I welcome inquiries by prospective PhD applicants and postdoctoral fellows, as well as UC San Diego students interested in conducting research. Note that mentoring students outside of MAE or GPS may require additional logistics. Please identify interests within ongoing research areas and include a CV or resume when contacting me:
- mrdavidson AT ucsd.edu
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The MAE PhD curriculum consists of a set of courses in a “major” specialization (4) and a “minor” specialization (2), forming the basis of our qualifying exams. Much leeway is granted to the student, in discussion with their committee, in terms of how these courses are put together. Course descriptions can be found here: MAE, ECE, MATH, and GPS. Some courses that students in energy systems have taken include:
- Energy systems:
- MAE 206 / GPGN 491. Energy Systems and Innovation
- MAE 207 (new course 2020-21, Davidson). Power Systems Modeling
- GPPS 428. Politics of Energy and Environmental Regulation
- MATH 271A-B-C. Numerical Optimization
- ECE 273. Convex Optimization and Applications
- Numerical methods:
- MAE 280A-B. Linear Systems Theory, Linear Control Design
- MAE 290A–B. Numerical Methods for Linear Algebra, ODE Simulation, and Differential Equations
- Related courses:
- MAE 255. Boundary Layer and Renewable Energy Meteorology
- MAE 254. Energy Materials and Applications
- MAE 256. Radiative Transfer for Energy Applications
Students who already have funding or are actively seeking external funding are encouraged to contact me. For resources on potential funding opportunities, please visit UCSD Graduate Division, NSF GRFP, International Students Office, and this resource for international students. All prospective students should consult the admissions page for deadline and application information.
Research opportunities may exist for course credit for MAE M.S. students.
Undergraduates in MAE or across the school of engineering may inquire about participating in a research project. A minimum time commitment and high degree of motivation are required. Research can be for course credit, stipend, or hourly pay depending on the student’s preference and funding availability.
School of Global Policy & Strategy
GPS offers a variety of masters degrees. The admissions office will be better prepared to answer questions on the differences among the programs. A limited number of research assistantships may become available for GPS masters students on an ad-hoc basis.
Interested students are highly encouraged to take relevant energy policy courses, including:
- GPPS 428 (Winter, Victor). Politics of Energy and Environmental Regulation
- GPPA 472 (Fall, Martin). Latin American Environmental and Energy Policy
- GPPS 473 (Fall, Herberg). Political Economy of Energy in Asia
- GPPS 490 (Winter, Davidson). Energy and Environmental Policy in Asia
For life tips on a career in energy policy, Dan Kammen’s website is a good start.
The Department of Political Science and GPS offer a joint Ph.D. in Political Science and International Affairs. This prepares students for careers in political science, including a core curriculum shared with the political science Ph.D. degree.
I am always interested in recruiting talented postdocs from different disciplines. Interested applicants should consult the UCSD Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for appointment information, and the Office of Foundation Relations, the National Academies, and this resource for funding opportunities.
I do not currently have any funded postdoctoral opportunities. If you would like to be considered for future funded opportunities, you may contact me with your interests and expected graduation date.
Science Policy Fellows Program
I am a faculty mentor with the Science Policy Fellows Program, operated out of GPS. Ph.D. candidates in engineering, medicine, or at Scripps, may apply to be paired with a mentor to work on a policy project related to the student’s doctoral research. This generally involves meeting a few times per quarter and comes with a small stipend, e.g., to attend a conference outside of the student’s primary academic discipline.