Auburn civil engineering researchers awarded best paper for third consecutive year

Published: Sep 30, 2020 10:49 AM

By Alyssa Turner

A team of Auburn University civil engineering researchers were recently awarded first place in the 2020 Southern District Institute of Transportation Engineers (SDITE) Best Member Technical Paper competition.

The team consists of civil engineering graduate students Dan Xu and Chennan Xue and faculty Huaguo Zhou and Jeffrey LaMondia.

Xu and the research team won the competition with their paper, “Impact of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles on Highway Trust Fund in Alabama,” which is now published in the Transportation Research Record.

“The idea of this study is to estimate proper annual registration fees for electric vehicles,” Xu explained. “We've seen them more and more on the road, but they do not contribute to fuel excise tax revenue.”

Xu noted the results of her study served as a key reference in the Rebuild Alabama Act.

The Rebuild Alabama Act was signed into law March 12, 2019, by Gov. Kay Ivey. It enforces an additional registration fee for battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles operated on the public highways of Alabama.

With the objective of the paper intending to help state agencies better understand the impact of electric and hybrid vehicles on the Highway Trust Fund, the researchers accomplished their ambition of offsetting the fuel excise tax revenue loss in state politics. 

SDITE is a regional organization that equips and energizes traffic engineers to become leaders in the profession. Each year, SDITE awards outstanding individual and group technical papers to recognize innovative accomplishments in the profession.

This is not the first time the group has won the SDITE Member Technical Paper Award. They have received the honor twice in 2018 and once more in 2019.

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334.844.3591
Best Member Technical Paper winners (from left) Jeffrey LaMondia, Huaguo Zhou, Chennan Xue and Dan Xu.

Best Member Technical Paper winners (from left) Jeffrey LaMondia, Huaguo Zhou, Chennan Xue and Dan Xu.

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