seth blumsack

assistant professor
department of energy and mineral engineering

the pennsylvania state university
university park, penna. 16802
office: hosler building 124
phone: (814) 863-7597
email: sethb [at] psu [dot] edu

current cv [.pdf]

home page at the earth and mineral sciences energy institute

blumsack home page

blumsack research page


graduate and undergraduate research opportunities

to all potential graduate students - please read this carefully!

i am highly interested in working with motivated m.s. and ph.d. students on policy-relevant research problems related to energy or the environment.  i receive a large number of inquiries from potential students looking for graduate funding to work in my group.  i am happy to receive such inquiries, but please keep the following in mind:

  • funding for graduate students, particularly students who are not u.s. citizens, is extremely scarce. my department has limited resources available to support graduate students as teaching assistants.  these assistantships are given out by the department, not by individual faculty.
  • i cannot financially support students outside the leone family department of energy and mineral engineering.  in most cases, i have a strong preference for working with students who intend to go through the energy management and policy program.  the purpose of this program is to provide training and research experience in quantitative policy analysis to students with technical backgrounds (math, science or engineering).  we require at least 24 credits of math, engineering or hard science on a student's transcript for admission to the energy management and policy program.  a major or a minor in one of these subjects is strongly preferred.
  • please do not ask me for financial support unless you have already applied to, and been accepted by, the graduate program in energy and mineral engineering.  admissions decisions in my department are made separately from offers of financial support.  if you haven't applied, i can't offer you any funding!  instructions on applying to the graduate program can be found here.
  • it is a fact of life that i am very busy, and i receive a large number of inquiries regarding support for graduate students.  i cannot possibly respond to every inquiry.  you are much more likely to get a response from me if you can demonstrate that you have familiarized yourself with my research and the energy management and policy program, and can articulate why studying with me at penn state would help to further your intellectual or career goals.  prospective students who have a master's degree (or who are master's degree candidates) should include a copy of a journal-quality paper along with any inquiry.
  • energy and environmental policy is a highly unconventional area of study at the graduate level. i strongly recommend that any prospective student in this area read dan kammen's essay on graduate or professional work in energy policy.

current openings:
    graduate students: there are currently no funded openings for m.s. or ph.d. students in the blumsack research group.  self-funded students interested in pursuing policy-relevant technical research on energy or environmental issues should carefully read the statement to potential graduate students and contact dr. blumsack to discuss research possibilities.

    post-doctoral researchers: nothing currently available.

    undergraduate students: i advise undergraduate honors theses in the energy business and finance program.  if you are an ebf honors student interested in working with me on an undergraduate thesis, please send me an e-mail.


current students:
  • clayton barrows - network science, transmission planning and operations
  • allison boehm - air quality and electric energy
  • paras choudhary - wind energy
  • alisha fernandez - water, energy and environmental policy; micro-grids
  • anand govindarajan - energy efficiency, combined heat and power
  • babatunde idrisu - renewable portfolio standards
  • nicholas johnson - transmission investment
  • zhi li - energy efficiency
  • yuxi meng - energy efficiency
  • stefan nagy (bs/ms) - offshore wind energy
  • mostafa sahraei-ardakani - electricity markets
  • farid tayari - carbon sequestration; natural gas

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