2021 Fellow: Tony Cruz, ‘22 (Chemical Engineering)

Learn more about Tony’s experience:

This fellowship is part of a partnership between Stanford in Government, the Precourt Institute for Energy, and the Bill Lane Center for the American West. If you are accepted as the fellow for this office, you will be required to complete a one-unit course on energy in California taught by Professors Bruce Cain and Sally Benson during Spring Quarter. Please refer to the Shultz Energy Fellowships website for the most up-to-date information about the program.

Organization/Agency mission or role in state government:

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is charged with protecting the public from the harmful effects of air pollution and developing programs and actions to fight climate change. CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards. CARB leads by driving innovative solutions to improve public health and the environment. From requirements for clean cars and fuels to adopting innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, California has pioneered a range of effective approaches that have set the standard for effective air and climate programs for the nation and the world.

Potential Projects:

Based on their interests and skills, the selected fellow will have the opportunity to select one of the two projects below in consultation with their mentor at CARB. The selected student will also spend 5-10% of their time, attending relevant meetings with stakeholders and taking notes for Chair Liane Randolph.

Project #1: Assist Freight Transport Branch (FTB), Transportation and Toxics Division, with the development of a model to assess energy and power demand of a major railyard operating zero emission locomotives. Assist FTB identifying and collecting the metrics required for the model.

Areas of interest: 

  • Model use of one or more zero-emission (battery-electric) locomotives within a major railyard:  
    • Time-of-use and scheduling options for charging
    • Modeling energy demand in order to charge a locomotive prior to it leaving the railroad along a designated route
    • Total energy demand 

Project #2: Assist Freight Transport Branch (FTB), Transportation and Toxics Division, with assessment and identification of operational and technical improvements (including zero emission technologies) that may increase energy efficiency of freight trains. Assist FTB with assessment of operational and technical feasibility and comparison with projected truck energy efficiency increases. The analysis will identify pathways and limits to energy efficiency increases of freight trains and the role of zero emission technologies.

Areas of interest:

  • How can freight rail efficiency improved further?  
  • What operation/engineering improvements can be made to increase energy efficiency of freight trains (for both zero emission and diesel locomotives)?  
    • What are the energy efficiency gains? 
  • Comparison of freight rail efficiency to the energy efficiency of future trucks.

Desired Skills:

  • Basic understanding of California’s efforts for clean air and climate change protection and the role of public policy
  • General knowledge of environmental management and of CARB and its function in the context of regulatory policy and setting emission standards for vehicles, engines, and equipment
  • Strong communication skills (both written and oral)
  • A demonstrated desire to work in a team environment and to learn from seasoned, expert practitioners and creators of internationally-recognized environmental policies for mobile sources
  • A major in engineering, the physical sciences, and/or public policy is applicable background for this fellowship.

Work Environment

It is anticipated that this fellowship opportunity will be hybrid (in-person and remote). The California Air Resources Board is located in Sacramento, CA.

Please note that the anticipated work environment is subject to change.


This fellowship is open to undergraduate students.

Potential Mentor

  • Ajay Mangat, Manager, Freight Systems Section

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