Daniel Posen

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair in System-Scale Environmental Impacts of Energy and Transport Technologies


Research Interests

Publications & Media




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. My work is grounded in the tools of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle thinking, with application to a wide range of systems including fuel and chemical production, biobased products, electric vehicles and vehicle fleets, electricity generation, and infrastructure systems.

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


Please note that this page is not updated frequently.

For more recent information, please consult my profile on the
Sustainable Systems research group page.

Research Interests

Life cycle assessment and life cycle thinking

Greenhouse gas mitigation strategies

Alternative fuels and chemicals, including carbon capture & utilization, biofuels, bio-based products, and electrification

Sustainability consequences of technology deployment at scale

Interactions between climate science and greenhouse gas mitigation

Economic modeling of fossil fuel and energy markets

Public policy, decision support models, and uncertainty in environmental decision making


Selected Publications

Note: Please see updated information on the Sustainable Systems Research Group website.

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. "We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles”, IEEE Spectrum Magazine, August 20, 2022. https://spectrum.ieee.org/electric-cars-2657880896
  2. “Our Annual Holiday Listener Question Show – Is Scrapping an old gasoline-powered car and replacing it with a new electric one always better for the environment?”, CBC Radio, Quirks & Quarks, January 1, 2022.
  3. “Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Environment?”, Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2021. https://www.wsj.com/graphics/are-electric-cars-really-better-for-the-environment/
  4. “Core Concept: Bioplastics offer carbon-cutting advantages but are no panacea”, PNAS, March 23, 2021.
  5. “Ninety Percent of U.S. Cars Must Be Electric by 2050 to Meet Climate Goals”, Scientific American E&E News, September 29, 2020. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ninety-percent-of-u-s-cars-must-be-electric-by-2050-to-meet-climate-goals/
  6. “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
  7. “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
  8. “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


Course CodeTitle & DescriptionSessionDay(s)Start TimeEndSection
CME368HFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.

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


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Office: GB334

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