What is new at the EIT Urban Mobility Academy?

October was an exciting launching time for the Academy! 
Chris Pringle, Executive Publisher at Elsevier, Prof. Dr. Frank Witlox from the University of Ghent, and Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Büttner from the Technical University of Munich announced the launch of The Journal of Urban Mobility, as well as the publication of a first issue early 2021.  

This new open-access journal will publish peer-reviewed contributions in all areas of urban mobility research, thus bridging the gap between academia, industry and cities. 

“The Journal of Urban Mobility fills a gap taking a systemic approach to urban mobility and encourages multi- or cross-disciplinary triple-helix publications, bringing together academics and practitioners, businesses (industry and small-and-medium-sized companies) and cities”, said Prof. Dr. Frank Witlox, initiator and Editor-in-Chief together with Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Büttner.  

For those wishing to submit articles, viewpoints, short reports, project summaries, discussions of new research data and case studies for publication, they should refer to the Guide for Authors. In the meantime, the whole Academy is rejoicing. “We are really happy to publish this journal together with Elsevier”, concluded Dr. Martin Vendel, Academy Director at EIT Urban Mobility. This will further strengthen our position in the urban mobility research community including a focus on knowledge triangle integration.” 

First Annual Forum of the Doctoral Training Network 

The Academy also welcomed the holding of an ambitious and inspiring event. From 15 to 17 September 2020, the first Annual Forum of the Doctoral Training Network was successfully held online.

Around 140 participants attended this virtual event, which featured talks by Maria Tsavachidis (Chief Executive Officer of EIT Urban Mobility), Nick Tyler (Director of the UCL Centre for Transport Studies) and Monika Bachofner (Executive and Scientific Manager of CARNET), just to name a few. The 30 doctoral candidates of the EIT Urban Mobility Doctoral Training Network also had the opportunity to present their research topic in front of the audience. 

For Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Büttner, also Head of Doctoral Training Network, this first Annual Forum was a success, even though the initial conditions were far from easy. “Thanks to the flexible online event platform, we were able to not only host formal talks, but also smaller roundtable discussions that allowed the doctoral candidates to easily collaborate and exchange ideas, despite the fact that they were attending the conference remotely”, he explained. The doctoral candidates were also able to participate in more informal events in the evening, such as an online cooking session and a barkeeping session. The second Annual Forum will take place in Munich in June 2021, hopefully in circumstances even more conducive for sharing ideas. 

Closing August with the Summer School  

The Annual Forum of the Doctoral Training Network wasn’t the only event that had to adapt to the pandemic situation. At the end of August, the latest Aalto University Summer School on Transportation (ASTRA), in partnership with EIT Urban Mobility, went fully online. In addition to the standard content including top notch lectures on diverse topics about urban mobility, this time around, the summer school was expanded to include an innovation challenge. 

For two weeks, 34 participants from around the globe were working in seven different teams in understanding specific user problems across Helsinki and Espoo.  

Although it was quite challenging to fully understand user perspectives without physical presence in the region, each team has managed to identify problems for users and practitioners”, said Milos Mladenovic, main organizer of the Summer School and assistant professor at the Department of Built Environment at Aalto University in Finland – a core partner of EIT Urban Mobility. “As the result, each of the seven proposed solutions point to the need for furthering systemic innovation processes in urban mobility”. For those interested in Urban Sustainable Policy, Travel Behaviour or Driverless Futures, a set of videos from the 14th ASTRA on various topics are now available here