Jessika Trancik: Jessika Trancik is a Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research examines the dynamic costs, performance, and environmental impacts of energy systems to inform climate policy and accelerate beneficial and equitable technology innovation. Her projects focus on all energy services including electricity, transportation, heating, and industrial processes. This work spans solar energy, wind energy, energy storage, low-carbon fuels, electric vehicles, and nuclear fission among other technologies. Prof. Trancik received her B.S. from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She is currently an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, and was formerly at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and at WSP International/UNOPS (now Interpeace) in Geneva.
Contact: trancik at mit dot edu
Mandira Roy is a research affiliate at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) and was a fellow in its Advanced Studies Program at MIT. She has a PhD and an MBA from the University of British Columbia and MS and BS in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology. Previously, she has taught in the areas of financial and managerial accounting and the economics of information at the University of Southern California, University of California–Los Angeles and Rutgers University. Her past research focused on the valuation and contracting roles of information in economic decisions and their impact on stakeholder incentives and welfare. Her current research is on the dynamic choice of energy technology portfolios for climate change mitigation and the economic impact of mitigation policies.
Contact: mandirar at mit dot edu
Aliza Khurram is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) at MIT. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2020, her S.M. in the same field from MIT in 2017, and her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Bates College in 2015. Her research is geared towards devising infrastructure development strategies for hydrogen-fueled mobility services and understanding the costs and benefits of distributed vs. centralized energy storage systems.
Contact: akhurram at mit dot edu
Wei Wei is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) at MIT. She received her Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from MIT in 2022, her M.S. in the same field from MIT in 2017, and her B.Eng. in Engineering Systems and Design with a focus on Economics and Operations Research from Singapore University of Technology and Design in 2015. In between her studies, she worked on microgrid optimization with renewable integration at ENGIE in France. Her research builds data-informed models to examine technology innovations and infrastructure planning that enable low-carbon transportation and energy systems. Her doctoral research focuses on modeling travel behavior and technology performance to inform charging infrastructure expansion and power grid upgrades for enabling personal vehicle electrification. She has worked on projects related to vehicle electrification and renewable integration in the US, Japan, Indonesia, Portugal, Denmark, and France. She is a recipient of the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency from the World Resources Institute.
Contact: wwei at mit dot edu
Micah S. Ziegler is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS). His research focuses on evaluating emerging and established energy technologies. Micah earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in Chemistry from Yale University, with an emphasis on energy and environmental applications. In between his studies, he worked in the Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute (WRI). At WRI, he explored how to improve mutual trust and confidence among parties developing international climate change policy and researched carbon dioxide capture and storage, electricity transmission, and international technology policy. Micah was also a Luce Scholar assigned to the Business Environment Council in Hong Kong, where he helped advise businesses on how to measure and manage their environmental sustainability. He has studied environmental issues in Ecuador and interned for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and The Nature Conservancy.
Contact: zieglerm at mit dot edu
Christine Gschwendtner is a visiting PhD student at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) at MIT and a PhD student in the Group for Sustainability and Technology at ETH Zurich. She received a Master of Science in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the Technical University of Munich with an academic year abroad at the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the decarbonization of energy systems across sectors. She currently investigates the integration of low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, and the interaction between transport and electricity systems, including infrastructure, urban systems, energy storage, demand management, and mobility behavior.
Contact: cgschwen at mit dot edu
Michelle Vaccaro joined the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) as a PhD student in September 2021. Her research focuses on human-AI collaboration, and she is particularly interested in combining expert knowledge and data-driven models to forecast technological change. Before coming to MIT, Michelle worked at Goldman Sachs in foreign exchange strategy and structuring. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in 2019 from Harvard College, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with highest departmental honors in Computer Science.
Kelly Wu is an MIT undergraduate studying chemical engineering and interested in both the technical and social spheres of transitioning energy systems. Previously, she has worked on chemical industry graph networks through the Manthiram lab and coded for the MIT Energy Initiative’s SESAME lifecycle energy emissions tool. She has also interned at a renewables investment bank, oil major, and Spanish renewables developer. Her research in the Trancik lab focuses on determining hydrogen cost targets for an electricity grid consisting of renewables and hydrogen storage.
Amy Kaczur is our group administrator at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. Prior to coming to MIT in January 2017, she worked administratively in education, the visual arts, and culinary industries. Her accomplishments include: helped to achieve Green Business Certification for US Foods, Los Angeles; cooperatively established processes and advocacy in the newly created Dean of Faculty’s office at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (now part of Tufts University); and developed media workshops and technical demonstrations at University of California, Irvine. In her free time, Amy also produces video art grounded in environmental concerns. Amy is a graduate of Tufts University and UC, Irvine.
Contact: akaczur at mit dot edu
Nicholas Pape is an undergraduate student at MIT majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and Political Science. His research is focused on analyzing the gaps in the wind and solar resources where energy storage technologies are needed as backing mechanisms for wind and solar energy shortages.
Contact: npape at mit dot edu
Ava Waitz works at Trancik Lab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. She is considering majors in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Material Science Engineering. Her research contributes to life cycle analysis of current energy technologies. Specifically she is focusing on fugitive methane emissions along the natural gas supply chain.
Contact: avawaitz at mit dot edu
Sankaran Ramakrishnan is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University for his research in efficiency maximization of energy conversion systems through reduction in thermodynamic irreversibility. Before joining MIT, he was the chief researcher at OceanLab (now Apium Inc.), a startup developing swarm robotics technology. There his work was on controlling groups of robots through information-sharing modeled on energy dissipation. His research interests are in understanding how and what information exchanged/gathered in distributed energy systems could result in system-wide reduction in energy consumption, emissions, and optimize energy storage.
Contact: sankara at mit dot edu
Geoffrey Supran is a postdoctoral associate working with Prof. Jessika Trancik at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society at MIT. He is also a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Naomi Oreskes in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering at MIT. He also received an MIT Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology and Policy for research assessing the lifecycle costs and carbon emissions of cars against targets for climate change mitigation. As an undergraduate, Geoffrey read Natural Sciences (physics) at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Geoffrey helped lead the MIT hub of an international fossil fuel divestment movement, which precipitated MIT’s first Institute climate action plan.
Contact: gjsupran at mit dot edu
Ajinkya Shrish Kamat is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) at MIT. His research mainly centers on understanding how technology innovation capabilities are built, in industry and in higher education & research institutions, how these capabilities contribute to economic growth and development, and their policy implications. At IDSS, Ajinkya’s research focuses specifically on modeling energy technology systems to inform decarbonization efforts. Before joining MIT, Ajinkya was a postdoctoral research fellow jointly at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of Harvard Kennedy School and at the Harvard’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Ajinkya received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Virginia, M.Sc. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, India, and B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Mumbai, India.
contact: askamat at mit dot edu
Göksin Kavlak is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. She received her Ph.D. from IDSS at MIT, M.S. in environmental sciences from Yale University, and her B.S. in industrial engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul. Her research interests are in building frameworks to analyze the cost evolution of renewable energy technologies, especially solar photovoltaics. She has also worked on evaluating the scalability of solar photovoltaics based on their material requirements. She was the recipient of the UTC-MIT Energy Fellowship for 2012-2013, sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative.
Contact: goksin at mit dot edu
Libby Aiello was working at the Trancik Lab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. She is an undergraduate majoring in Computer Science and minoring in both Data Science and Economics. Her research focuses on predicting energy consumption for personal vehicular travel.
Contact: libbya at mit dot edu
William Braff earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT in 2014. He was co-advised by Professor Cullen Buie (Mechanical Engineering), and Professor Martin Bazant (Chemical Engineering), and his thesis investigated a hydrogen bromine laminar flow battery for grid-scale energy storage. From 2011 – 2015, William worked with the Trancik Lab on a project to evaluate the impact of energy storage technologies on the economic value of solar and wind energy. He is currently an Engineering Program Manager at Apple.
Patrick Brown is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the MIT Energy Initiative, exploring technical and regulatory strategies for integrating high levels of renewable energy and energy storage onto the electric grid. He completed his Ph.D. in physics at MIT with Professor Vladimir Bulović, where his thesis research explored the use of colloidal nanocrystals as light-absorbing active materials in thin film solar cells. Patrick received his B.S. in physics and chemistry from the University of Notre Dame and interned at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Patrick received a Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology, and Policy for his work with the Trancik lab, which has focused on the implications of the rates of technological advancement in solar and wind technologies for international climate policy.
Contact: prbrown at mit dot edu
Dan Cross-Call completed a master’s degree in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. He worked with the Trancik Lab during 2011-2012 on evaluating emerging energy technologies. Prior to MIT, Dan worked as an electricity market consultant in the Energy & Environment practice of Charles River Associates, where he specialized in asset valuations and regulatory analysis of wholesale electricity markets and installed capacity markets. Dan also previously worked as an educator for a community development project in rural Ghana, supported in this work by a Richard Lombard Public Service Fellowship. Dan received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in economics and environmental studies.
Contact: dancc at mit dot edu
Michael T. Chang received his Master of Science from the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. He helped develop a model of the energy consumed by personal vehicle travel using real-world driving data. His Master’s thesis used this model to assess the appropriateness of performance targets for the energy capacity of electric vehicle batteries set by the government and industry groups. His research interests are in applying data-driven methods to understanding the development of emerging technologies and assessing policy. Prior to MIT, he graduated with high honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Computational Engineering Science and a minor in Mechanical Engineering.
Contact: mtchang at alum dot mit dot edu
Philip Eash-Gates received his master’s degree from the Technology & Policy Program at MIT. He received his B.S. in Engineering Science from Trinity University. Before joining MIT, he worked as the Energy Manager for the City of San Antonio and as the Director of Projects for CVAL Innovations, an energy engineering startup. Previous work experience includes development of building energy conservation codes, management of community-based sustainability programs, and implementation of innovative energy projects. His research interests include methods to accelerate the improvement of new and evolving energy technologies to meet societal and environmental challenges.
Contact: philipeg at mit dot edu
Morgan Edwards was a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. She received her Ph.D. from IDSS at MIT, her S.M. in Technology and Policy from MIT and her B.S. in Environmental Science from UNC Chapel Hill, with a second major in Economics and a minor in physics. Before coming to MIT, she worked on alternative energy and energy efficiency projects in Thailand, Russia, and the United States. Her research focuses on developing tools to assess the performance of energy technologies in the face of changing climate and environmental constraints. Morgan is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and MIT Presidential Fellowship.
Contact: morgane at mit dot edu
Hamed Ghoddusi was a postdoctoral associate at the Trancik Lab at MIT. He is now an Assistant Professor of Finance at the School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Finance from Vienna Graduate School of Finance (VGSF) and holds degrees in economics, management science, and industrial engineering (OR) from the Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna) and Sharif University of Technology (Tehran). His research interests are in modeling of energy and environmental systems and their interaction with public policy, macro economy, and financial markets. His works are centered around two major themes of risks and investment decisions in energy and water systems. He has been a visiting scholar/consultant at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), UT Austin, UC Berkeley, UNDP, and UNIDO.
Contact: hghoddus at stevens dot edu
Joel Jean has a Ph.D. from the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research with Vladimir Bulović in the MIT Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory (ONE Lab) focused on device physics and design of lightweight, flexible, and low-cost solar cells based on colloidal quantum dots and molecular semiconductors. Joel received his S.M. in Electrical Engineering from MIT and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering with distinction from Stanford University. He is a co-author of the MIT Future of Solar Energy Study and a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the MIT Energy Fellowship. Joel has worked with the Trancik Lab on analyzing the potential impact of international emissions reduction pledges on solar PV and wind technology improvement and cost reductions.
Contact: jjean at mit dot edu
Christina Karapataki graduated with a master’s degree from the Technology and Policy Program at MIT, working with the Trancik Lab from 2010-2011. She received her B.A. and M.Eng. in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge, where she studied as a Scholar of the Cambridge European Trust. She previously worked with the MIT Energy Initiative on water demand forecasting (2008) and with ExxonMobil as a business analyst for the European natural gas market. She also worked with Baringa Partners as a consultant for EDF Energy. Christina is the recipient of the Salters’ Graduate Prize 2010 from the Salters’ Institute of Industrial Chemistry, UK.
Caitlin Keegan is an undergraduate student majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Energy Studies with a concentration in Economics at MIT. Her research focused on identifying opportunities for mitigating short-lived climate pollutant emissions from personal vehicles.
Contact: ckeegan at mit dot edu
Magdalena Klemun was a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) at MIT. Her research interests are in understanding how the economic and environmental performance of technologies evolves in response to different innovation efforts, with an emphasis on the cost evolution of photovoltaic systems and nuclear power plants, and on the environmental performance evolution of natural gas technologies. Magdalena received her Ph.D. from IDSS at MIT, M.S. in Earth Resources Engineering from Columbia University, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar, and her B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from Vienna University of Technology. In between her studies, she worked as an Analyst for GTM Research, a clean energy market research and consulting company.
Contact: mklemun at mit dot edu
Christos Makriyannis was a postdoctoral associate at the Institute of Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Connecticut and his Ph.D. in Economics from Clark University. His research at Clark focused on the valuation of ecosystem services and climate change adaptation policies, including economic applications to environmental decision-making. In his research at the IDSS, he seeks to understand the effect of information and incentives on consumers’ preferences for low-carbon energy technologies.
Contact: CMakriyannis at clarku dot edu
Ethan McGarrigle is an undergraduate student majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Energy Studies with a concentration in Economics at MIT. His research focused on evaluating the potential for mitigating hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions, focusing on end-of-life practices of HFC-use equipment.
Contact: ethanmcg at mit dot edu
James McNerney was a research scientist at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. Previously he was a Leading Technology and Policy Fellow at IDSS. Before coming to MIT, he received bachelor degrees in physics and mathematics from Boston University, and was a graduate fellow at the Santa Fe Institute and Boston University, where he completed his Ph.D. in physics on the topic of price evolution of technologies. His research focuses in two areas: evaluating energy technologies to address economic and environmental challenges, and using data and models to better understand how technologies evolve.
Contact: jmcn at mit dot edu
Marco Miotti completed his Ph.D. at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. He received his S.M. in Environmental Engineering and his B.S. in Environmental Sciences from ETH Zurich. Before coming to MIT, he worked on projects related to industrial ecology and technology assessment in Germany, China, Colombia, and Switzerland. His research focuses on evaluating the emissions reduction potential and adoption potential of light-duty vehicle technologies against climate change policy goals from the perspective of the consumer as the decision maker.
Contact: mmiotti at mit dot edu
Joshua Mueller completed his Ph.D. at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. He received his S.M. in Technology and Policy from MIT in June 2015. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2004 with a B.S. in Physics and a minor in French, and read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Brasenose College, Oxford, earning a B.A. in 2006. His current research is on techno-economic modeling of energy storage systems with a focus on the value that storage brings to renewable-storage hybrid systems and the performance factors that most influence that value. He is a recipient of the 2004 John and Fannie Hertz Foundation Fellowship.
Shylesh Muralidharan was a Systems Design and Management graduate student at MIT. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Pondicherry University and an MBA from Mumbai University, and he has worked in technology consulting for smart grid programs. His interests are in new energy systems and sustainability. He is currently working on a technical and economic evaluation of ocean thermal energy conversion in the context of climate change concerns and water scarcity.
Bela Nagy was a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. He has bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computer science, and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of British Columbia. More information on Bela’s interests and past experience can be found here: Nagy’s SFI webpage.
Zachary Needell completed his Ph.D. at the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Transportation at MIT. He received his M.S. in Transportation Engineering from MIT and his B.S. in Physics from Haverford College in 2011, where he did his thesis research on the deformation patterns of granular materials under stress. Before coming to MIT, he worked at the Smithsonian Center for Earth and Planetary Studies researching Martian sediments and climate history. His research interests are in how infrastructure and technology affect the decisions people make about their personal transportation, and how those individual choices affect long term environmental, economic, and social trends.
Contact: zneedell at mit dot edu