Birgisson appointed executive director of Georgia Network for Electric Mobility

Bjorn Birgisson

Bjorn Birgisson

The Georgia Network for Electric Mobility (GNEM) has appointed Bjorn Birgisson of the University of Georgia College of Engineering as its founding executive director.

Birgisson, chair of the UGA College of Engineering’s School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering, is an accomplished educator with experience leading engineering education and research programs in the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Established with the generous support of founding partners Georgia Power, Cox Automotive, and Kia, GNEM’s mission is to convene stakeholders in electric mobility across Georgia to improve the lives of all citizens through research, education, and community partnership. As executive director, Birgisson will spearhead initiatives to improve access, technology, and infrastructure for electric mobility throughout the state. 

“Electric mobility is critical to the future of sustainable transportation in Georgia,” said Birgisson. “I am honored to lead the GNEM and look forward to collaborating with our partners across academia, industry, government, and communities to drive innovation and workforce development, enhance infrastructure,  and ensure sustainable growth within Georgia’s electric mobility sector.”

Trained as a professional engineer in the U.S. and with extensive experience in the United Kingdom and Sweden, Birgisson is an authority on the current state of infrastructure research and implementation. He earned a Ph.D. in civil engineering with a concentration in geomechanics at the University of Minnesota. He received his M.S. in civil engineering from Cornell University and B.S. degrees in civil engineering and mathematics from the University of North Dakota.

Prior to joining UGA, Birgisson held the J.L. “Corky” Frank/Marathon Ashland Petroleum, LLC Chair at Texas A&M, where he also served as the inaugural director of the Center for Infrastructure Renewal and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Distinguished Research Professor and TEES Eminent Professor. Before that, he was professor of transport science, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University in the U.K. where he co-led the formation of the U.K. Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), which is now the largest UK research network dedicated to solving and accelerating innovative energy solutions through cooperation between universities, industry and government. He also served as the vice president for research at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, as well as a head and professor in the Division of Highway and Railway Engineering.

An accomplished researcher, Birgisson has authored more than 230 publications and is a Foreign Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and a Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Engineering Mechanics Institute. He was a founding member of the Academy of Pavement Science and Engineering, a global community of researchers working to advance pavement science and engineering, and served as a member of the academy’s board of governors for 5 years. In addition, Birgisson led the development of the U.S. National Roadmap for Nanotechnology for Concrete-Based Materials in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Highway Administration, Transportation Research Board, Portland Cement Association, and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. 

Birgisson’s appointment as GNEM executive director is effective July 1, 2024.

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