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Centers | Energy Management and Innovation Center

Michael Webber

webber head shot Michael Webber
Assistant Professor
The University of Texas at Austin

Michael Webber is the Associate Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy in the Jackson School of Geosciences, Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator, Fellow of the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he trains a new generation of energy leaders through research and education. He has authored more than 75 scientific articles, columns, books and book chapters, including a compendium of his commentary titled Changing the Way America Thinks About Energy, which was published in May 2009. A highly sought public speaker, he has given more than 100 lectures, speeches, and invited talks in the last few years, including testimony for a hearing of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, keynotes for scientific conferences, a lecture at the United Nations, and briefings for chief executives at some of the nation’s leading companies.

Michael holds four patents and is one of the originators of the Pecan Street Project, which is a citywide, multi-institutional effort in Austin to create the electricity and water utilities of the future by the innovation and implementation of smart grids, smart meters, and smart appliances.  The Pecan Street Project team includes UT, the City of Austin, Austin Energy, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Austin Technology Incubator, and eleven corporate partners. Prior to joining UT-Austin, Michael studied issues relevant to energy, innovation, manufacturing, and national security at the RAND Corporation.  Previously, he was a Senior Scientist at Pranalytica inventing sensors for homeland security, industrial and environmental monitoring applications. Michael’s education includes a B.A. with High Honors (Plan II Liberal Arts) and B.S. with High Honors (Aerospace Engineering) from UT-Austin, and an M.S. (Mechanical Engineering) and Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Electrical Engineering) from Stanford University, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow from 1995-1998.  In 2005, Michael was recognized by the College of Engineering at UT-Austin as an Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate, and in 2006 was honored as the Commencement Speaker for the spring graduation ceremony.  Michael was selected as a Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly (founded by President Eisenhower) in 2006 and an American Memorial Marshall Fellow of the German Marshall Fund for 2007, and an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow in 2009.  From 2004 to 2006 he was a board member for the Hope Street Group, which is a non-profit bi-partisan national organization for young professionals interested in promoting policies that expand opportunity and economic growth. Webber’s expertise, opinions and research have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, NPR, PBS, The Daily Telegraph, BBC, ABC, CBS, Discovery, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, MSNBC, Nature Geoscience, Earth Magazine, and many other prominent media outlets.  His commentary on American energy policy and international affairs have been published in daily and Sunday editions of the Austin American-Statesman, Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express-News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and the Houston Chronicle, and featured in a documentary about biofuels by the PBS national weekly newsmagazine NOW.  Michael lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children.