Whitney G. Colella, Ph.D., M.B.A. serves as President and Principal Research Engineer of Gaia Energy Research Institute (Gaia). Colella has over 20 years of research and development experience in academia, government, and private industry in the areas of advanced energy conversion system design, operation, and control. Her areas of expertise include the thermodynamics, chemical engineering process plant design, economics, computer modeling, techno-economic analysis (TEA), life cycle assessment (LCA), and independent testing of advanced energy systems. Colella has served as a Principal Investigator (PI) on energy R&D projects totaling over $8 million and as a key technical contributor on energy R&D projects totaling over $20 million.
Colella spearheads computer simulation, testing, and independent analysis of novel, low-carbon energy systems to improve their thermodynamics, economics, and environmental performance. Colella develops and applies analytic approaches to understand the design and performance space of networked stationary polygenerative fuel cell power plants, electrochemical and hydrogen energy systems, distributed energy generation and storage devices, and advanced transportation systems. An aim of Colella’s research is to use relatively inexpensive computer simulation to better design low-carbon energy devices so that they meet time-dependent energy demands, lower energy costs, and reduce emissions.
Colella earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (highest honors) from Princeton University, a M.S. in Science & Public Policy from Sussex University, a M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. with Distinction and a doctorate in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford on British Marshall, National Science Foundation (NSF), British Overseas Research Student (ORS), Lillian Moller Gilbreth, and Thomas J. Watson Fellowships and Scholarships. Colella has published 42 journal articles and conference proceedings, 29 peer-reviewed reports, 3 editions of the engineering textbook “Fuel Cell Fundamentals,” “Climate Change Science and Policy, by Schneider et. al.” where she co-authored chapter 45 entitled “Designing Energy Supply Chains Based on Hydrogen” and 11 book chapters. Colella has presented 4 plenary conference presentations, 6 keynote conference presentations, 102 oral conference presentations, 137 invited talks, and 43 poster conference presentations.
Education and Training:
Doctorate, Engineering, OXFORD UNIVERSITY, 2004, thesis on electrochemical systems.
M.S., Engineering, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, 2004, GPA 3.95, focus on low-carbon energy systems.
M.B.A., OXFORD UNIVERSITY, 1999, with highest honors (Distinction).
M.Sc., Science and Technology Policy, SUSSEX UNIVERSITY, 1998, energy policy focus.
B.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, 1997, summa cum laude.
Certificate, Public Policy, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, 1997, energy policy focus.