PhD in Environmental Policy
Current position: Lead Researcher at the Local SDGs Programme, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Australia
Research focus: complex systems modelling, robust decision analysis, coupled natural-human systems, uncertainty analysis
Enayat obtained his PhD from the University of Melbourne, where he worked on model-based energy policy analysis. In his PhD, Enayat developed a theoretical transition framework and an exploratory system dynamics model for investigating future energy transition pathways under uncertainty.
Enayat was a visiting researcher at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) in 2016 and at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in Karlsruhe (Germany) in 2018 as a part of his Green Talent research collaboration.
CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2017):
University of New South Wales, Australia
Research focus: sustainability transitions modelling; environmental policy making under deep uncertainty
Transitions to sustainable production and consumption systems necessitate non-linear interactions between natural, technical, societal and economic systems. They entail severe uncertainties and feature shocks and surprises. Uncertainties make long-term transitions to sustainable production and consumption systems problematic for policy makers. The 2016 US presidential election and the subsequent shift in the country’s climate change policy and fossil fuel exploitation is a recent example of such an unforeseen circumstance. Conventional approaches to policymaking usually take a predict-then-act approach, which relies on lessons from historical trends and future expectation shaped by only a limited number of scenarios. They also mostly take a reactive standpoint: planning is often carried out to respond to changing circumstances, rather than to proactively prepare for change. In order to better predict outcomes, Enayat created an exploratory framework that takes the unexpected into account and will enable policy makers to proactively prepare for change.
Enayat has developed an ‘transitions modelling framework’ for policy design and analysis in the context of sustainability transitions. In his framework, he couples quantitative and quantitative approaches to inform more robust policy design and analysis. This new take encompasses previously overlooked aspects, such as identifying vulnerabilities of policy interventions and planning coping strategies.
The jury welcomed Enayat’s novel interdisciplinary approach and was impressed by his achievement of having already successfully tested his framework on the Indian electricity sector. The jury recognised the potential value of Enayat’s research in informing German policymakers and is confident that Green Talents will provide a platform to help Enayat achieve his goal of making a positive contribution to the policy discussion around sustainable development.