Three new researchers – Abisai Konstantinus, Jungwoo Chun and Fariba Siddiq – have been awarded the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency. Since 2012, the international scholarship has been awarded annually to two outstanding research candidates, recognizing transformative research proposals that challenge conventional wisdom in sustainable transport and energy efficiency. This year, with support from the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation (VREF), a third scholarship was added, tailored specifically to African researchers.

The Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship celebrates the vision and contributions to sustainable transport and energy of Dr. Lee Schipper: international physicist, researcher, musician and co-founder of EMBARQ, today the sustainable urban mobility initiative of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. The scholarship, which provides funding and mentoring support, is aimed at expanding the contributions to research and policy dialogue in the field, supporting young researchers’ initiatives catalyzing transformative research and policy papers.

Scholarship #1: Evaluating Conditions for Regional Maritime Transport in Southern Africa

Dr. Abisai Konstantinus is the first African scholar to be awarded the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship. A maritime expert based in Swakopmund, Namibia, Konstantinus holds degrees in Maritime Studies (CPUT), MPhil: Shipping Law (UCT), PQE: ICS, MSc: Shipping Management and Logistics (WMU); and a PhD in Transport Engineering (UCT). Konstantinus will research the development of regional maritime transport in the Southern Africa Development Community region. His study will delve into the perceptions and experiences of ship owners and operators to assist in identifying strategies to overcome barriers in regional maritime transport and highlight its strategic role in the region as a viable alternative to more carbon-intensive road transport.

Scholarship # 2: Institutional Innovation, Change Agents and the Electrification of Personal Transportation

Jungwoo Chun of Korea is a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research will look at the electrification of personal and commercial transportation, with a focus on the role that key institutional stakeholders play in promoting the policy reforms that lead to vehicle electrification, based on case studies of institutional dynamics in Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Chun’s objective is to contribute to the knowledge base for institutional and policy transformations required to accelerate electric vehicle adoption globally.

Scholarship #3: Cross-Cultural Gender Differences in Travel: Ride-Hailing’s Emerging Role

Fariba Siddiq of Bangladesh is a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Planning and researcher at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research will analyze gender differences in ride-hailing access and use experiences, through a cross-cultural study in Dhaka and Los Angeles. Siddiq will explore how and to what extent these burgeoning ride-hailing services are affecting safe and independent movement of women, both before the COVID-19 pandemic and in its wake. Her research will also provide insight into ride-hailing services’ use by different segments of the population and its potential impact on access to opportunities for both women and men.    

The three scholars will present their work at the 2021 Transforming Transportation conference hosted by WRI Ross Center and the World Bank, to be held virtually on February 3-5. Visit for updates.

On behalf of the Scholarship Board and the Schipper Family, co-founders Holger Dalkmann and Ramon Munoz-Raskin congratulate the new scholars and thank the Volvo Research Foundation and other partners for their support. The call for the 2021 scholarships will be out in December 2020.

The Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship was created by the Schipper Family and EMBARQ, sustainable urban mobility by WRI, with cooperation from leading scholars and policymakers, and is made possible by donations from individual donors as well as instrumental grants from the Shell Foundation and VREF.