Rice University logo
Top blue bar image Cohan Research GroupCohan Research Group

Contact Us

Dr. Daniel Cohan
Associate Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rice University
6100 Main Street MS 519
Houston, TX 77005

Phone: 713-348-5129
Office: Keck Hall 116B
Email: cohan 'at' rice.edu

Past Group Members

Andrew PeguesAndrew Pegues
As a member of the Cohan group, Andrew (B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, B.A. Economics and Political Science, 2012) conducted a multi-year investigation into the effectiveness of state regulations implementing the federal standards for ozone set forth under the Clean Air Act. He was also the lead author of the peer-reviewed journal article that resulted from the work.Andrew currently attends Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Class of 2015. During his final summer in law school he worked for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office for Enforcement, where he handled cases involving the reliability of the nation's power grid and the manipulation of the U.S. energy markets.  »
Antara DigarAntara Digar
Antara Digar (Ph.D Environmental Engineering, 2012) worked in Cohan's group from 2007-2012. Her research specialized on the characterization of uncertainties in regional air quality modeling for accurate predictions of air pollutants' responsiveness to emission reductions and related health benefits. After graduating, Antara served an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, India, conducting research on the interactions between air quality and climate, and its associated impact on human health. She is now an environmental engineer for Intel. »
Katie DouglassKatie Douglass
Katie Douglass (B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2011) worked on questions related to policies for controlling emissions related to fossil fuel combustion. Specifically, she explored the financial and environmental implications of certain available policies for coal-fired power plants. Currently, Katie works as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. She specializes in energy, high tech, and disaster preparation and management. She recently moved to San Francisco to be closer to some of these industries. »
Kavita VenkateswarKavita Venkateswar
While working with the Cohan group, Kavita Venkateswar (B.S. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2012) developed inquiry-based atmospheric science lessons for 5th grade students about measurements of air pollution and meteorology, as an educational outreach component of Dr. Cohan's NSF CAREER Award.Additionally, she used the Community Multi-scale Air Quality Model to simulate atmospheric processes, meteorology and emissions, and its effects on the transports, transformation, addition and removal of atmospheric species. Kavita currently lives in Boston and is a business analyst for Deloitte. Her work is primarily in Strategy and Healthcare and Life Sciences. She also does professional Indian classical dancing in the U.S. and in India. In her spare time, she enjoys photography.   »
Kyle PietariKyle Pietari
While working with the Cohan Group, Kyle (B.S. Earth Science. 2010) completed a literature survey regarding biodiesel air pollutant emissions, compiling data to be used to determine the potential impacts of increased biodiesel usage on air quality.Kyle is currently a J.D. student at Harvard Law School, Class of 2016, where he is a member of the Harvard Environmental Law Review and the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. He served as a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice: Environment and Natural Resources Division, Denver Field Office during the summer after his first year of law school. Before starting law school, he worked for two environmental non-profits, advocating for federal climate change legislation and organizing wetland restoration community projects around New Orleans. Kyle is a competitive ultramarathon runner, and runs for the Altra Zero Drop Footwear Elite Team. In 2013, he finished 4th at the Leadville Trail 100, the world's second largest 100-mile race. He plans to move back to Colorado with his wife and daughter after finishing law school for work, and to continue running trail and mountain races. »
Lance LeLance Le
While working with the Cohan group, Lance Le (B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2011) studied the statistical contribution of weather phenomena, such as wind speed and direction, temperature, rainfall, and humidity, to fluctuations in air pollutant concentrations.Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in Environmental Engineering at University of Iowa, and he expects to graduate in December 2014. His research pertains to watershed response to climate change and land cover with respect to future water quality and quantity. He is a member of the Coupled Natural-Human Systems Research Group, an interdisciplinary group comprised of hydrologists, engineers, economists, geographers, and computer scientists. To learn more about his current work, visit his research website.   »
Tolu AkinwumiTolu Akinwumi
While at Rice, Tolu Akinwumi earned a B.A in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Managerial Studies (2013) and a M.Eng. in Civil and Environmental Engineering (2014). His work with the Cohan group consisted of greenhouse gas lifecycle analyses focused on the transportation of Canadian Oil Sands products along the Keystone XL pipeline. His study highlights the greatest drivers of emissions, while providing a novel method for improving the transmission stage. Tolu is currently working for Shell's Projects & Technology organization as an Environmental EIT supporting projects at the Albain oil sand mines in Alberta, Canada. »
Wei TangWei Tang
Wei Tang (PhD Environmental Engineering, 2014) joined the Cohan group in 2008. His research, supported by NASA, focused on using satellite data with inverse modeling techniques to enhance ozone modeling and to improve mitigation strategies in Texas.He is now working as a research scientist at the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) in Beijing, China. His current work aims to incorporate satellite data into China's air quality decision making.  »
Wei ZhouWei Zhou
Wei Zhou primarily worked on transport modeling and atmospheric chemistry while with the Cohan group. His PhD thesis focused on the dynamic evaluation of air quality modeling due to the emission changes over the continental US and Houston area. He published two leading-author journal papers in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics and one in Atmospheric Environment during his PhD study. »
Ben LashBen Lash
Ben completed his bachelors degree in Applied Physics and Environmental Engineering from Yale University in 2011. His research focuses on modeling of biogenic emissions and their impacts on air pollutant formation.
Erin Chavez-FigueroaErin Chavez-Figueroa
Erin received her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Portland State University. Her M.S. research at Rice focused on interannual variability in vegetation and biogenic emissions based on satellite data.
Amanda MacDonaldAmanda MacDonald
Amanda (Will Rice '16, B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering) wrote articles about the group's work in order to get their research out to a wider audience and helped update the group's website.
Fariha RashidFariha Rashid
Fariha Rashid (Will Rice '17, B.S. Mechanical Engineering) conducted research on opportunities for reducing electricity demand.
Greg AdragnaGreg Adragna
Greg Adragna worked with the Cohan Research Group in the NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Teachers. Participation in this program facilitates educator participation in ongoing research topics and the development of original curricular materials. Greg teaches AP Environmental Science and Earth & Space Science at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston. He received a B.S. in Physical Oceanography from Florida Institute of Technology, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas, and a Master of Science Teaching degree from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice.
Shayak SenguptaShayak Sengupta
Shayak Sengupta (Will Rice '15, B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering) grew up in Sugarland, TX and was born in Baton Rogue, LA, although his family is from India. The bulk of his work has been with life cycle assessment (carbon footprints), specifically using the GREET model by Argonne National Laboratory (https://greet.es.anl.gov/) to study the footprints of fossil fuels in transportation. Previously, he studied carbon footprints of natural gas use in transportation and electricity generation. Currently, he is studying carbon footprints and life cycle costs associated with alternative fuel vehicles in the City of Houston municipal fleet.
Aditya JaniAditya Jani
Aditya Jani joined the group in Fall 2013. His research aims to use energy-environmental-economic modeling tools to answer policy relevant questions regarding electricity and energy use. Aditya received a Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 2013. While finishing his Bachelor's, he spent a year working at the California Air Resources Board as a student engineer.