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Master's student Caleb Waugh studies the impact of air pollutant emission policies on the adaptation of alternative vehicles

fall, Caleb Waugh will graduate with a Masters degree from the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. His research focuses on the impact of alternative vehicles—such as hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles—on emissions of greenhouse gases and air quality pollutants, and the impact of those emissions on the economy. While at the Joint Program, Caleb worked to develop a framework within the Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model to examine air pollutant abatement costs and the kind of policies needed to influence adaptation of alternative vehicles.

“To get some of these alternative technologies adopted, you need policy to provide some sort of an incentive,” explains Caleb. “If it is the case that alternative drive-train vehicles really would decrease carbon emissions or air quality emissions in a cost effective manner, then the adoption of those vehicles would be a good thing and it would be nice to know what sort of policy incentives we would need to get them adopted.”

The significance of Caleb’s research is that it provides a decision-making framework for policymakers. “Instead of just hypothesizing on whether a certain policy will have a certain effect, we can actually go in and conduct a rigorous analysis of a specific policy. In this case, my work will help policymakers or companies and businesses that are interested in adoption of alternative vehicles understand what sort of policy environment they might need for the vehicles to penetrate the market. The results also allow us to see how much these vehicles could reduce emissions.”

With Caleb’s model developments, researchers will be able to perform integrated assessment ofmany different climate, air pollution, and energy policies simultaneously in a single modeling frameworkIn addition to studying the effects or air pollution policy on alternative vehicle adoption, there are additional benefits to having detailed representation of air pollutant abatement opportunities in the EPPA model, such as the ability to analyze human health benefits of air pollution policy.

With his background in electrical engineering and his strong interests in the economic and environmental impacts of energy, Caleb was a key contributor to Joint Program research. “Working in the Joint Program has been an absolute privilege,” Caleb notes. “They are a wonderful group of people. We work hard but we also have a lot of fun… a lot of having a wonderful graduate school experience isn’t so much the research as the people that you are working with, and I couldn’t think of a better group of people to work with as a graduate student.”

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Researcher Highlights

Researcher Highlights

Category: Education | Updated almost 3 years ago

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March 24, 2011 13:20
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