Britt Holmén, Ph.D.

Britt Holmen photo

Position Title
NCST Associate Director

  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • University of Vermont, Transportation Research Center

Dr. Britt A. Holmén has over 20 years of experience measuring nonpoint air pollutant emissions from transportation and agricultural sources. She currently directs the Transportation Air Quality Laboratory (TAQ Lab) at the University of Vermont where research on ultrafine particle and gas-phase exhaust emissions from vehicles/engines is conducted to elucidate their effects on human and environmental health. She designed the TOTEMS (Total On-Board Tailpipe Emissions Measurement System) setup to quantify real-world vehicle tailpipe emissions while driving and has pioneered efforts to quantify particle number emissions from alternative vehicles using these techniques. The TAQ Lab research foci include real-world hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) and biodiesel fuel effects on tailpipe emissions of particles and air toxic gases.  In 2018, Dr. Holmén co-founded the Biogas Collaborative Working Group (BCWG) with a mission to measure and educate the public around fugitive biogas emissions and climate change.

Prior to joining UVM in August 2006, Dr. Holmén was on the Civil & Environmental Engineering faculty at the University of Connecticut for five years where she conducted research on real-world hybrid transit bus particle emissions as well as fugitive emissions from agriculture sources. Her past appointments include research and adjunct faculty positions at the University of California Davis, where her interests in air pollution and vehicle emissions research evolved beyond her academic training in water/solid interfacial chemistry.

Research Interests & Expertise
  • Airborne particles, organic chemistry, alternative fuels; alternative vehicles, tailpipe emissions, sensors
  • Yang, K., M. Xu, J. Cao, Q. Zhu, M. Rahman, B.A. Holmén, N. K. Fukagawa, and J. Zhu (submitted Feb 2020) Ultrafine Particles Altered Gut Microbial Population and Metabolic Profiles in a Sex-Specific Manner in an Obese Mouse Model. Submitted.
  • Robinson*+, M.K. and B.A. Holmén (2020) Hybrid-electric Passenger Car Energy Utilization and Emissions: Relationships for Real-world Driving Conditions that Account for Road Grade. Science of the Total Environment. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139692
  • Kasumba*, J., N.K. Fukagawa and B.A. Holmén (2019) Fuel Composition Effects on Carbonyls and Quinones in Particulate Matter from a Light-Duty Diesel Engine Running Biodiesel Blends from Two Feedstocks. Energy & Fuels 33, 1133–1145.
  • Kasumba*, J. and B.A. Holmén (2018) Heterogeneous ozonation reactions of PAHs and fatty acid methyl esters in biodiesel particulate matter. Atmospheric Environment 175, 15–24.
  • Zhong, F., M Xu, K Schelli, J Rutowski, BA Holmén, J Zhu* (2017) Comparing the impact of ultrafine particles from petrodiesel and biodiesel combustion to bacterial metabolism by targeted HPLC-MS/MS metabolic profiling. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 142, 164–170. DOI:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2017.04.002
  • Holmén, B.A., B. Rukavina*, J. Kasumba*, N. K. Fukagawa (2017) Reactive oxidative species and speciated particulate light-duty engine emissions from diesel and biodiesel fuel blends. Energy & Fuels, 31 (8), pp 8171–8180. DOI:10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b00698
  • Kasumba, J.* and B.A. Holmén (2016) Nonpolar Organic Compound Emission Rates for Light-Duty Diesel Engine Soybean and Waste Vegetable Oil Biodiesel Fuel Combustion. Energy & Fuels, 30 (11), 9783–9792. DOI:10.1021/acs.energyfuels.6b01582
  • Su, F. and B. A. Holmén (2016) Modeling Criteria and Air Toxic Pollutants in Light-duty Biodiesel Exhaust. Transportation Research Record, No. 2570, 87–96. DOI:10.3141/2570-10
  • Barrett, T., B. Chua, B. A. Holmén (2016) Sensing of Airborne Nanoparticles Using Miniaturized Whipple Double Condenser, IEEE Sensors Journal, 16 (18), 6990–6996. DOI:10.1109/JSEN.2016.2584580
  • Holmén, B.A., K.M. Sentoff (2015) Hybrid-Electric Passenger Car Carbon Dioxide and Fuel Consumption Benefits Based on Real-World Driving. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49 (16), 10199–10208. DOI:10.1021/acs.est.5b01203