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 TimeEndSection
Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
NOT OFFERED 2021-2022
CME368HFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.

News Mentions

CivMin profs win Skule™ Student Choice Awards

    Created by the University of Toronto’s Engineering Society, in order to recognize instructors who went above and beyond during this global health crisis, the Student Choice Awards are the first to be fully curated and operated by students. CivMin was recognized with eight of 29 total mentions of recognition, and two of the… Read more »

CivMin study: Electric vehicles can fight climate change, but they’re not a silver bullet

Today there are more than 7 million electric vehicles (EVs) in operation around the world, compared with only about 20,000 a decade ago. It’s a massive change — but according to a group of U of T Engineering researchers, it won’t be nearly enough to address the global climate crisis.  “A lot of people think that a large-scale shift… Read more »

Modelling the health benefits of electric cars

Electric vehicles are often touted as a means of mitigating climate change, but a new modelling study suggests that their public health benefits may be just as significant. “Local air pollution within urban environments is highly detrimental to human health,” says Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou (CivMin), who led the research. “When you have an electric vehicle with no tailpipe emissions,… 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


© 2021 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering