Meet The Team

MEET THE TEAM

Portrait of Prof. Michael Davidson

Prof. Michael Davidson

I am an assistant professor in the School of Global Policy and Strategy and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. I study the engineering implications and institutional conflicts inherent in deploying low-carbon energy at scale. See my research areas and papers for more details.

I am a faculty member with the 21st Century China Center (where I run a project on Chinese energy markets with the China Data Lab), the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, and the Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology, all located at UC San Diego. I am currently a fellow with the Public Intellectuals Program at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins SAIS. I am an affiliate with the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

Previously, I was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and received my Ph.D. in engineering systems and an S.M. in technology and policy from the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, where I was a researcher with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Prior to MIT, I worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council and was a Fulbright fellow in the Tsinghua University Department of Energy and Power Engineering. I received bachelors degrees in Mathematics and Physics and in Japanese Studies from Case Western Reserve University.

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My office locations:

  • MAE: EBUII-465 (4th floor)
  • GPS: RBC-1414 (4th floor)
Portrait of Dr. Ming Wei

Dr. Ming Wei

Ming is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California San Diego. Ming’s research interests focus on electricity markets, low-carbon transitions, green finance, and financial econometrics. Ming is currently working on a project to investigate China’s grid resource adequacy and to support China’s low-carbon policies on crucial power sector reform decision-making.

Ming holds a Ph.D. in Actuarial Studies and Business Analytics at Macquarie University (Australia). Ming’s doctoral dissertation is an interdisciplinary study of the renewable transformation of electricity markets in changing environments. Prior to his Ph.D., Ming earned two Master’s degrees—M.Phil. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China) and M.Sc. in Electrical Power Systems from Bath University (the United Kingdom). Ming obtained his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Tianjin University (China).

Before joining Davidson’s lab, Ming previously worked as research fellow in the Fintech Center of Zhejiang Lab, where Ming developed models to analyze fintech’s impact on green finance and decarbonization. Apart from that, Ming worked as an analyst at the headquarters of China Light and Power Co., Ltd. Ming also has participated in the consulting and research projects with China Southern Power Grid, Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the National Key Research and Development Program of China with the topics of electricity markets, smart grid, and energy internet.

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Portrait of Shiny Choudhury

Shiny Choudhury

Shiny is pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCSD. She is co-advised by George Tynan and Michael Davidson, with whom she explores decarbonization pathways under various technological and market contexts. Shiny has a background in power and energy system modeling, controls, and AI/ML. She holds an M.Sc from UC Irvine, working in the Advanced Power and Propulsion Lab (APEP), exploring hydrogen combustion for stationary burners. In her free time, Shiny enjoys yoga, kickboxing, running, or being in the waters at Scripps pier!

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Portrait of Manh (Tyson) Dao

Manh (Tyson) Dao

Tyson is pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with a focus on Energy Systems at UCSD. He has a keen interest in sustainable development, climate change and renewable energy. His current research involves combining engineering and political-economic principles to better understand global energy trends. In particular, he’s interested in Vietnam’s energy transition and its implication in the broader ASEAN context. In his free time, Tyson enjoys working out, playing his guitar and going on road trips.

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Portrait of Jenny Nicolas

Jenny Nicolas

Jenny is pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at UCSD. She is interested in advancing renewable energy penetration by examining energy storage technologies at both device and system levels. Prior to joining the Davidson Lab, she worked as a project manager in commercial and utility-scale solar development. Jenny earned an integrated Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), where the focus of her thesis was phase change materials for heat storage batteries. In her free time, Jenny enjoys running, eating desserts and watching documentaries.

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Portrait of Zhenhua Zhang

Zhenhua Zhang

Zhenhua is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego with a focus on policy questions relevant to electricity markets and energy systems. He combines engineering methods with the understanding of political economy to identify the transition strategies towards carbon neutrality. His previous research focuses on the operational details of renewable energy technologies and the economic and financial aspects of behind-the-meter renewable projects. Zhenhua has worked on battery storage at Tesla and startups for a couple of years, where he developed software apps for system-level simulations and real-time controls of commercial and industrial battery storage projects in California and China. Zhenhua holds an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, a B.S. in Environmental Science, and a minor in Economics from Fudan University.

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Portrait of Nathan Mariano

Nathan Mariano

Nathan is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at UC San Diego. His research investigates the behavior and preferences of private sector actors such as firms and consumers in the realm of climate policy. Nathan holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago and has worked extensively as an instructor with the UC San Diego School of Global Policy & Strategy.

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Portrait of Hanyi Wang

Hanyi Wang

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at UC San Diego. My research leverages causal inference techniques to assess the cost-effectiveness, distributional consequences, and broader trade implications of climate policies on firms. Additionally, I delve into understanding the impact of sustainable investing on businesses and how regulatory pressures can drive green transitions. Prior to this, I earned an MPhil in Land Economy Research from the University of Cambridge and a B.S. in Applied Math from UC San Diego.

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Portrait of Eddie Yang

Eddie Yang

Eddie is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at UC San Diego. His research examines the authoritarian politics of artificial intelligence. Eddie earned his M.A. from the University of Chicago and B.A. from UCLA. In his free time, Eddie enjoys running and reading.

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Portrait of Zhuohan Fang

Zhuohan Fang

Zhuohan is a Master of Chinese Economic and Political Affairs in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD with a specialization in Chinese Environment. Her interest lies in the international energy trade market and climate adaptation policy. Zhuohan holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economy management from Zhejiang University. Prior to UCSD, she worked as a research assistant in several projects related to international trade and ecosystem evaluation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and reading novels.

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Portrait of Kaarthi Gnapathy

Kaarthi Gnapathy

Kaarthi is pursuing a Master of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, majoring in Power & Energy Systems at UCSD. He is interested to explore the energy markets in the Southeast Asian region and develop an energy systems model that could help navigate through regional challenges in the energy transition. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and a minor in Economics from Purdue University. In his free time, Kaarthi enjoys cooking, drone photography and going on road trips.

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Portrait of Yumeng Liu

Yumeng Liu

Yumeng is pursuing a Master of Public Policy in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD. She is interested in climate change and environmental policy and the policy impacts. Yumeng holds a Bachelor of Laws from Peking University. Prior to UCSD, she interned in several environmental NGOs.

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Portrait of Chen (Pammy) Long

Chen (Pammy) Long

Chen is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Policy at the School of Global Policy and Strategy of UCSD. She’s interested in financial analysis and company operation improvement. Chen holds a Bachelor of Management from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Prior to UCSD, she interned at PwC as an assurance intern and at several consulting firms as a part-time assistant.

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Portrait of Yuting (Christine) Wan

Yuting (Christine) Wan

Christine is pursuing a Master of International Affairs in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD with a specialization in international economics and management. Her research interest lies in the supply chain and national security concerns of the U.S. and China. Before joining Davidson Lab, she worked at the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, where she conducted research on China’s battery supply chain. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Fudan University. In her free time, she enjoys reading histories and literature, and is an enthusiastic traveler.

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Portrait of Angelina Zhang

Angelina Zhang

Angelina is a second-year UCSD student majoring in Data Science and Math-CS. She is interested in machine learning and data analysis. She has experience in data collecting and web scraping in projects. In her free time, Angelina enjoys playing badminton, playing video games, and hanging out with her friends.

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Portrait of Annabelle Min

Annabelle Min

Annabelle is a senior undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Math-CS, Annabelle’s research primarily centers around the renewable energy transition in India and the coordination of Google Earth Engine with geodata package. With experience in machine learning, computer vision, and LLM, she is dedicated to advancing her field. Annabelle never fails to appreciate the breathtaking La Jolla sunset.

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Portrait of Connie Chang

Connie Chang

Connie is a fourth year Mathematics-Computer Science and Cognitive Science (with a Specialization in Machine Learning and Neural Computation) double major at UCSD. She’s interested in leveraging her background in Computer Vision and Machine Learning towards improving the lives of humans. At Davidson Lab, she works on the Geodata project, developing the CI pipeline and wind interpolation/extrapolation functionality. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and playing video games.

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Portrait of Jingting Liu

Jingting Liu

I am a second year ECE student majoring in Computer Engineering at UCSD. My interests are in robotics, computer vision, and machine learning. In the Davidson Lab, I assist with the validation and reproduction of open to public data in the China Electricity Market project. In my free time, I like to eat and explore different kinds of activities such as singing, playing video games, and running.

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Portrait of Micah Gilbert

Micah Gilbert

I’m a third-year math major at UCSD and an aspiring web developer. I collaborated with Professor Davidson early 2023 to redesign the lab’s website, which you are looking at right now. You can check out my GitHub page here.

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Portrait of Xiqiang Liu

Xiqiang Liu

I am a fourth-year Data Science student with experience in data analysis and machine learning. At Davidson Lab, I am working on the Geodata project under the guidance of Professor Davidson, where I am currently creating an interface for efficient wind speed modeling. Additionally, I have also added various features, trying to make the overall analysis process easier to use for users with user-friendly prompts and interfaces.

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Portrait of Ruibin (Ian) Deng

Ruibin (Ian) Deng

Ruibin Deng is a visiting graduate at UCSD this year and he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy, with a focus on decarbonization policies at Sun Yat-Sen University. He also holds interest in industrial policies, energy transition and policies as well as urban governance. In particular, he is currently working on the political-economic analysis of carbon market governance in China. In his free time, Ian enjoys road trips and outdoor activities such as climbing and trail running.

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Portrait of Yiqun Meng

Yiqun Meng

Yiqun Meng is a visiting graduate at UCSD this year and he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Northeast Electric Power University, with a focus on Energy Economics and Policy. His current research is centered around the optimized operational strategies of multi-energy systems (wind-solar-thermal) participating in the electricity market. Yiqun earned a Master’s degree in Power Engineering from the University of Sydney (Australia), where the focus of his thesis was the impact of distributed renewable energy generation on energy saving and carbon reduction in residential areas. In his free time, Yiqun enjoys photography, skiing, and going on road trips.

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Alumni

  • Zhipeng (Bill) Chen
  • Nikki Emam
  • Dr. Fikri Kucuksayacigil
  • Zecheng (Justin) Li'
  • Dinah Shi
  • Boyu Yao
  • Shasank Bonthala
  • Jiahe (Jeffrey) Feng
  • Chi (Will) Gao
  • Isac Lee
  • Justin Lu
  • Johnny Nguyen
  • Yuanbo (Rambo) Shi
  • Arjun Sawhney
  • Huizhong (Sonia) Tan
  • Ananya Thridandam
  • Yunhan Zhang