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 research fellow with NiSE at the Institute on the Environment. She is working on projects that include global corporate emission reductions, smart network delivery in Tanzania, the sharing economy and energy efficiency financing. Jennifer’s prior work in sustainability has been coordinating a proposed graduate sustainability minor and assisting with sustainability reporting. Jennifer has a M.S. in applied economics, a Ph.D. in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota, and a B.S. in biology and international relations from Beloit College. Her past research has included conservation policies and socioeconomics in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania. After work, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her two daughters, scrap booking, and reading.
Mo Li is a Research Fellow with NiSE at the Institute on the Environment. Mo’s research focuses on the applications of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on renewable energy, energy efficiency and industrial supply chain. Currently, she is working on employing LCA-based methodologies to develop a decision-making tool and platform for procurement managers in manufacturing industries to help them identify hotspotting environmental impacts in their supply chains and improve their decisions on procurement.
Mo has received her M.S. in Natural Resources, Science and Management (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.
Mo will attend the U of M Graduate School again to pursue her Ph.D. in NRSM in Spring 2014. She will continue her research with NiSE.
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 Graduate Student working in NiSE at the Institute on the Environment. Luyi studies the renewable material supply chain from an engineering perspective. Her research is about applying Life Cycle Assessment method to solid waste management, with a special focus on the downstream impacts generated by sustainable bio-PET.
Luyi is currently a first year Ph.D student in the Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering and Management program. Previously she majored in Environmental Engineering in Shanghai University and conducted basic research on biochar-loaded catalyst production. She has more than fifteen years of piano performing experience.
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.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Vince Dzik is an undergraduate research assistant at the IonE. He primarily works with Derya Eryilmaz mapping and predicting energy production, consumption, and other related variables. Vince is also interested in computer science and contemporary literature.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Nel Pilgrim-Rukavina is an Undergraduate Research Scientist for the NorthStar Initiative. Through NiSE, Nel is assisting with data synthesis and analysis related to the Carbon Disclosure Project. Nel is majoring in Applied Economics with an emphasis on Natural Resources and the Environment, along with minors in Design and Spanish. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree, Nel plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development or another related field. In her free time, Nel enjoys skiing, cooking, reading, and traveling to new places.