2016 Speakers

José L. Avalos

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

José Avalos is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University. He is also an associated faculty member in the Department of Molecular Biology. His research involves the use of biotechnology to address challenges in sustainable energy, health, and the environment, with expertise in the fields of metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, protein engineering, systems biology, and structural biology. He earned a B.E. in chemical engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He then received an MSc in biochemical research from Imperial College in London, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. He completed postdoctoral research at The Rockefeller University in membrane biophysics; and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. He received the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Research Award, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship, the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, and most recently the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship Award in Computational and Evolutionary Molecular Biology.

Paul Ferraro

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Carey Business School and Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Paul J. Ferraro is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Business and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, in the Carey Business School and the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, a joint department of the Whiting School of Engineering and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is also the 2015-16 Humanitas Visiting Professor of Sustainability Studies at the University of Cambridge and Co-Director of the USDA-funded Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-environmental Research. Professor Ferraro collaborates with scientists, lawyers, engineers, and program administrators to develop evidence-based environmental programs. His research aims to incorporate insights from the behavioral sciences into program designs and to measure program impacts on the environment and human welfare. Professor Ferraro received his B.A. in biology and history and M.S. in environmental science from Duke University, and his Ph.D. in applied economics from Cornell University in 2001. A former science advisor to the Global Environment Facility, Fulbright Scholar, Bellagio Resident Scholar, and Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund Visiting Scientist, he serves on a variety of nonprofit advisory councils and as Senior Science Fellow at the World Wildlife Fund.

Bernard Haykel

Professor of Near Eastern Studies

Director Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia

Bernard Haykel is a historian of the Arabian Peninsula and a scholar of Islamic law and Islamic political movements. He is Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, where he is also director of the Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Haykel is the author of Revival and Reform in Islam, and most recently the co-editor of Saudi Arabia in Transition, both published by Cambridge University Press. He is also the author of numerous articles on Salafism, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Wahhabism and the politics of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. He has received several awards, including the Prize Fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford; the Carnegie Corporation and Guggenheim fellowships; and the Old Dominion Professorship at Princeton. Haykel has advised the U.S. and British governments and appears frequently in print and broadcast media, including PBS, NPR, The New York Times, al-Jazeera and the BBC among others. He earned his D.Phil. in oriental studies from the University of Oxford.


Ralph Izzo

Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

Ralph Izzo was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) in April 2007. He was named as the company’s president and chief operating officer and a member of the board of directors of PSEG in October 2006. Previously, he was president and chief operating officer of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G). He joined the company in 1992.

Izzo received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and his Ph.D. in applied physics from Columbia University. He serves as nominating committee chairman of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and is on the board of directors for the New Jersey Utilities Association, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Peddie School, Columbia University School of Engineering Board of Visitors, and the Princeton University Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Advisory Council, as well as a member of the Visiting Committee for the Department of Nuclear Engineering at MIT. Izzo is a former member of the board of directors of The Williams Companies. In addition, he is a former chair of the Rutgers University Board of Governors and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.


Leidy Klotz

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture

University of Virginia

Leidy Klotz is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, jointly appointed in civil and environmental engineering and in architecture. His scholarship, merging design and behavioral science, has been consistently funded, including through a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award and through one of the first awards given by the NSF’s interdisciplinary INSPIRE program. Seven graduates from Klotz’s research team have secured faculty positions, six of whom are from underrepresented groups. Klotz also teaches courses on innovation for sustainable energy, including one in an online format that has enrolled thousands of students from around the world. Before entering academia, Klotz worked managing the design and construction of building projects in New Jersey (including the Princeton Public Library). Prior to his work in design and construction, he played for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds professional soccer team.


larson-eric-photo_approvedEric Larson

Senior Research Engineer, Energy Systems Analysis Group

Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Eric Larson is a Senior Research Engineer with the Andlinger Center’s Energy Systems Analysis Group. He is also affiliated with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs’ Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Program and the Princeton Environmental Institute, and he has an appointment as a Senior Scientist with Climate Central. Larson’s research interests intersect engineering, environmental science, economics, and public policy. His energy systems analysis work is aimed at identifying sustainable, engineering-based solutions to major energy-related environmental problems, especially global climate change, and at informing relevant public policy debates. A recent research emphasis has been on the design and techno-economic assessment of advanced processes for production of clean transportation fuels and electricity from carbonaceous sources with CO2 capture and storage. He is also collaborating with ecologists at the University of Minnesota to better understand the potential of biomass-based energy options to deliver negative carbon emission transportation fuels in the U.S.

Larson was part of the Princeton team that contributed extensive analysis to the National Research Council report, America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (2009). He was also the co-convening lead author of the Fossil Energy chapter of The Global Energy Assessment (2012) and a lead author on the Renewable Energy chapter. He has co-authored 85 peer-reviewed papers and more than 240 publications in all. He maintains long-term collaborations on energy and sustainability with colleagues in China (Tsinghua University and the North China Electric Power University) and in Australia (University of Queensland).

Larson recently developed and is teaching a new undergraduate engineering elective course, “The Energy-Water Nexus.” He earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1983 from the University of Minnesota.

Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo

Director Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Theodora D. ’78 and William H. Walton III ’74 Professor in Engineering

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo is the Theodora D. ’78 & William H. Walton III ’74 Professor in Engineering, Professor of chemical and biological engineering, and Director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University. Professor Loo’s research is in the processing and development of materials for low-cost, lightweight, and flexible solar cells and circuits, the combination of which is being explored for a range of applications, including the creation of “smart” windows to increase building and energy efficiencies, and power sources for electrolyzers to convert sunlight to fuels. More recently, her research expanded into economic modeling of liquid fuel production from non-food biomass after her stint at NewWorld Capital Group, a private equity firm that invests in environmental opportunities.

Professor Loo received her BSE in chemical engineering and in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2001. She spent a year at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies before joining the faculty in the chemical engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin. She returned to Princeton University in 2007. As the Associate Director of External Partnerships at the Andlinger Center from 2011 to 2015, she launched and led Princeton E-ffiliates Partnership to promote teacher-student-practitioner interactions and foster collaboration with the private sector. Professor Loo served as Acting Vice-Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science in the spring of 2016 and was appointed Director of the Andlinger Center in July 2016. With over 100 affiliated faculty members, the Andlinger Center is developing solutions for sustainable energy production and protection of the environment.

The author of over 140 publications, Professor Loo has delivered more than 200 invited and plenary lectures globally and she serves on numerous international advisory boards of peer academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, journal publishers, and private companies. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and a Strategic Advisor for NewWorld Capital Group. Her scholarly work has been recognized by numerous other accolades, including Sloan and Beckman Fellowships, the John H. Dillon Medal from the American Physical Society, the Peter and Edith O’Donnell Award in Engineering from the Texas Academy of Medicine, Science and Engineering; and the Alan P. Colburn Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

You can learn more about her and her research group at: http://princeton.edu/~loogroup, and about the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at http://acee.princeton.edu.

Robert Nixon

Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment

Professor of English and the Princeton Environmental Institute

Rob Nixon holds the Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professorship in Humanities and Environment at Princeton University. He is the author of four books, most recently Dreambirds: the Natural History of a Fantasy and Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, which won numerous awards, including the 2012 Sprout prize from the International Studies Association for the best book in environmental studies. Professor Nixon writes frequently for The New York Times. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, The Nation, London Review of Books, The Village Voice, Slate, Truthout, Huffington Post, Times Literary Supplement, Chronicle of Higher Education, Critical Inquiry, Public Culture, and elsewhere.

Professor Nixon’s work is particularly focused on the relationship between accelerating rates of environmental change and rising rates of economic disparity. How do rich and poor communities experience the impacts of climate change differently? In what ways do rich and poor communities suffer unequal exposure to the risks of a rapidly changing planet? And in what ways do rich and poor enjoy unequal access to diminishing resources in a time of heightened climatic stress? Such questions, he believes, demand imaginative, ethical, technological and political responses.


Addison Killean Stark

ARPA-E Fellow and Program Director

U.S. Department of Energy

Addison Killean Stark currently serves as an ARPA-E Fellow and Program Director for the U.S. Department of Energy, focusing on advanced thermochemical conversion to fuels and chemicals, energy innovation in agricultural systems, and intensification of energy conversion reactor designs. He also serves as program director for the $32 million Advanced Research In Dry-cooling (ARID) portfolio, which consists of 14 projects focusing on the development of advanced technologies to reduce the water consumption of power production. He has made important fundamental contributions to the field of advanced biofuel production via elucidation of the role of transport phenomena on the thermochemical conversion of biomass in fluidized bed reactors (gasification and pyrolysis).

Stark completed his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a member of the Reacting Gas Dynamics Laboratory. While at MIT, he served as co-president of the MIT Energy Club, content director of the 2010 MIT Energy Conference, and as a teaching assistant for Sustainable Energy, an interdisciplinary graduate-level survey course of energy technology, systems and policy analysis. Stark also holds S.M. degrees in mechanical engineering and technology and public policy from MIT. He received a B.S. and a B.A. in mathematics and chemistry respectively from the University of Iowa.


stokes-jeffrey-photo_approvedJeffrey Stokes

Senior Director of Power Generation

PSEG Fossil, LLC

Jeffrey Stokes is a Senior Director – Power Generation for PSEG Fossil. He has oversight responsibility for two Combined Cycle Plants in New Jersey and one in New York. Prior to his current position, he was the Senior Director-SERVCO & Fossil Support Services, managing the PSEG Fossil Fleet’s Maintenance and Laboratory Services.

Stokes joined PSEG in 2004 as an operations manager with the Bergen Generating Station. In 2007, he served as the operations corporate functional manager (CFAM) and was instrumental in the design and rollout of the Fossil Operational Excellence Model (OEM). He moved on to occupy successive positions of greater responsibility, spending time with PSEG Energy Resources & Trading, and as plant manager of the Sewaren and Bergen Generating Stations. In 2012, he was appointed Director – Combined Cycle Maintenance and Outages, providing oversight for the company’s self-managed parts and services contracts for the maintenance of its combined-cycle gas turbines.

Prior to joining PSEG, Stokes worked for 12 years with General Electric, and served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear reactor operator on a nuclear submarine. In addition to his duties with the company, Stokes represents PSEG on the Board of the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, and on the Board of the Thomas Edison State University Foundation. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Thomas Edison State University.


sundaresan-sankaran-photoSankaran Sundaresan

Norman John Sollenberger Professor in Engineering

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Sankaran Sundaresan received his B.Tech in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1976. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Houston. He then joined the faculty at Princeton University in 1980. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University during 1997 – 2003.

Professor Sundaresan’s research group uses a combination of theory and computations to study multi-scale, nonuniform structures, which arise in different types of multiphase flows, and develop the building blocks needed to achieve reliable scale-up of chemical reactors and other multiphase flow devices through large-scale computations. Specific examples of current projects include: development of coarse-grained models flow; mass and energy transport and reaction in gas-particle flows; gas-liquid flow and mass transfer through structured packing for carbon dioxide capture; and exploration of the effects of complex particle-particle interactions, arising through tribocharging, liquid bridges between wet particles and van der Waals interaction, on fluidization characteristics. His group is also studying desalination using formation of clathrate hydrates and forward osmosis

Reuven Sussman

Manager, Behavior Program

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Reuven Sussman is the Manager of the Behavior and Human Dimensions of Energy Efficiency program at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). He conducts research on behavior change programs that reduce people’s energy consumption. These include programs that are currently implemented and evaluated by utilities, as well as cutting edge strategies that may be implemented at scale in the future.

Prior to joining ACEEE in 2016, Sussman was a behavior change consultant, university instructor, and researcher at the University of Victoria in Canada. He earned a Doctor of Science and a Master of Science in social and environmental psychology from the University of Victoria. His publications span a broad spectrum of topics from changing behavior by social modeling (in the community and on campus), to the effectiveness of simple visual prompts, to the role of personal values in common dilemmas. Sussman has also examined the psychology of climate change, pro-environmental attitudes, and the design of sustainable cities that meet residents’ psychological needs. The common thread tying all of his research interests together has always been the application of psychology to real-world problems.


van-buren-tyler-photo_approvedTyler Van Buren

Research Specialist

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Tyler Van Buren’s research includes the fundamental study of fluid mechanics, specializing in turbulence, unsteady propulsion systems, and flow control. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) under the advisement of Professor Michael Amitay. He has a total of twelve years of experience working in a research lab setting. Currently, he is a research specialist at Princeton University working under Professor Alexander Smits. At Princeton, he works on multiple projects, including studying alternative wind energy collection methods, atmospheric boundary layers, drag reduction using liquid infused surfaces, and biologically inspired propulsion systems.

Elke U. Weber

Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment

Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Elke Weber is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Her research models decision-making under uncertainty and time delay in financial and environmental contexts from a psychological and neuroscience perspective. Her expertise in the decision sciences has been sought out by several advisory committees of the National Academy of Sciences on human dimensions in global change. Weber served on the American Psychological Association Task Force that issued a report on the Interface between Psychology and Global Climate Change, and was a lead author in Working Group III for the 5th Assessment Report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She is past president of the Society for Neuroeconomics, the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, and the Society for Mathematical Psychology. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Risk Analysis, and the Society for Experimental Psychology.  Weber was elected to the German National Academy of Sciences and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


webley-john-photo_approvedJohn Webley

Chief Executive Officer

Trevi Systems, Inc.

With his two co-founders, John Webley grew Advanced Fibre to 500 people and a market capitalization of $6 billion in 1999. Advanced Fibre was a telecommunications company enabling high speed services over copper. Webley left to found Turin Networks, an optical networking company, in 2000. After retiring from Turin and its subsequent sale to Dell for $700 million, he served as CEO of PAX Streamline (a Khosla Ventures funded bio-mimicry company) for two years. He then founded Innovative Labs, LLC to commercialize early stage technologies in air purification and dehumidification (still active).

Together with Gary Carmignani, Webley founded Trevi Systems in 2010 to commercialize a promising Forward Osmosis water purification technology. Trevi Systems currently employs 30 people and has just commenced revenue shipments of its products. Webley’s engineering background extends over 30 years in electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering. He received a B.S.E.E. and an M.S.E.E. from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 1985, and an honorary Doctorate of Science from Sonoma State University. He served in the South African military and spent 14 months in Antarctica performing upper atmospheric physics experiments.