Three new researchers have been awarded the prestigious Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency for transformative research proposals that challenge conventional wisdom. In addition to the global awards to two young researchers, which have been awarded since 2012, a third award supports a young African researcher, an extension of the scholarship now in its second year.

The Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship continues the legacy of Lee Schipper’s enrichment of international policy dialogue in the fields of sustainable transport and energy efficiency. Schipper, a physicist, researcher, musician and co-founder of EMBARQ (today the Urban Mobility program of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities) inspired and shaped the thinking of a generation of students and professionals. The scholarship provides funding support and mentoring advice to support promising research proposals. The scholarship is supported by the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation.

This year’s awardees are:  

Susan Gichuna for Weather, Climate Variability and Urban Commuter Travel Behavior in Nairobi. Susan is a researcher and PhD student at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Nairobi, Kenya. She specializes in climate change and adaptation, sustainable urban transport, travel behavior, gender and development. Previously, Susan worked at the United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, where she supported targeted research and outreach activities for programs promoting non-motorized and public transport in cities of the developing world. Her research will analyze the effects of climate change on urban transport in Nairobi, particularly regarding the impacts of rainfall and temperature on infrastructure, transport costs, traffic, and transport services accessibility and availability.

Tamara Kerzhner for Is Informal Transport Flexible? Tamara is a PhD student at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. She has BA and MA degrees in Geography and Urban Planning from the Hebrew University and wrote her thesis on Palestinian women’s mobility needs in Jerusalem. Her research will investigate the impact of labor relations on the distribution and equity of access provided by informal transport networks in African cities. The goal is to collaboratively design a series of small-scale policy, regulation and funding approaches that support worker’s rights while also improving service quality and expanding the geographic coverage of networks.

Wei Wei for Strategies for Supporting Vehicle Electrification with Renewable Energy Resources. Wei is a Ph.D. student in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Transportation and a researcher at the Trancik Lab at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research is guided by a fundamental understanding of travel patterns and energy-consuming behaviors to inform strategic infrastructure planning for vehicle electrification. Her research will examine demand management strategies to support mass electric vehicle adoption with increasing penetration of renewable energy resources in the power grid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, drawing on cities in the United States, Indonesia and Denmark as case studies.

With the support of WRI and the World Bank, all scholars will present their work at the all-virtual Transforming Transportation 2022 conference to recognize and inspire future researchers to shape the future of the transport sector.

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 and Educational Foundation and other partners for their support.

The call for 2022 scholarship proposals will be opened in December 2021.