Humphrey School News—April 23, 2015

Associate Professor Elizabeth Wilson Among Top U.S. Researchers to Receive Inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

Fellowship to fund Wilson's work on climate change, renewable energy systems, and policy

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, April 23, 2015—Humphrey School of Public Affairs Associate Professor Elizabeth Wilson has been selected to the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows. Wilson, a leading researcher in energy and environmental policy and law, is one of 32 scholars chosen from more than 300 nominees and will receive a $200,000 award. The award will support her research to examine the complex relationship between renewable and nuclear energy, climate change, and economic development, and how policy drives the evolution of energy systems.

“I am thrilled and humbled to have been selected to be an Andrew Carnegie Fellow,” says Wilson. “My research focuses on energy and environmental policy implementation, and the challenges I work on are interdisciplinary and require solutions involving many different fields of study and expertise. This award reminds me how lucky I am to work at the University of Minnesota, with colleagues who are committed to working together to address the world’s grand challenges.”

Wilson’s research focuses on how energy systems are changing and how renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar power are affecting how the electricity system operates. She studies how policies and institutions are responding to risks like climate change by incorporating new technologies into existing energy systems. Her project under the Carnegie Fellowship, titled "Nuclear Futures in a Windy World: A Comparative Analysis Balancing Energy Security, Climate Change, and Economic Development," will examine the integration of nuclear energy with renewable energy technologies, the perceptions surrounding that integration, and how to implement future policy to support both environmental concerns and economic development.

The study will compare how energy policies are being implemented in Denmark, Germany, and Spain—three countries Wilson selected for their high levels of renewable resources, different policies towards nuclear power, and different electric grid architectures and integration policies. The project will include interviews with experts in the energy industry, governments, academia, and non-governmental institutions, in order to create more insights of how to implement energy policy and currently stakeholder perceptions of the transitions.

Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz says, “We are delighted that Elizabeth’s expertise and work on energy policy is being recognized by this important fellowship. She is a leader in her field of study and passionate about working across disciplines to find workable solutions to global challenges.”

Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the $6 Million annual Andrew Carnegie Fellowship Program supports social sciences and humanities research by scholars, journalists, and authors whose work provides new potential impacts on their particular field of studies. The jury that selected the Carnegie Fellows included leaders of the nation’s most distinguished institutions. To learn more about the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Fellows, visit the Carnegie Corporation website.

Elizabeth Wilson, PhD, is associate professor of energy and environmental policy and law at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and resident fellow of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. Her recent books include Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing) with Davies, Klass, Tomain and Osofsky and Smart Grid (R)evolution: Electric Power Struggles (Cambridge), with Stephens and Peterson. She was recently selected as a CIC Academic Leadership Fellow and was also selected as a Leopold Leadership Fellow in 2011. Before joining the Humphrey School in 2005, Wilson obtained her doctorate in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

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