Zhaocai Liu is a postdoctoral researcher with the Computational Science Center at NREL. He is currently working on the ground transportation infrastructure planning and shuttle bus system analysis for the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, an Athena project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office. He will also work on a DOE project titled “Increasing Affordability, Energy Efficiency, and Ridership of Transit Bus Systems through Large-Scale Electrification.”

Additionally, Liu will help develop high-performance computing-enabled scalable algorithms for the strategic planning of electric bus systems. In collaboration with other researchers at NREL, he will help develop a tool for electric bus energy consumption estimation and optimization.

Liu has done research in transportation network modeling, transportation infrastructure planning, and planning and operation of electrified and automated transportation systems. He has worked on research projects funded by DOE and U.S. Department of Transportation and has published 12 peer-reviewed journal papers.

For additional information, see Zhaocai Liu's LinkedIn profile

Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed on LinkedIn are the author’s own, made in the author's individual capacity, and do not necessarily reflect the views of NREL.

Research Interests

Transportation network modeling 
Sustainable transportation systems with electric and autonomous vehicles 
Stochastic programming and robust optimization 
Simulation-based optimization for transportation system planning and operation 
Scalable algorithms for planning and operation of large transportation systems 
Joint optimization of the planning and operation of coupled transportation and power systems 


Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University 
M.S., Transportation Engineering, Southeast University 
B.S., Road Bridge and River-Crossing Engineering, Southeast University 

Featured Work

Optimal Charging Scheduling and Management for a Fast-Charging Battery Electric Bus SystemTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review (2020)  
Strategic Planning of Dedicated Autonomous Vehicle Lanes and Autonomous Vehicle/Toll Lanes in Transportation Networks, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies (2019) 
Fast-Charging Station Deployment for Battery Electric Bus Systems Considering Electricity Demand ChargesSustainable Cities and Society (2019) 
Factors Influencing Electric Bike Share Ridership: Analysis of Park City, UtahTransportation Research Record (2019) 
Economic Analysis of On-Route Fast Charging for Battery Electric Buses: Case Study in UtahTransportation Research Record (2019) 
Planning of Fast-Charging Stations for a Battery Electric Bus System under Energy Consumption UncertaintyTransportation Research Record (2018) 
Dynamic Charging Infrastructure Deployment for Plug-in Hybrid Electric TrucksTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies (2018) 
Network User Equilibrium of Battery Electric Vehicles Considering Flow-Dependent Electricity ConsumptionTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies (2018) 
Robust Planning of Dynamic Wireless Charging Infrastructure for Battery Electric BusesTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies (2017) 
Optimal Deployment of Dynamic Wireless Charging Facilities for an Electric Bus SystemTransportation Research Record (2017) 

Awards and Honors

USUSA Graduate Enhancement Award, Utah State University (2019) 
Ellis L. Mathes Scholarship, ITE Intermountain Section (2019) 
Outstanding Engineering PhD Scholar of the Year, College of Engineering, Utah State University (2019)