Daniel Posen


My research focuses on system-scale environmental sustainability analysis. This work draws on a range of tools from Engineering, Science, Economics, and Public Policy to provide quantitative analysis to guide environmental policy and decision making. Current projects centre around prioritizing greenhouse gas mitigation strategies, with a focus on urban environments and on selecting among competing uses for biomass.

Education and Designations

  • PhD Engineering & Public Policy, and Civil & Environmental Engineering (2016)
    Carnegie Mellon University
  • MSc Economics (2012)
    London School of Economics
  • MRes Green Chemistry: Energy and the Environment (2010)
    Imperial College London
  • BA Chemistry with Certificate in Applied Mathematics (2009)
    Princeton University

Research Interests

Life cycle assessment and life cycle thinking

Setting priorities for greenhouse gas mitigation

Evaluating biofuels, bio-based chemicals & other uses for biomass

Economic modeling of fossil fuel and energy markets

Public policy & decision support models

Quantifying uncertainty in environmental systems & for evaluating environmental policy


Selected Publications

Posen, I. D.; Griffin, W. M.; Matthews, H. S.; Azevedo, I. L., Changing the Renewable Fuel Standard to a Renewable Material Standard: Bioethylene Case Study. Environ Sci Technol 2015, 49, (1), 93-102. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es503521r

Posen, I. D., Jaramillo, P., & Griffin, W. M. (2016). Uncertainty in the Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Production of Three Bio-based Polymer Families. Environmental Science & Technology, 50(6), 2846-2858. DOI:   http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b05589

Faria, F., Klima, K., Posen, I. D., & Azevedo, I. M. L. (2015). A New Approach of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Outreach in Climate Change, Energy, and Environmental Decision Making. Sustainability: The Journal of Record, 8(5), 261-271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/SUS.2015.29023

Selected Media

  1. “Researchers Analyze Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through the Life Cycle of Plant-Based Plastics.” Carnegie Mellon University News, June 23, 2016. http://engineering.cmu.edu/media/feature/2016/06_23_plant_based_plastics.html
  2. “A life-cycle look at plant-based plastics.” Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), March 18, 2016. http://cen.acs.org/articles/94/web/2016/03/life-cycle-look-plant-based.html
  3. “Carnegie Mellon Researchers Call for Broader U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard.” Carnegie Mellon University News, April 7, 2015. http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2015/april/renewable-fuel-standard.html
  4. “Is it Time to Broaden the Scope of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard?” Blog post in The Energy Collective, March 23, 2015. http://theenergycollective.com/daniel-posen/2208606/it-time-broaden-scope-us-renewable-fuel-standard


Course CodeTitle & DescriptionSessionDay(s)Start TimeEnd
Winter 2018Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME368HFall 2017Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.

News Mentions

Green infrastructure: New tool to help construction industry reduce carbon footprint

A team of researchers from U of T Engineering is partnering with the construction industry to help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings, bridges, public transit and other major infrastructure projects. “What we’re building is a decision-support tool that can be used in the early stages of design and planning,” says Professor Heather MacLean (CivE), one of… Read more »

Daniel Posen: new CivE faculty explores the relationship between public policy and the environment

In an increasingly interconnected and interdisciplinary world, the Department of Civil Engineering was pleased to welcome Prof. I. Daniel Posen as a new faculty member in January 2017. We asked him a couple questions about his new appointment: Could you explain the focus and (potential) impact of your research? I usually describe my research as… Read more »


Daniel Posen
Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering
University of Toronto
35 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada, M5S 1A4


Office: GB334

Tel: 416-978-4571
Fax: 416-978-6813