Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


A Brief History of Transportation and a Look to the Future.


This presentation will outline the modern transportation system and will review some of the major turning points leading toward the evolution of the current system in the US. Fuels and vehicle systems are reviewed.  An outlook toward the future of transportation systems will be given and a critical view of selected technologies will be presented.


Professor Paul Erickson was born and raised in Los Angeles County. After living in Portugal for two years, he attended Brigham Young University in Provo Utah for his Bachelors and Masters Degrees. His PhD was earned at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. All of his degrees are in Mechanical Engineering. He ran a small successful consulting business between his Masters and PHD Degrees. Professor Erickson joined the faculty of the University of California at Davis in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department in 2002. Dr. Erickson is currently an Associate Professor at UC Davis and teaches courses in Thermodynamics, Internal Combustion Engines, Advanced Energy Conversion Systems, and Instrumentation. He is an executive committee member of the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis). He serves on International Review Panels regarding Hydrogen Systems and Fuel Cell and Vehicle Technology. The emphasis of his research is on energy conversion and hydrogen production for both future vehicles and stationary power applications. Professor Erickson has published his research work in many technical journals and conferences. Professor Erickson is raising six children with his wife and enjoys spending time with his family, competing in triathlons, hiking, traveling, photography, and fencing.