Of the major challenges we face today, energy is a key concern. It’s also what Vanya Britto sees the global energy challenge we face today and wants to work toward solving it. That’s why she is studying energy sustainability as a masters’ student at the Harris School of Public Policy, and why she is working to help bridge the disconnect between science and policy.

“It is vital that we accept the reality of climate change and make solutions the primary topic of debate, especially as energy accessibility is interwoven with major issues around the world such as development, poverty, and others,” Britto says.

As an EPIC Bartlett Fellow, Britto has the chance to work closely with Bob Rosner, founding co-director of EPIC. With Rosner, she is looking at the cost and business case for hydrogen fueled cars, and is analyzing various key sub sectors of the hydrogen fuel-based transport sector. She is also analyzing the adaption of the Toyota Mirai hydrogen car for taxi services in Chicago.

Britto is hoping to learn about the specific energy needs and the latest technologies being created to meet those needs. Through developing this background, Britto says, she can more effectively evaluate the adaptation of these technologies in various economic markets under regional policy regulations.

“As more countries develop, our current energy systems will be unable to meet the increasing demand without severely impacting our planet,” Britto says.