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2022 Climate-Tech Policy “Boot Camp” for Early Career Researchers

2022 Climate-Tech Policy “Boot Camp” for Early Career Researchers

The Center for Clean Energy Innovation is pleased to host its 2022 climate-tech policy “boot camp” for early career researchers Sunday to Friday, June 5–10, in Washington, D.C.

The boot camp’s main purpose is to strengthen researchers’ understanding of how leaders in government, business, and finance make policy and management decisions, so their research has greater impact on real-world clean energy and climate innovation outcomes.

The boot camp features face-to-face discussions with key players shaping the climate-tech policy landscape in the United States. These discussions span Congress, the executive branch, venture capital, institutional finance, and a diverse set of emissions sectors. The 2022 event builds on the success of our first boot camp in 2019.

ITIF wishes to thank the Sloan Foundation for providing generous financial support to make these boot camps possible.

This Year’s Climate-Tech Policy Scholars

Stephanie Arcusa, Arizona State University

Stephanie Arcusa is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University. She is developing a framework for the certification of carbon sequestration, working on ways to include carbon-intensive sectors into the framework, and helping to plan an equitable decarbonization of the U.S. West through a place-based approach focusing on renewable energy and emergent technologies of hydrogen, biomass, and carbon capture, utilization and storage.

Sergio Castellanos, University of Texas at Austin

Sergio Castellanos is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where he leads the RESET (Rapid, Equitable & Sustainable Energy Transitions) Lab, analyzing decarbonization pathways for emerging economies, data-driven sustainable transportation approaches, and equitable clean tech adoption and deployment strategies.

Michael Davidson, University of California, San Diego

Michael Davidson is an assistant professor with the School of Global Policy and Strategy and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. His teaching and research focus on the engineering implications and institutional conflicts of deploying low-carbon energy at scale, specializing in applications to China, India, and the United States.

Eugenie Dugoua, London School of Economics

Eugenie Dugoua is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics, where she works on topics at the intersection of environmental issues and innovation and technological change. Her research interests lie in understanding how policies and institutions can influence innovation and science to make economic development sustainable for the environment and societies.

Morgan Edwards, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Morgan Edwards is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs. Her research and teaching focus on just energy responses to the climate crisis across policymaking scales. Her current projects focus on tracking natural gas use and phaseout in electricity and buildings, modeling adoption of carbon dioxide removal technologies, and applications of satellite Earth observations to sustainable energy planning and policy.

Clara Galeazzi, Harvard University

Clara Galeazzi is a postdoctoral fellow at the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research is on the economics of energy decarbonization, including government support for energy RD&D, the effects of renewable power sector policies, infrastructure requirements for carbon-neutral technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, and the trade of natural resources and materials used in energy technologies like cobalt, lithium, and rare earth elements.

Xue Gao, University of Miami

Xue Gao is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Miami. Her research aims to understand the interplay between policy, politics, technology, marketplace, and society in the energy transition process at both local and global levels, using advanced machine learning techniques and large-scale datasets. She has examined policymaking and implementation, evaluation of energy programs, firms’ innovation and entrepreneurship in renewable energy, and the justice and equity dimensions of the energy transition.

Michelle Graff, Cleveland State University

Michelle Graff is an assistant professor at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and a faculty affiliate at the Energy Justice Lab at Indiana University. Her research focuses on energy and society, notably residential energy insecurity, the administration of energy assistance programs and policies, and the implications of the clean energy transition on vulnerable communities.

Ryan Hanna, University of California, San Diego

Ryan Hanna is an assistant research scientist in the Center for Energy Research at the University of California, San Diego and an affiliate of its Deep Decarbonization Initiative.  His research interests include energy systems analysis, deep decarbonization, and energy system transitions to zero carbon with a focus on economic modeling of microgrids and technical assessments of direct air capture.  He also contributes to work on the political economy of carbon capture and storage and on human behavioral responses that address climate change.

Kathleen Kennedy, University of Maryland

Kathleen Kennedy is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability. Her research focuses on cleantech innovation and how to represent scale-up trajectories of new technologies in integrated assessment modeling.

Eleftheria Kontou, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Eleftheria Kontou is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on sustainable and electrified transportation systems planning and management, developing quantitative models and data-driven solutions to emerging mobility challenges.

Priyank Lathwal, Harvard University

Priyank Lathwal is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research looks at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy systems while exploring climate and environmental justice issues, particularly in the United States and South Asia. He also consults for the World Bank’s Transport Global Practice, where he leads a research program on decarbonizing maritime shipping.

Mirko Musa, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Mirko Musa is a research scientist in the Water Resource Science and Engineering Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research concentrates on the interaction between hydrokinetic turbines and the surrounding physical environment, investigating how water power production can be made more sustainable while continuously pursuing its technological advancement.

Destenie Nock, Carnegie Mellon University

Destenie Nock is an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie-Mellon University. She creates optimization and decision analysis tools which evaluate the sustainability, equity, and reliability of power systems in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. She has pioneered the development of algorithms to identify hidden forms of energy poverty.

Alejandro Nuñez-Jimenez, Harvard University

Alejandro Nunez-Jimenez is a postdoctoral fellow at the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. His work investigates the role of hydrogen in the decarbonization of energy systems across different countries with a focus on technology policy, economics, and geopolitics. This research stream is embedded in a broader interest in the influence of technological change on energy policies.

Eric G. O’Rear, Rhodium Group

Eric G. O’Rear is a senior analyst with Rhodium Group’s Energy & Climate practice. His research explores early-stage technology deployment and economic analyses. His areas of expertise include energy/environmental policy analysis, energy system modeling, as well as building sustainability and resilience.

Silvana Ovaitt, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Silvana Ovaitt is a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory working with the performance and reliability group on bifacial photovoltaic (PV) technology’s optical and electrical performance and modeling. Her research includes characterization and energy/optics simulation, and she also develops open-source tools and research to measure circular economy pathways for photovoltaics.

Sivaranjani Seetharaman, Purdue University

Sivaranjani Seetharaman is an assistant professor in the School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University. Her research centers on algorithms to enable reliable, safe, and optimal operation of power and energy systems, transportation networks, and interdependent infrastructures.

Jingjing Zhang, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Jingjing Zhang is a project scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her research interests lie at the intersection of engineering and public policy, addressing distinct governance settings and industry structures, and how they impact the uptake of sustainable innovations by both people and organizations. Key innovations in sustainable built environments include passive houses, net-zero energy buildings, sustainable building material and construction, renewable energy, and energy storage.

Qianru Zhu, Electric Power Research Institute

Qianru Zhu is an engineer/scientist in the Energy Systems and Climate Analysis Group at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). She supports the development of EPRI’s REGEN model and research on energy systems analysis, integrated planning, and climate resilience analysis. In prior work, she analyzed climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies at diverse scales by applying optimization, risk analysis, and techno-economic modeling frameworks.

Program Planning Committee

  • Anna P. Goldstein, Director of Impact, Prime Coalition
  • David M. Hart, Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University; and Director, Center for Clean Energy Innovation, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
  • Morgan Bazilian, Professor and Director, Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines
  • Sanya Carley, Professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
  • Gabriel Chan, Associate Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
  • Joanna Lewis, Associate Professor, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Timothy Lieuwen, Professor and Executive Director, Strategic Energy Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Gregory Nemet, Professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • David Popp, Professor, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • Tobias Schmidt, Professor and Director, Institute of Science, Technology and Policy, ETH Zürich
  • Leah Stokes, Associate Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California Santa Barbara
  • David Victor, Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California San Diego
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