Transportation and Sustainable Communities Initiative: Overview of Federal Sustainable Transportation Activities (1998)

Photo of Kevin Green

Kevin Green (Volpe photo)