people

Principal Investigator

Professor Trancik

Professor Trancik

Jessika Trancik is the Atlantic Richfield Career Development Associate Professor in Energy Studies at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. She received her B.S. in materials science and engineering from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Before MIT, she spent several years at the Santa Fe Institute as an Omidyar Fellow, and at Columbia University as an Earth Institute Fellow, where her research focused on energy systems modeling. Her research group studies the dynamic costs and environmental impacts of energy technologies to inform technology design and policy.

Contact: trancik at mit dot edu


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Postdoctoral Associates

Dr. James McNerney

Dr. James McNerney

James McNerney is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. Formerly, he 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. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Boston University. His research interests are in understanding how physical and engineering variables relate to economic variables at all scales, from single devices and machines to industries and whole economies.

Contact: jmcn at mit dot edu

Dr. Gonçalo Pereira

Dr. Gonçalo Pereira

Gonçalo Pereira is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) at MIT. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering, an M.S. in systems modeling and control and a Ph.D. for his work on residential energy consumption and energy storage from Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal). During his Ph.D. he cooperated with several companies contributing to their R&D and as an external consultant. Before joining MIT, he worked as the Chief Science Officer at WATT-IS, an energy analytics start-up company. His research interests are in energy storage, consumption patterns and the development of commercial products and services.
Contact: gpereira at mit dot edu

Dr. Geoffrey Supran

Dr. Geoffrey Supran

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 PhD 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

Research Associates

Dr. Mandira Roy

Dr. Mandira Roy

Mandira Roy is a research associate 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

Graduate Students

Morgan Edwards

Morgan Edwards

Morgan Edwards is a doctoral student at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT.  She received 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

Goksin Kavlak

Goksin Kavlak

Goksin Kavlak is a doctoral student at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. She received her 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 availability and scalability of metals used in emerging technologies, especially in photovoltaics. She is the recipient of the UTC-MIT Energy Fellowship for 2012-2013, sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative.

Contact: goksin at mit dot edu

Magdalena Klemun

Magdalena Klemun

Magdalena Klemun is a doctoral student at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. She received her M.S. in Earth Resources Engineering from Columbia University, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar. She has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from Vienna University of Technology. Formerly, she worked as an Analyst for GTM Research, a Boston-based market research and consulting company, and as a journalist for an Austrian newspaper, Die Presse. Her research interests are in quantifying and optimizing the climate and economic impacts of energy technology choices and understanding the links between technology investment and cost evolution.

Contact: mklemun at mit dot edu

Marco Miotti

Marco Miotti

Marco Miotti is a doctoral student 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

Joshua Mueller

Joshua Mueller is a doctoral student 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.

Contact: jmmuell at mit dot edu

Zachary Needell

Zachary Needell

Zachary Needell is a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Transportation program at MIT. He received 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

 

Wei Wei

Wei Wei

Wei Wei is a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Master of Science in Transportation Program at MIT. She received her B.Eng. in Engineering Systems and Design from Singapore University of Technology and Design in 2015, with a focus on Economics and Operations Research. Her research interests are in the effects of commuting behaviors and vehicle technologies on energy consumption and emissions.

Contact: wwei at mit dot edu

Other Postdocs and Graduate Students

Dr. Patrick Brown

Dr. Patrick Brown

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 PhD 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.

Joel Jean

Joel Jean

Joel Jean is a PhD candidate in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research with Vladimir Bulović in the MIT Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory (ONE Lab) focuses 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.

Undergraduate Students

Caitlin Keegan

Caitlin Keegan

Caitlin Keegan is an undergraduate student majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Energy Studies with a concentration in Economics at MIT.  Her current research is focused on identifying opportunities for mitigating short-lived climate pollutant emissions from personal vehicles.

 

Ethan McGarrigle

Ethan McGarrigle

Ethan McGarrigle is an undergraduate student majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Energy Studies with a concentration in Economics at MIT. His current research focuses on evaluating the potential for mitigating hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions, focusing on end-of-life practices of HFC-use equipment.
Contact: ethanmcg@mit.edu

Administrative Assistant

Frances Marrone

Frances Marrone

Fran Marrone is an Administrative Assistant for the Trancik Lab, at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS).

Contact: franm@mit.edu, 617-253-4885

Alumni

Dr. William Braff

Dr. William Braff

William Braff earned his PhD. 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.

Dan Cross-Call

Dan Cross-Call

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

Michael T. Chang

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

Dr. Hamed Ghoddusi

Dr. Hamed Ghoddusi

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

Christina Karapataki

Christina Karapataki

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.

Shylesh Muralidharan

Shylesh Muralidharan

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.

Dr. Bela Nagy

Dr. Bela Nagy

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.

Dr. Victor Ocaña

Dr. Victor Ocaña

Victor Ocaña was a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at MIT. He received his physics diploma from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and his PhD in Earth Science from the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology and the University of Hamburg (Germany), on optimal GHG emissions paths and the value of information. After a long hiatus away from science, he returned as a research scientist with Prof. Hans von Storch at the Helmhotz Zentrum Geesthacht (Germany) before coming to MIT.  He then worked as a postdoctoral associate in EAPS (Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences) at MIT, where he studied sea level variability and modeling of ice sheets.

Contact: vocana at mit dot edu

Dr. Leah Stokes

Dr. Leah Stokes

Leah Stokes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She received her PhD in Public Policy and Masters in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research examines renewable energy politics across North America, using qualitative and quantitative methods. She also researches international environmental negotiations, particularly on mercury and climate change, as well as environmental behavior change campaigns. To date, her research has been published in The American Journal of Political Science, Energy Policy, Environmental Science & Technology and Global Environmental Politics. Leah has received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Martin Family Fund, and the MIT Energy Initiative. Prior to academia, Leah worked at the Parliament of Canada, Resources for the Future and the Initiative for Policy Dialogue. She holds a BSc from the University of Toronto and an MPA from Columbia University.

Contact: stokes at polsci ucsb dot edu

Heshuang Zeng

Heshuang Zeng

Heshuang Zeng graduated in 2011 from the Master in City Planning Program at MIT. She received her bachelor’s degree in architecture (2007) and her master’s degree in city design and planning (2009) from Tsinghua University. Her research focused on optimally incorporating renewable energy technologies in urban sustainable development. She is currently working at the World Resources Institute.