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Maxwell Brown

Energy system modeler

| 303-275-3049

Maxwell earned his B.S. in Economics and Statistics at North Dakota State University (NDSU) after studying Computer Engineering at the North Dakota State College of Science. He worked as a systems administrator for the NDSU College of Engineering throughout his undergraduate education while also studying Arabic language and studying abroad at the American University of Cairo. Following graduation from NDSU in 2010, Maxwell earned his M.S. at the University of Maine with an assistantship through the Energy Foundation. While there, he assisted in modeling a transportation-sector low-carbon fuel standard while also developing his own agent-based model of electric vehicle diffusion.

After graduating from Maine in 2012, Maxwell began work as a HERE researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with the Energy Analysis Group. Their work focused on transportation fuel distribution networks and energy security issues surrounding biofuels. Next, Maxwell enrolled as a PhD candidate in the Mineral and Energy Economics program at the Colorado School of Mines and graduated in the summer of 2017. Maxwell’s PhD research focused on rare earths supply chains’ responses to Chinese policy, interactions of electricity storage with tradable performance standards, and methods to calibrate top-down, constant elasticity of substation technologies to bottom-up engineering data.

Maxwell joined the Energy Forecasting and Modeling group in early 2017 as an intern and considers himself fortunate to now be research staff. His work at NREL focuses on the development of ReEDS 2.0, ReEDS-USREP, as well as harmonization and linkage of ReEDS with GCAM.

Areas of Expertise

Energy policy analysis
Optimization and software development
CGE modeling and calibration
Supply chain modeling

Research Interests

Optimization and modeling techniques
Economic impacts of energy sector transformation
Fuel and electricity market interactions
Consumer adoption of energy-efficient technologies


Ph.D. in Mineral and Energy Economics, Colorado School of Mines (2017)
M.S. in Resource Economics and Policy, University of Maine (2012)
B.S., Economics and Statistics, North Dakota State University (2010)
Certificate in Computer Engineering, North Dakota State College of Science (2006)

Prior Work Experience

HERE researcher, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, 2012-2017
Research Assistant, DOE Critical Materials Institute, Golden, CO, 2013-2017
Research Assistant, Payne Institute for Earth Resources, Golden, CO, 2014-2017
Research Assistant, The Energy Foundation, Orono, ME, 2010-2012
Computer technician, NDSU College of Engineering, 2006-2010

Featured Work

Imholte, D, R Nguyen, A Vedantam, M Brown, A Iyer, B Smith, J Collins, C Anderson, B O'Kelley. 2018. An assessment of U.S. rare earth availability for supporting U.S. wind energy growth targets.  Energy Policy 113, PG 294-305

Brown, M, R Eggert. 2018. Simulating Producer Responses to Selected Chinese Rare Earth Policies. In Press. Resources Policy

Uria-Martinez, R, P Leiby, M Brown. 2018. Cost of Oil and Biomass Supply Shocks under Different Biofuel Supply Chain Configurations. In press. Transportation Research Record.

Caron, J, S Cohen, J Reilly, M Brown. 2018.  Exploring the Impacts of a National U.S. CO2 Tax and Revenue Recycling Options with a Coupled Electricity-Economy Model. In Press. Climate Change Economics.

Johnson et al. 2015.  High-Octane Mid-Level Ethanol Blend Market Assessment. NREL Technical Report, NREL/TP-5400-63698, December 2015.

Rubin, J, P Leiby, M Brown. 2014. Regional Credit Trading: Economic and GHG Impacts of a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2454, pp. 28-35 (2014).

Brown, M. 2013. Catching the PHEVer: Simulating Electric Vehicle Diffusion with an Agent-Based Mixed Logit Model of Vehicle Choice. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulations. 16 (2) 5.

View all NREL publications for Maxwell Brown.