Wei Wei is a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Transportation at MIT. She received her M.S. in Transportation Engineering from MIT in 2017 and 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 uses high-resolution travel data to inform vehicle technology choices and policy designs to support alternative-fuel vehicle adoption.
Contact: wwei 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Nora Xu is a graduate student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. She worked with the Trancik Lab from 2013-2014. She graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Geosciences and subsequently worked as an investment analyst at DC Energy focusing on electricity trading in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator market. She is a 2013-14 recipient of the Eni-MIT Energy Fellowship.
Contact: noraxu 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
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
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
Juhyun (Joe) Song was a graduate student in a combined PhD-MBA program at MIT. He defended his PhD thesis in Department of Chemical Engineering on mathematical modeling of electrochemical energy systems. For the MBA portion, Juhyun studied the socioeconomic environment around renewable energy systems. After graduating from MIT, he moved to Argonne National Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Appointee. His past experience includes a Senior Researcher position at Samsung SDI, and internships at Tesla and BMW group. Juhyun has a B.S., summa cum laude, in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Seoul National University.
Contact: j.song at anl dot gov
Sai Sameer Pusapaty worked at Trancik Lab by taking part in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. His work focuses on predicting the future average fuel economy of the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet given uncertainties in technological development and consumer preferences. By studying past trends in various vehicle attributes, he hopes to develop statistical models to determine whether the future light-duty vehicle fleet will be able to meet current climate policy targets.
Contact: pusapaty at mit dot edu
Gonçalo Pereira was 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
David Parra was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS). He is a senior researcher and teaching fellow at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering, M.S. in energy technologies and Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham (UK) for his experimental and modeling work on optimal energy storage for low carbon communities. His research focuses on how to facilitate the integration of renewables with energy storage and other flexible solutions. He has expertise in building models that can provide insights for techno-economic and environmental targets to increase the social impact of low carbon technologies.
Contact: dparra at mit dot edu, david dot parra at unige dot ch
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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