Jose F. Alfaro

Assistant Professor of Practice


PhD, University of Michigan

MS, Clemson University

BS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

(734) 763-8564


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.  

  • Proctor and Gamble MCubed Diamond Grant, Using Industrial Symbiosis Concepts to Reduce Flexible Packaging Flow to Landfill in Developing Countries. $80,000, 2016-2017. Principle Investigator.

  • UM Center for Global and Intercultural Studies, Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates, Helping Communities Find their Voice on Cultural and Environmental Issues. $58,000, 2016-2017. Principle Investigator.

  • UM Humanitarian Technologies Institute Seed Grant, Social Life Cycle Assessment for Manufacture of Appropriate Technologies for Disadvantaged Communities. $6,000, 2014-2015. Co-author with Student Jenna Lee.

  • UM Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, Experiential Learning Fund, Practice In Sustainable Community Development, $10,000. 2014-2015. Principle Investigator.

  • UM International Institute, Internationalizing the Curriculum, Practice in Sustainable Community Development, $10,000. 2014-2015. Principle Investigator.


Golden Apple Award Nomination (2015)

Impact on Global Experience Student Recognition (2014, 2015)

Select publications: 

Read more publications here.


National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship, 2010 – 2013, $133,000

Rackham One-Term Dissertation Fellowship, Fall 2013, $34,000

Clemson Next Generation Fellowship, 2009- 2010, $45,000

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