4/12 - Joel Swisher, Director of the Institute for Energy Studies at Western Washington University
Joel N. Swisher, is Director of the Institute for Energy Studies and Research Professor of Environmental Science at Western Washington University. The Institute offers interdisciplinary education and training related to the science, technology, policy and business aspects of the conversion and use of energy. Previously, Dr. Swisher was Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University, where he introduced new, interdisciplinary courses, such as Carbon Neutral Design, Electricity Resource Planning, and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation. Updated versions of these courses are now in the WWU energy course catalogue.
Dr. Swisher was formerly CTO at Camco International and Econergy, two carbon offset developers. During 2000-08, he was at Rocky Mountain Institute, a prominent clean energy think tank, where he was Managing Director of Research and Consulting. At RMI, he led research and consulting work for electric utilities and manufacturers of goods ranging from semiconductor chips to potato chips.
Dr. Swisher earned BS, MS and PhD degrees in Stanford’s School of Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer. His PhD dissertation topic was carbon offsets, which led him to work on problems that range from the costs of reducing carbon emissions in a US electric utility to the potential for saving carbon in conservation and forestry projects in Central America. He has since worked extensively in Brazil, southern Africa and Scandinavia and speaks five languages.