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Research Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan

John M. DeCicco, Ph.D., is a research professor emeritus retired from the University of Michigan. His work addresses energy and environmental challenges through an interdisciplinary approach anchored in physical science while drawing insights from economics, other social sciences and public policy.

He remains active in research on transportation energy use and climate mitigation topics, including vehicle efficiency, petroleum use, biofuels, electrification, consumer issues and the role of atmospheric carbon removal in offsetting the CO2 from fuel combustion. His past studies were influential in the development of automotive fuel economy and GHG emissions standards. A recent focus has been methodological problems related to biofuels and atmospheric CO2 levels. He and also teaches the “Mobility and the Environment” module as part of the University of Michigan's Foundations of Mobility online course.

Prior to his academic career, he worked on energy and environmental policy at nonprofit organizations including the Environmental Defense Fund and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. He has testified many times before Congress and has more than 200 published papers, articles, reports and formal public policy submissions to his credit. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Princeton University, where he conducted his research at the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies.


  • 2020–present
    Research Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan
  • 2011–2020
    Research Professor, University of Michigan Energy Institute
  • 2009–2014
    Lecturer and Clinical Professor, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
  • 2001–2009
    Senior Fellow, Environmental Defense Fund
  • 1990–2000
    Program Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
  • 1988–1990
    Staff Scientist, National Audubon Society


  • 1988 
    Princeton University, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering
  • 1983 
    North Carolina State University, M.S., Mechanical Engineering
  • 1974 
    Catholic University of America, B.A., Mathematics


  • 2020
    for short summaries and links, see