Vera Cole

Directory Info

Vera Cole

Program Chair of B.A. in Energy & Sustainability Policy

2217 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

814-863-2502

Biographical Sketch: 

Dr. Cole serves as the Program Officer for the Energy and Sustainability Policy degree program, where she develops and teaches courses related to energy sources, implications, and policy. While earning her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New York Institute of Technology, Dr. Cole attended school and worked full time — in a character-building process that took eight long years! This experience serves her well in the design and delivery of courses through the Dutton Institute, where many students work hard to advance academically while managing demanding jobs and lives. Offered a fellowship from Motorola, Dr. Cole earned her M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University where she had her first experiences with computer simulation, systems thinking, and process management. This interest carried through in her Ph.D. work at Drexel University, funded by a National Science Foundation Grant. There she studied Information Science and Technology and researched the design of data-efficient heuristics for applying production management principles to information-based business processes, using systems dynamics simulation models. Dr. Cole is currently Director for Local Power with the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, a non-profit educational organization, where she leads workshops (hands-on solar electric installations), publishes, and teaches solar-related courses. It was at one of these workshops in 2009, that Dr. Cole and the Dutton Institute met and recognized the shared values and perspective regarding our energy future and the role of education in getting it right. This serendipity embodies Dr. Cole's philosophy of sustainability—the mindful on-going balance of deep attention to current actions with the dogged pursuit of game changing new information. Dr. Cole is a vegetarian and yogi, who spends a lot of time standing on one foot.

Educational Background: 

Ph.D. (Information Science and Technology), Drexel University

M.S. (Industrial Engineering), Arizona State University

B.S. (Mechanical Engineering), New York Institute of Technology