I currently have two openings for Postdoctoral Researchers:

I am also recruiting PhD and MS students to join the lab: Please see the academic programs and mentoring opportunities page for more information.

I am an assistant professor in the School of Global Policy and Strategy and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. My research and teaching center on the engineering implications and institutional conflicts inherent in deploying low-carbon energy at scale. I have a particular interest in understanding the political systems of Asia (with a focus on China and India), as well as the western U.S.

My research topics include renewable resource assessments, power system operations, and political economy of markets:

Research topics

I welcome inquiries by prospective PhD applicants and postdoctoral fellows, as well as UC San Diego students interested in conducting research. Consult my list of academic programs and mentoring opportunities.

I am a faculty member with the 21st Century China Center and the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, both located at UC San Diego. I am also a fellow with the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Read more here.


The impact of COVID-19 on the power sector in Karnataka, India

Iychettira, K., Hou, X., Davidson, M., & Urpelainen, J. (2020). Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy.

This brief analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on the power sector in the State of Karnataka, India. We explore demand scenarios across a range of severities of the COVID shock as well as other exogenous factors—namely, agricultural demand, hydro generation, and power market prices—and assess their impacts on discom revenue... [Read More]

Power market reform in China: Motivations, progress, and recommendations

Guo, H., Davidson, M. R., Chen, Q., Zhang, D., Jiang, N., Xia, Q., Kang, C., and Zhang, X. (2020). Energy Policy

China’s electricity demand has grown rapidly over only two decades and is currently the largest in the world. This was largely owing to a framework of regulation in which governments regulated prices and quantities, and there was ample incentive for investment. As the growth in electricity demand has slowed and... [Read More]

Avoiding Pitfalls in China’s Electricity Sector Reforms

Davidson, M. R. and Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga. (2020). The Energy Journal.

China has recently reinvigorated reforms to its electricity sector, focusing on increasing the role of markets and improving regulation. While restructuring an electricity sector is difficult and can require years of detailed planning, China’s approach relies upon broad central guidelines with many details and initiatives left to provincial governments. We... [Read More]