John M. DeCicco, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice
Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Princeton University, 1988
M.S. Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina State Univ., 1983
B.A. Mathematics, Catholic University of America, 1974
My teaching and advising interests address energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation as well as broader aspects of sustainable mobility and energy use. A main interest is the "cars vs. climate" problem, which I address in a holistic manner that examines the technolgical, economic, behavioral and policy factors that shape oil demand and GHG emissions from motor vehicles and fuels that power them. Such understanding is crucial as society seeks globally viable solutions for sustainable transportation.
I teach two winter-term, graduate-level courses, one on Transportation Energy and Climate Policy and the other on Biofuels and Sustainability (co-taught with Prof. Bill Currie). I also advise student projects on a range of sustainable energy topics and offer seminars and guest lectures on current issues related to the transportation-climate challenge. Specialty topics include transportation energy supply and demand, petroleum dependence, biofuels, hybrid, electric and other alternatives vehicles and fuels, consumer information, vehicle and fuel policies, the role of information technology and intelligent systems in addressing transportation energy use, carbon management strategies, consumer information and other market-based approaches for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. My broader educational interests include science and technology policy; sustainable energy utilization in general, including efficiency and renewable technologies, the built environment and the climate impacts of energy systems; and collaborative methods for meeting sustainability challenges.
Holding a joint appointment as research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute (UMEI), my work seeks to further public understanding of transportation systems and greenhouse gas (GHG), including the interlinked decision-making structures (both private market and public process) that underpin energy demand and emissions in the sector. The research entails technology assessment, engineering studies, policy analysis, and evaluation of the broader societal impacts of transportation energy systems. Specific research objectives include characterizing the complex technological and market systems for transportation energy use in order to inform policy design and identifing ways to hasten the adoption of technology solutions for vehicles, fuels and related infrastructures that will lead to sustainable, climate-protective systems.
My focus is on automobiles through interdisciplinary analysis of vehicles and fuels as a system. While emphasizing the U.S. market (still the world's largest automotive sector in terms of revenue, oil demand and CO2 emissions), my research recognizes the international scope of the car-climate problem, the global nature of the vehicles, fuels and related markets and their associated industries, the multiple dimensions of sustainability, and the need for scalability and transferability of solutions. This work includes a key role as a member of the University of Michigan's energy institute and SNRE team within the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center for Clean Vehicles (CERC-CV) initiative.
Recent papers and reports address factor analysis of transportation sector GHG reduction options, technical opportunities for higher automobile efficiency, motor vehicle regulation in a climate policy context and a rational approach to managing GHG emissions from biofuels.