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Report: EMBARQ Brazil’s FedEx Fellow 2.5 Years Later

Magdala Satt Arioli_EMBARQ Brazil-sq.jpg

This is the first in a series of three guest blog posts from FedEx-EMBARQ Transportation Fellows. This month we will hear from Magdala Satt Arioli from EMBARQ Brazil.

In November of 2011 I had the unique opportunity to be immersed in the FedEx “world”. As a FedEx-EMBARQ Transportation Fellow I received training in different areas of knowledge such as leadership, vehicles and fuel technologies, and asset management among other topics. The Fellowship program was a great experience that provided great depth of knowledge in many technical areas and helped develop and strengthen relationships between EMBARQ and FedEx staff.

Because I participated in the FedEx-EMBARQ Fellowship program, when I returned to Brazil I was selected to work on the Sustainable Urban Transportation Fuels and Vehicles Program (SUTFV). This is a research program that aims to develop practical tools to help cities make informed decisions about their vehicles and fuels selection. The training in Memphis at FedEx World Headquarters was the first step in launching this amazing program.

The training I received provided me with an excellent understanding of fuel technologies, emissions and costs. We learned about all the different fuels and technologies that FedEx was using and its impacts. All the knowledge acquired from the training served as background to initiate the first part of the Sustainable Urban Transportation Fuels and Vehicles Program: Exhaust Emissions of Transit Buses working paper. (Available for download at http://embarq.org/research/publication/exhaust-emissions-transit-buses.)

The SUTFV team worked for almost a year to have the first report ready by mid-2012. We studied a number of strategies that can reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of new and existing urban bus fleets, counting on support from FedEx experts. The result of the Exhaust Emissions of Transit Buses working paper was incredible. Since the release, on November 2012, we have been spreading the main findings around the world through international conferences, webinars, technical papers and social media.

One of the best recognitions of this work that we received was the Fred Burggraf Award in recognition of excellence in transportation research by researchers 35 years of age or younger. It was a huge honor receiving this award felt so proud of our work and happy for this accomplishment because our study not only addressed transit bus emissions, but also made the research more accessible to policy makers, specifically in developing countries.

The next step for the SUTFV program is a specific case study where we are examining life-cycle costs and emissions in Brazil, India and Mexico. I am conducting the case study for Brazil. Brazil has a diversity of fuels and technologies, and all these alternatives are being considered in terms of lifecycle cost and lifecycle emissions to develop a practical tool to advise cities about their urban bus fleet selection.

I am happy to work for this program and to be able to advise cities, promoting best practices and strategies to reduce emissions. This improves the quality of life in developing countries.

Thanks to FedEx we will continue sharing the main findings of the SUTFV program, influencing sustainable transit development in cities in Brazil, India and Mexico.

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