Patrick Meyer, Ph.D.

Location: 
Washington DC
Industry: 
Energy Policy
Current: 
Energy Efficiency & Conservation Adviser at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources
Degree Program: 
BS, MS Science, Technology and Public Policy

“The program allowed me to carve out my own space for what I was interested in. Each student has the unique opportunity to decide exactly what they want to do.”

Patrick came to RIT from Connecticut and initially started off in the Environmental Science program.  He targeted RIT because of the young, energetic, and cutting edge environment he sensed on his high school visit.  After the first year, he realized that while he had a passion for environmental issues, he wanted to pursue an education with a more interdisciplinary course load that would allow him to make tangible contributions to society.  He was drawn to the Public Policy program because of the interdisciplinary course work in the areas of policy, history, technology, and environmental science.

With a bachelor’s degree in hand, Patrick decided to take advantage of the 4+1 MS degree in Public Policy program offered by RIT.  Working with his advisor, Dr. James Winebrake, Patrick focused his research on the transportation sector.  His thesis research on hydrogen fuel cell hubs in NY State was funded by NYSERDA and the US Department of Transportation.  This included a feasibility study of hydrogen refueling stations along highways versus population clusters, which was a popular topic in 2006.  This research, along with the mentorship of Dr. Ron Hira, led him to an internship with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Upon graduating from RIT with an MS in Public Policy, Patrick went on to pursue his PhD in Energy and Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware.  While studying for his doctorate, he leveraged his IEEE internship to start his own company, Meyer Energy Research Consulting, which he still owns and runs to this day.  He researches global bio-fuel, smart grid, and solar power development for the US Department of Transportation.

After he received his PhD in 2010, he was accepted into the AAAS Congressional Energy Policy Fellowship.  He was drawn to this program because it fell under Secretary Hillary Clinton’s initiative to consolidate all energy efficiency and related issues into the US State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources.  It was a rare entrepreneurial opportunity in what can be an otherwise static bureaucracy. A year later, Patrick was hired as an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Adviser for the Bureau of Energy.  He manages the clean energy department of the bureau and focuses on large development and investment abroad, with a specific focus on Southeast Asia.  Traveling is one of Patrick’s favorite hobbies, and this position allows him to get plenty of it.  His most recent project took him to Malaysia on a four-month assignment working with the Energy Ministry on their Green Technology Master Plan.  Patrick researched and provided guidance to the most critical areas for investment given the domestic resources at hand.  Patrick enjoys working in the State Department because he feels the entire organization is working towards the common goal of a more energy efficient future.

Overall, Patrick thinks what makes RIT’s public policy program stand out is its high caliber teachers and mentors that work with students to get them engaged in policy issues related to the student’s specific interests and help open doors to job opportunities in their future careers in the policy world.