Dr. Timothy M. Smith is director of the NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment; and an associate professor of environmental sciences, policy and management, and bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the university. His work focuses on policy and market adoption of technologies that enhance environmental performance, public and private governance of sustainability, and sustainability systems modeling in decision making.
Through his career, Smith has held the rotating chair in sustainable entrepreneurship at Wageningen University, Netherlands, served on the faculty at INCAE Business School in Costa Rica, and is on the extended faculty in marketing and logistics management at the Carlson School of Management and in the College of Continuing Education at UMN. He is a former AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow and has advised the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Research Council’s Committee on Certification of Sustainable Products and Services, and numerous companies and organizations on supply chain sustainability and product-based policies.
Jennifer Schmitt is a lead scientist with the NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise. Her research focuses on collective action in sustainability and spatial dimensions to sustainability challenges. Jennifer’s current research projects include supply chain collective action, supply chain mapping of the US corn industry and organic waste mapping in Minnesota. She is also interested applying the theory of collective action to the sharing economy and conservation. Her past research has included conservation policies and socioeconomics in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania. Jennifer has a M.S. in applied economics and Ph.D. in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in biology and international relations from Beloit College. Through engaging practitioners in her research and her prowess in finding, connecting and analyzing data, Jennifer seeks to highlight and inform businesses and individuals in solving global sustainability challenges. After work Jennifer enjoys spending time with her two daughters, scrapbooking and reading.
Graduate Research Assistant
Mo Li is a Graduate Research Assistant with NiSE at the Institute on the Environment and a Ph.D. student in the program of Natural Resources, Science and Management (NRSM) in the University of Minnesota. Mo’s research focuses on industrial supply chain and procurement management and optimization, interactive dynamics of electric power generation and electricity consumption in the MISO (Midcontinental Independent System Operator, Inc.), and applications of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Currently, she is working on employing LCA-based methodologies to develop supply chain optimization for procurement managers in manufacturing industries from environmental-impact’s perspective. This work will be presented at the ISIE conference 2015. She is also working on identifying opportunities for reducing energy usage and improving energy efficiency at intensive energy users’ side via incorporating manufacturing process improvement with existing electricity generation and transmission systems in MISO.
Mo has received her M.S. in NRSM from the University of Minnesota and her B.S. in Environmental Sciences from the Renmin University of China. Her past research has included LCA and economic analysis on residential GSHP systems in Minnesota, solar-biomass gasification in the U.S., and exploitations of desert shrub biomass for power generation in Inner Mongolia, China.
Rylie Pelton is a graduate research fellow with NiSE at the Institute on the Environment. Rylie’s research focuses on applications of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to aid procurement and manufacturing decision makers in integrating environmental metrics into their decision-making. She is currently using LCA-based methodologies to assess and identify product environmental claims that demonstrate improved environmental performance, the results of which will be integrated into a decision-making software tool to guide procurers in reaching their organizational sustainability objectives. Rylie is also recipient of the Biobased and Biosystems Engineering Buckman Fellowship for her research using LCA to investigate the dynamic environmental performance of bio-refineries based on the fluctuations in co-product and intermediate product production portfolios.
Rylie is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota in the Natural Resources Science and Management (NRSM) program and is minoring in Public Health. She has received her M.S. in NRSM and her B.S. in Corporate Environmental Management with a minor in Management from the University of Minnesota. Her past research has included developing streamlined LCA methods (called Hotspot Scenario Analysis) as a practical way to integrate LCA in procurement environments, and looking at the barriers to purchasing environmentally preferable products. In her free time, Rylie loves to travel, hike, camp, read and do art.
Derya Eryilmaz is a research assistant with the NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise. She is currently working on IREE Grant on energy efficiency and demand response integration in the Midwest ISO electricity markets. She is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Economic at the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation research focuses on optimal investment decisions on wind power considering policy uncertainties and dynamic spatial demand analysis in the Midwest ISO electricity markets. Derya has M.S. degrees in Natural Resources Science and Management from University of Minnesota and Sustainable Development from Uppsala University in Sweden and B.S. in Economic from Ankara University in Turkey. Her past research investigated the policy evaluation on natural resources and the relationship between the environmental assets and development.
Graduate Student Assistant
Luyi Chen is a Ph.D. student in Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and a research assistant working with NiSE at the Institute on the Environment. Luyi’s current research interests focus on environmental life cycle analysis methods across fuel and material outputs of biorefineries (specifically, impact assessment of biomass-based plastic bottles). She is also interested in expanding these methods to explore spatial variation in field-level management and land use regimes on food and fuel systems. Through her abilities in computer sciences and interests in big data and visualization of complex information, Luyi seeks to help managers and policy makers strike a better balance between economic development and environment protection. In her spare time, Luyi is an accomplished pianist, loves classical music, and is a big fan of baking. She is a bread fanatic!
Graduate Student Assistant
Lloyd Rivera is a graduate student of bioproducts and biosystems engineering and doing research through NiSE at the Institute on the Environment. He is working on projects that include valuation of natural capital and promotion of bioenergy generation in the USA. In Costa Rica, his native country, Lloyd worked as research manager at CIMS, from the INCAE Business School, doing research and strategic advise on sustainability and supply chains for companies like Nestlé, Walmart and Rainforest Alliance. Lloyd has a B.S. sustainable agriculture from EARTH University. His past research includes reactions and consequences of the price volatility in coffee producers, impact of carbon reduction alternatives in the coffee value chain, sustainable challenges in the industry of high quality coffee in Colombia, and early indicators for sustainable farming.
Taegon Kim is a post-doctoral associate with the NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise. He is researching supply chain modelling, simulation model development, and the creation of decision-supporting tools. He has an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Rural Systems Engineering from the Seoul National University in South Korea, with both degrees relating to the use of simulation platforms to model agricultural systems. He enjoys programming and collaborative works.
Andrew Goodkind is a post-doctoral associate in the department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. His research interests focus on the link between criteria pollutant emissions and mortality, estimating the spatial heterogeneity of damages of emissions, and evaluating the trade-offs between improved health and industry abatement costs from pollution control policies. Andrew has also been involved in research relating to ecosystem service damages from mining in Minnesota, updating externality values of air emissions from Minnesota electric utilities for regulatory decision-making, and a spatial analysis of the implications for cellulosic biofuel of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Andrew’s current work with NiSE applies similar approaches to inform policy and management across food and energy supply chains. Andrew received his Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Vince Dzik has been an undergraduate research assistant with NiSE since 2013. He has worked on a number of projects, including demand-response data analysis, cement industry electrical usage research, and website maintenance. He is currently working on soil quality models with which to map the United States.