people

Principal Investigator

Professor Trancik

Professor Trancik

Jessika Trancik is an assistant professor in the Engineering Systems Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. She received her B.S. in materials science and engineering from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Before MIT, she spent several years at the Santa Fe Institute as an Omidyar Fellow, and at Columbia University as an Earth Institute Fellow. She has also worked for the United Nations, and as an advisor to the private sector on investment in low-carbon energy technologies. Her research group works on accelerating the discovery and scaling of new energy technologies.

Contact: trancik at mit dot edu

Postdoctoral Associates

Dr. James McNerney

Dr. James McNerney

James McNerney is a postdoctoral associate in the Engineering Systems Division. Formerly, he was a graduate fellow at the Santa Fe Institute and Boston University, where he completed his Ph.D. in physics on the topic of price evolution of technologies. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Boston University. His research interests are in understanding how physical and engineering variables relate to economic variables at all scales, from single devices and machines to industries and whole economies.

Contact: jmcn at mit dot edu

Dr. Victor Ocaña

Dr. Victor Ocaña

Victor Ocaña is a postdoctoral associate in the Engineering Systems Division. He received his physics diploma from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and his PhD in Earth Science from the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology and the University of Hamburg (Germany), on optimal GHG emissions paths and the value of information. After a long hiatus away from science, he worked as a research scientist with Prof. Hans von Storch at the Helmhotz Zentrum Geesthacht (Germany).  He then moved to the EAPS (Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences) department at MIT, where he worked as a postdoctoral associate on sea level variability and modeling of ice sheets.

Contact: vocana at mit dot edu

Research Associates

Dr. Mandira Roy

Dr. Mandira Roy

Mandira Roy is a research associate at MIT’s Engineering Systems Division and was a fellow in its Advanced Studies Program.  She has a PhD and an MBA from the University of British Columbia and MS and BS in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology.  Previously, she has taught in the areas of financial and managerial accounting and the economics of information at the University of Southern California, University of California–Los Angeles and Rutgers University.  Her past research focused on the valuation and contracting roles of information in economic decisions and their impact on stakeholder incentives and welfare.  Her current research is on the dynamic choice of energy technology portfolios for climate change mitigation and the economic impact of mitigation policies.

Contact: mandirar at mit dot edu

Graduate Students

Michael T. Chang

Michael T. Chang

Michael T. Chang is a graduate student in the Technology and Policy Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley, with a major in computational engineering science and a minor in mechanical engineering. His research interests are in understanding the innovation process and the development of emerging technologies. His current research focuses on energy consumption in the transportation sector and design rules for electric vehicles.

Contact: mtchang at mit dot edu

Morgan Edwards

Morgan Edwards

Morgan Edwards is a doctoral student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT.  She received her S.M. in Technology and Policy from MIT and her B.S. in Environmental Science and B.A. in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill.  Before coming to MIT, she worked on alternative energy and energy efficiency projects in Thailand, Russia, and the United States.  Her research focuses on developing tools to assess the performance of energy technologies in the face of changing climate and environmental constraints.  Morgan is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and MIT Presidential Fellowship.

Contact: morgane at mit dot edu

Goksin Kavlak

Goksin Kavlak

Goksin Kavlak is a doctoral student in the Engineering Systems Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her M.S. in environmental sciences from Yale University, and her B.S. in industrial engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul. Her research interests are in building frameworks to analyze the availability and scalability of metals used in emerging technologies, especially in photovoltaics. She is the recipient of the UTC-MIT Energy Fellowship for 2012-2013, sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative.

Contact: goksin at mit dot edu

Joshua Mueller

Joshua Mueller
Joshua Mueller is an Engineering Systems Division pre-doctoral student in the Technology and Policy Program. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2004 with at B.S. in Physics and a minor in French, and read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Brasenose College, Oxford, earning a B.A. in 2006. Following Naval Nuclear Power Training, he served on the USS Pasadena, a Los Angeles-class submarine stationed in Pearl Harbor. His final Naval tour prior to entering MIT was as a Senior Instructor of Political Science at the Naval Academy and as Speechwriter to the Superintendent, USNA. His current research is on the role of flexibility in design of energy storage systems to aid in renewable energy market penetration. He is a recipient of the 2004 John and Fannie Hertz Foundation Fellowship.
Contact: jmmuell at mit dot edu

Zachary Needell

Zachary Needell

Zachary Needell is a graduate student in the Masters of Science in Transportation program at MIT. He received his B.S. in Physics from Haverford College in 2011, where he did his thesis research on the deformation patterns of granular materials under stress. Before coming to MIT, he worked at the Smithsonian Center for Earth and Planetary Studies researching Martian sediments and climate history. His research interests are in how infrastructure and technology affect the decisions people make about their personal transportation, and how those individual choices affect long term environmental, economic, and social trends.

Contact: zneedell at mit dot edu

 

Nora Xu

Nora Xu

Nora Xu is a graduate student in the Technology and Policy Program and a pre-doctoral student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. She graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Geosciences and subsequently worked as an investment analyst at DC Energy focusing on electricity trading in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator market. Her current research interests are in renewable energy and stationary storage. She is a 2013-14 recipient of the Eni-MIT Energy Fellowship.

Contact: noraxu at mit dot edu

Administrative Assistant

Keeley Rafter

Keeley Rafter

Keeley Rafter joined the Engineering Systems Division (ESD) in an administrative capacity in June 2013. She started her career at MIT in the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources in 2010, where she coordinated the Excellence Awards and the Leader to Leader programs. Both programs promote staff learning, engagement, development and growth. The Excellence Awards recognize staff achievement and are awarded annually. Leader to Leader is MIT’s executive leadership training program facilitated by HR. She recently worked at the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center as a Communications Coordinator. Before coming to MIT, Keeley worked in advertising, helped run her family’s business after earning a BSBA from Suffolk University in 2006.

Contact: kdrafter at mit dot edu

Alumni

Dan Cross-Call

Dan Cross-Call

Dan Cross-Call completed a master’s degree in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. He worked with the Trancik Lab during 2011-2012, on evaluating emerging energy technologies. Prior to MIT, Dan worked as an electricity market consultant in the Energy & Environment practice of Charles River Associates, where he specialized in asset valuations and regulatory analysis of wholesale electricity markets and installed capacity markets. Dan also previously worked as an educator for a community development project in rural Ghana, supported in this work by a Richard Lombard Public Service Fellowship. Dan received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in economics and environmental studies.

Contact: dancc at mit dot edu

Dr. Hamed Ghoddusi

Dr. Hamed Ghoddusi

Hamed Ghoddusi was a postdoctoral associate in the Engineering Systems Division. He is now an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Howe School of Technology Management, Stevens Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Finance from Vienna Graduate School of Finance (VGSF) and holds degrees in economics, management science, and industrial engineering (OR) from the Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna) and Sharif University of Technology (Tehran). His research interests are in modeling of energy and environmental systems and their interaction with public policy, macro economy, and financial markets. His works are centered around two major themes of risks and investment decisions in energy systems. He has been a visiting scholar/consultant at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), UT Austin, UC Berkeley, UNDP, and UNIDO.

Contact: ghoddusi at mit dot edu

Christina Karapataki

Christina Karapataki

Christina Karapataki graduated with a master’s degree from the Technology and Policy Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and worked with the Trancik Lab from 2010-2011. She received her B.A. and M.Eng. in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge, where she studied as a Scholar of the Cambridge European Trust. She has previously worked with the MIT Energy Initiative on water demand forecasting (2008) and with ExxonMobil as a business analyst for the European natural gas market. She has also worked with Baringa Partners as a consultant for EDF Energy. Christina is the recipient of the Salters’ Graduate Prize 2010 from the Salters’ Institute of Industrial Chemistry, UK.

Shylesh Muralidharan

Shylesh Muralidharan

Shylesh Muralidharan is a Systems Design and Management graduate student in the Engineering Systems Division. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Pondicherry University and an MBA from Mumbai University, and has worked in technology consulting for smart grid programs. His interests are in new energy systems and sustainability. He is currently working on a technical and economic evaluation of ocean thermal energy conversion, in the context of climate change concerns and water scarcity.

Dr. Bela Nagy

Dr. Bela Nagy

Bela Nagy was a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. He has bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computer science, and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of British Columbia. More information on Bela’s interests and past experience can be found here: Nagy’s SFI webpage.

Heshuang Zeng

Heshuang Zeng

Heshuang Zeng graduated in 2011 from the Master in City Planning Program at MIT. She received her bachelor’s degree in architecture (2007) and her master’s degree in city design and planning (2009) from Tsinghua University. Her research focused on optimally incorporating renewable energy technologies in urban sustainable development. She is currently working at the World Resources Institute.