MTRP People

headshot of sarah outcault

Sarah Outcault – Director

Sarah Outcault is the Director of the Market Transformation Research Program at the Energy and Efficiency Institute. Dr. Outcault designs and implements studies and experiments to explore the drivers of technology adoption, use and maintenance, as well as opportunities for market intervention. She works in a wide range of contexts – e.g, disadvantaged communities, commercial dairies, schools, sustainable communities – in California and abroad, to understand the needs and constraints of stakeholders and ensure that solutions are designed to address them. 

Prior to joining UC Davis, Dr. Outcault worked as an Assistant Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation, where she also conducted her doctoral research on financial decision-making through the lens of behavioral economics and policy analysis. Previously, she worked as a consultant at Econ One Research, advising on infrastructure policy for governments, NGOs, and the private sector in Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Dr. Outcault has a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, an M.Sc. in Economic History from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Economics and Social Science Research from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Since joining UC Davis in 2014, Sarah has worked on roughly 30 research grants, given more than a dozen presentations at professional conferences, and authored four peer-reviewed journal publications.

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah-Outcault 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-outcault-62185168/ 

Email: smoutcault@ucdavis.edu 

Phone: 530-752-2779

Angela Sanguinetti photo with red background

Angela Sanguinetti – Faculty Researcher

Angela Sanguinetti is a Research Environmental Psychologist at the UC Davis Institute of Transport Studies and Energy & Efficiency Institute. She earned a B.S. and M.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis from CSU Stanislaus, and a Ph.D. in Planning, Policy and Design with an emphasis in Design-Behavior Research from UC Irvine’s School of Social Ecology in 2013. Angela’s research interests center on how the design of the built environment, including our neighborhoods, homes, and vehicles, impacts our behavior and well-being. She directs the Consumer Energy Interfaces Lab (cEnergi.ucdavis.edu), which focuses on the topic of eco-feedback–interfaces that provide information about natural resource use (e.g., energy feedback) to consumers with the aim of promoting more resource-responsible behavior. Dr. Sanguinetti is also Director of the Cohousing Research Network, which seeks to increase the rigor and reach of research on collaborative neighborhoods. At UC Davis since 2014, she has worked on over 30 research grants and authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Angela-Sanguinetti 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-sanguinetti-6b217553/ 

Email: asanguinetti@ucdavis.edu 

Alan Meier

Alan Meier – Senior Scientist

Alan Meier is a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Adjunct Professor at UC Davis in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, and a faculty researcher at the UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute. Previous appointments include four years as a senior advisor at the International Energy Agency in Paris and as a postdoctoral fellow at Waseda University in Tokyo. His research focuses on understanding how people and equipment use energy and opportunities to reduce consumption. Meier’s research on “standby power use” in appliances—equal to 1% of global CO2 emissions—led him to propose an international plan to reduce standby power loss in all devices to less than 1 watt, which was endorsed by the G8 countries. He was Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Energy and Buildings, and the  founder of the magazine, Home Energy.  He is the author of many articles spanning technology, behavior, and policy, plus two two books, Supplying Energy through Greater Efficiency and Saving Electricity in a Hurry. Alan holds a Ph.D. in energy and resources from University of California, Berkeley.

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alan-Meier-2 

Email: akmeier@ucdavis.edu

Eli Alston-Stepnitz – Graduate Student Researcher

Eli Alston-Stepnitz is a PhD Candidate in Sociology, and holds an M.A. in Sociology. Prior to UC Davis, Eli worked as a researcher in the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University. He is interested in decarbonization and electrification especially as they intersect with access and equity. Specifically he is interested in the ways underrepresented groups and individuals are impacted by new technologies. Since coming to UC Davis he has worked in several different institutes on projects related to electrification including ones that focus on micromobility, alternative fuel vehicles, medium and heavy-duty fleets, commercial and residential technologies, and affordable housing.

Email: ecalstonstepnitz@ucdavis.edu

Leslie Nelson

Leslie Nelson – Graduate Student Researcher

Leslie graduated from UCLA in 2017 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a focus on Energy & Environment. After graduating, Leslie worked for an engineering services consulting firm called Energy Solutions. She led efforts to support the California utility Codes & Standards program, including leading education and outreach campaigns to improve compliance with the Appliance Efficiency Regulations, supporting a national efficient appliances market transformation program, and overseeing testing of large central heat pump water heaters. Joining the UC Davis Energy Graduate Group in Fall of 2020, Leslie is interested in equitable solutions for decarbonization of the built environment and effective policies to facilitate the clean energy transition.
Ashley DePew

Ashley DePew – Graduate Student Researcher

Ashley is a current graduate student in the Energy Graduate Group earning her Master of Science in Energy Systems with a Policy and Management track, with plans to pursue her PhD in Energy Systems at UC Davis as well. Ashley’s research interests include decarbonization and electrification, renewable energy deployment, distributed energy resources, and energy and environmental justice. Her work incorporates behavioral science and decision-making to the technical, market, and practical landscape of the energy industry. At UC Davis, she conducts research projects within the Energy and Efficiency Institute, Western Cooling Efficiency Center, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research Center.

Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science at Michigan State University in 2019, where she graduated with Highest Honors. During her undergraduate career, Ashley was the Laboratory Coordinator of the Team Interaction Dynamics NASA research laboratory, and she completed her Honor’s Thesis in visual psychophysics in the Visual Neuroscience laboratory. Ashley was also the founding student researcher in the Energy Values Lab in the Department of Community Sustainability with a mentor professor. Ashley is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ashley-Depew 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashley-depew-a6088517a/ 

Email: andepew@ucdavis.edu

Nermin Dessouky – Graduate Student Researcher

Nermin is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Geography at the University of California, Davis. Nermin has an M.Sc. in Sustainable Development, focusing on urban policy from the American University in Cairo and a Bachelor of Architecture. Prior to joining UC Davis, Nermin worked with the Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment to examine the quest for urban sustainability in the MENA region. Nermin uses systems thinking to navigate conflicts in design and use values between different actors. Her work examines the interrelations between branding, communication, and the performance of sustainable neighborhoods. Nermin design studies to explore perceptions, expectations, and use values of sustainability and the built environment. Since coming to UC, Davis Nermin has served as a grant application advisor for The Green Initiative Fund. Nermin also worked with the Energy and Efficiency Institute on several projects related to micro-mobility, non-energy impacts, and building user interfaces

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nermin-Dessouky-2

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nermin-dessouky/

Email: nadessouky@ucdavis.edu 

Cinthia Magaña – Researcher

Cinthia is an assistant researcher at the UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute center. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Sociology with an emphasis in Organizational Studies. She started with us as an intern for the Market Transformation Research Program for which she conducted several surveys with disadvantaged communities. Her tasks at EEI include stakeholder outreach, proposal development, and performing deployment activities. She specializes in outreaching targeted groups, conducting, analyzing, and presenting research findings to further support EEI’s mission to stimulate the development of sustainable energy technologies and solutions. She is particularly interested in researching inequality in today’s society. Her topic interests include environmental justice, immigration, the labor market, education, health, and sustainability. As an undergraduate, she volunteered in non-profit organizations throughout her academic years, such as the California Center for Cooperative Development, and assisted in developing the Covid-19 Vaccine Youth Media Messaging Contest. Cinthia plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and have a career managing research projects and bettering the lives of disadvantaged communities through policy influence.

Email: cymagana@ucdavis.edu 

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