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Christoph Meinrenken, Ph.D.

IKNS Program Director; Associate Professor of Professional Practice; Affiliate, Columbia Climate School and Data Science Institute

Christoph Meinrenken is an associate research scientist at Columbia University's Earth Institute, adjunct professor in Sustainability Management in the School of Professional Studies, and affiliate of the Foundations of Data Science Center at the Data Science Institute. He also co-chairs the Columbia University Seminar on Complexity Science, Modeling, and Sustainability. His research focuses on computer modeling to elucidate and improve the techno-economic performance of low carbon energy systems. Recent and current research projects include demand management and energy storage in smart buildings (DoE, NSF, NYSERDA, NIST), electrification of the transportation sector, synthetic fuels (ABB, Electricity de France), and automated product carbon footprinting (PepsiCo Inc.). An expert in Life Cycle Assessment and enterprise-scale product analytics, he has worked with the World Resources Institute, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and The Sustainability Consortium, and consulted several globally operating consumer goods manufacturers.

Before joining Columbia, Meinrenken worked on modeling molecular spectra (MSE, Princeton University, 1996) and computational neuroscience (PhD Physics, Max Planck Institute, 2001). In addition to academic research and teaching, he spent several years in the private sector, specializing in financial engineering and risk management.


  • Ph.D., Max Planck Institute

  • M.S.E., Princeton University

  • B.S., Heidelberg University