Thomas F. Edgar, Director
Professor Thomas F. Edgar, a chemical engineer who has been on The University of Texas at Austin faculty for more than 40 years, serves as the director of the Energy Institute. Edgar holds the George T. and Gladys H. Abell Chair in Chemical Engineering. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas and the Ph.D. from Princeton University. He served as Department Chair of Chemical Engineering (1985-93), Associate Dean of Engineering (1993-96), and Associate Vice President for Academic Computing (1996-2001) at UT Austin. For the past 40 years, Edgar has concentrated his academic work in process modeling, control, and optimization. He has published over 450 articles and book chapters. He has supervised the thesis research of over 45 M.S. and 80 Ph.D. students. Edgar has co-authored the textbooks Coal Processing and Pollution Control Technology (Gulf Publishing, 1983), Optimization of Chemical Processes (McGraw-Hill, 2001) and Process Dynamics and Control (Wiley, 2010). He was President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 1997. He is board secretary of Pecan Street Inc. in Austin, Texas, which deals with renewable energy and smart grids. He is a member of the National Academy Engineering. Dr. Edgar’s current energy research covers renewable energy, combined heat and power, energy storage, and improved oil recovery (www.che.utexas.edu/edgar_group). In the area of teaching, Edgar initiated a popular engineering elective, “Energy Technology and Policy,” in 2005 and has co-taught a similar signature course for students outside of engineering.
Michael Evan Webber, Deputy Director
Michael Webber is Deputy Director of the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. In addition, he is the Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources and serves as Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator and Associate Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy. Dr. Webber also is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, where he teaches and conducts research on energy and environmental issues.
Dr. Webber holds four patents and has authored more than 150 publications. He is on the board of advisers for Scientific American and is an originator of Pecan Street Inc., a public-private partnership for smart grid innovation and deployment. Previously Webber studied at the RAND Corporation and was a Senior Scientist at Pranalytica, where he invented sensors for homeland security, industrial analysis, and environmental monitoring.
Dr. Webber has a B.A. and B.S. with High Honors from UT Austin, where he has been honored for exceptional teaching. He has an M.S. and Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering) from Stanford. He has been an American Fellow of the German Marshall Fund, a White House Fellowship finalist and an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow.
Fred C. Beach, Assistant Director for Policy Studies
Dr. Beach is the Assistant Director for Energy & Technology Policy at the Energy Institute. He is responsible for conducting research and supervising studies related to the development of Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, and Technology Policy. Dr. Beach also teaches Energy Technology Policy and International Energy Policy in the Cockrell School of Engineering and McCombs School of Business.
Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Beach served for 25 years in the U.S. Navy, where he was a qualified Submariner, Naval Aviator, Surface Warfare Officer, and Acquisition Professional. Since retiring in 2003 he has served as a consultant on defense-related topics for the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, MITRE, Naval Research Advisory Committee, Naval Research Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Defense Science Board.
Dr. Beach holds a Ph.D. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin; an M.S. in Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School; and a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He is also a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University and Certified Level III DoD Acquisition Professional and Program Manager.
Carey W. King, Assistant Director, Research Scientist
Dr. Carey W King performs interdisciplinary research related to how energy systems interact within the economy and environment as well as how our policy and social systems can make decisions and tradeoffs among these often competing factors. The past performance of our energy systems is no guarantee of future returns, yet we must understand the development of past energy systems. Carey’s research goals center on rigorous interpretations of the past to determine the most probable future energy pathways.
Carey is Research Scientist at The University of Texas at Austin and Assistant Director at the Energy Institute. He also has appointments with the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy within the Jackson School of Geosciences and the McCombs School of Business. He has both a B.S. with high honors and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has published technical articles in the academic journals Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Research Letters, Nature Geoscience, Energy Policy, Sustainability, and Ecology and Society. He has also written commentary for American Scientist and Earth magazines as well as major newspapers such as the Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, and Austin American-Statesman. Dr. King has several patents as former Director for Scientific Research of Uni-Pixel Displays, Inc.
Gary Rasp, Communications Director
Gary Rasp has managed the Energy Institute’s communications and public affairs since December 2010. As Communications Director, Gary oversees all of the Institute’s internal and external communications, including media relations, community outreach, branding, reputation management and online presence.
He has more than 25 years’ experience working with corporations, government agencies, universities and not-for-profit organizations. His background includes work as a journalist, media liaison, direct mail specialist, public opinion analyst and public affairs consultant.
Prior to joining the Energy Institute, Gary provided strategic counsel to a variety of public and private sector clients, with particular emphasis on energy industry issues. He has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin and worked as a member of the Capitol press corps before his career in public relations / public affairs.
Lorne Matalon, Energy Journalism Fellow
Lorne Matalon is the Fronteras Desk reporter for Marfa Public Radio/West Texas Public Radio. His stories on the U.S.-Mexico border and Latin America are broadcast on NPR stations in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. Recent features focused on Mexican energy reform, the lifting of the ban on the export of U.S. crude oil, and an investigation into land displacement, violence and corruption in connection with a series of pipelines under construction in a 55-mile corridor that lines the U.S. border southeast of Juárez, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas. For several years, Matalon was based in Mexico City for The World, a co-production of the BBC World Service, Public Radio International and NPR member station WGBH, Boston. Matalon was awarded a 2016 National Edward R Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting for his series, “Borderland Exodus: Towns Near Path of Proposed Mexican Pipelines Suffer Rash of Violence.” He previously worked at NPR member stations in Chapel Hill, NC and Boston; as a television reporter for New England Cable News and CBC Television; and for National Geographic’s online news service. Matalon has a BA in American History from Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont and a Masters in Journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York.
Roger Duncan, Research Fellow
Roger Duncan is a Research Fellow with the Energy Institute and a Research Associate at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at The University of Texas at Austin. In addition, Roger serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance to Save Energy, and is Chairman of the Board of the Pecan Street Project, an Austin smart grid initiative.
A former General Manager of Austin Energy, the municipal utility for Austin, Texas, Roger was twice elected to the Austin City Council, serving from 1981 to 1985. In 2005, Business Week magazine recognized Roger as one of the top 20 carbon reducers in the world. He has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin with a major in philosophy.
Todd Davidson, Research Associate
Dr. Todd Davidson is a Research Associate in the Energy Institute and the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin. Todd’s research is focused on a variety of topics at the confluence of energy technology and economics. His work has analyzed the technoeconomic opportunities of integrating renewable energy resources with industrial processes, emerging solutions for personal transportation, improving wastewater treatment and flare gas management at oil and gas production facilities, and novel energy storage solutions for next generation automobiles & grid-applications.
Prior to joining UT Austin, Todd was the CEO of nCarbon, Inc., a company focused on the commercialization of advanced supercapacitor electrodes. Todd started his career working for Raytheon where he helped to design and deploy four different missile defense product lines.
In addition to his research, Todd has taught fluid mechanics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and guest lectures on entrepreneurship at UT Austin. He received a BS in Engineering Science from Trinity University and an MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UT Austin.
Joshua D. Rhodes, Postdoctoral Fellow
Joshua D. Rhodes, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in The Webber Energy Group and the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. His current research is in the area of residential smart grid applications, including system-level applications of energy efficiency and distributed generation. He is also interested in policy and the impacts that good policy can have on the efficiency of the local economy, especially policy that utilizes market forces to increase the efficiency of the residential building stock. He holds a double bachelors in Mathematics and Economics from Stephen F. Austin State University, a masters in Computational Mathematics from Texas A&M University, a masters in Architectural Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He enjoys CrossFit, mountain biking, rock climbing, and living it up in ATX.
Dave Tuttle, Research Fellow and Energy Week Coordinator
Dr. Tuttle is a Research Fellow in the Energy Institute at University of Texas at Austin. His lifelong passion in the automotive space intersects with his decades of experience in information technology and interest in the diffusion of innovation in the research areas of Plug-In Vehicle adoption and integration with the grid, alternative fuel and advanced powertrain vehicles, the Smartgrid, and renewable energy systems. In the past, Dr. Tuttle advised the UT GM/DOE Challenge-X hybrid development team and was the team manager for the 2007 UT DARPA Urban Challenge Autonomous vehicle team. Today, he is one of the electric vehicle researchers in Austin’s Pecan Street Consortium/UT-Austin Plug-In Vehicle Smartgrid research project.
Dr. Tuttle is a former IBM and Sun Microsystems executive with a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, B.S. & Master of Engineering degrees with highest honors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisville and an MBA from UT-Austin. His diverse career has included leading the design of the Data Cache Unit of the high-performance microprocessor in the original IBM POWER-1 RISC/UNIX computer system, leading the team in the Apple/IBM/Motorola alliance that designed the first high-performance microprocessor used to launch the original Power MacIntosh, leading the team that designed the POWER2-SC microprocessor used in the 1997 IBM Deep Blue Supercomputer that beat World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, and building from scratch Sun Microsystem’s Austin design center for power efficient highly multi-threaded CPUs.
Alan Lloyd, Senior Research Fellow
Alan C. Lloyd is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin. The focus of his research is the role of hydrogen in a sustainable society, fuel cells, electric drive vehicles, renewable energy and policies to promote zero emissions vehicles.
Claudia Martinez-Castañón, Executive Assistant to the Director
Claudia is the executive assistant to the director. She serves as the administrative liaison for the Energy Institute and is responsible for managing day-to-day operations, human resources and budgetary issues. Claudia has been with the University since August 1997 and with the Energy Institute since August 2009.
Christa Hopkins, Administrative Associate
Christa Hopkins provides administrative support for the Energy Institute. After studying urban geography at the University of Texas at Austin, she came to work for the University in 2008. She joined the staff of the Energy Institute in November 2010.