Dr. Jeremiah Johnson

Dr. Jeremiah Johnson is an Assistant Professor at University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment, with affiliations at the Center for Sustainable Systems, the UM Energy Institute, and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.  Dr. Johnson conducts research on sustainable energy and materials systems, with a cross-cutting aim of improving life cycle assessment methods.

Dr. Johnson earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in 2001 and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Yale University in 2007.  Upon completion of his graduate studies, he spent over five years working in the energy industry, advising utility executives on renewable energy strategy.




Maryam Arbabzadeh

Maryam is a Doctoral Student at the School of Natural Resources & Environment.  Her research informs the development of redox flow batteries using life cycle assessment methods to evaluate environmental and economic performance targets of grid-scale batteries in order to be competitive with the fossil fuel based grid resources that cause climate change. Her other interests include investigating policy mechanisms and incentives that would affect the appropriate utilization of the batteries.

[See Maryam’s interview by Rackham:]


Nicole Ryan
Nicole is a dual degree doctoral student in Natural Resources and Environment and Mechanical Engineering. She is working with Dr. Johnson to create an electricity allocation model to evaluate how location and time affect emissions from electricity usage. This information could be employed to more accurately calculate the life cycle emissions of a product or process. She is also working on a comparative analysis of existing energy allocation protocols.

Dan Ryan

DanDan is a dual degree student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ross School of Business, pursuing a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Systems and an Masters of Business Administration with a focus on energy. His research is centered around existing or emerging technologies in the electric grid that can optimize energy throughout its life cycle. Dan is also an active member in the Ross Energy Club, as a director of the Renewable Energy Case Competition and as a team lead of a consulting project.  Dan earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2006. Prior to returning to school he worked as an IT consultant for eight years, working on large scale systems integration projects.


Bhuvan Neema

Bhuvan is a dual degree student in Engineering Sustainable Systems program at University of Michigan, pursuing Master of Science in Sustainable Systems at School of Natural Resources & Environment and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at College of Engineering. His research work is focused on application of battery energy storage (BES) system at grid-scale. He is assessing BES as replacement of dirty peaker-power generation units and assessing the environmental impacts as a function of battery systems power rating and storage capacity. Bhuvan has earned Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee in 2012. He is also experienced as an engineering consultant in building and infrastructure sector and have worked on design of low-carbon energy systems for large scale projects in South-east Asia.


Xinwei Li

Xinwei is a dual degree student in Master of Science in Sustainable System at the school of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) and Master of Arts in Applied Economics in the Department of Economics. Her research interests focus on the interaction of carbon mitigation strategies between electricity and transport sectors. She is analyzing the impact of cost-effective low-CO2 electricity under EPA’s Clean Power Plan on the adoption of electric vehicles via integrating a comprehensive power system model and a passenger car model. Xinwei is also a research assistant at University of Michigan Energy Institute working on the project of Transportation Energy and Climate Analysis. Before coming to SNRE, she was in the Environmental Management Master Program in Peking University in China researching on Emission Trading System and carbon mitigation pathway in electricity and transportation sectors for the government of Shenzhen, China.

Sydney Forrestersforrester

Sydney is a student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment pursuing a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Energy Systems. Sydney received a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University. Following that, she worked for two years in the utility industry focusing on sustainable energy programs that included energy efficiency financing and low-income community solar to improve energy access and affordability. Sydney’s research interests focus on energy justice and sustainable development. She is working with Dr. Johnson and Dr. Jose Alfaro to study the relationship between climate change, power system reliability, and responses of interconnected communities.

Noah Mitchell-Ward

Noah is an undergraduate student in the EECS department, working towards a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering. He is a student in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and is a leader on the BLUElab Woven Wind student project design team. This team designs, builds, and implements small-scale turbines for educational applications in southeast Michigan. After completion of his degree, Noah plans to have a career in the renewable energy industry.



Dr. Yashen Lin was a Post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan, who is now employed at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Florida in 2014. He worked with Dr. Johnson on assessing the environmental impacts of demand response and distributed energy storage in power grids. He also works on optimal power flow problems with the EECS department. His other research interests include dynamical system modeling and control theory.


Shreyas Vangala

Shreyas completed a masters student at the School of Natural Resources and Environment focusing on energy-related carbon mitigation strategies. He is now employed at the New York Power Authority.  At SNRE, his  research focused on identifying the role of nuclear power in reducing carbon emissions for compliance with Clean Air Act regulations in states with poor onshore wind and solar potential and already relatively high nuclear penetration. In addition, Shreyas also worked with the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago and a team of SNRE students to develop a strategy for the reduction of natural gas consumption in metro-Chicago households. He is a Georgia native and holds a B.S. in Ecology and A.B. in anthropology from the University of Georgia.

Rachel ChalatRachel Pic

Rachel completed a dual degree Master of Applied Economics and Master of Science in Sustainable Systems in May 2015.  For her research, she created a stakeholder-driven model to assess carbon mitigation from existing power plants in Michigan.  As a Dow Sustainability Fellow, Rachel analyzed the value of roof-top solar in Michigan.  She is currently a Business Analyst in DTE’s Corporate Energy Strategy Group.

Josh Novacheck

Josh completed the dual degree Engineering Sustainable Systems program between the School of Natural Resources and Environment (M.S.) and Mechanical Engineering josh_novacheck_sm(M.S.E).   His thesis used power system models to evaluate cost and environmental impacts of renewable energy integration into the grid for two projects: evaluating increased Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) for Michigan and the potential for wind power diversification to decrease ramping requirements for conventional generators.  Josh is currently an Electricity System Flexibility Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).