UTIA Professor Presents at International Transport Forum Summit

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Edward Yu Contributes to International Think Tank on Greening Transport

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Edward Yu, professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, presented his research on developing sustainable aviation fuel supply chains at the International Transport Forum Summit on May 22-24 in Leipzig, Germany. The Summit is the world’s largest gathering of transport ministers and is recognized as the premier global transport policy event.

“I am honored to participate in this international event and share my work on developing sustainable aviation fuel supply chains in the Spotlight on Research sessions,” said Yu. “Transitioning transport services to more sustainable practices require substantial efforts in communication and coordination among policymakers, industries and researchers. I am glad my research provides timely input to the planning for transport mitigation and adaptation.”

The International Transport Forum at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is an intergovernmental organization with 69 member countries. More than 1,200 key figures, innovators and leaders in transport and mobility attended this year’s Summit to examine the future of transport and its role in environmental sustainability. Attendees also assessed the impacts of climate, health and geopolitical crises in this context. Transport is responsible for an estimated 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions which lead to climate change and increasingly extreme weather events, creating urgency in the need to address carbon emission reduction.

“It is a great delight to see Dr. Yu represent UTIA and share his cutting-edge research findings at such a high-profile international transport forum,” said UT AgResearch Dean Hongwei Xin. “As a leader and a collaborator, Edward has made, and will continue to make, contributions to the ever-growing, socio-economically important enterprise of sustainable aviation fuel in Tennessee and beyond.”

Over the past two decades, Yu has extensively researched the economics of biofuels, focusing on agricultural and forestry biomass logistics, the bioenergy-agriculture-environment interface, and spatial-temporal analysis. The logistics generated through his research is crucial information needed to successfully expand the use of sustainable aviation fuels and accelerate its adoption. This information will be used to inform stakeholders on production pathways that can increase economic efficiency, enhance sustainability, leverage economies of scope and scale, and reduce renewable fuel costs — all necessary to achieve the aviation industry’s goal of carbon-neutral growth by 2050. Yu and UT AgResearch Associate Dean Tim Rials co-lead a Tennessee team conducting feedstock supply analysis for sustainable aviation fuel for the Aviation Sustainability Center, which is funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, the Department of Defense, Transport Canada, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Yu was recently appointed to the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, where he will lend his expertise to its standing committee on the Environmental Issues in Aviation. He is currently serving as an editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics and is a Buford and Beatrice Irwin Endowed Faculty Fellow. He joined UT’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in 2009.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is comprised of the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, and UT Extension. Through its land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach, the Institute touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. to Tennesseans and beyond. utia.tennessee.edu.

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Tina M. Johnson

Agricultural and Resource Economics