Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
Phone: +1 512 471 5057, +1 512 471 4697
Varun Rai earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2008 with specialization in energy systems and technologies. Before joining the University of Texas at Austin in July 2010 he was a research fellow at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) at Stanford University from 2008-2010. He holds a M.S. from Stanford and a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
His principal research interests are in technological change, innovation and diffusion; economics of climate change/integrated assessment models; and energy and development. His research combines energy systems modeling with the political economy of energy markets to understand how changes in energy technologies, market conditions, policies and regulation, and environment could impact energy generation. The emphasis of his research is on interdisciplinary and integrative research in engineering and policy to ensure that the insights from his policy research are rooted in the underlying technical realties. His past research has concentrated on three problems in particular: incentive policies and rates of technological diffusion for carbon capture and storage (CCS); performance and behavior of national oil companies; and strategies for engaging developing countries in global climate change policy.