About the blog

  • Started: March 3, 2010
  • This blog is a place to talk about energy and environmental topics, emphasizing technology and policy.

About the author/creator

Melissa C. Lott is an engineering research associate at The University of Texas at Austin as a member of the Webber Energy Group. She also works as an engineer and consultant for YarCom, Inc., where she has worked as an engineer for more than 6 years. Melissa graduated in December 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin with two masters degrees – in Mechanical Engineering and Public Affairs. Her work includes a unique blending of technology and policy in the field of energy systems research. Melissa studies the economic and environmental tradeoffs of energy systems, including electricity generation (power plants) and transportation fuels. In this work, she focuses on electricity transmission (smart grid, RETI, CREZ) and energy efficiency programs.

Melissa is a graduate of the University of California at Davis, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biological Systems Engineering. She has previously interned for the Department of Energy and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Energy & Climate Change Team for the Obama Administration.  Melissa is an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) and an amateur radio operator. She lives in Texas with her awesome Bernese Mountain Dog (adopted from the pound 5 years ago), Harper.

You can contact Melissa at – melissalott at gmail dot com.

Professional Affiliations: Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society (full member), Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), ARRL Amateur Radio Operator

Selected Publications

Refereed Conference Papers

  • Using Technology in the Classroom for Multidisciplinary Instruction on Environmental Impacts and Sustainability of Energy Systems. Lott, Melissa C, David M. Wogan,.and Michael E. Webber. 23rd International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy System. Lausanne, Switzerland. June 2010. (under review)
  • Evaluation of H.R. 2454’s Potential Impacts on Texas’s Electricity Profile Using the Rosenfeld Effect as a Basis for Evaluation.  Lott, Melissa C.and Michael E. Webber, ASME Sustainability Conference 2010. Phoenix, AZ. May 2010. ES2010-90130
  • Analyzing Tradeoffs in Electricity Choices Using the Texas Interactive Power Simulator (TIPS). Lott, Melissa C., Carey W. King, and Michael E. Webber, ASME Sustainability Conference 2009. San Francisco, CA. August 2009. ES2009-90135
  • Using the Texas Interactive Power Simulator for Direct Instruction. Lott, Melissa C., Carey W. King, and Michael E. Webber, ASEE Annual Conference 2009. Austin, TX. June 2009. AC2009-525
  • Designing a Sustainable Energy Future through Environmental & Economic Tradeoff Analysis. Lott, Melissa C. and Michael E. Webber, American Political Science Association International Sustainability Conference. April 2009
  • TIPS: Texas Interactive Power Simulator – an Analytical Tool for Direct Instruction & Informing Public Policy Decisions. Lott, Melissa C. and Michael E. Webber. ASEE GSW Conference 2009. Waco, TX. March 2009. 09-gs05
  • Understanding the Environmental Impacts of Texas’ Electricity Generation Choices: An Analytical Approach. Lott, Melissa C., and Michael E. Webber, IMECE2008-68919. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Conference and Exposition 2008. Boston, MA. 4 Nov 2008

White Papers & Reports

  • The Smart Grid in Texas: A Primer. Lott, Melissa C., Tylor B. Seaman, Charles R. Upshaw, and Ehab Haron. Power Across Texas Energy Primer Challenge. January 17, 2011.
  • Energy and Climate Legislation in the Senate: Hope Moving Forward. The Baines Report: Policy in Perspective. May 5, 2010
  • In the World of Energy and Climate Legislation, Communication is the Key. The Baines Report: Policy in Perspective. March 3, 2010
  • Power Generation for the 21st Century.  Lott, Melissa, Ashlynn Stillwell, Stuart Cohen, Carey King, and Michael Webber, Clean TX Forum. Austin, TX. May 20, 2009
  • Photovoltaics: The Science and Investigation of Feasibility in New Zealand. Lott, M.C., and K.A. Bryant; Energy Resource Management Reports. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Sept 2003

Newspaper and Popular Media

Scientific American’s Guest Blog (guest author)

Discover Magazine’s Blog, The Intersection (guest author)

Austin Post – Energy and Environment Column

Austin American Statesman

World Energy Blog

Audio Commentary on Energy & Environmental Policy

  • Dialectica Radio – Shaping the Energy Technology Transition, April 2009
  1. December 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for the very informative excerpt on Scientific American. It certainly can

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