Joe Hagerman Named Director of the Energy, Policy, and Innovation Institute (EPICenter)

Joe Hagerman assumed the leadership role for EPICenter on March 1st. Hagerman joins Georgia Tech from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) where he served as Section Head for Building Technologies Research, managing a team of about eighty scientists and engineers who focused on innovating building materials and systems at all scales of the building sector to ensure affordable, efficient, resilient, and low-carbon buildings. EPICenter was created to provide an unbiased and interdisciplinary framework for stimulating innovation in energy science, technology, and policy for the Southeast region. EPICenter operates as a division of the Strategic Energy Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Prior to ORNL, Hagerman has worked in a range of roles at the intersection of science, technology, and policy in the public and private sector.  These include Deputy Chief Scientist of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and Senior Policy Advisory at the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office (EERE). While at EERE, Joe oversaw the development and negotiation of energy efficiency standards which, if fully enacted and enforced over their full 30-year terms, will save approximately 20 quads (quadrillion BTUs, or 660 gigawatt-years) of energy.

Joe’s career is dedicated to service. He joined Mississippi State University as a lecturer instructing architecture design studios, engaging in building research, and leading community design initiatives throughout MS and the Delta, such as the (unsuccessful) preservation of Fielder’s Pharmacy in Meridian, MS, which factored prominently in the Freedom Summer Project of 1964 (depicted in the film “Mississippi Burning”). After graduate school, as a project manager at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Hagerman helped address environmental and energy injustices in energy-efficient, affordable construction through the FAS’ public-policy platform.

“I don’t think there could be a better time to be at Georgia Tech than right now,” says Hagerman. “We all understand the urgency that we feel to push towards a clean energy transition that is just and equitable. I see EPICenter and Georgia Tech as a foundational partner and catalyst to support this work in all the communities we serve throughout Georgia and the Southeast. I am excited by the opportunities and breadth I see for EPICenter to be a conduit with the Colleges across Georgia Tech, particularly the Ivan Allen College, to leverage sound science, innovative technologies, and informed policy to bring about an energy transition that results in a decarbonized future for everyone, not just those with the means to afford it.”

Joe has a Bachelor of Architecture from Mississippi State University (MSU), and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Columbia University. Joe is a Grid Wise Architecture Council (GWAC) Member Emeritus, and a recipient of the Secretary of Energy Honor Award and two DOE Distinguished Service Awards. He is a recipient of the 2005 Metropolis Next Generation Award, and the Rafael Viñoly Fellowship from 2005-2006.

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EPICenter’s mission is to serve as a regional “think-act-serve” center and resource, accelerating the adoption of a variety of reliable, affordable, and increasingly low-carbon energy options in the Southeastern United States. EPICenter will enable viable, affordable, and market-based carbon reduction solutions by performing impactful objective studies, developing innovative partnerships, and fostering regional demonstrators and pilots. The Center serves Georgia Tech’s mission, in part, by emphasizing regional contributions which enhance U.S. energy leadership and competitiveness.

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Brent Verrill, Research Communications Program Manager