The Sustainable Transport and Emerging Mobility Systems (STEMS) Lab at Penn State Harrisburg works in four main research areas: (i) autonomous vehicles and emerging mobility systems, (ii) shared mobility systems, (iii) travel demand and travel behavior, and (iv) sustainable communities. The research at STEMS Lab is multidisciplinary, seeking answers to overarching questions in transportation, urban planning, economics, public policy, health, and equity. We focus on applying quantitative and qualitative approaches and frameworks, incorporating latent variables and (un)observable entities through econometric models, and producing compelling data-based insights to address transportation challenges faced in urban and rural environments. The models and other outputs developed as part of our research provide a crucial foundation for formulating policy and planning interventions that provide inclusive mobility solutions for users across socioeconomic and geographic spheres.

More information on our competencies, projects, and people.

Latest News:

  • November 15, 2022: Three of Nikhil Menon's papers have been accepted for presentation at the 102nd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

  1. Exploring Pickup vs. Delivery Options for Groceries in the Aftermath of COVID: Analysis of a Nationwide Survey, with Seckin Ozkul (University of South Florida) - to be presented on Tue 1/10/2023, 8:00 AM-9:45 AM ET Convention Center Hall A (event number: 3052).

  2. Equity of Access to Electric Vehicles Charging Infrastructure in America: A Systematic Review of Demand-Supply Dilemma, with Ann Mary Varghese (Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur), and Alireza Ermagun (George Mason University) - to be presented on Wed 1/11/2023, 10:15 AM-12:00 PM ET at Convention Center Hall A (event number: 4071).

  3. Household Family Dynamics and Telecommuting: Analysis of the 2017 National Household Travel Survey, with Makarand Gawade (HDR) - to be presented on Wed 1/11/2023, 10:15 AM-12:00 PM ET at Convention Center Hall A (event number: 4072).

  • November 4, 2022: Nikhil Menon was invited to lecture at the graduate forum hosted by the School of Civil Engineering at Tsinghua University. He presented his work (virtually) titled Household Family Dynamics and Telecommuting: Findings from the United States of America.

  • October 11, 2022: Congratulations to STEMS Lab member Catherine Suria for presenting her REU project research titled Assessing the Impact of Micromobility Improvements on Accessibility to Essential Services: Findings from a Low‐Income Community at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (MASITE) on October 2-3, 2022, in Dewey Beach, DE. Catherine’s research (funded by the Penn State REU Program) models how the introduction of micromobility systems (such as bike-share systems) enhances accessibility to economic opportunities (education, jobs, healthcare) in Middletown, PA, and Harrisburg, PA, and presents important findings highlighting the need to invest in sustainable transportation systems for upward mobility.

REU Project Report | MASITE Presentation

  • June 15, 2022: Congratulations to STEMS Lab alum, Alain Izabayo, who has accepted a position as a Transportation Analyst at Kittelson & Associates, Inc. in Harrisburg, PA.

  • April 28, 2022: Congratulations to STEMS Lab members Alain Izabayo, Catherine Suria, and Zecheng We on receiving the Hanes Library Research Honorable Mention for your excellent research poster on Improving Airport Terminal Capacity and Efficiency through Satellite Gates and Autonomous Cars on the Airside. This poster was presented as part of the Penn State Harrisburg Research Exhibition held on April 22nd.


  • April 15, 2022: Nikhil Menon has been appointed to two Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committees –

    • Standing Committee on Effects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Travel Choices – AEP35

    • Standing Committee on Women and Gender in Transportation – AME20

LinkedIn Post | Penn State News Article

  • January 11, 2022: Nikhil Menon's co-authored work titled Improving Mapping and Selection of Low-Speed Autonomous Vehicle Shuttle Routes: A Data-Driven Framework, with Brian Staes (Oregon State University), and Robert L. Bertini (Oregon State University) was presented at the 101st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington D.C.

  • August 13, 2021: Nikhil Menon joins Penn State Harrisburg as a tenure-track assistant professor of Civil Engineering.

LinkedIn post | CUTR News Article