// Environmental Scholar // CWR ’08 // 27 //
Michael Davidson’s undergraduate professors at Case Western Reserve said he had the talent to excel at almost any top physics doctoral program in the country. But he longed to make a difference in addressing global warming, a problem he views as a grave threat.
The son of “environmentally minded hippies,” Davidson has always felt a sense of responsibility toward the earth.
So instead, the physics major applied for, and earned, a Fulbright Award to examine clean energy technologies and policy in China.
China is a fast-growing country with rising carbon emissions, he says. “Clean energy technologies being developed need to be applied there or we will have a much harder road ahead.”
After his Fulbright, Davidson pursued that advanced degree; he’s now a PhD student, studying engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researching renewable energy integration on the power grid.
Davidson, who is fluent in Chinese and Japanese, also has worked at an environmental nonprofit in Washington, D.C. He hopes to bridge his love of physics with a passion for conserving the environment, either as a policy adviser or researcher. —LC