July 28, 2021

CoE Site Index  |  
Workshop on Energy, Transportation, 
and Water Infrastructures: Policy and Social Perspectives
WESEP: Wind Energy Science, Engineering, and Policy

Speaker Biographies

Dean A. Crist, Vice President of Regulation, MidAmerican Energy Company

Crist has been with MidAmerican for more than 20 years. His responsibilities include oversight of the regulation and legislative affairs group, input on regulatory and legislative strategies and coordination of ratemaking efforts for the company. Prior to his current position, Crist was responsible for the financial and operating performance of MidAmerican’s generating and transmission assets. He also managed the gas and electric wholesale trading organizations for MidAmerican. Additionally, Crist serves as a member of the board of managers, Electric Transmission Texas, LLC and vice president of MEHC Texas Transco, LLC. MidAmerican Energy Company provides regulated electric and natural gas service to nearly 1.4 million customers in Iowa and surrounding states. Crist holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and is a registered professional engineer in Iowa.

Michael Deane, Executive Director, National Association of Water Companies

Before joining the NAWC, Deane served as Associate Assistant Administrator for Water in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2007 to January 2009. Prior to being appointed to this position, he served as Senior Policy Advisor, Infrastructure Finance, for the Agency’s Office of Water. Before joining EPA in 2006, Deane was an executive at several water management companies including United Water and its parent company Suez and the U.S. operations of Vivendi (now Veolia), focusing on innovative financing and infrastructure policy. He began his career in water at the EPA, working on the state revolving fund and public-private partnership programs.

Originally from Minnesota, Mr. Deane holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University and a Bachelor’s in biology and geography from Gustavus Adolphus College.  A regular presenter at conferences – and trying very hard to move into the 21st century by blogging and contributing more to on-line content! – he serves on the Pictet Water Fund Advisory Board, the Xylem Global Water Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors of the National Association for Public-Private Partnerships.

Paul F. Hanley, Director, Transportation Policy Program, University of Iowa

Hanley is an associate professor holding joint appointments in the Public Policy Center, Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa. Paul is the Director of the Transportation Policy Research Group at the Public Policy Center, Director of the University of Iowa’s Transportation Graduate Studies Program, and Associate Director of the Mid-American Transportation Center. He has nearly two decades of experience working with federal, state, regional and local transportation and planning agencies. For eight years, he was a transportation planner for a regional Metropolitan Planning Organization in East-central Illinois prior to joining the faculty. His expertise is in the study of the relationships between transportation investments, land use change, and transportation demand.

Michael Hightower, Distinguished Member, Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories

Hightower is a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff in the Energy Security Center at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a civil and environmental engineer and has over 30 years experience in research and development projects. His current efforts include research and evaluation of innovative environmental and energy technologies and security and protection of critical water and energy infrastructures. One of his current activities is as project leader for development of a Science and Technology Roadmap for DOE for Energy-Water research and development. With scientists from Los Alamos, NETL, EPRI, and Sandia he also helped write a Report to Congress on current and emerging energy and water interdependencies and challenges. Mike holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in civil engineering from New Mexico State University. He serves on the Executive Committee of the New Mexico Pollution Prevention Technical Resource Center, the Board of Directors for Citizens for Responsible Energy, is past-Chair of the Waste management Education and Research Consortium Industrial Advisory Board, and Chair of ASME’s Environmental Engineering Division.

Philip Warburg, Author of Harvest the Wind: America’s Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Stability (2012)

Warburg is a seasoned environmental lawyer with roots going back to the 1970s.  He was president of the Conservation Law Foundation, New England’s leading environmental advocacy group, from 2003 to 2009.  Previously, he directed the Israel Union for Environmental Defense in Tel Aviv and was an attorney at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C.  He has worked with governments and citizen groups on environmental initiatives in several Middle East nations and across Eastern Europe. More information can be found at philipwarburg.com.

David T. Allen, Melvin H. Gertz Regents Chair in Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Allen is the author of six books and over 200 papers in areas ranging from coal liquefaction and heavy oil chemistry to the chemistry of urban atmospheres.  For the past decade, his work has focused primarily on urban air quality and the development of materials for environmental and engineering education.  Allen was a lead investigator for the first and second Texas Air Quality Studies, which involved hundreds of researchers drawn from around the world, and which have had a substantial impact on the direction of air quality policies in Texas.  He has developed environmental educational materials for engineering curricula and for the University’s core curriculum, as well as engineering education materials for high school students.

Fred C. Beach, Assistant Director, Energy Policy, The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute

Beach was previously a Fellow in both the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (Jackson School of Geosciences) and the Webber Energy Group (Department of Mechanical Engineering) at The University of Texas at Austin. His research covers the interplay between the development of Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, and Technology Policy. The focus of his research is to investigate the degree to which sound physics, science, and systems engineering play in the development of successful policy. His current research areas include: Developing a National roadmap for Natural Gas to include replacement of Coal as the primary source of electricity generation. The other is evaluating how the Department of Defense is responding to federal mandates to simultaneously improve the security of its energy sources, minimize its dependence on petroleum based fuels, and reduce green house gas emissions. 

Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Beach served for twenty-five years in the United States Navy where he was a qualified Submariner, Naval Aviator, Surface Warfare Officer, and Acquisition Professional. In addition to his broad and global operational experience, he was responsible for: formulating and leading the Navy’s global Y2K operational test, remediation, and validation process, establishing and leading the Foreign Technology Exchange program for Electric Ship and Directed Energy Weapons, developing and leading the Navy Electromagnetic Railgun Program, and developing and implementing smart grid and energy surety plans at the Navy’s largest research and development laboratory. Since retiring in 2003 he has also 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. 

Beach holds a PhD from the LBJ School of Public Policy, University of Texas at Austin, an MS in Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a BS 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 Program Manager.

Robert C. Brown, Director, Bioeconomy Institute, Iowa State University

Brown is the founding director of the Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) at ISU, a university-wide initiative that coordinates research, educational, and outreach activities related to biobased products and bioenergy. The BEI has helped established several new research enterprises at ISU including the NSF-sponsored Center for Biorenewable Chemicals, the Biobased Industries Center, the BioCentury Research Farm, the Biorenewables Research Laboratory Building, the NSF-sponsored EPRSCoR RII project, and the USDA-sponsored CenUSA Bioenergy project.

Brown also helped establish ISU’s Biorenewable Resources and Technology (BRT) graduate program, the first such degree-granting program in the United States. He wrote Biorenewable Resources: Engineering New Products from Agriculture, which is used around the world as a textbook for courses in biorenewables (including ISU’s BRT 501).

Brown’s other administrative duties include directing the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies, a $3 million per year research enterprise focusing on thermochemical processing of biomass and fossil fuels. The center has pioneered a variety of innovative technologies including syngas fermentation, gasification of bio-oil, production of sugars, bioasphalt, and co-firing pellets from the fast pyrolysis of biomass, and use of biochars as soil amendment and carbon sequestration agent.

Brown has published over 120 refereed papers and is PI or co-PI on over $70 million in cumulative research funding. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, a Distinguished Iowa Scientist of the Iowa Academy of Science, and the recipient of the David R. Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research at ISU in 2002. He received an R&D 100 Award from Research and Development Magazine in 1997 and was named one of the “Top 100” researchers in bioenergy by Biofuels Digest in 2011.

Juliet E. Carlisle, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, affiliated with  Energy Policy Institute/Center for Advanced Energy Studies, Idaho State University

Carlisle’s research deals with political behavior and public opinion with an emphasis on environmental politics and policy, especially energy policy. In particular, Dr. Carlisle has dedicated a great deal of her time to research focused on public opinion and has investigated issues surrounding environmental concern including what people know about the environment, from where that knowledge originates, and how that knowledge influences their opinions and their behavior with regard to the environment and offshore oil drilling.

Carlisle’s dissertation drew upon research in political socialization, environmental attitudes, and knowledge acquisition to assess what American high school seniors know about the environment and the source of that knowledge. Specifically, she compares the varying influence of factors related to school and curriculum, family, individual characteristics, and one’s background.

Carlisle is co-author of a book manuscript that explores energy policy during energy crises with specific attention focused on the role of public opinion, business interests, and environmental activists. She is Co-PI on a $200K grant funded by the Idaho National Laboratory for which an interdisciplinary team of researchers is working to incorporate both GIS and public opinion survey data to create an energy transmission siting tool.

Most recently, Carlisle, with a team of researchers, has been awarded a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create a similar siting tool for solar energy. Her primary role in both projects is with regard to the construction and administration of the survey instrument and consultation on how best to incorporate the survey results into the tools.

Jonathan C. Carlson, Professor of Law and International Studies, Victor & Carol Alvarez Fellow in Law, The University of Iowa College of Law

An honors graduate of the University of Chicago School of Law where he served as Topics and Comments Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, Professor Carlson began his legal career clerking for Judge Alvin B. Rubin of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Thereafter, he entered private practice with the Washington, DC, law firm of Patton, Boggs & Blow. He also served as Adjunct Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America School of Law.

Professor Carlson joined the faculty of the College of Law in 1983. His teaching and scholarship focus on international trade and commercial law, international environmental law, and the law of global climate change. He is the author of several law review articles and is a co-author of International Environmental Law and World Order: A Problem-Oriented Coursebook and co-editor of International Law and World Order: Basic Documents(Transnational Publishers, 5 vols., 1994–).

Professor Carlson frequently lectures abroad, and in Fall 2006 he served as the Fullbright/FLAD Distinguished Chair in International Commercial Trade and Business Law at Portuguese Catholic University in Lisbon.  He is a member of the Bars of Iowa and the District of Columbia.

David A. Drescher, Vice President, Wind & Solar, Exelon Generation

Dave Drescher is responsible for the overall operations, growth and project execution of the wind energy business and management of the company’s utility-scale solar sites. This includes oversight of plant operations, technology, financial and project management, industry relations. Drescher has directed the business unit since its inception in 2005.

Exelon Wind focuses on mid-size wind energy projects, with 44 projects operating in nine states generating 1300 MW. The business unit is part of Exelon Generation, and is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa.  

Drescher has been with Exelon since 2010 when it acquired the business from Deere & Co. Drescher was Vice President, Wind Energy for Deere prior to the sale. He worked at John Deere–the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural and construction & forestry equipment–for nearly 20 years where he was a member of the World Leadership team and senior management of the financial services unit. Immediately prior to the role commercializing the wind unit, Drescher was VP responsible for retail & wholesale credit operations with assets exceeding $10 billion. Drescher began his career in the specialty asset finance and leasing business of an organization which is now part of the JP Morgan/Chase Bank.

He served on the Board of Directors of the American Wind Energy Association from 2005 to 2012 and chaired the compensation committee.  Drescher has presented, moderated and served as a panelist on multiple industry forums. Previously, he served on the Vendor Business Council and Fair Business Practices Task Force of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association.

Drescher has a MBA in Finance and BS in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also completed an executive global development program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College with overseas modules at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore and the Templeton School of Business at Oxford, UK.

Stephen P. Gasteyer, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Michigan State University

Gasteyer’s research focuses on rural community change, specifically looking at leadership, decision- making and management capacity, around land, water, and development sectors.  Specifically, his research looks at the dynamic social networks and systems involved in water and wastewater infrastructure systems both in the U.S. and overseas, and the processes and systems around land management, economic and agricultural development.

Ongoing research includes: study of the historical and institutional dynamics of social networks in influencing ground and surface water use; research on the design and impacts of rural community leadership development education programs; study of the social aspects of conversion to the bioenergy economy in rural communities; study of the landscape and social change in economically depressed and conflicted communities; and study of small community water infrastructure operational and management capacity. 

Before coming to Michigan State University, Gasteyer was on faculty in the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois. Prior to that, he was Research and Policy Director at the Rural Community Assistance Partnership in Washington, DC and a research consultant on issues of global water governance. Gasteyer was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali from 1987 through 1990, and worked with environmental non-governmental organizations from 1993 through 1998 in the Palestinian territories. He received a BA from Earlham College in 1987, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Iowa State University in 2001. He has been a member of the Rural Sociological Society since 1996.

Jarod Kelly, Assistant Research Scientist, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan

Kelly is focused on conducting environmental impact assessment of energy generation and consumption systems. His research includes modeling the electrical grid, transportation networks (including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), and renewable energy technologies in order to calculate the impacts of those systems on pollutant emissions. His interests are related to understanding designed systems, especially quantifying a system’s environmental impact, and determining how user behavior influences a system’s environmental impact. His background in optimization, mechanical engineering design, and preference assessment continue to influence the type of work that he pursues. Dr. Kelly earned his PhD (2008) and MS (2005) in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, and his BS (2003) in mechanical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Kelly has taught mechanical engineering design at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and assisted in several optimization and design courses at the University of Michigan.

Kevin E. Lansey, Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Arizona

Lansey is Professor and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Arizona. His research interests include surface water hydrology and applying system analysis approaches including statistical and optimization methods to water resources problems. He is co-author on over 110 publications and has written two textbooks. He and his students are involved in large scale water resources modeling and planning, optimization of water distribution systems, uncertainty analysis and remote sensing data in hydrologic modeling and flood forecasting.

James D. McCalley, Harpole Professor in Electrical Engineering, Iowa State University

McCalley received the BS, MS, and PhD degrees from Georgia Tech in 1982, 1986, and 1992, respectively. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU) in 1992. He was employed with the Atlanta Gas Light-Company from 1977-1982, with the United States Peace Corps from 1982-1984, and with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Francisco from 1985 to 1990. At PG&E, McCalley was a transmission engineer where he performed planning, design, and operating studies of the western US interconnected power grid. He is registered as a professional engineer in California. His research activities focus on energy systems. Specific interests include electric transmission and resource planning, wind energy integration, asset management, transmission system security assessment and risk evaluation, power system dynamic analysis and control, and computational models for national bulk energy transportation system operation and expansion, with over 150 publications in these areas. In addition to the RESIN, he has been lead PI on six successful multi-PI NSF proposals, most recently including an interdisciplinary NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) 5-year project to increase the growth rate for wind energy, reduce costs, and extend penetration limits.

Arka Pandit, PhD Candiate, Georgia Institute of Technology

Pandit will graduate in Fall 2013. He received his MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and his Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the Bengal Engineering and Science University, India. His current research focus is in sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure with particular focus on the resilience of urban water systems and the interrelations between different urban infrastructure components.

Leigh S. Raymond, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Environment, Purdue University

Raymond is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Environment at Purdue University. He received his PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from U.C. Berkeley, and a BA in Philosophy from Yale University. Raymond’s research focuses on how non-economic factors influence the design and adoption of environmental policy, especially market-based policies. He has studied how moral norms and issue framing affect the design and implementation of a wide range of policies, including: emissions trading, environmental risk management, renewable fuels, and biodiversity protection on private lands. Raymond has served as PI or Co-PI on more than $1.2 million in external research grants and is the author or co-author of two books on property rights and environmental policy and more than 20 refereed articles.  He is currently at work on a new book on recent developments in emissions trading policy.  Raymond teaches courses related to public policy and the environment at the undergraduate and graduate level, and was a winner of the Kenneth T. Kofmehl Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Liberal Arts.

Lulu Rodriguez, Professor, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, Iowa State University

Rodriguez designs, implements, and evaluates the impact of communication campaigns related to agriculture, renewable energy, the environment, and food safety. Her research focuses on the communication of risks related to scientific and technological breakthroughs, investigating people’s basic mental models of hazard and their opinions about innovations. Her research agenda includes examining and testing approaches that have the potential to improve society’s ability to anticipate, diagnose, prioritize, and respond to issues that confront, and often confound, risk managers.

Emery Roe, Senior Researcher, Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, University of California, Berkeley

Emery Roe is a practicing policy analyst working on science, technology and environmental controversies. He specializes in developing better management strategies in large technical systems for the provision of high critical services, such as electricity and water. He is author or co-author of many articles and books, including Narrative Policy Analysis (1994), Taking Complexity Seriously (1998), Ecology, Engineering and Environment (2002) and High Reliability Management (2008). He has helped design and direct initiatives on, among others, agriculture and urban sprawl in California’s Central Valley, indicators of ecosystem health and climate change impacts in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region, campus/community partnerships in underserved urban minority neighborhoods, and research on issues at the intersection of global population growth, natural resource utilization and the environment. His most recent book is Making the Most of Mess: Reliability and Policy in Today’s Management Challenges (2013).

“Sri” S. Sritharan, Lead, Wind Energy Initiative, College of Engineering, Iowa State University

Sritharan joined the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department at Iowa state University as an Assistant Professor in December 1999. He became an Associate Professor in 2005 and Full Professor in 2010. In addition to his departmental role as the Director of graduate Education (DOGE), he currently serves as the Associate Department Chair and Wilson Engineering Professor.

Sritharan earned his BSc degree in civil engineering from the University of Peradeniya, MS degree from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Prior to pursuing his PhD at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), he worked as a Scientist in the Engineering Seismology section of the Institute Geological and Nuclear Sciences (IGNS) in New Zealand for more than 4 years. His work at IGNS focused in the areas of microzonation, attenuation of ground motions and understanding the behavior of field structures subjected to earthquake loading. He received his PhD in Structural Engineering in 1998. Prior to joining Iowa State University, he served as an Assistant Project Scientist at UCSD and worked primarily on the PREcast Seismic Structural Systems (PRESSS) program. 

His research interests include Earthquake-resistant design and analysis of structures,precast/prestressed structural systems, soil-foundation structure interaction (SFSI), Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) and especial topics in Wind Engineering and Wind Energy Systems.

Paul B. Thompson, W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural Food and Community Ethics, Michigan State University

Thompson has formerly held positions in philosophy at Texas A&M University and Purdue University. His research has centered on ethical and philosophical questions associated with agriculture and food, and especially concerning the guidance and development of agricultural techno-science. This research focus has led him to undertake a series of projects on the application of recombinant DNA techniques to agricultural crops and food animals. Thompson published the first book length philosophical treatment of agricultural biotechnology in 1997 (revised in 2007), and has traveled the world speaking on the subject, delivering invited addresses in Egypt, Thailand, Taiwan, Mexico, Israel, and Jamaica, as well as a number of European countries. In addition to philosophical outlets, his work on biotechnology has appeared in technical journals including Plant Physiology, The Journal of Animal Science, Bio-science, and Cahiers d’Economie et Sociologie Rurales. He serves on the United States National Research Council’s Agricultural Biotechnology Advisory Council and on the Science and Industry Advisory Committee for Genome Canada. Thompson’s new work focuses on nanotechnology in the agrifood system.