About us

Sustainable Systems Research, LLC advances the goals of climate change mitigation, public health, and social equity by providing on-demand consulting services to our project partners. We conduct objective, high quality analysis grounded in our expertise in engineering, science, planning, policy, and economics.

As a small business with cutting edge expertise, we offer a fresh perspective on traditional and contemporary planning and engineering challenges. We are enthusiastic and committed to producing top quality analysis, holding ourselves to the highest standard. We have the flexibility, breadth, and creativity required to tackle unique problems.

Our team members include:

Deb Niemeier, PhD, PE:
Dr. Deb Niemeier’s research interests span transportation-air quality modeling, energy consumption and land use interactions, sustainability and the project development process for major infrastructure projects. Working with an interdisciplinary research group of graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and faculty collaborators, she has published more than 160 journal articles and 9 book chapters. In 2014, she was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for “distinguished contributions to energy and environmental science study and policy development.” In 2015, she was named a Guggenheim Fellow for foundational work on pro bono service in engineering. In 2017, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Niemeier is a Professor in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland.

Alex Karner, PhD:
Dr. Karner’s work critically engages with the practice of transportation planning with the goal of achieving progress towards equity and sustainability. To this end he develops innovative methods for analyzing the performance of integrated transportation-land use systems in the areas of civil rights, environmental justice, public health, and climate change. Dr. Karner is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Community & Regional Planning at The University of Texas at Austin. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Davis.

Dana Rowangould, PhD:
Drawing from the fields of engineering, economics, and the social sciences, Dr. Dana Rowangould’s research includes transportation and land use policy and planning, transportation justice, energy use, active travel, air quality, safety, and health. Dr. Rowangould is a Research Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Vermont. Dana has a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rice University, an MS in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Davis, and a PhD in Ecology with an emphasis on Environmental Policy from UC Davis.

Gregory Rowangould, PhD:
Dr. Gregory Rowangould specializes in modeling transportation systems, transportation policy evaluation and mobile source air quality analysis. His research focuses on understanding how the design and operation of transportation systems and transportation policy affect the sustainability of communities, public health, and equity. Dr. Rowangould is an Associate Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Vermont, where he serves as the Directory of Transportation Research Center. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MS in Resource Economics and Policy from the University of Maine and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Davis.

Melody Eldridge, BS:
Ms. Eldridge has a broad range of experience in civil and environmental engineering in the academic, public, and private sectors, developing solutions based on thorough analysis of data alongside considerations of stakeholders and constraints. She has established policies and implemented programs to improve stormwater quality for industrial facilities, public projects, and municipalities; assessed impacts of industry and development on air quality and community health; generated community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventories; and addressed soil and water contamination. Melody has a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Davis and is a registered professional Civil Engineer in California.