Published: Jan. 23, 2019

Prof. Daniel Armanios, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Engineering and Public Policy

Professor Daniel ArmaniosDaniel Armanios’ current research lies at the intersection of institutions, engineering systems, and public policy. His research focuses on the institutions that manage the physical and scientific infrastructure necessary for high-tech innovation, entrepreneurship, & development, and how such systems can either exacerbate or alleviate inequality. Daniel holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and BA in Political Science (Economics Minor) from the University of Pittsburgh where he was named a Goldwater Scholar, Truman Scholar, and a American Helicopter Society Vertical Flight Scholar, two MSc degrees from the University of Oxford in Management Research and Water Science, Policy and Management where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a PhD from Stanford University in Management Science & Engineering, where he was a joint Stanford Graduate Benchmark and NSF Graduate Research Fellow.


“Infrastructure Systems as Institutional Relics: Insights from the U.S. Bridge System”

10-11 AM on Friday, February 8 in Koelbel S110

While there has been increased understanding of how infrastructure systems can shape the societies around them, we have less understanding of the opposite: how societies can also shape how infrastructure systems are constructed, maintained, and used. To better understand this process, we re-conceptualize infrastructure systems as "institutional relics". Institutional relics are "institutional" in that these systems are designed in accordance to the standards of the authoritative engineering oversight bodies of the time, and they are "relics" in that these standards are built right into the attributes of these systems and these properties persist even as the standards become outdated and are subsequently changed. Through two studies on the U.S. bridge system, we show what factors are more likely to generate institutional relics, as well as the difficulties that arise in repairing or decommissioning such systems.


“Sustainable Development for All? Distinguishing Electricity Access from Use through a Mixed Methods Study of Electricity Consumption Patterns Amongst Women in India”

1-2 PM on Friday, February 8 in SEEC, S228


Access to electricity is considered fundamental to sustainable development in the Global South. Prior studies suggest that with increased electricity access, women stand to particularly benefit, yet few have empirically tested this implicit linkage between energy access (SDG 7) and gender equality (SDG 5). More specifically, little research is available about the way households and especially women in these contexts use electricity once it is made accessible. Using India as an illustrative case, this paper presents a mixed method study where we first inductively assess appliance usage for women in Gujarat, India (N=31) and then assesses the generalizability of the usage patterns identified using a representative survey of six states in Northeast India (Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal; N=8,563). Our mixed methods approach highlights how power relationships can influence how electricity is used between men and women within the household. Our results suggest that women are neither the sole nor primary beneficiaries of electricity access, even when appliances that would particularly benefit them are economically affordable. While energy access may indeed improve gender equity, our study highlights local power dynamics as an important boundary condition on realizing energy access for all. Overall, our study informs the need for more use-sensitive Global South electrification policy that can better ensure the benefits of electricity are more evenly distributed across the entire household.