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Joan Ogden

Dr. Joan Ogden's Home Page

Co-director, Hydrogen Pathways Program, Institute of Transportation Studies
Professor, Environmental Science and Policy Department
Office Telephone (530) 752-2768


Dr. Joan Ogden is Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis and an Associate Energy Policy Analyst and Co-Director of the Hydrogen Pathway Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis).  Her primary research interest is technical and economic assessment of new energy technologies, especially in the areas of alternative fuels, fuel cells, renewable energy and energy conservation.  She has written extensively on energy topics, including one book, eight book chapters, and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations.

Over the past 15 years, Ogden has conducted a number of technical and economic assessments of hydrogen and fuel cell systems.  Since 1994 she has studied alternative strategies for developing a hydrogen infrastructure for transportation applications.  Ogden and her colleagues have developed an extensive set of data on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and tools for modeling infrastructure performance and costs.  Her work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, private foundations, and private sector companies, particularly the automotive and oil industries. 

Joan Ogden has served on a number of high-level committees and working groups convened by the U.S. Department of Energy on future energy technologies and strategies.  She participated in the U.S. DOE Hydrogen Vision and Roadmap process in 2001-2002, and headed the systems integration team for the National Hydrogen Roadmap.  She is now active in the H2A, a group of hydrogen analysts convened by the Department of Energy to develop a consistent framework for analyzing hydrogen systems. In 2004, she served on the Blueprint Advisory Panel for the California Hydrogen Highway Network.
Dr. Ogden received a Ph.D. in theoretical plasma physics from the University of Maryland in 1977, with a specialization in numerical simulation techniques. An interest in broader energy questions led her to Princeton University, where she was a research scientist at Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Princeton Environmental Institute from 1985-2003.  Her recent work centers on the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier, particularly hydrogen infrastructure strategies, and applications of fuel cell technology in transportation and stationary power production.  She joined the faculty of UC Davis in September 2003.

Hydrogen Pathways Research Interests

Dr. Ogden's interests are focused on understanding and modeling hydrogen infrastructure development and the environmental and societal impacts of large scale use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel.

Infrastructure Modeling Projects

  • Assessing the Reliability of a Hydrogen-Based Energy System
  • Hydrogen Infrastructure Analysis: Case Study Investigating Coal-Based H2 Production with Carbon Sequestration in Ohio
  • New Tools for Modeling Regional Hydrogen Infrastructure Development
  • Assessing Interactions Between Hydrogen and Electricity
  • Renewable Hydrogen from Wind in California

Environmental Analysis Projects


B.S. with high honors in Mathematics, June 1970 (minors: physics, philosophy), University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Ph.D. in Physics, June 1977, University of Maryland, College Park  (Thesis: Plasma physics theory and numerical simulation)

Selected Publications

J.M. Ogden and R.H. Williams, Solar Hydrogen : Moving Beyond Fossil Fuels, World Resources Institute, Washington DC, October 1989.

J.M. Ogden and J. Nitsch, “Solar Hydrogen,” Chapter 22 in T. Johansson, H. Kelly, A.K.N. Reddy and R.H. Williams, Renewable Energy: Fuels and Electricity from Renewable Sources, Island Press, Washington, DC, 1993.

J. M. Ogden, "Developing a Refueling Infrastructure for Hydrogen Vehicles: A Southern California Case Study," International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 24, pp. 709-730, 1999.

J. M. Ogden, M. Steinbugler and T. Kreutz, "A Comparison of Hydrogen, Methanol and Gasoline as Fuels for Fuel Cell Vehicles," Journal of Power Sources, vol. 79, pp. 143-168, 1999.

J. M. Ogden, “Prospects for Building a Hydrogen Energy Infrastructure,” chapter in Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, vol. 24, pp. 227-79, 1999.

J.M. Ogden, “Hydrogen: The Fuel of the Future?”, Physics Today, vol. 55, No. 4, April 2002, p. 69-74.

Joan M. Ogden, “Alternative Fuels and Prospects – Overview”, Handbook of Fuel Cell Technology, vol. 3, John Wiley and Sons, 2003.

J. Ogden, R.H. Williams and E.D. Larson, “A Societal Lifecycle Cost Comparison of Cars with Alternative Fuels/Engines,” Energy Policy, January 2004, pp. 7-27.

J.M. Ogden, “Where Will the Hydrogen Come From? Systems Considerations and Hydrogen Supply,” chapter in D. Sperling and J. Cannon, ed.s, Hydrogen Transitions, 2004.

J. Ogden, “Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier: Outlook for 2010, 2030 and 2050,” Report to The Pew Center/National Council on Energy Policy, 10-50 Workshop, Washington, DC, March 25, 2004, Pew Center on Climate Change.

D. Sperling and J. Ogden. “The Hope for Hydrogen,” Issues in Science and Technology, pp.82-86, April 2004. UCD-ITS-RP-04-19.

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