Technological Innovation & Energy Security
“Technological Innovation & Energy Security” (The following is the critique from the professor who I would like to work with at MIT. He initially reviewed my first draft and provided the following remarks/suggestions): Bafode: Your statement is confusing. You start out talking about your interest in national energy policy. You quickly move to a discussion of local energy policy (in New York City). Then you focus on the history of the Cornell Tech conflict on Roosevelt Island (and your role in it). You then switch to a discussion of sustainable development worldwide and your volunteer efforts. This all sounds more like a summary of your resume than a description of (1) the most important research questions you hope to answer during your doctoral studies; and (2) the approach you imagine taking to answer those questions and the skills you would need to build while at MIT to complete the research you have in mind. The Statement of Purpose needs to make clear why you would be a good fit in DUSP (EPP) given your research interests – who you want to work with, how past research in DUSP matches your interests topically and methodologically. It’s fine to start with the first paragraph below (if national energy policy is what you want to study), but then you need to say what specific research question(s) you would want to answer, how you propose to answer them, what other skills you need to develop to answer them successfully, how your research interests fit with the work of DUSP (EPP), who you want to work with (and it should be several people) on the DUSP faculty. Introduction: “I am seeking admission to the PHD Program in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT—concentration in Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP). The focus of my research is on national energy policy; particularly the way science can and should be used to support energy technology innovation. I am interested in all the steps in the process of producing and allocating energy resources—production, conversion, transmission, storage, efficiency, and waste mitigation; and the conflicts that surround these decisions. New technologies present extraordinary opportunities for achieving major public policy objectives. This research will investigate and develop new and deeper understanding of the processes of scientific discoveries and of technological changes in order to improve the foundation for analysis of related challenges that governments face with regard to terrorist attacks on US energy infrastructure. However, technological innovation can also have risk factors. My research will further examine ways in which to manage the risk of cyber-attacks on U.S. electrical grid, energy sector, industry groups, state utility commissions, and federal regulatory agencies. (This is my understanding of the professor’s advice: I guess the professor is referring to the fact that I need to be clear and straight to the point with regard to me Thesis Statement, which I believe is usually one strong sentence that summarizes the entire thesis proposal (a sentence that tells the reader how I will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion, in one complete sentence). This sentence is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. It directly answers the question asked of me. It is usually a single sentence somewhere in the first paragraph that presents the argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of the interpretation. Suggested layout: ONE Sentence THESIS STATEMENT GOES IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH, then TOPIC SENTENCES begin new paragraphs. Every paragraph needs a topic sentence. The topic sentence is usually the first sentence of the paragraph. It gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph is going to be about. The supporting sentences need to be about the idea presented in the topic sentence. In a paragraph, every sentence should “belong”. EXPLANATION: Quality of being able to think clearly, sensibly, and logically. The paper must make sense, and must flow in a logical order. ILLUSTRATION: Giving examples in the paper and explaining them.) (As you can see, my research is a two-part project complementing each other: Technological Innovation and Energy Security: • Technological Innovation: The advantages and disadvantages that technological innovation has on the making and diffusion of sustainable and clean energy…In addition to the first paragraph that the professor edited above, you may want to look at the following websites of the professor and the school to use some buzz-words: (http://dusp.mit.edu/epp/program/overview; https://scienceimpact.mit.edu/about#; http://dusp.mit.edu/faculty/lawrence-susskind; http://www.cbuilding.org/about/mission) • Energy Security: What would happen if a terrorists successfully cyber-attack the electrical grid? All the implications such as economic damage and other national security issues. In additional to your own sources, you may want to explore this website: http://energy.gov/oe/services/cybersecurity) • It’s very important to read the works and research of Professor Susskind and make sure that technological innovation and energy issues section address those same buzzwords, such as “developing and testing new ways to harmonize science, politics and public policy in the management of natural resources and the resolution of environmental disputes.” The reference is from here: https://scienceimpact.mit.edu/about#. • Please accurately, specifically, and directly answer all the thesis questions and methodology issues he has mentioned above, such as: “(if national energy policy is what you want to study), but then you need to say what specific research question(s) you would want to answer, how you propose to answer them, what other skills you need to develop to answer them successfully, how your research interests fit with the work of DUSP (EPP), who you want to work with (and it should be several people) on the DUSP faculty…(1) the most important research questions you hope to answer during your doctoral studies; and (2) the approach you imagine taking to answer those questions and the skills you would need to build while at MIT to complete the research you have in mind. The Statement of Purpose needs to make clear why you would be a good fit in DUSP (EPP) given your research interests – who you want to work with, how past research in DUSP matches your interests topically and methodologically.” • Please make clear that I interacted extensively with Professor Susskind who believe that his and my research interests are aligned, and when I asked him that I would want him to be my Advisor, he had expressed his intention to be my Advisor should I be accepted to this PHD program • The other faculty members I would like to work with are: ? Prof. Frank Ackerman: http://dusp.mit.edu/faculty/frank-ackerman ? Prof. Nicholas Ashford: http://dusp.mit.edu/faculty/nicholas-ashford • Please make it clear that I understand that I would have to take courses in other schools within MIT to satisfy the Energy Security component of my research • My research will investigate and analyze national energy policies and policy options with regard to available and emerging technologies; environmental challenges; and the political economy constraints. I also expect it to improve my skills, confidence, and judgment in applying science in policymaking. • If you need to make a connection between my research and my past and present professional and academic background, you may read the following. But please remember the advise/suggestions that the professor made in his comments with regard to focusing on what matters to my research and have the narrative follow well. The Central Park Conservancy’s Institute for Urban Parks Project: The Central Park Conservancy’s Institute for Urban Parks in New York, commissioned a group of students from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs to develop metrics for the productivity of its Five Borough Crew. As the Deputy Project Manager, I supervised research projects to develop a measurement strategy, developed metrics to improve the Park’s operations effectiveness, interacted with different stakeholders, developed the technical aspects of turf care and water conservancy, created sound training materials for the crew, advised on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) plan on consensus-building between the local communities and the Institute for Urban Parks to revitalize lower profile parks in ways that would decrease crime rate, and spike community security, developed strategic plans for public engagement in local decision-making and environmental sustainability. The process involved finding solutions to overcome red tapes and harmonize the politics and public policymaking in the management of the Park’s natural resources. I have been involved in community energy development in New York City. As a local Councilman in Roosevelt Island, I represent the interests of the residents with regard to all governmental matters and policies affecting the energy security and economic development of the island. I also represent the island in matters concerning the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Post Office, and the Department of Transportation. I campaigned intensely and successfully to save the Tram. I am involved with the Roosevelt Island Energy Initiative: a community-driven, affordable energy effort launched in 2013 to install fuel cells powered by existing natural gas lines to deliver clean, reliable, and safe energy to the Island communities. This initiative was launched with the objective of diversifying Roosevelt Island’s reliance on energy from nuclear and coal-fired power plants and achieving a sustainable clean energy solution for the Island. Keywords: Technological Innovation, Energy Security, National Security, Negotiations, diplomacy, Sustainable Energy Policy, the use of technological innovation in environmental Policy, renewable energy policy, and climate change adaptation; Science, Technology, Environmental and Public Policy.
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