Economics and Environment
An innovator in the field, Thomas Drennen has an expertise that interweaves economics with environmental issues. Is it possible for the world to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels and replace them with an economically viable alternative, which might also reduce global warming? Could solar or wind energy, or even advanced hydrogen-fueled vehicles, be a solution? Drennen's research answers these types of questions.
During the past few years, he has created and continues to perfect interactive computer models that explain the relationship between energy use and climate change. These research projects, funded by the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., where Drennen is also a senior staff economist, have been presented to members of Congress to facilitate analysis of the economic and environmental trade-offs associated with various energy options.
Since 2003, Drennen has been part of an interdisciplinary team at Sandia National Labs exploring options for hydrogen. Drennen and his team developed a computer simulation to explore the multiple ways to produce hydrogen, as well as determine the cost, accessibility and other factors associated with each production method. The overall goal is to figure out the most effective and cheapest way to make hydrogen a viable energy source. A book, based on this research, "Pathways to a Hydrogen Future," was published by Elsevier Press in October 2007.
As a teacher, Drennen's ability to relate his expert research to the general public, national media and other professionals comes naturally. In recent years, his calculations have been used to launch the nation's latest innovations in energy use for solid-state lighting. In July 2001, Drennen's paper titled "A Market Diffusion and Energy Impact Model for Solid-State Lighting" was used in support of Senate Bill 1166, a $480 billion bill to fund "The Next Generation Lighting Initiative Act."
Drennen is the author of more than 20 publications that were produced in collaboration with various colleagues, including "Who Will Fuel China?," "The Kyoto Protocol and International Trade: the Carbon Loophole," "Solar Power and Climate Change Policy in Developing Countries," and "Agricultural Dimensions of Global Climate Change."
Drennen's personal web site is available here.
There is a high resolution photo of Drennen available online. A second high resolution photo is also available.
Interview opportunities and additional background information may be requested through the Office of Communications, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York. Phone: (315) 781-3540. After business hours, Communications staff members are accessible through contact information on their answering machine at that number.
Professor Thomas E. Drennen, chair of the economics department who teaches courses in economics and environmental studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, holds a Ph.D. in resource economics from Cornell University, a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received top awards and merits while studying at each institution, most notably having his Ph.D. dissertation nominated by Cornell University for the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award of the American Agricultural Economics Association.