Since its inception in late 2006, the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) has become MIT’s hub for energy research, education, and outreach. Through these three pillars, MITEI plays a catalytic role in accelerating responses to the many challenges facing our global energy system. MITEI’s mission is to develop low- and no-carbon solutions to efficiently, affordably, and sustainably meet global energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts, dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating climate change.
To advance this mission, MITEI brings together researchers from across the Institute and facilitates collaborations with industry and government. MITEI and its member companies and organizations support hundreds of research projects across the Institute, including those awarded through the MITEI Seed Fund Program for innovative early-stage energy research projects.
As a vital component of MIT’s Climate Action Plan for the Decade and MITEI’s research program, the Future Energy Systems Center presents opportunities for faculty, students, industry, and government to advance research and development in key technology areas and energy subsector systems for curbing climate change. Through the Center, researchers conduct integrated analysis of the energy system, providing insights into the complex multisectoral transformations that will alter the power and transportation systems, industry, and built environment. The Future Energy Systems Center continues the technoeconomic and systems-oriented research previously under MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers.
The Initiative also delivers comprehensive analyses for thought leaders, policy makers, and regulators, such as the “Future of” series of reports. The most recent, The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World, was published in September 2018 with the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department. A new study, The Future of Storage, is now underway and focuses on the role of energy storage in making electricity systems cleaner, more efficient, and more affordable. Another series of reports examines rapidly changing segments of the energy sector; the 2019 Insights into Future Mobility report, the product of the multi-year Mobility of the Future study, explores scenarios for carbon reductions within the personal mobility segment of the transportation sector. The other report in this series, Utility of the Future (2016) provides guidance to policy makers, regulators, and industry on emerging issues in the electric power sector, using a neutral framework within which to evaluate the economic, regulatory, and technological impacts of the ongoing evolution of the power sector worldwide.
MITEI leads Institute energy education efforts and has engaged thousands of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students, incorporating bringing current research developments and results into teaching and facilitating applied learning experiences for students through sponsored research opportunities and other programs. These programs and experiences prepare the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and policy makers to collaborate on solutions to global energy challenges. Learning opportunities include the Energy Studies Minor, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program in energy, short modules during the Independent Activities Period, an energy-focused first-year pre-orientation program, the graduate Society of Energy Fellows, and a new series of online energy classes to reach a global audience. Faculty associated with MITEI help shape energy education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels by teaching, advising, and developing new curricula.
MITEI’s Tata Center for Technology and Design has provided extensive support to Master’s and PhD students through fellowships sponsored by the Tata Trusts. Tata Fellows have worked throughout India, as well as in Nepal, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela, traveling at least twice a year to immerse themselves in the social, political, and economic aspects of their research in the developing world. Their experiences abroad inform their ongoing research with the goal of catalyzing positive social impact in the form of policy support and affordable products and services. Through support for these students, and through thoughtfully crafted research projects in the fields of energy, water, environment, housing, health, and agriculture, the Tata Center advances its mission of bringing technical talent and experience to bear on the challenges of the developing world.
MITEI’s outreach efforts foster dialogue within the research community; across the academic, industry, and government sectors; and provide the public with context on current energy issues. In addition to informing public policy through research reports, MITEI facilitates this exchange of information by hosting and sponsoring events on campus and by supporting faculty and staff participation in external events. The MITEI communications team also highlights the work of the MIT energy community across print and digital platforms, such as Energy Futures magazine, MITEI’s website, podcasts, and social media, as well as through media outreach.
With congratulations to outgoing MITEI Director Robert Armstrong upon his retirement after 50 years of service to the Institute, MIT Vice President for Research Maria Zuber has designated Robert Stoner, PhD, as interim director of MITEI, effective July 1, 2023. John Deutch, emeritus Institute Professor, is leading the search for a permanent director. Learn more about MITEI leadership below.
Robert Stoner is the interim director of MITEI and founding director of the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design. He was previously MITEI’s deputy director for science and technology. Stoner is currently a member of the MIT Energy Council. He also serves on the Board of Directors of, and the Science and Technology Committee of, the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, which oversees the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and as a member and secretary of the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty.
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 solutions to energy poverty, 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 Ph.D. from Brown University in condensed matter physics.
Christopher Knittel is the deputy director of policy at MITEI and the George P. Shultz Professor of Energy Economics in the Sloan School of Management MIT. He is also the director of MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, which has served as the hub for social science research on energy and the environmental since the late 1970s. Knittel is also a co-director of The E2e Project, a research initiative between MIT, UC Berkeley, and the University of Chicago, to undertake rigorous evaluation of energy efficiency investments. He joined the faculty at MIT in 2011, having taught previously at UC Davis and Boston University. At MIT, he teaches Energy Economics and Policy to undergraduates, MBA students, and graduate students from outside of the Sloan School of Management.
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 Future Energy Systems Center.
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.
Antje Danielson is the Director of Education at the MIT Energy Initiative, where she directs existing energy programs—such as the MIT Energy Studies Minor and the Energy Fellows Program—conceives and oversees the development of new programs—such as the Future of Energy Systems online MicroMasters—and engages in interdisciplinary research related to transformation systems. She co-teaches energy- and climate-related classes, and leverages her extensive international network of like-minded academic and professional colleagues to accelerate climate change related capacity building.
Prior to her position at MIT, she directed the Institute of the Environment at Tufts University, where she was also an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health. From 2005 to 2008, she was the 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’s approach to finding climate solutions is systemic, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and entrepreneurial. She advances her goals through research, education, and implementation of solutions. In 1999/2000, she co-founded the car-sharing company Zipcar.
Danielson is a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Council for Science and the Environment and has also served as President of the U.S. Council for Environmental Deans and Directors. She received teaching awards from Harvard University and an Exceptional Contribution Award from Durham University.
Randall Field is executive director of the MITEI’s Future Energy Systems Center which examines the accelerating energy transition as emerging technologies, policies, demographics, and economics reshaping the landscape of energy supply and demand. He is also executive director of MIT’s Fusion Study examining the global multidecadal dynamics of the energy transition and how fusion energy can contribute to decarbonizing global energy systems. He was previously executive director for MITEI’s Mobility Systems Center, assessing the impact of transformations in vehicle and fuel technologies, service and business models, and consumer behavior in the movement of both passengers and goods. He was also executive director for MIT’s Mobility of the Future study which produced the Insights in the Future Mobility report covering global projections of alternative fuel vehicle fleets and energy consumption, deployment of charging and fueling infrastructure, attitudes towards mobility, and the impacts of innovative technologies and business models on urban mobility. As executive director for the Conversion Research Program at MIT for 10 years, Field worked with a multidisciplinary team of researchers to explore various conversion technologies for production of alternative fuels. Prior to MIT, Field worked for Aspen Technology for 23 years. Field received a SM in chemical engineering practice from MIT and a BS in chemical engineering from Caltech.
J.J. Laukaitis is the Director of Member Services at the MIT Energy Initiative, where he manages the growth of impactful collaborations between leading corporations and MIT faculty, researchers, and innovators.
J.J. has over 25 years of experience in engineering, product management, and large account sales management across multiple industries including mechanical design, software, electronics, and semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
During his industry career J.J. has led new revenue growth and business development initiatives at large established corporations and was a key contributor to early revenue generation and the IPO at PTC.
At MIT, J.J. has a track record of initiating and growing large, strategic engagements between industry partners and MIT, resulting in mutually beneficial research projects and technology commercialization initiatives. For 11 years, J.J. has worked closely with some of the largest and boldest initiatives across MIT, such as the MIT Energy Initiative, Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Systems Lab, and Advanced Manufacturing Initiatives.
J.J. received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a masters in Science from the MIT Sloan School of Management. J.J. is a graduate of Leader 2 Leader (L2L), MIT’s nationally-recognized development program for MIT leaders.
Heather Leet joined MITEI as the development officer in May of 2023 and has been privileged to spend the last 20 years helping donors fulfill their philanthropic wishes for several education, service, and humanitarian organizations. Prior to joining MITEI, Heather was the Director of Development at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
Heather’s past fundraising has included a variety of organizations including the Old State House in Boston, Rotary International, and the United of Way of Metro Chicago. Heather has attributed her choice to support organizations that are making an impact on their communities and the world to her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria, where she taught English as a second language and supported several student projects, including a Danube River pollutant research project by High School Students for which she raised funds from USAID.
Tom Melville joined MITEI as communications director in April, 2021. Before joining MITEI, he spent nine years at Boston’s NPR news station, WBUR, leading the largest public radio station newsroom in the United States. He directed reporting teams covering politics, the environment, healthcare, education, the arts, business/innovation/technology and investigations. He joined WBUR as executive editor of content in 2011, was promoted to news director in 2013 and to executive news director in 2015. Before joining WBUR, he was news director at the nation’s largest regional news channel, New England Cable News (NECN). At NECN, Melville rose through the ranks from reporter to executive producer and to assistant news director before being named news director in 2008. He was executive producer and co-writer of an NECN documentary film on hospice care, “Look for Me Here: 299 days in the life of Nora Lenihan,” which won more than a dozen regional, national and international awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award.
He began reporting the news at a radio station in his native Newton, Massachusetts when he was 16 years old. He covered sports at the Boston Herald-American while an undergraduate at Boston University. He served in the United States Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, teaching vegetable gardening in the public schools in the town of El Valle. He is a graduate of Boston College Law School and holds a law license in Massachusetts.
Early in his career, Melville was a news reporter covering small town government at radio stations in New Hampshire. He covered agriculture and was weekend anchor at the ABC television station in Sioux City, Iowa. He was an anchor, reporter, producer and news director at the NBC television station in White River Junction, Vermont. He covered consumer news and the courts for the NBC television station in West Palm Beach, Florida. He then moved home to Boston to become chief political reporter for NECN.
Melville was also a consultant with the Boston-area media relations firm eMedia Junction, advising nonprofit and for-profit organizations on communications strategy, media training, content creation, storytelling, and crisis communications.
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.
Head of ESG Enablement, T. Rowe Price
Norm Augustine (Chair)
Retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin
Arunas A. Chesonis
Managing Partner, Safar Partners
Dominic T. Clausi
Vice President of Research, ExxonMobil
Rafael del Pino
Chairman, Grupo Ferrovial SA
Institute Professor and Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, MIT
Chairman Emeritus, Eisenhower Institute
President Emerita and Professor of Neuroscience, MIT
Robert B. Millard
Chairman Emeritus, MIT Corporation
Ernest J. Moniz
Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics & Engineering Systems Emeritus, MIT
Co-Chair, Nuclear Threat Initiative
John S. Reed
Chairman Emeritus, MIT Corporation
Chairman and Managing Director, Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Shell Global Solutions International BV
Philip R. Sharp
Retired President, Resources for the Future
Robert M. Solow
Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT
Ratan N. Tata
Chairman, Tata Sons Limited
Distinguished University Professor, Department of Physics, University of Maryland
Vice Chairman, S&P Global
Director Technology, R&D & Digital, Eni S.p.A.
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.
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; mobility; energy infrastructure; investment finance and risk management; and environmental and carbon constraints. CEEPR cooperates closely with associates in government and industry across the globe to enhance the relevance of its research.
CEEPR produces working papers, policy briefs, and research input to larger, interdisciplinary studies; hosts two annual research workshops in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and hosts an international energy policy conference organized jointly with the Energy Policy Research Group at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. CEEPR is also involved in a number of collaborative research projects.
The E2e Project is a joint initiative founded by Professor Christopher 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 policy makers 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 Roosevelt Project takes a multidisciplinary approach to examine the transitional challenges associated with progress toward a deeply decarbonized U.S. economy. The project aims to chart a path forward through the transition that minimizes worker and community dislocations and enables at-risk communities to sustain employment levels by taking advantage of the economic opportunities present for regional economic development. The first phase of the project involves an assessment of cross-cutting topics related to the transition. The second phase of the project involves developing regional action plans for individual case studies, working with local partners on the ground in specific transition contexts. The project was initiated by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz and engages a breadth of MIT and Harvard faculty and researchers across academic domains including economics, engineering, sociology, urban studies and planning, and political science.
To achieve its mission—advancing a sustainable, prosperous world through scientific analysis of the complex interactions among co-evolving, interconnected global systems—the Joint Program:
Building on the twin pillars of science and policy, the Joint 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.
MITEI staff and faculty affiliates collaborate with the Office of Sustainability through initiatives such as the Campus Sustainability Task Force, living lab projects, and the MIT Climate Action Advisory Committee.
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.
MIT Human Resources maintains a list of open positions at the Energy Initiative, and is the primary contact for all applications and questions.
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. Please note, MITEI does not offer internships to international students.
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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