Mr. Elliot Cohen
Specialization: Engineering
Home institution in US: University of Colorado, Denver
Host Institution in India: TERI University, New Delhi  
Start date/Month in India: January 2013
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Mr. Elliot Cohen is a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering at the University of Colorado (UC), Denver. He is also a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at UC Denver’s interdisciplinary Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (CSIS), where he collaborates with faculty, students and local communities to produce novel research related to water and energy footprints for cities. His current research with advisor and CSIS program director Dr. Anu Ramaswami aims to inform public discourse, policy and infrastructure design at the water-energy nexus in cites, with emphasis on preventing burden-shift in environmental policy making.

Beyond his dissertation research, Mr. Cohen has contributed to the advancement of environmental life-cycle assessment of electricity generating technologies during a one-year assignment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. This research went on to be published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a special report, Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. Prior to that, Mr. Cohen contributed research and analysis of carbon-mitigation strategies for the Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP), which provides recommendations to the U.S. President on addressing anthropogenic climate change under executive authority. Mr. Cohen has also held research assignments and internships at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Economic Analysis and at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Buildings and Fire Research Laboratory.

Away from his desk, Mr. Cohen is an avid outdoorsman who has cultivated a deep appreciation for open space, public lands and protection in perpetuity for the Earth’s wild places. He enjoys hiking, biking, rock climbing and fly-fishing near his home in Boulder, Colorado and has traveled throughout the world to experience firsthand the incredible diversity of cultures, lifestyles, landscapes and ecosystems that abound on planet Earth.

In collaboration with TERI University, Mr. Cohen’s Fulbright project, “Quantifying risk to critical water-energy infrastructure in Delhi, India,” will study the phenomenon known as the water-energy nexus, in which water shortages can shut down major power plants due to lack of cooling water, and energy shortages can halt the operation of potable water and wastewater treatment plants; both of which pose direct risk to public health. Water and energy infrastructure are the foundation of modern cities; they are also inextricably and reciprocally linked.