The Fastest Path to Zero Initiative was founded in 2019 when the University of Michigan Energy Institute and the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences partnered to form a cross-campus team of interdisciplinary experts to tackle difficult research questions about how policymakers, researchers, and communities can work together to meet ambitious climate goals in Michigan and across the nation.

Within the University of Michigan we work to:

  • build unique research partnerships across the university and with outside partners;
  • connect key research insights with policymakers;
  • administer awards and support grantmaking; and
  • train students for specialized research and engagement roles in the growing clean energy workforce.


Todd Allen, Founding Director
Gabrielle Hoelzle, Lead Data Scientist
Denia Djokić, Assistant Research Scientist
Aditi Verma, Assistant Professor
Ann Verhey-Henke, Lead Project Manager
Kevin Daley, Data Scientist
Barbara Peitsch, Business Manager
Andrea Morales Coto, Senior Research Area Specialist
Sara Norman, Communications Manager
Jessica Lovering, Senior Visiting Fellow



Collaborating Faculty

Michael Craig, Assistant Professor in Energy Systems, School for Environment and Sustainability
Brendan Kochunas, Assistant Professor, Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences
Xiaodong Sun, Professor, Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences
Kristine L. Svinicki, Adjunct Professor, Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences

Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy

Fastest Path to Zero is proud to be a Gender Champion in Nuclear Policy, a leadership network dedicated to breaking down gender barriers in the nuclear field. We pledge to:

  • Include in at least one public speech, presentation, or article per academic semester, content about the problems related to gender inequality, need for better inclusivity, and ways to address it.
  • Establish a list of women experts endorsed by Fastest Path to Zero by September 2020. As we are approached for quotes or interviews, we will refer to this list and actively track our suggestions as well as the response of the inquiring organization.
  • Track our invitation and acceptance lists for our major public events to ensure we are inviting women and getting participation. We will analyze the acceptance statistics to revise our approach if we fall short.