I am currently studying the societal and regulatory aspects of advanced nuclear power plants, with a focus on molten salt reactors and small, modular reactors (SMRs). I am interested in how technologists are framing these power plants as part of a broader sustainable energy transformation and how these power plants intersect with complex and thorny issues of spent nuclear fuel management and ethics.
As part of this, I recently conducted a focus group with members of the public in Lansing, MI, to understand public perceptions of solar PV coupled with these new nuclear power plant designs. I also conducted interviews with energy experts in the Lansing, MI area to better understand how they view baseload power as part of changing energy systems. I am collaborating with Prof. Annick Anctil (Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Prof. Tom Bieler (Materials Science) on this project.
Electric Vehicles and Roadway Charging
I am working with colleagues in Civil and Environmental Engineering- Prof. Mehrnaz Ghamami and Prof. Annick Anctil- to study the societal perceptions and governance aspects of new forms of electric vehicle charging. In summer of 2017 we conducted a survey of the general public and of electric vehicle owners to understand their opinions on new forms of charging. I am interested in how new charging options and new forms of transportation affect mobility justice.
Pedagogy for Ethics & Technological Systems
I am interested in developing innovative methods of engaging students in the ethical and societal aspects of technological systems. I am helping to organize a series of workshops on ethics and technology with Student Pugwash USA. The picture on the left is of the first workshop, "Energy Poverty in a Carbon Constrained World" held at James Madison College (Michigan State University) in February of 2017. I helped with the second Student Pugwash workshop held at Purdue University in April, 2017 on space governance.
I am also working on a paper with Walter Valdivia (Brookings Institution) and Rachel Svetanoff (Purdue University) about education on responsible innovation, in which we interviewed alumni of Student Pugwash USA to see how their education on ethics and technology affects their work today.
Finally, I am working with the energy education community to improve teaching tools specifically for energy systems. I am one of the leaders on the upcoming energy education workshop spearheaded by Prof. John Perkins at the Association for Environmental Studies and Science conference in Tucson in July of 2017.