David L McCollum

Senior R&D Staff

Dr. David L. McCollum is a Senior R&D Staff in the Transportation Analytics and Decision Sciences (TADS) Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with expertise spanning economics, engineering, policy analysis, and corporate advisory services. His research attempts to inform state, national (developed and developing) and global energy and environmental issues on matters related to, among others, deep decarbonization, net-zero emissions pathways, energy-transport-climate policies, electric sector planning, end-use sector electrification (transport, buildings, industry), Sustainable Development Goals (including inter-dependencies), financing needs for the energy system transformation, and human dimensions of climate change. He employs energy-economic systems and integrated assessment models in support of this work (e.g., MESSAGEix-GLOBIOM, TIMES-MARKAL, REGEN).

Before joining ORNL in September 2021, David was a Senior Research Scholar with the Energy Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, and a Principal Technical Leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, California. He currently holds secondary appointments as Guest Senior Research Scholar at IIASA; Research Fellow in Energy and Environment at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee; and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College London. The latter is in his capacity with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Technical Support Unit (TSU - Working Group III) for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). David previously led activities within the Global Energy Assessment; IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 - WG III); IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C; and other international, multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as for the World Bank and International Council for Science (ICSU).

David received a PhD and MS in Transportation Technology & Policy from the University of California, Davis (USA), Institute of Transportation Studies; an MS in Agricultural & Resource Economics from the same institution; and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee (USA).


Expertise & Interests

  • Integrated assessment of global change and its human drivers and impacts
  • Analysis of energy, climate, and other sustainability policies, including assessing the inter-linkages between them
  • Energy-economic systems modeling and scenario analysis to inform policy-making and corporate decision-making (at the state, national, and international levels)
  • Transportation sector modeling and analysis (technology, policy, consumer behavior)
  • Electricity sector modeling and analysis (end-use electrification, systems modeling, and markets and regulation)
  • Sustainable finance (investment needs for achieving energy, climate, and other sustainability goals)


Illustrative Publications


Leadership Positions, Advisory Boards & Committees (past and present)

  • Associate Editor, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition (a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by Elsevier)
  • Member, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine; Board on International Scientific Organizations
  • Advisory Team, Open Energy Outlook for the United States
  • Steering Committee, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Transportation Energy and Mobility Pathway Options model
  • Scientific Advisory Committee Member, Science Based Targets Initiative
  • Steering Committee Member, International Transport Energy Modeling Consortium (iTEM),
  • Advisory Board Member, International Transport Forum (of the OECD), Decarbonising Transport Initiative
  • Member, Permanent Committee on Diversity Management and Building a Positive Work Environment at IIASA
  • Supervisor and mentor to more than 15 junior staff (Ph.D. and post-doctoral students) since 2011