About the 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—connecting faculty, students, and staff to develop the knowledge, technologies, and solutions that will deliver clean, affordable, and plentiful sources of energy. Our mission is to develop low- and no-carbon solutions that will efficiently, affordably, and sustainably meet global energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts, dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating climate change. Within MIT, we strive to foster a sense of community through our educational programs, events, and other activities.

Research

We facilitate collaborations among world-class research teams from across MIT with government stakeholders and industry and NGO members, to respond to specific energy challenges. MITEI and our members support hundreds of research projects at MIT, including those awarded through the MITEI Seed Fund Program for innovative early-stage energy research projects.

As a vital component of MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change and MITEI’s research program, the Low-Carbon Energy Centers provide platforms for our members to work with us to advance research and development in key technology areas and energy systems for addressing climate change, from solar energy to electric power systems, energy storage, and mobility, to name a few. Additional research is being conducted through the Energy at Scale Center, a collaboration with the MIT Joint Program, and the MIT Laboratory for Innovation in Fusion Technologies (LIFT).

To explore the opportunities and challenges for key energy technologies and sources and energy-related systems and sectors, MITEI conducts comprehensive, multidisciplinary analyses for thought leaders, policymakers, regulators, and industry decision-makers. Our most recent reports on in our series on energy technologies and sources are The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World and The Future of Solar EnergyThe Future of Energy Storage is currently underway. The two reports to date in MITEI’s series of studies on energy-related systems and sectors are Insights into Future Mobility (2019) and Utility of the Future (2016).

Education

MITEI leads energy education efforts at MIT and has engaged thousands of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students through sponsored research opportunities and other programs—preparing the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to collaborate on solutions to global energy challenges.

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, the graduate Energy Fellows program, and a new series of online energy classes, we prepare future energy innovators, researchers, and policymakers to lead and implement the transition to a low-carbon economy while addressing climate change.

Our graduates have gone on to exciting careers in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors. In addition to academic programs and funding for research, opportunities for students include workshops and events to help develop skills and explore career paths. We also support student-led energy groups.

Outreach

MITEI fosters dialogue within the research community at MIT and beyond, and with industry, NGOs, and government. In addition to informing public policy through research reports and related events, we provide the public with context on current energy issues through events on timely energy topics—with speakers from within MIT as well as outside experts. We also facilitate opportunities for MIT faculty and staff to participate in external events.

Our communications team highlights the work of the MIT energy community through media articles and across digital and print platforms—such as our newsletter, social media channels, podcast, and our twice-annual Energy Futures magazine.

What We Do


More Information

OverviewDownload

Low-Carbon Energy CentersDownload | More information

Impact ReportDownload

Executive Leadership

Robert C. 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 and has directed MITEI since 2013, after serving as the organization’s deputy director from 2007-2013 with founding director Ernest Moniz. His research is focused on pathways to a low-carbon energy future.

Armstrong has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2020) and the National Academy of Engineering (2008). He received the 2006 Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, which is devoted to the study of the science of deformation and flow of matter, and the Warren K. Lewis Award and the Professional Progress Award in 1992, both from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Armstrong was a member of MIT’s Future of Natural Gas and Future of Solar Energy study groups. He advised the teams that developed MITEI’s most recent reports, The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World (2018) and Insights into Future Mobility (2019), and is co-chairing the new MITEI study, The Future of Storage. He co-edited Game Changers: Energy on the Move with former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz.

Robert Stoner Deputy Director for Science and Technology

MIT Energy Initiative

Robert Stoner is the deputy director for science and technology at MITEI, founding director of the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design, and faculty co-director of the MITEI Low-Carbon Energy Center for Electric Power Systems. He is currently a member of the MIT Energy Council, the Science and Technology Committee of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the Technical Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Science, Technology, and Energy Policy. He is also a member of the Rockefeller Foundation-funded Global Commission to End Energy Poverty, and serves as its secretary.

Stoner is the inventor of numerous computational and ultrafast optical measurement techniques, and has built and managed successful technology firms in the semiconductor, IT, and optics industries. From 2007 through 2009, he lived and worked in Africa and India while serving in a variety of senior roles within the Clinton Foundation, including as the CEO of the Clinton Development Initiative, and director of the Clinton Climate Initiative for Africa. His present research at MIT focuses on energy storage technology and policy, and the design and optimization of energy systems and business models in the developing world. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Queen’s University and PhD from Brown University in condensed matter physics.

Martha Broad Executive Director

MIT Energy Initiative

Martha Broad is MITEI’s executive director. As part of the leadership team, she works to link science, innovation and policy to transform the world’s energy systems. She has a track record of successfully partnering with business, government and nonprofit stakeholders to support the clean energy transition. At MITEI, she works closely with member companies who collaborate with MIT researchers on a spectrum of topics, including the Low-Carbon Energy Centers.

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.

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 Director of Communications

MIT Energy Initiative

Emily Dahl has worked at the intersection of energy, sustainability, and policy engagement for more than 15 years. She leads MITEI’s communications and events team, which develops and implements the organization’s engagement and outreach strategy—collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to elevate MIT’s low-carbon energy research and education efforts; create opportunities for dialogues among MIT researchers, students, and outside experts; and inform public policy. Emily has previously worked to advance climate, clean energy, and economic development programs at Massachusetts quasi-public agencies and regional and national clean energy and environmental organizations. She has also worked as a staffer and consultant for political campaigns. She is a member of the Mass Audubon Council and an advisory board member of Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary.

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.

Robert Tolu Senior Fiscal Officer

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.

Energy Council

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

Robert C. Armstrong Director

MIT Energy Initiative

Angela Belcher Professor

Biological Engineering

Martha Broad Executive Director

MIT Energy Initiative

John Deutch Institute Professor

Chemistry

Leon Glicksman Professor

Architecture

Bradford Hager Professor

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science

Christopher Knittel Professor

Sloan School of Management

Robert Stoner Deputy Director for Science and Technology

MIT Energy Initiative

Yang Shao-Horn Professor

Mechanical Engineering

Energy Education Task Force

MITEI’s Energy Education Task Force guides the development of energy education at MIT. The task force meets regularly throughout the academic year and includes faculty from all five schools at MIT, as well as graduate and undergraduate student representatives. MITEI’s education team members support the task force by implementing energy education programs.

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

An External Advisory Board composed of industry, academic, nonprofit, and public sector leaders provides oversight to the Initiative. The views and guidance of the board 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 inform public discourse on energy and the environment. The board meets annually each fall.

Norman Augustine (Chair)
Retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin

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

Frances Beinecke
Past 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

Rafael del Pino
Chairman, Grupo Ferrovial SA

Susan Eisenhower
Chairman Emeritus, Eisenhower Institute

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

Susan Hockfield
President Emerita and Professor of Neuroscience, MIT

Robert B. Millard
Chairman, MIT Corporation

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

Ernest J. Moniz
Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics & Engineering Systems emeritus, MIT

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 Sebregts
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Shell Global Solutions International BV

Philip R. Sharp
Retired President, Resources for the Future

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

Robert M. Solow
Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT

Thomas F. Stephenson
Partner, Sequoia Capital

Vijay Swarup
Vice President for Research and Development, ExxonMobil Corporation

Ratan N. Tata
Chairman, Tata Sons Limited

Ellen Williams
Distinguished University Professor, Department of Physics, University of Maryland

Daniel Yergin
Vice Chairman, IHS Markit

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.

MITEI is affiliated with faculty members in a number of 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.
Established in 1977, the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) promotes research on energy and environmental policy to support improved decision making by government and industry. It is directed by Professor Christopher Knittel (MIT Sloan) and jointly sponsored by MITEI, the Department of Economics, and the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Affiliated faculty and research staff as well as international research associates contribute to empirical research on policy issues related to electricity markets, gas, oil, and coal 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.

CEEPR produces working papers, policy briefs, and research input for larger, interdisciplinary studies; two annual research workshops in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and an international energy policy conference organized jointly with the Energy Policy Research Group at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

The E2e project is a collaborative program initiated by Knittel, Professor Michael Greenstone (formerly at MIT, now at the University of Chicago), and Professor Catherine Wolfram of the University of California, Berkeley, to leverage cutting-edge scientific and economic insights on the causes of the persistent energy efficiency gap. E2e focuses these talents on solving one of the most perplexing energy questions today and communicating those findings to policymakers and the public. E2e’s research generates rigorous and accurate evaluations of energy efficiency technologies and programs using state-of-the-art empirical methodologies.

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.
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.
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.
MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI) advances science, engineering, policy and social science, design, the humanities, and the arts towards a people-centric and planet-positive future. ESI pursues this mission by mobilizing students, faculty, and staff across MIT in partnerships for interdisciplinary education, research, and convening.
The Global Commission to End Energy Poverty (GCEEP) was conceived to convene and help forge an actionable consensus among the many public and private actors who have a stake in bringing about universal access to modern energy services. GCEEP’s ultimate objective as project developers, agency heads, regulators, leaders of development finance institutions, and private and public utilities is to present a compelling vision that can help attract investment into the energy sector of lowaccess countries and dramatically accelerate change.
Led by co-directors Professor Ronald G. Prinn (EAPS) and Senior Lecturer John Reilly (MIT Sloan), the Joint Program’s integrated team of natural and social scientists studies the interactions among human and Earth systems to provide a sound foundation of scientific knowledge to aid decision-makers in confronting interwoven challenges including future food, energy, water, climate, and air pollution.

This mission is accomplished through:

  • Quantitative analyses of global changes and their social and environmental implications, achieved by employing and constantly improving an Integrated Global System Modeling framework;
  • Independent assessments of potential responses to global risks through mitigation and adaptation measures;
  • Outreach efforts to analysis groups, policymaking communities, and the public; and
  • The cultivation of a new generation of researchers with the skills to tackle complex global challenges in the future.

Building on the twin pillars of science and policy, the program was founded in 1991 as a joint effort of two distinct groups: the MIT Center for Global Change Science and the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, under the administrative auspices of MITEI.

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.
MITEI continues to host the MultiScale Materials Science for Energy and Environment Laboratory, an international joint unit (UMI) between France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and MIT at the center of a strategic association covering research, training, and education in partnership with industry. The UMI aims at “bottom up” simulation and experimental verification of properties of complex multiscale materials—from atomic-scale to microns, and from nanoseconds to years. Materials with important technological, economic, energy, and environmental applications are addressed, including cement, ceramics, nuclear fuels, steels, and geo-materials. The UMI hosts French researchers at MIT, each for multiple years, and is seen as a gateway to further collaboration between CNRS and MIT. The UMI, which is housed at MIT under the auspices of MITEI, has been designated by the CNRS as the lead unit of an international research network consisting of multiple institutions engaged in materials science in the United States as well as in Europe. In July 2019, MIT, CNRS, and Aix Marseille Université held a symposium in Marseille to highlight past accomplishments of this collaboration; we are working on a renewal for another five years.
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.
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.

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.

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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.

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

MIT Human Resources maintains a list of open positions at the Energy Initiative, and is the primary contact for all applications and questions.

View open positions

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. Read the full nondiscrimination policy.

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. MIT Human Resources maintains a list of open positions at the Energy Initiative, and is the primary contact for all applications and questions.

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.

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