Daniel Posen

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair in System-Scale Environmental Impacts of Energy and Transport Technologies

Please note that I receive a large volume of e-mail and am unable to respond to every message. Please see additional guidance below for how best to reach me.



Research Interests

My research focuses on system-scale environmental sustainability analysis. This work draws on a range of tools from Engineering, Science, Economics, and Public Policy to provide quantitative analysis to guide environmental policy and decision making. My work is grounded in the tools of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle thinking, with application to a wide range of systems including fuel and chemical production, biobased products, electric vehicles and vehicle fleets, electricity generation, and infrastructure systems.

Education and Designations

  • PhD Engineering & Public Policy, and Civil & Environmental Engineering (2016)
    Carnegie Mellon University
  • MSc Economics (2012)
    London School of Economics
  • MRes Green Chemistry: Energy and the Environment (2010)
    Imperial College London
  • BA Chemistry with Certificate in Applied Mathematics (2009)
    Princeton University

Life cycle assessment and life cycle thinking

Greenhouse gas mitigation strategies

Alternative fuels and chemicals, including carbon capture & utilization, biofuels, bio-based products, and electrification

Sustainability consequences of technology deployment at scale

Interactions between climate science and greenhouse gas mitigation

Economic modeling of fossil fuel and energy markets

Public policy, decision support models, and uncertainty in environmental decision making



Selected Publications

This page is under construction. Please check my google scholar page, and the Sustainable Systems Group Research Areas for more information

Selected Media

  1. "We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles”, IEEE Spectrum Magazine, August 20, 2022. https://spectrum.ieee.org/electric-cars-2657880896
  2. “Our Annual Holiday Listener Question Show – Is Scrapping an old gasoline-powered car and replacing it with a new electric one always better for the environment?”, CBC Radio, Quirks & Quarks, January 1, 2022.
  3. “Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Environment?”, Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2021. https://www.wsj.com/graphics/are-electric-cars-really-better-for-the-environment/
  4. “Core Concept: Bioplastics offer carbon-cutting advantages but are no panacea”, PNAS, March 23, 2021.
  5. “Ninety Percent of U.S. Cars Must Be Electric by 2050 to Meet Climate Goals”, Scientific American E&E News, September 29, 2020. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ninety-percent-of-u-s-cars-must-be-electric-by-2050-to-meet-climate-goals/
  6. “Researchers Analyze Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through the Life Cycle of Plant-Based Plastics.” Carnegie Mellon University News, June 23, 2016. http://engineering.cmu.edu/media/feature/2016/06_23_plant_based_plastics.html
  7. “A life-cycle look at plant-based plastics.” Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), March 18, 2016. http://cen.acs.org/articles/94/web/2016/03/life-cycle-look-plant-based.html
  8. “Carnegie Mellon Researchers Call for Broader U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard.” Carnegie Mellon University News, April 7, 2015. http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2015/april/renewable-fuel-standard.html
  9. “Is it Time to Broaden the Scope of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard?” Blog post in The Energy Collective, March 23, 2015. http://theenergycollective.com/daniel-posen/2208606/it-time-broaden-scope-us-renewable-fuel-standard



Guidance for how best to reach me:

  • For prospective students and postdocs, please review information here.
  • For students in my class, please use course discussion board or Quercus inbox.
  • For others at U of T, please use Microsoft Teams
  • For all others, email is fine, but please note that you may need to send your message multiple times

Daniel Posen
Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering
University of Toronto
35 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada, M5S 1A4

Office: GB334

Tel: 416-978-4571
Fax: 416-978-6813