Sustainable Systems Faculty
Assistant Professor of Practice
Assistant Professor Alfaro, PhD, is interested in developing best practices for sustainable development in least developed countries through the use of technology as a catalyst for increasing returns and policy as a force multiplier to create virtuous cycles of well being. He focuses on the food, energy, water nexus (FEW) and uses the tools of complex systems and Industrial Ecology to identify, develop, and implement these best practices. His previous research used complex systems to develop policy planning tools for the deployment of renewable energy with complementary goals of electrification and sustainable development. His teaching takes advantage of his 18-year career in the development space as a volunteer and practitioner as well as his time in industry performing global research and development projects. His classes focus on the appropriate engagement with communities for sustainable development, ethics of international engagement, and the use of appropriate technology with communities.
Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise; Director, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise
Joe Arvai, PhD, is the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise in the School of Natural Resources & Environment, and the Ross School of Business. He is also the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Joe is an internationally recognized expert in the risk and decisions sciences; his research has two main areas of emphasis: First, Joe and his research group conduct experiments focused on advancing our understanding of how people process information and make decisions, with a specific emphasis on how people make tradeoffs. Second, Joe and his team conduct research focused on developing and testing decision-aiding tools and approaches that can be used by people to improve decision quality across a wide range of environmental, social, and economic contexts. Joe's research is applied, and accounts for decision-making by a broad spectrum of public and stakeholder groups, as well as by technical experts, business leaders, and policy makers. His work also focuses on choices made by people individually, and when working in groups. Likewise, he conducts his research across a wide range of contexts, ranging from environmental risk management, to consumer choice and policy-making. In addition to Joe's academic work, he is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chartered Science Advisory Board, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Board on Environmental Change and Society.
Andy Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise; a position that holds joint appointments at the School of Natural Resources & Environment and the Ross School of Business. He also also serves as education director of the Graham Sustainability Institute. His research focuses on corporate strategies that address environmental and social issues. His disciplinary background lies in the areas of organizational behavior, institutional change, negotiations and change management. He has published more than 100 articles and eleven books, two of which have been translated into five different languages. Prior to academics, he worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency, Metcalf & Eddy, the Amoco Corporation, and T&T Construction and Design, Inc. In 2004, he was a Senior Fellow with the Meridian Institute.
Jeremiah Johnson is an Assistant Professor at SNRE and the Center for Sustainable Systems. Dr. Johnson conducts research on sustainable energy and materials systems, with a cross-cutting aim of improving life cycle assessment methods. Current studies employ systems approaches to quantify the environmental impacts of major changes to the power grid, such as the integration of variable renewable generation and large scale energy storage. In addition, Dr. Johnson created multi-scale anthropogenic metals cycles, offering the most comprehensive study of how humans use these resources from cradle to grave. This work supported analyses on design for environment, metal criticality, and environmental impact. Dr. Johnson employs several systems methods, including economic dispatch modeling, life cycle assessment, and material flow analysis. Many research projects aim to inform environmental policy, including studies that evaluate policy design considerations for Renewable Portfolio Standards and State Implementation Plans for carbon dioxide limits to existing power plants.
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. His doctoral work was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors. Upon completion of his graduate studies, he spent five years working in the energy industry, advising utility executives on renewable energy strategy and conducting energy market analysis. In the Fall of 2012, he joined SNRE and the Center for Sustainable Systems as an Assistant Research Scientist.
Peter M. Wege Endowed Professor of Sustainable Systems; Director, Center for Sustainable Systems
Dr. Keoleian co-founded and serves as director of the Center for Sustainable Systems. His research focuses on the development and application of life cycle models and metrics to enhance the sustainability of products and technology. He has pioneered new methods in life cycle design, life cycle optimization of product replacement, life cycle cost analysis and life cycle based sustainability assessments ranging from energy analysis and carbon footprints to social indicators. Systems studied include alternative vehicle technology, renewable energy systems such as wind farms, photovoltaics and willow biomass electricity, buildings and infrastructure, information technology, food and agricultural systems, household appliances, and packaging alternatives.
Professor Keoleian currently teaches interdisciplinary graduate courses on Sustainable Energy Systems and Industrial Ecology and co-directs the Engineering Sustainable Systems Dual Degree Program and the Rackham Graduate Certificate Program in Industry Ecology.
Dow Professor of Sustainable Science, Technology, and Commerce
Tom Lyon is the Dow Professor of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce. His research and teaching interests include environmental information disclosure and greenwash; corporate environmental strategy; environmental NGOs; voluntary environmental agreements; government regulation of business; industrial organization; and energy and the environment.
Jonathan W. Bulkley Collegiate Professor of Sustainable Systems
Professor Miller's research uses life cycle assessment and scenario modeling to identify environmental problems before they occur. Historically, our society has taken a reactionary approach to the environment. By proactively understanding the environmental issues of emerging technologies, we can identify a greater number of options and more creative solutions to avoid or reduce negative consequences. Miller's research group works on a variety of energy-related topics, including the energy-water nexus, bioenergy, and hydraulic fracturing.
Joshua Newell is an assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. He is a broadly trained human-environment geographer, whose research focuses on questions related to urban sustainability, resource consumption, and environmental and social justice. Newell’s current research can be divided into two primary areas of interest. The first, Urban Infrastructure and Form, focuses on structural features of the urban form (e.g. built environment, transport, energy, and water infrastructure). The second research area, Urban Consumption and Commodities, focuses on the interrelationships between the consumption of consumer products, our responsibilities as global 'green' urban citizens, and the role of governance mechanisms and frameworks (including local institutions) in regulating product consumption. His research approach is often multi-scalar and integrative and, in addition to theory and method found in geography and urban planning, he draws upon principles and tools of industrial ecology, and spatial analysis. Joshua teachesSustainability and Society, a large undergraduate course, and Urban Sustainability, which is designed for MS and PhD students. He also leads a year-long interdisciplinary PhD student workshop that grapples with theories and concepts of urbanism, sustainability, and resilience.
As a multidisciplinary scholar, with degrees in engineering and social science, Assistant Professor Reames' research agenda seeks to connect the areas of technological advancement, the policy process, and social equity. His research extends the environmental justice scholarship to focus on energy justice. He is currently exploring disparities in residential energy generation, consumption, and affordability- focusing on the production and persistence of inequality by race, class, and place.
Ming Xu is an Associate Professor in School of Natural Resources and Environment and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the broad field of sustainable engineering and industrial ecology, with specific interests on trade and environment, environmental impacts of emerging technologies including autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and biofuels, and big data and data science applications in urban sustainability. At the University of Michigan, he is a core faculty member in the Center for Sustainable Systems, co-directs the Graduate Certificate Program in Industrial Ecology, and currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Executive Committee of the China Data Center. He teaches Environmental Footprinting and Input-Output Analysis (NRE 573) at the graduate level and Global Enterprises and Sustainable Development (ENVIRON 367) at the undergraduate level. He is an elected Councilor of the International Society for Industrial Ecology and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling (2014 Impact Factor: 2.564).