Photo of Noah
PhD Student
Civil Systems

General Info

I’m a 1st year PhD in Civil Systems Engineering, and am co-advised by Dr. Amy Javernick-Will and Dr. Abbie Liel.  I am passionate about helping communities adapt to climate change.  Currently I am studying the reconstruction of communities impacted by the Marshall wildfire disaster which destroyed over 1000 homes in Dec. 2021. My research looks at how these communities and their affiliated jurisdictions organize themselves and make important decisions, along with the effects of those decisions considering metrics of resiliency, expediency, and sustainability.

What led you to pursue a PhD in this field?

Before coming to CU Boulder I worked in solar photovoltaics on Hawaii for several years.  Because they are isolated islands, the electrical grids there are vulnerable to fluctuations in power generation from renewable energy sources. In Hawaii, I worked on technology to remedy this problem so that the islands could increase their dependency on solar energy.  This work fueled my passion for helping communities become more sustainable and adapt to the problems presented by climate change.  At the time I believed that these problems required technical solutions, which led me to pursue my BS in Engineering Physics.  Although I still think technology is vitally important, my focus has shifted to how social factors inform technology use and adoption.  By studying these societal dynamics, it is my goal to improve climate change related disaster resilience and responsiveness.

Other interests/hobbies:

I love outdoor activities. Most recently I’ve been into vegetable gardening and hiking.

Preferred pronouns:



BS in Engineering Physics, University of Colorado Boulder, 2022

AS Electrical Engineering Technology, Ecotech Institute 2012