Gilbert Michaud, assistant professor of practice at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, was recently presented with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s (MORPC) Leadership in Sustainability award in recognition of his applied, researched-based solutions to environmental challenges.
More than 70 counties, cities, townships and organizations in central Ohio belong to MORPC to collaborate and share best practices in transportation, sustainability, data and government affairs. The Leadership in Sustainability award, which recognizes leadership and innovation in comprehensive sustainability solutions to regional challenges, was presented during the group’s annual Summit on Sustainability.
“What’s distinct about this award is that it exemplifies the applied and engaged research we do here at the Voinovich School,” Michaud said. “It’s very practitioner-oriented, targeted toward folks that are making a difference in the region. It’s a great honor to receive this award and have folks outside the university realize the difference we are making across Ohio.”
Michaud’s research broadly focuses on renewable energy policy, electric utilities and economic and workforce development. He has served as principal investigator on a number of projects evaluating the impacts of increased solar energy use in Ohio, including those for American Electric Power (AEP), the Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition of Ohio, and many others.
Michaud’s research has also been recognized by other organizations—such as by Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability, which awarded him a faculty sustainability research award in 2018, and by Midwest Energy News, which named Michaud on its 40 under 40 list in 2018. In 2019, he was also awarded the “Best Article of the Year” by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) for his paper evaluating state-level solar energy policy drivers.
MORPC’s nomination notes that Michaud is unique among academics in clean technology and energy for his original and applied research angles.
“Often noted as a ‘pracademic,’ Dr. Michaud’s work and objective data analyses directly helps inform nonprofit groups, electric utilities, local and state governments, the advanced energy industry, and many others on smart paths forward as it relates to solar, wind, electric vehicles, and other forms of advanced energy deployment,” the nomination reads. “Dr. Michaud’s applied work helps improves lives and informs future business and policy decisions.”