Andy Sun announced as new Associate Professor of Operations Research and Statistics and the Iberdrola-Avangrid Professor of Electric Power Systems at MIT Sloan

Sun will serve as faculty lead of the MIT Energy Initiative's new Future Energy Systems Center


Cambridge, Mass., September 15, 2021 – MIT Sloan School of Management announced today that Andy Sun will be joining the faculty as Associate Professor (tenured) of Operations Research and Statistics and the inaugural Iberdrola-Avangrid Professor of Electric Power Systems on January 1, 2022.

Prof. Sun will also serve as a faculty lead for the electric power system focus area and as a member of the steering committee of the MIT Energy Initiative’s (MITEI’s) new Future Energy Systems Center, which will launch on October 1, 2021. The Future Energy Systems Center is an industry research consortium providing insights on how best to navigate the energy transition based on multi-sectoral analyses of emerging technologies, changing policies and evolving economics.

Prof. Sun’s research focuses on developing optimization algorithms for large-scale power systems, in particular, to help with the integration of renewable energy resources into large electric power systems. He also studies the planning and operations of power grids and other infrastructure, such as electrified transportation systems, alternative fuel systems and battery supply chains.

Prof. Sun holds an MS in Media Arts and Sciences and a PhD in Operations Research from MIT. He currently serves as an Associate Professor at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“I’m excited to be returning to MIT,” said Prof. Sun. “I look forward to working with students in the areas of optimization and energy systems, as well as leading the collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts of MITEI’s new Future Energy Systems Center.”

Prof. Sun will develop and teach a new course at MIT Sloan on energy systems modeling and optimization.

“We are delighted that Prof. Andy Sun will be joining the faculty of the MIT Sloan School. It is always rewarding to see our graduates excel and come back to MIT,” said Michael Cusumano, the SMR Distinguished Professor of Management and Deputy Dean at MIT Sloan. “Andy has established himself as a global expert on modeling the electric power grid. His skills are essential both to make sure communities have adequate power on a day-to-day basis and to ensure that we are generating and distributing energy in a sustainable way.”

“We at the MIT Energy Initiative are thrilled that Prof. Sun is returning to his alma mater, and we are deeply grateful to Iberdrola and Avangrid for creating the Iberdrola-Avangrid Professorship that is enabling this,” said Robert Armstrong, Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of MITEI. “Andy’s work on core optimization problems for electric power system operations, infrastructure, and regulation, and his collaboration with major utilities and system operators, make him a natural leader in the energy transition. His research, teaching and leadership are just what the world needs to help address the climate crisis.”

Multinational electric utility company Iberdrola and its U.S. affiliate Avangrid are funding this newly endowed chair. Iberdrola, headquartered in Bilbao, Spain, is one of the world’s largest producers of wind power and supplies energy to nearly 100 million people around the world. Avangrid, headquartered in Orange, Connecticut, with approximately $39 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, serves more than 3.3 million utility customers in New York and New England and is one of the largest producers of wind power in the country.

“MIT and Iberdrola share the same commitment to tackle one of the world’s great challenges: the transition towards a sustainable energy model,” said Iberdrola Chief Innovation and Sustainability Officer Agustin Delgado. “We are pleased to continue this collaboration with Prof. Sun. Research and education are critical to the advancement of technologies and policies that will contribute to the electrification of the economy and the fight against climate change.”

“This professorship deepens Avangrid and Iberdrola’s support of the visionary minds at the MIT Energy Initiative at a critical moment of the clean energy transition,” said Avangrid Chief Executive Officer Dennis V. Arriola. “We are proud to support the work of Prof. Sun and his team at MIT, whose research into large-scale systems optimization is well-aligned with the critical goal of decarbonizing the energy infrastructure in the U.S.”

Prof. Sun added, “Integrating renewable energy sources into the power grid is very difficult. Renewable energy resources are very different from traditional energy sources—and at the same time, the power grid is highly complicated and interconnected. I look forward to tackling these timely and important challenges in my new roles at MIT.”


Press Inquiries:

Patricia Favreau
Associate Director of Media Relations

Jennifer Grady Burgos
Assistant Director of Media Relations

This article appears in the issue of Energy Futures.

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