People

Researchers

Michael Young

Michael Young
Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Michael Young is Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, UT Austin. He earned his Ph.D. in Soil and Water Science (specializing in soil physics and hydrology) from University of Arizona. Before joining the Bureau in 2010, he held academic research positions at the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, and Georgia Institute of Technology. He has 35 years of experience in environmental geosciences, including environmental work at operating copper mines in Arizona, hazardous waste sites in eastern US and radioactive waste site in the Rockies. His current research includes water/land impacts from energy development, the connection between water resources, landscape development, and human interactions. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and Soil Science Society of America.

Tristan Childress

Tristan Childress
Research Associate in Economic Geology

Tristan Childress received his Ph.D. while studying economic geology at the University of Michigan, utilizing stable isotopes and trace elements in volcanogenic deposits to test genetic models. Tristan served as an exploration geologist at the sedimentary Pb-Zn Red Dog Mine in Alaska and conducted successful resource drilling at the Hog Mountain orogenic gold deposit in Alabama. Tristan joined the Bureau in 2020 as an economic geologist and is applying his expertise in exploration geochemistry and analytical techniques to better understand the occurrence and distribution of conventional and unconventional mineral deposits in Texas and the potential for local supplies of critical minerals.

Gurcan Gulen

Gürcan Gülen
Senior Energy Economist 

An energy economist with 25 years of international experience in policy and market research on oil, natural gas, and electric power value chains; and associated strategic technical assistance and customized capacity building. His research covered a wide range including electricity dispatch modeling, shale gas economics, energy futures trading and global LNG markets. Most recently, he developed a model of the U.S. energy infrastructure to evaluate investment needs across electric power, natural gas and liquids sectors under various energy transition scenarios through 2050.

Atta Ur Rehman

Atta Ur Rehman
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Atta Ur Rehman received his PhD in mining engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla. He has over 7 years of professional experience related to mining engineering in public service, mining operations, research and academia. He is working as Postdoctoral fellow at Bureau of Economic Geology to carryout scientific research on the development of supply chains and life-cycle assessments of different electricity generation sources from the perspective of critical minerals and rare earth elements.

David Chapman

David Chapman
Project Manager

Mr. Chapman’s passion is delivering advanced technology that can change the world by satisfying the triple bottom line (financial, environmental, and societal profitability) with commercially sustainable competitive advantages. Mr. Chapman manages multiyear, cross-university research programs for the BEG, drawing on proven strengths in technical and business development, with 28 years’ experience developing advanced technology with UT Austin, Motorola, Intel, Research Triangle Institute, and SEMATECH. 

Students

Dan Graf

Dan Graf
Graduate Research Assistant

Dan Graf is a first-year graduate research assistant pursuing a M.S. at the University of Texas at Austin in Energy and Earth Resources in the Jackson School of Geosciences. His research interests lie in studying ways to improve resource security at the nexus of food, energy, and water. To that end, as part of the CEO study he is studying the environmental life cycle impacts associated with the copper supply chain needed for electricity generation technologies. He hopes to contribute to the creation of tools and knowledge that inform decision makers, stakeholders, and the public and ultimately, encourage innovation and adoption.

Zach Harner

Zach Harner
Graduate Research Assistant

Zak Harner is a graduate student in the Energy and Earth Resources program at the Jackson School of Geosciences. He has a bachelor's degree in International Business and Economics from the University of North Texas and professional experience in the Automotive Industry conducting Market Research and Competitive Intelligence. Zak also has experience as a Senior Student Associate at the Energy Institute. His passion is sustainability, and he is currently engaged in thesis research on sustainable domestic lithium supply chains for electric vehicles.

Katherine Jones

Katherine Jones
Graduate Research Assistant 

Katherine is a research assistant and MS student at the UT Austin Jackson School of Geosciences and a 2021 AGU Voices for Science Policy Fellow. She uses remote sensing and modeling tools to better understand the land use and ecosystem services impacts of renewable energy expansion, with a focus on west Texas. As an environmental geoscientist, she is passionate about working with scientists, policymakers, and our communities to ensure equitable and sustainable futures. 

Hazal Kirimli

Hazal Kirimli
Graduate Research Assistant

Hazal Kirimli is a first-year Master’s student in the Energy and Earth Resources Program at the University of Texas Austin. While completing her bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at Koc University in Turkey, she worked for Shell Oil as a data analyst. Throughout her undergraduate years, she attended exchange programs at Stanford University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where she further studied environmental sciences and sustainability. Hazal is now a graduate research assistant for the Bureau of Economic Geology on the project, Comparing Electricity Options. Her work focuses on life cycle analysis of nickel and batteries.

Andrew Kleiman

Andrew Kleiman
Graduate Research Assistant

I am a native Texan originally from Dallas. I graduated from UT Austin in 2016 with a degree in history, and spent four years working in politics, tech, and the solar industry before enrolling in the Energy and Earth Resources Master’s program during the fall of 2020. I am interested in how the energy transition will affect the environment, and my research focuses on the life cycle environmental impacts of the cobalt used in energy generation and storage. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outside, going to concerts, and exploring all of the wonderful things that Austin has to offer.


University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas

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