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Robert Best

RELP Cohort: 2016
School: Engineering

Rob is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Stanford University. His research focuses on utilizing optimization and decision analysis to improve the economic, environmental, and social outcomes of urban development. His current project focuses on developing a network optimization model that incorporates private and public stakeholder objectives, policy constraints, and a wide range of energy technologies to create higher performing, lower emissions communities in California. He also is working with two colleagues to incorporate water infrastructure planning with urban and energy planning to assess local tradeoffs and how decentralized water and energy systems impact one another and the urban form.

In addition to his primary research, Rob has worked with the Energy Transformation Collaborative in the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University to develop strategies for distributed energy resource deployment that alleviates local distribution congestion and reduces the need for investment in new substations and power infrastructure. He currently assists students in the program designing new infrastructure deployment strategies for the City of East Palo Alto. From 2011-2013, Rob was the Assistant Project Manager for Design and Construction for Stanfords entry to the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

Prior to joining Stanford, Rob was awarded Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, where he traveled to China, India, the United Arab Emirates, England, and Germany interviewing government officials, architects, engineers, and citizens about global knowledge transfer and social, political, and cultural barriers to sustainable city development. He also previously consulted on sustainable building design and green building technology deployment strategies for CTG Energetics in Irvine, California. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.