Marketa Vavrova Receives European Friedrich List Award
October 22, 2012 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
Marketa Vavrova, a student enrolled in The University of Texas at El Paso's civil engineering doctoral program, has received the European Friedrich List Award for her master's thesis in transportation and logistics systems.
"It's a very important award over there," said Carlos Chang, Ph.D., an assistant professor of civil engineering at UTEP and Vavrova's academic adviser. "She competed against a lot of people because it's not just for one country – it's for all of Europe."
The thesis, titled "Development of an electronic vehicle miles traveled toll model," presents an alternative to the fuel tax, which Vavrova believes is no longer the only viable source of revenue. Instead, she offers a distance-based toll model, or a model that coverts miles traveled to fees. Vavrova also discusses a gas emissions policy for revenue depending on the type of vehicle running.
"The thing is that engines are becoming more efficient – there are electric vehicles now, so fuel will no longer be the only reliable source of funding for transportation projects soon," Vavrova said. "Countries are trying to find new ways of funding transportation projects, and this would charge road users for every mile they drive, not for fuel."
Chang said that the highlight of the thesis was that it provided guidelines and a model for decision makers to apply to evaluate if their country would benefit from a distance-based toll implementation or not.
"The studies and research work that she did while here at UTEP also really contributed to the award because she was able to add in comparisons between the U.S. and European transportation systems," he said. Ladislav Bina, who was Vavrova's academic co-adviser at the Czech Technical University (CTU), also recognized the added value of conducting jointed international research.
Originally from the Czech Republic, Vavrova worked on her thesis while enrolled in the Atlantis program, or the Transatlantic Dual Master's Degree Program in Transportation and Logistic Systems. Atlantis is a collaboration between CTU, the University of Zilina in Slovakia, and UTEP that allows students to attend and earn master's degrees from both CTU and UTEP in two years.
The official award ceremony will occur on Thursday, Nov. 8 in Budapest as part of the 10th European Transport Congress.