Colorado Technology Primer for Economists and Social Scientists

Thanks to generous funding and support from the Sloan Foundation, the Colorado Technology Primer for Economists and Social Scientists will offer two different sessions on the Colorado School of Mines campus.

Professors Ian Lange, and Ben Gilbert hosted this years abbreviated Primer School Session which was held Oct. 22-24, 2021. A second session will be held during the spring semester 2022. Please check back for updates.

The goal of the school is to provide advanced doctoral students and early career academic professionals with an interdisciplinary (engineering and social science) understanding of electricity distribution systems and the interface of technology and policy.  The sessions will help participants bridge the gap between economists’ and engineers’ perspectives as well as improve the quality and applicability of their academic research.

The sessions will essentially be identical, and applicants are asked to choose their preferred week to attend. If you are selected, there will be no tuition fees to attend the school. A small amount of travel and lodging reimbursement will be available and the decisions on this award will be made concurrent with admission decisions.

The program will consist of lectures by staff members at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Colorado School of Mines, as well as industry professionals. Additionally, there will be some hikes in the area that will allow students to see the renewable energy systems and electrical equipment first hand so they can better understand the concepts discussed in the classroom.

The Primer will have sessions on:

  • Principles of Power System Planning and Operations
  • Industrial Organization of Electricity Markets
  • Distribution System Principles and the Evolving Interface with the Bulk Power System
  • Determinants of Electricity Demand and their Impact on the Distribution System
  • Critical Issues for Distribution Systems Moving Forward
  • Understanding the Highs and Lows and overall challenges of Multidisciplinary Research

In order to apply for the school, you must be a registered PhD student in a social science department and have begun graduate research in a a social science field, or be an early career academic professional (post-doctoral fellow or assistant professor) in a social science university department .