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. Another recent multidisciplinary report, Utility of the Future, was released in December 2016 to provide guidance to regulators, policymakers, and industry to enable an efficient evolution of the electric power sector. 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.
MIT Energy Initiative
Robert Armstrong directs the MIT Energy Initiative, an Institute-wide initiative at MIT linking science, technology, and policy to transform the world’s energy systems. 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 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 a member of MIT’s Future of Solar Energy study group and co-edited Game Changers: Energy on the Move with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
MIT Energy Initiative
Martha Broad, MITEI’s executive director, oversees MITEI’s finance, operations, communications and events teams that support MITEI’s research, education and outreach activities. In addition, as a member of MITEI’s leadership team, she plays a key role in managing the ongoing development of MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers. She has been an invited speaker at Chatham House’s Energy Transitions Conference, ARPA-E’s Energy Innovation Summit, the MIT Energy Conference, and other events. She serves on MIT’s Climate Action Advisory Committee for implanting the Institute’s Plan for Action on Climate Change. She also served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Decarbonizing Energy.
In addition, she spearheads MITEI’s collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy to design, manage, and host the annual Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Women in Clean Energy Symposium and serves as a C3E Ambassador.
Previously, as part of the senior management team of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), Broad led programs and studies that focused on the commercialization of clean energy technologies. By collaborating with universities and public and private partners, she helped facilitate the state’s successful installation of hundreds of megawatts of wind and solar systems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
MIT Energy Initiative
Robert Tolu has worked for 17 years in finance and previously sponsored award administration for Harvard University and Education Development Center. At MITEI, he serves as senior fiscal officer and is responsible for overseeing all financial matters, pre- and post-award, to ensure smooth operations and minimal surprises. Robert’s extensive experience includes work with the federal government, industry, and foundation funders.
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.
The Energy Council helps shape MITEI’s research, education, and outreach directions.
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.
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.
Executive Chairman,￼ Evercore Partners
Retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin
Former President, Natural Resources Defense Council
Chief Development, Operations, and Technology Officer, Eni S.p.A.
Arunas A. Chesonis
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sweetwater Energy
Rafael del Pino
Chairman, Grupo Ferrovial SA
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
Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative
John S. Reed
Former Chairman, MIT
Chairman and Managing Director, Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS
Arthur J. Samberg
Manager, Hawkes Financial Services LLC
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Shell Global Solutions International BV
Philip R. Sharp
Retired 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
Vice President for Research and Development, ExxonMobil Corporation
Ratan N. Tata
Chairman, Tata Sons Limited
Chief Digital Innovations Officer, Digital Innovation Organization, BP
Chairman, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates
|Alexandra Goodwin||Senior Administrative Assistant to the Associate Director and Director of Research|
|Caleb Larson||Senior Administrative Assistant|
|Carolyn Sinnes||Coordinator, ENI-MIT Alliance|
|Kelley Travers||Communications/Administrative Assistant|
|Peggy Udden||Senior Administrative Assistant to the Director|
|Emily Dahl||Director of Communications|
|Debra Kedian||Event Planner|
|Francesca McCaffrey||Communications Coordinator and Assistant Editor, Energy Futures|
|Jenn Schlick||Manager, Digital Projects|
|Kayla Small||Events Project Coordinator|
|Nancy Stauffer||Editor, Energy Futures|
|Antje Danielson||Director of Education|
|Rachel Shulman||Undergraduate Academic Coordinator|
|Bryan Adkison||Financial Assistant|
|Leia Grace Amarra||Fiscal Officer|
|Lepka Gagoska||Financial Assistant|
|Tiffany Greaves||Financial Assistant|
|Edith Jaehne||Fiscal Officer|
|Cherry Mui||Fiscal Officer|
|Steve Siwy||Financial Assistant|
|Robert Tolu||Senior Fiscal Officer|
|Maria Tsafoulias||Financial Assistant|
|Patricia Connell||Personnel Manager|
|Patrick Connelly||Systems Administrator|
|Louis Carranza||Associate Director|
|Lihong (Wendy) Duan||Manager of Asia-Pacific Partnership Program|
|Brian Hodder||Special Projects Manager|
|Aruna Joglekar||Member Program Manager|
|Pablo Duenas-Martinez||Postdoctoral Associate|
|Randall Field||Executive Director, Mobility of the Future|
|Howard Gruenspecht||Senior Energy Economist|
|Howard Herzog||Senior Research Engineer|
|Raanan Miller||Associate Director, SkTech/MIT Energy Initiative|
|Frank O’Sullivan||Director of Research|
|Apurba Sakti||Research Scientist|
|Karen Tapia-Ahumada||Research Scientist|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Advancing energy research and education is a main priority of the Campaign as part of the focus on improving the health of the planet.
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.
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.
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.
I’m a non-MIT student/researcher who would like to work with MIT faculty on energy issues. Are there opportunities available for internships and jobs?
MIT faculty work on a very wide range of energy research topics, and the best way to figure out whether there could be opportunities is to research specific departments and faculty members, and inquire through those channels. You can learn more about faculty members affiliated with MITEI here. To see opportunities with MITEI, visit MIT’s careers page and select “MIT Energy Initiative” for a department.
I’m a researcher at another academic institution. 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.
I’m 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.
Have a question not answered here?