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Transportation Impact Fellow

Job Description

The MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium (MCSC) Impact Fellowship Program is a postdoctoral opportunity for individuals who want to transcend academia and industry to apply their expertise to near-term change for a more sustainable future. MCSC Impact Fellows will work with MIT researchers and consortium industry members in collaboration with external organizations and communities to implement solutions needed for global economic transformation to address the global climate change and sustainability crisis. Throughout the program, Impact Fellows will prepare for leadership positions within the sustainability domain in a wide range of contexts, as well as prepare to drive research that advances breakthrough scalable solutions towards accelerated change.

The MCSC brings together large companies from different sectors to discuss barriers to the sustainable transition. MCSC Impact Fellows facilitate the discussion and use their expertise to drive the conversation towards sufficient detail to identify problems whose solutions have immediately actionable steps. Roadblocks to a sustainable transition are rarely contained within traditional boundaries of academic disciplines or market sectors. Thus, an Impact Fellow must have expertise in a field along with technical fluency in others to be able to traverse boundaries between disciplines during live conversations and problem-definition exercises. Impact Fellows work in teams to construct problem definitions and potential solutions that draw from their expertise spanning social sciences, humanities, engineering, and physical sciences. Teams may be built with MIT faculty spanning multiple departments as well as corporate partners.

In this posting, we seek an Impact Fellow to work on transportation-related topics within the MCSC. Transportation is critical to efficient movement of people and goods and represents a significant fraction of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Freight transportation modes including aviation, long-haul trucking, and maritime shipping are tough to decarbonize, in part because electrification is much more difficult than for passenger vehicles. Decarbonization strategies must consider technology, infrastructure, and behavior change. As transportation is a broad topic with many interconnected sub-topics (vehicles, fuels, electrification, systems, cost, environmental impact), we suggest that candidates showcase their experience traversing disciplines during problem-solving in their application materials. The particular focus of this postdoctoral fellow position will be to:

  • Evaluate the potential for the maritime transport sector and its supply chain to meet stated industry decarbonization goals.
  • Develop geospatial tools, analyses, and case studies to support regional assessments of fleet decarbonization opportunities.
  • Coordinate with research teams and industry members to assess, optimize and implement strategies to lower fleet transition barriers through resource pooling. Such strategies could, for example, include pooled infrastructure investments or collective support for third-party logistics carriers.

Job Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in engineering, computer science, data science, systems, or other field with a transportation focus
  • Candidates must be familiar with at least 3 of these 5:
    • Alternative energy carriers for freight transportation fleets (e.g., electricity, hydrogen and hydrogen-derived fuels, and biofuels), including high-level knowledge of associated feedstocks, distribution/delivery infrastructure, and powertrain technologies.
    • Logistics networks for freight transportation, including stakeholders (e.g., OEMs, carriers, shippers, brokers, and fuel/charging providers) including high-level knowledge of how different stakeholders operate and interact within a network.
    • Collaborative development of codebases for data analysis or model construction, preferably with GitHub or a similar version control platform. Experience coding in Python and JavaScript is an asset.
    • Developing and deploying interactive software tools, designing user experience and interface, integrating user feedback.
    • Life cycle cost and emissions analysis, or analysis and modeling of complex multi-variate systems in other domains. Experience evaluating and comparing impacts of GHG and non-GHG emissions is an asset.
  • Experience in proposal writing, group management and coordination
  • Must be highly collaborative and able to work in a team environment with experts from diverse backgrounds
  • Strong communication skills (both written and verbal), including strong listening skills

Application Instructions:

Qualified candidates are asked to submit a cover letter and CV to this post on the MIT Human resources site (Job Number 23763).

Applications will be considered upon receipt and until the position is filled.

This is a two-year appointment with the possibility of renewal.

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