Tim Steeves

Senior Research Associate

Tim Steeves is a Senior Research Associate at the Energy Futures Initiative, where he works on the research team to develop and communicate solutions to challenges in clean energy development, climate change, and the many points of intersection these projects have with labor, environmental justice, and international development.

Steeves was most recently a Senior Policy Fellow at the carbon-removal-focused nonprofit, Carbon180. There, he developed recommendations related to federal regulations across industries that would allow carbon removal to develop safely at the pace necessary to reach US climate goals. Steeves focused on recommendations to reform Class VI Well regulations that would allow states and the EPA to more easily and safely permit sites for geological storage of carbon dioxide. Before that, Steeves completed his doctoral degree in Molecular Engineering in May 2020; his research was primarily focused on solar-powered catalysis for converting carbon dioxide into methane, specifically for solar fuel development applications. During his Ph.D., he became acutely aware that the problems preventing the clean energy transition were primarily located in politics, not at the lab bench. He then founded the UChicago Science Policy Group to create a space for scientists interested in professional development in science policy. The group hosted workshops, talks, and networking events, and has continued to be a fixture on the UChicago campus. As part of this work, Steeves co-authored a paper on climate resilience in the Great Lakes region and co-led the organization of a public event discussing water policy in Chicago.

Steeves received his Ph.D. in Molecular Engineering from the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at University Chicago and a Master of Science in Chemistry from University of California – Irvine, both while working in Professor Aaron Esser-Kahn’s research group. Before that, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Chemistry from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Outside of climate and energy policy, Steeves is passionate about criminal justice reform, international collaboration, fighting inequality, and generally making the world a better place. For fun, he enjoys diving deep into TV and movies of all sorts, exploring the city, playing video and board games, cooking dinner and making cocktails for friends, and spending time outdoors with loved ones. While he currently has no pets, he is both a cat and a dog person and regularly visits home to see his family’s golden retriever, Kaia.

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