Student Researchers

First Namesort ascending Last Name Position Research Interests
Yizhou Tian Research Assistant

Freight electrification and automation

Yixuan Feng Research Assistant

Sustainable Energy Systems; Energy Markets and Policies; Life Cycle Assessment; Circular Economy; Transportation/Mobility System

Yabin Dong Research Assistant

distributed machine learning in self-driving cars and manufacturing related industries

Xiao Guo Research Assistant

Energy flow cycle; Remote sensing image visualization; Hydrological cycle; Sustainable development; GIS mapping

Wanja Waweru Research Assistant

Urban resilience, environmental justice, remote sensing in climate change adaption

Stephen Hilton Research Assistant

Nutrient recovery through urine separation, Life Cycle Assessment, Water Systems, Circular Economy

Stephen is working on assessing a new form of recycling: Pee-cycling. Instead of adding nutrient heavy urine to the wastewater treatment system and intensively treating the nitrogen and phosphorus as a waste, the project looks to create fertilizer with it instead. He is developing life cycle models to analyze the environmental trade-offs of this approach with the conventional wastewater treatment system.

Stephanie Hefelfinger Research Assistant
Stefania Almazan Casali Research Assistant

Stefania Almazán-Casali is an environmental social scientist. Her research focuses on understanding the interactions between human decision-making, power dynamics, and natural resource use. She follows a mixed-methods approach to provide insights on the key motivations and conditions guiding the distribution and governance of natural resources. Her approach combines surveys, behavioral experiments, and modelling tools such as agent-based models.

Stefania has international experience researching waste attitudes in Liberia, West Africa; water access in a small community  in the Peruvian Andes; and sustainable forest management in Eastern Europe. She is particularly interested in issues surrounding the collaborative management of water resources. Her upcoming research explores the effects of climate change perceptions on water allocation and investment decisions in a river-basin committee in South-East Brazil.

Shashank Prakash Nair Research Assistant

Energy systems, Renewable Energy, Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS), Direct Air Capture, Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs), Energy Optimization Models, Building Energy

Shagun Parekh Research Assistant

Grid Decarbonisation, Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Negative Emissions Technologies, Energy Infrastructure Systems, Environmental Justice

Sanaz Chamanara Research Assistant

Sustainable Supply Chain Governance, Environmental Justice, Global Value Chain, Life Cycle Approach, Environmental Governance

Samuel Limerick Research Assistant

urban climate change adaptation/resilience, climate justice, urban agriculture, spatial analytic methods and visualization

Renhui Chen Research Assistant

I'm currently studying at the School for the Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), pursuing both Behavior, Education, Communication (BEC) track and Environmental Justice track (EJ) to address problems in mainstream conservation narratives and its impact on marginalized groups. I am also pursuing a degree in African Studies at College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA)'s International Institute to focus my attention on wildlife conservation in African countries and its relation to forestry policies influenced by the state, BINGOs, and other international organizations. Currently, I'm specifically interested in pangolin conservation/commercial wildlife hunting in Cameroon.

My current research goal is to complicate the current homogenous wildlife conservation narrative that takes the ease on blaming people of color and communities in the Global South as key actors in driving international wildlife trade. There are a lot more ways to help wildlife conservation other than the pervasive "demand reduction campaigns" and " law enforcement". If only we could reflect more upon the bias in mainstream conservation narratives and understand better of the power dynamics in the human dimension of conservation.

Nicole Ryan Research Assistant

Nicole is interested in developing a more sustainable infrastructure for producing electricity, by optimizing the use of current generation assets and advancing alternative energy resources, with the goal of reducing emissions and waste. While obtaining her undergraduate degree Nicole participated in a co-op with Duke Energy for one year, where she gained experience in the operation and maintenance of coal fired power plants and natural gas combustion turbine combined cycle plants. After graduation she worked for Burns & McDonnell in their OnSite Energy and Power group creating dispatch models, feasibility studies and designs for combined heat and power plants. Nicole graduated from North Carolina State University in 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Environmental Science.

Nate Hua Research Assistant

Nate's research involves material flow analysis for the supply chain of major automotive materials. Other research interests he'd like to pursue include sustainable energy infrastructure and sustainable business practice integration, particularly in the tourism industry.

Morteza Taiebat Research Assistant

Morteza a PhD candidate in Resource Policy and Behavior (SEAS) and Transportation Engineering (CEE) at the University of Michigan. He is affiliated with the Center for Sustainable Systems, working under the supervision of Ming Xu, Sam Stolper, and Henry Liu. His research broadly focuses on leveraging the emerging modes of transportation (i.e. automated, shared, & electric vehicles) to improve transportation system efficiency while reducing social inequality and environmental impacts. He utilizes data science techniques, economics, and optimization to investigate the mechanisms that promote sustainable transportation.


  • Connected & Automated Vehicles
  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Transportation Economics
  • Data Science


Mingyu Wang Research Assistant
Mengqing Kan Research Assistant

Life Cycle Assessment, Waste Management, Circular Economy, Climate Economics

Maxwell Woody Research Assistant

Max's research interests include the expansion of renewable energy systems in developing countries, and solar energy technologies.

Marney Coleman Research Assistant

Sustainable Food Systems; Life Cycle Assessment; Sustainable Supply Chains & Sourcing

Madeline Somers Research Assistant
Luyao Li Research Assistant

Sustainable Supply Chain, Transportation/Mobility System, Life Cycle Assessment

Lixi Liu Research Assistant

Pursuing life cycle optimization research in product design and replacement of new technologies and sustainable
energy systems

Karl Hoesch Research Assistant

Karl researches energy justice at the intersection of energy, health and housing policy. He is especially interested in access to energy efficiency and renewable energy for low-income and multi-family households.

Julia Magee Research Assistant

Renewable energy technology design and grid integration, implementation and design of renewable microgrids in developing countries, sustainable development, energy systems planning

Jocelyn Marchyok Research Assistant

Integration of renewable energy and storage systems into the electricity grid, sustainable energy system planning, and life cycle assessment

Jinhu Li Research Assistant

Data Science, sustainable systems, Transportation/Mobility System, Life Cycle Assessment

Jiaxi (Jacy) Li Research Assistant

Brownfield redevelopment, quantitative methods in the social sciences, environmental justice

Jesse Vega-Perkins Research Assistant

consumption-based accounting, life cycle assessment, environmental justice, climate change, industrial ecology

Jason Hawes Research Assistant

Urban resilience, sustainable food-energy-water infrastructure, socially-engaged design

Jacob Namovich Research Assistant

Circular Economy & Design, Carbon Neutrality, Environmental Justice

Heeseung Kim Research Assistant

Passionate about impact investing to achieve the triple bottom line and make better consumer products. Expert skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis for compelling storytelling. Collaborative and self-driven for results that achieve impact.

Hannah Fetner Research Assistant

Food System Sustainability, Life Cycle Assessment, Packaging Impacts and Alternatives

Hannah Paulson Research Assistant

Climate Justice, Government and Policy, Tropical Conservation Ecology, Marine Biology

Grant Faber Research Assistant

Grant is interested in performing techno-economic assessments of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies along with developing a more comprehensive framework for evaluating the costs of the various environmental impacts of these technologies. He is also interested in how complex systems modeling might be able to inform the deployment of carbon negative processes. Finally, he is intrigued by the ability of sustainable technologies, systems, and policies to reduce global catastrophic and existential risks.

Erin Seguin Research Assistant

Passionate about enabling sustainable business practices through strategic finance. Experienced automotive marketing and sales ops professional. More recent experience in GHG accounting for ag and manufacturing, corporate emissions reduction and mitigation, and tech startup growth strategy.

Erica Gardner Research Assistant

Microbiology, biogeochemistry, microplastics, bioremediation, water quality

Elena Essa Research Assistant, Merit Fellow

Elena’s research and academic interests focus on sustainable energy and technology deployment in developing communities, energy justice, and also international climate policy

Dominic Bednar Research Assistant

Dominic’s research explores the institutional barriers of energy poverty recognition and response in the United States whilst considering the spatial, racial/ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic patterns of residential energy affordability, consumption, and efficiency. More narrowly, his doctoral research aims to provide clarity for structuring more effective policy interventions and to improve decision making for assisting energy-vulnerable households, those likely to fall into energy poverty and struggle/unable to pay their energy bills resulting in energy utility shut-offs and forgoing basic necessities. Dominic is developing a multidimensional energy vulnerability index to better understand factors that contribute to household energy poverty in the U.S. Additionally, Dominic’s research uses LCA and LCC methods to better understand the effect of household appliance replacements on overall energy affordability of low-income households.


Miller, W. A., Boudreaux, P., Pallin, S., Biswas, K., Gehl, T., Atchley, J., ... & Shah, A. (2016). A field study setup of four homes having non-ventilated and semi-conditioned sealed attics. Journal of Green Building, 11(3), 1-20.

Daehyun Ko Research Assistant
Chenyang Shuai Research Assistant

My research interest is the universal scaling law of national development.

Catherine Mullin Research Assistant
Carissa Knox Research Assistant
Calli VanderWilde Research Assistant

Sustainable food systems, (Social) life cycle assessment, industrial ecology, ecosystem services, supply chain management

Bu Zhao Research Assistant

My research interests are in the general area of Data Science application in Environmental Systems. Specifically, my current interests are on computational modeling to predict the unknown life cycle inventory datasets and high-resolution urban air quality mapping.

Bianca Dragone Research Assistant

Passionate about using business to drive positive social and environmental change.

Anna Ostrander Research Assistant

Carbon Neutrality, Negative Emission Technologies, CleanTech, Energy

Aldo Girard UROP Student

Energy Poverty Index

Adrienne Watts Research Assistant

Circular Economy and Industrial Ecology; Life Cycle Assessment; Sustainable Supply Chains & Sourcing; Design Innovation; Business and Sustainability