S-A5 Metrics for Food-Energy-Water Projects

The sheer size and geographical variance of energy-food-water issues make metrics essential to be able to take action. Without understanding metrics, the effectiveness of different innovations, technologies, business models and policies cannot be placed into context, ranked, or evaluated for success/failure. This session will identify appropriate technical, bio-physical, economic, social, and policy metrics in a manner that would help to integrate the systems across energy-water-food areas. For those who are interested in implementation of new concepts, this session seeks to be able to help quantify the performance of new approaches and to make decisions on which systems could work. This discussion is aimed to encourage local sustainability of new ideas because their fit was measured before implementation.

Moderator: Amul Dinesh Tevar, Faculty and Joint Appointee, The Ohio State University and Battelle National Laboratory


  • Michael Carbajales-Dale, Assistant Professor, Clemson University
  • Brian Fath, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University
  • David Wiberg, Acting Director, Water Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • Bradley Zamft, Program Officer, Discovery and Translational Sciences, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Amul Tevar holds a joint appointment at The Ohio State University and the Batelle Memorial Institute, where he finds new areas of collaboration between the two research institutions. He currently works on plant imaging technology, new battery electrolytes, and creating context for food-energy-water projects. Dr. Tevar was previously a fellow at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), where he helped to launch programs in dry power plant cooling. He also worked on the technological barriers for energy storage, creating energy from wastewater and designing membranes with decades of useful performance.

Michael Carbajales-Dale heads the Energy-Economy-Environment (E3) Systems Analysis group. He joined Clemson University in August 2014 as an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences department. Before joining Clemson, Mik was an Energy Systems Analyst with Stanford’s Environmental Assessment & Optimization Lab and with the Global Climate & Energy Project (GCEP). His research focuses on the long-term, large-scale evolution and dynamics of the energy-economy system, especially how development of energy resources affects social development and the effects of a future transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. (864-656-0523; madale@clemson.edu)

Bradley Zamft develops and runs open requests for proposals in the global health space through his role on the Grand Challenges team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He co-led the New Interventions for Global Health Grand Challenges program aimed at developing disruptive technologies in vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics for developing countries, and designed and manages a Grand Challenges Explorations program aimed to at developing bacteriophage technologies to engineer newborn and infant gut microbiota as a means to combat environmental enteropathy in developing countries. He is the technical lead on a new Grand Challenges China partnership with the National Science Foundation of China. He also invests in technologies aimed at increasing chemical diversity in drug collections, mainly through synthetic biology. Brad was a Fellow at ARPA-E in the Department of Energy where he worked with stakeholders in industry, academia, government, and philanthropic organizations to support and advance transformative technologies in the energy sector, including performing an analysis of the water use and radiative forcing implications of modulating plant reflectivity.

David Wiberg manages the Water Futures and Solutions Initiative at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), applying systems analysis to build and explore with stakeholders consistent scenarios of the freshwater system across scales and sectors, and exploring the synergies and tradeoffs of intervention options in order to inform decisions focused on more effective and robust water management. Dr. Wiberg has PhD degrees in civil engineering, water resource engineering, and management. He designed river basin management software for the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior, and consulted with the EPA and DOE in the U.S. Dr. Wiberg’s primary fields of interest are efficient and sustainable water management strategies, water modeling and the development of decision support tools, and climate change impact assessments. (+43(0) 2236 807 588; wiberg@iiasa.ac.at)

Brian Fath’s work focuses on understanding better Sustainability Science, which he addresses using three different approaches: network analysis, integrated environmental assessment, and complex systems science. Sustainability Science is a critically important area that encompasses a broad range of research interests including ecosystem services, biodiversity, natural resources, human cultures, and specific environments. Dr. Fath uses network analysis to investigate thermodynamic sustainability indicators.. He is Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Modelling Journal and is President of the North American Chapter of the International Society for Ecological Modelling. 410-704-2535 bfath@towson.edu