MIT Energy Initiative

About the MIT Energy Initiative

MIT Energy Initiative

Linking science, innovation, and policy to transform the world’s energy systems

The MIT Energy Initiative is MIT’s hub for energy research, education, and outreach. Through these three pillars, we help develop the technologies and solutions that will deliver clean, affordable, and plentiful sources of energy. Our mission is to create low- and no-carbon solutions that will efficiently and sustainably meet global energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts, dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating climate change.

Our first pillar—research—pairs world-class research teams from across the Institute with MITEI’s government and industry members to respond to specific energy challenges. Through our Low-Carbon Energy Centers, currently under development, companies and government entities can join to advance research through these consortia focused on particular technology areas: carbon capture, utilization, and storage; electric power systems; energy bioscience; energy storage; materials for energy and extreme environments; advanced nuclear energy systems; nuclear fusion; and solar energy. MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers are a key element of MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change. Two studies currently underway, Utility of the Future and Mobility of the Future, are examples of MITEI consortium research that brings together academia, industry, and government to explore pathways for meeting future needs of the electric grid and transportation sector, respectively.

Our second pillar is education. MITEI created and administers the interdisciplinary Energy Studies Minor for undergraduates. Through this program and other initiatives such as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program in energy and the graduate Energy Fellows program, MIT educates the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers who will help solve our energy challenges. Our graduates have gone on to exciting careers in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors.

MITEI’s third pillar is outreach—providing in-depth, high-quality analysis about current energy topics for policymakers, industry leaders, and the public. Our “Future of…” studies are produced by multidisciplinary teams of MIT faculty and researchers, and are an integral part of MITEI’s outreach activities. In May 2015, we released The Future of Solar Energy, the seventh report in the “Future of…” series. Each report examines the role of a specific energy source in meeting future energy demand under carbon dioxide emissions constraints. Additionally, MITEI publishes Energy Futures, a magazine of energy research and other energy activities at MIT.

Within MIT, we foster a sense of community among those interested in energy, and provide opportunities including funding opportunities for faculty and students, supporting student-led energy groups, and hosting events with thought leaders across the energy spectrum.

Executive Leadership

Robert Armstrong Robert Armstrong Director

MIT Energy Initiative

Robert C. Armstrong is MITEI’s director and the Chevron professor of Chemical Engineering. A member of the MIT faculty since 1973, Armstrong served as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1996 to 2007. His research interests include polymer fluid mechanics, rheology of complex materials, and energy.

In 2008, Armstrong was elected into the National Academy of Engineering for conducting outstanding research on non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, co-authoring landmark textbooks, and providing leadership in chemical engineering education. Armstrong has received the Warren K. Lewis Award and the Professional Progress Award in 1992, both from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the 2006 Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, which is devoted to the study of the science of deformation and flow of matter.

Armstrong was the guest editor for the summer issue (2015) of the National Academy of Engineering’s publication, The Bridge, which focused on energy, the environment, and climate change. In the Guest Editor’s note, he wrote about the challenges of meeting energy demands in environmentally responsible ways. Armstrong was a member of the Future of Solar Energy study group and co-edited Game Changers: Energy on the Move with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz.

Martha Broad Martha Broad Executive Director

MIT Energy Initiative

Martha Broad, MITEI’s executive director, manages MITEI’s finance, communications, education, events, and operations teams. In addition, she collaborates with DOE to design, manage, and host the annual Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Women in Clean Energy Symposium and serves as a C3E Ambassador. With MITEI nearly two years, Broad came from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), where as part of the senior management, she oversaw programs and studies that led to the commercialization of various clean energy technologies. She also conceived and implemented the center’s framework for university partnerships. With her help in leveraging universities and public and private partners, MassCEC facilitated the state’s successful installation of hundreds of megawatts of wind and solar systems. In the past, Broad worked with MITEI on joint initiatives and, earlier in her carer, she was a research associate for the MIT Center for Coordination Science.

Louis Carranza Louis Carranza Associate Director

MIT Energy Initiative

Louis Carranza was previously vice president for strategic development at IHS, where he worked for 17 years. There, he served as executive director and co-chair of CERAWeek – one of the top five corporate leader conferences in the world – and conceived and implemented the CERAWeek partnership program. He was also co-director of the IHS scenario planning initiative. Earlier at CERA, Carranza was responsible for managing the firm’s global power practice.

Emily Dahl Emily Dahl Director of Communications

MIT Energy Initiative

Emily Dahl has worked at the intersection of energy, sustainability, and policy communications for more than 10 years. At MIT Energy Initiative, she leads the communications team, which is responsible for public and media relations, digital media, publications, articles, and other content related to MITEI’s research, education, and outreach efforts. Emily’s background includes lead communications and digital media roles with Massachusetts quasi-public agencies, regional and national clean energy organizations, and political campaigns.

Antje Danielson Antje Danielson Director of Education

MIT Energy Initiative

Antje Danielson joined MITEI after eight years at Tufts University, where she directed the Tufts Institute of the Environment and was an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health. Her areas of interest are energy education and carbon capture and storage. She is also interested in research on conditions that underpin interdisciplinary research and collaborations.

Her previous roles include deputy director for sustainability at the Centre for Research into Earth Energy Systems at Durham University in the UK, where she initiated a carbon capture and storage working group. Danielson is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council for Science and the Environment and has also served as President of the Council for Environmental Deans and Directors. She received teaching awards from Harvard University and an Exceptional Contribution Award from Durham University. In 1999/2000 she co-founded the car-sharing company Zipcar.

Antje holds a PhD in geochemistry from the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany.

Francis O'Sullivan Francis O'Sullivan Director of Research

MIT Energy Initiative

Dr. Francis O’Sullivan is Director of Research for the MIT Energy Initiative, and a Senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He works on topics related to energy technologies, policy and economics. His current research is focused on unconventional oil and gas resources, particularly the productivity and economics of North America’s shale resources. He also studies global gas market dynamics, and how power systems are evolving to accommodate large-scale generation from renewable resources, particular solar power.

He has written and spoken widely on these topics, and has made presentations to the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the EIA, the EPA, the Brookings Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Governors’ Association, the National Association of Regulated Utility Commissioners, at CERAWeek, the American Physical Society, the American Geophysical Union and to a range of other academic, policy and industry forums. He is a lead author of both the 2011 MIT Future of Natural Gas study, and the 2015 MIT Future of Solar Energy study.

Dr. O’Sullivan is a member of the U.S. National Academies’ Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, and is a Senior Associate with the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has also served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s working group on methane emissions and as a member of the scientific advisory board for the Environmental Defense Fund’s methane emissions campaign.

Prior to joining MIT, Dr. O’Sullivan was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he worked on engagements that included investment analysis and risk management, strategic planning, and operations in the private equity, oil and gas, electric utility, and renewable energy sectors.

Robert Stoner Robert Stoner Deputy Director for Science and Technology

MIT Energy Initiative

Robert Stoner, MITEI’s deputy director for Science and Technology, also directs the Tata Center for Technology and Design — an MIT graduate program that trains future engineering and business leaders to invent technologies that address unmet needs and challenges in India and elsewhere in the developing world. Stoner also served as a study group member of the recently announced MIT Future of Solar Energy study.

He is the inventor of numerous optical and electronic devices and has an extensive international business background, having held senior positions at Intel and Zygo Corporations, and founded technology companies in the United States and Europe. He was also an adjunct professor of Engineering at Brown University from 1995 through 2002. Immediately prior to joining MIT, he served in senior roles at the Clinton Foundation in Africa and India.

Governing Board

The Governing Board provides input to MITEI leadership on overall direction and member activities and serves as the Program Committee for the Energy Research Seed Fund. The Board meets twice a year—in the spring to review seed fund progress and proposals and in the fall at the time of the annual MITEI Research Conference. Founding and Sustaining members each have a seat on the MITEI Governing Board with the directors of MITEI and the MIT Energy Council.

Energy Council

The Energy Council helps shape MITEI’s research, education, and outreach directions.

Martha Broad Martha Broad Executive Director

MIT Energy Initiative

Robert Stoner Robert Stoner Deputy Director for Science and Technology

MIT Energy Initiative

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee meets annually to review MITEI’s progress, provide strategic input, and report to the offices of the MIT President and Provost. MITEI Founding Members, and rotating Sustaining Members have a seat on the Executive Committee.

External Advisory Board

The External Advisory Board (EAB), composed of industry, academic, nonprofit, and public sector leaders, is chaired by George Shultz and provides oversight to MITEI. The views and guidance of the EAB greatly assist MITEI in maximizing its impact in helping to meet the world’s energy needs, reduce the environmental impacts of energy production and consumption, and influence public discourse on energy and the environment. The EAB meets annually each fall, with its ninth meeting being held in October 2015.

Roger Altman
Executive Chairman, Evercore Partners

Norman Augustine
Retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin

Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr.
Chairman, SD Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and Stephen Bechtel Fund

Frances Beinecke
President, Natural Resources Defense Council

Roberto Casula
Chief Development, Operations, and Technology Officer, Eni S.p.A.

Arunas A. Chesonis
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sweetwater Energy

William Colton
ExxonMobil Corporation

Rafael del Pino
Chairman, Grupo Ferrovial SA

Susan Eisenhower
President, Eisenhower Group and Chairman Emeritus, Eisenhower Institute

Walter B. Hewlett
Chairman, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Ahmad Al Khowaiter
Chief Technology Officer, Saudi Aramco

Robert B. Millard
Chairman, MIT Corporation

Mario J. Molina
Professor, University of California, San Diego

Sam Nunn
Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative

John S. Reed
Former Chairman, MIT

Güler Sabanci
Chairman and Managing Director, Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS

Arthur J. Samberg
Manager, Hawkes Financial Services LLC

Yuri Sebgregts
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Shell Global Solutions Int. BV

Philip R. Sharp
President, Resources for the Future

George P. Shultz (Chair)
Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution

Robert M. Solow
Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT

Thomas F. Stephenson
Partner, Sequoia Capital

Ratan N. Tata
Chairman, Tata Sons Limited

Daniel Yergin
Chairman, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates

Administration

Administration Staff Members
Alexandra GoodwinSenior Administrative Assistant to the Associate Director and Director of Research
Caleb LarsonSenior Administrative Assistant
Patty OllenAdministrative Assistant to Member Services
Carolyn SinnesCoordinator, ENI-MIT Alliance
Peggy UddenSenior Administrative Assistant to the Director

Communications

Communications Staff Members
Emily DahlDirector of Communications
Debra KedianEvent Planner
Francesca McCaffreyCommunications Coordinator and Assistant Editor, Energy Futures
Jenn SchlickWeb Manager
Jessica SmithProject Coordinator
Nancy StaufferEditor, Energy Futures

Education

Education Staff Members
Antje DanielsonDirector of Education
Ann Greaney-WilliamsAcademic Coordinator

Finance

Finance Staff Members
Jackie CenFinancial Assistant II
Natalie LiangSenior Fiscal Officer
Devin Mead-WardSRS Financial Administrator
Jummy NaharFinancial Assistant II
Kwokin OuFinancial Assistant II
Anna ThomasSRS Financial Administrator

HR

HR Staff Members
Patricia ConnellPersonnel Manager

IT

IT Staff Members
Patrick ConnellySystems Administrator

Member Services

Member Services Staff Members
Louis CarranzaAssociate Director
Lihong (Wendy) DuanManager of Asia-Pacific Partnership Program
Brian HodderSpecial Projects Manager
Aruna JoglekarMember Program Manager

Research

Research Staff Members
Pablo Duenas-MartinezPostdoctoral Associate
Randall FieldExecutive Director, Conversion Research Program
Howard HerzogSenior Research Engineer
Raanan MillerAssociate Director, SkTech/MIT Energy Initiative
Frank O’SullivanDirector of Research
Apurba SaktiResearch Scientist
Nidhi SantenPostdoctoral Associate
Karen Tapia-AhumadaResearch Scientist

Fiscal Office Assignments

Fiscal Office Assignments
Department NameAssigned to
Aeronautics & AstronauticsNatalie Liang
ArchitectureNatalie Liang
Biological EngineeringAnna Thomas
BiologyDevin Mead-Ward
Brain & Cognitive SciencesNatalie Liang
Center for Global Change ScienceAnna Thomas
Chemical Engineering (A-G)Anna Thomas
Chemical Engineering (H-O)Natalie Liang
Chemical Engineering (P-Z)Devin Mead-Ward
Chemistry (A-M)Natalie Liang
Chemistry (N-Z)Devin Mead-Ward
Civil & Environmental Engineering (A-G)Devin Mead-Ward
Civil & Environmental Engineering (H-O)Anna Thomas
Civil & Environmental Engineering (P-Z)Natalie Liang
Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL)Anna Thomas
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary SciencesAnna Thomas
EconomicsDevin Mead-Ward
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (A-G)Anna Thomas
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (H-O)Devin Mead-Ward
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (P-Z)Natalie Liang
Engineering Systems DivisionAnna Thomas
Institute for Medical Engineering & ScienceAnna Thomas
Institute for Soldier NanotechnologiesAnna Thomas
Lab For Information & Decision Systems (LIDS)Anna Thomas
Materials Science & Engineering (A-G)Natalie Liang
Materials Science & Engineering (H-Z)Devin Mead-Ward
MathematicsDevin Mead-Ward
Mechanical Engineering (A-G)Natalie Liang
Mechanical Engineering (H-O)Devin Mead-Ward
Mechanical Engineering (P-Z)Anna Thomas
Nuclear Science & EngineeringDevin Mead-Ward
PhysicsNatalie Liang
Plasma Science & FusionDevin Mead-Ward
Media LabNatalie Liang
MIT Energy InitiativeDevin Mead-Ward
Political ScienceAnna Thomas
SloanNatalie Liang
Urban StudiesNatalie Liang

MITEI is affiliated with faculty members in several MIT centers, departments, and laboratories pursuing interdisciplinary energy and environmental activities. MITEI supports the financial administration of certain projects and collaborates on research and education activities with these organizations.

MITEI’s continuing work on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies focuses on three areas: assessment, education/outreach, and research. MITEI Senior Research Engineer Howard Herzog leads this effort. Active internal collaborations include Ahmed Ghoniem (Mechanical Engineering) on oxy-combustion and gasification technologies, Alan Hatton (Chemical Engineering) on stimulus-response sorbents for CO2 capture, Ruben Juanes (Civil and Environmental Engineering) on geologic storage modeling, and John Parsons (Sloan School of Management) on CCS regulatory frameworks and business organization.

The core of the program is the Carbon Sequestration Initiative (CSI), an industrial consortium on carbon management. The 12 members are Alstom Power, American Petroleum Institute, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Duke Energy, Electric Power Research Institute, Entergy, ExxonMobil, Shell, Southern Company, Suncor, and Vattenfall. The initiative funds research and hosts an annual two-day Carbon Sequestration Forum to examine critical technical and policy issues related to CCS.

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Established in 1977, CEEPR funds research on energy and environmental policy to support improved decision making by government and industry. It is directed by Professor Christopher Knittel and jointly sponsored by MITEI, the Department of Economics, and the Sloan School of Management.

Affiliated faculty and research staff as well as international research associates contribute to empirical research on policy issues related to coal, oil, gas, and electricity markets; nuclear power; transport; energy infrastructure; investment finance and risk management; and environmental and carbon constraints. CEEPR cooperates closely with associates in government and industry from around the globe to enhance the relevance of its research.

Output includes working papers, policy briefs, and research input; larger, interdisciplinary studies; two annual research workshops in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and a European energy policy conference organized jointly with the Energy Policy Research Group at the University of Cambridge.

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The CECP is an alliance between the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and the Institute for Energy, Environment and Economy at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. At MIT, the CECP is associated with and supported by the MIT Energy Initiative. The goal of the CECP is to analyze the impact of existing and proposed energy and climate policies in China on technology, energy use, the environment and economic welfare by applying — and, where necessary, developing — both quantitative and qualitative analysis tools.

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The goal of the Climate CoLab is to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address global climate change.

Inspired by systems like Wikipedia and Linux, the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence has developed this crowdsourcing platform where citizens work with experts and each other to create, analyze, and select detailed proposals for what to do about climate change.

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The MIT Energy Club is focused on the creation of a tight-knit energy community at MIT. The club holds weekly events, including document-based energy discussion groups and the MIT Energy Lecture Series, alongside signature events such as the annual MIT EnergyNight and the MIT Energy Conference. The club’s emphasis is on building a community at MIT with a deeper understanding of global energy trends and challenges through open, fact-based discussion.

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The Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change integrates natural and social science to study the interactions among human and Earth systems to provide a sound foundation of scientific knowledge. Co-directed by Professors John Reilly and Ronald Prinn, the MIT Joint Program combines traditional strengths in science and economics to aid decision-makers in confronting the interwoven challenges of future food, energy, water, climate and air pollution issues, among others. The 23-year-old program is recognized as a world-leading center for integrated assessment of global change.

The program has developed unique analytical capabilities for investigating the complex connections among human activities and the global environment as well as associated uncertainties. At the heart of this work is the MIT Integrated Global System Modeling (IGSM) framework. This linked set of computer models analyzes interactions among human and Earth systems, enabling the program to undertake quantitative analyses of global changes and their social and environmental implications. A team of faculty, professional research staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students carries out the work and communicates the research results, analysis methods, and assessment conclusions to a broad range of audiences.

Through publications, presentations, workshops, and briefings, the program’s work is conveyed to policy makers in the United States and in other countries, industry leaders, other analysis groups in the climate community, environmental organizations, journalists, students, educators, and the public at large. The effort is supported by ten U.S. federal agencies and an international consortium of industrial, foreign government, and foundation sponsors in North America, Europe, Japan, and China.

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Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives MITEI’s research in the area of integrated planning for local and regional energy infrastructures is centered in the Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives (AGREA), led by Stephen Connors. Collaborations include the MIT-Portugal Program and ESD’s Center for Complex Engineering Systems with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), as well as MITEI’s own projects.

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MITEI continues to host the “MultiScale Materials Science for Energy and Environment,” an international joint unit or “UMI” (Unite Mixte Internationale) between the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and MIT. The UMI, led by Director Roland Pellenq and Co-Director Franz Ulm, plays a critical role in MIT’s ability to respond to the research challenges of sustainable shale gas exploration. Specifically, in collaboration with Shell, Schlumberger, MIT, and the X-SHALE project, UMI carbon scientists and Materials Science and Civil Engineering faculty are leading the development of the fundamental nanoscale knowledge required for a sustainable asset management of shale gas.

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In August 2013, the Office of Executive Vice President and Treasurer (EVPT) established MIT’s first Office of Sustainability reporting directly to EVPT Israel Ruiz. Julie Newman, director of Sustainability, and her staff are spearheading an expansion and coordination of campus energy and sustainability programs across campus and in the community. MITEI and the Office of Sustainability are continuing the already strong collaboration with the EVPT’s office and the Department of Facilities in campus energy education, faculty engagement, and student projects both inside and outside the classroom.

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MITEI hosts the Tata Center for Technology and Design. Founded in 2012 with support from the Tata Trusts, the Center’s research and education mission is to develop solutions to challenges facing resource-constrained communities globally, with an initial focus on India.

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The scope of the world’s energy problems calls for a comprehensive portfolio of responses to environmental, economic, scientific, security, and political issues. Under the MIT Energy Initiative, MIT researchers are hard at work on this portfolio, addressing alleviating immediate shortage, security, and environmental concerns.

MIT is a 501(c)(3) institution, and your gift is tax-deductible within the limitations of U.S. federal income tax laws. The Institute’s tax identification number is 04-2103594.

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Industry and Public Research Collaborators

MITEI’s Member Program contributes to a critical link in the energy innovation chain — the pairing of MIT’s world-class research teams with innovators in industry.

Learn about becoming a member

I’m a journalist. How can I get in touch with an MIT energy researcher?

Contact MITEI Communications.


How can I learn about becoming a member?

Contact MITEI Member Services.


How can I learn about energy education?

Contact MITEI Education.


Where can I view recordings of MITEI events, seminars and other talks online?

If a MITEI event, seminar, or other talk is being recorded, you can find the video by visiting the MITEI YouTube channel. Please note that not all MITEI events, seminars and talks are recorded, but that the YouTube channel is the most up-to-date source of MITEI video recordings.


How can I get in contact with MITEI about an energy-related topic?

If you would like to reach MITEI regarding an energy-related topic such as an invention or research project, please send us more information about your proposal. Please note that we receive many inquiries about inventions, and unfortunately MITEI’s researchers are unable to review every proposal.


I am an inventor. How do I get in touch with someone at MITEI about my energy-related invention?

We receive many inquiries about inventions, and unfortunately MITEI researchers are unable to review these proposals.


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