Carnegie Mellon University

Destenie Nock

Destenie Nock

Assistant Professor, Engineering and Public Policy
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Porter Hall 100A
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Dr. Destenie Nock is an Assistant Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE), and in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP). She is a leader in energy justice, and energy systems modeling.  She uses multi-criteria decision analysis and applied optimization to better equip policy makers to understand energy planning options.

The energy justice side of her team is developing novel metrics for identifying those experiencing energy poverty and insecurity, as well as developing optimization models for designing a more equitable power systems. The systems modeling side of her group is developing electricity and transportation optimization and simulation models which investigate how decarbonization and sustainable energy transitions impact vulnerable and marginalized communities.  

Using regression and decision analysis techniques, she was able to identify the trade-offs between different future electricity scenarios in terms of their sustainability for the region and impact on local communities. She applied a similar systems approach to Sub-Saharan Africa by developing an electricity planning tool, which incorporated stakeholder preferences for equality and makes recommendations for national electrification planning.
Nock’s broad research interests are focused around using mathematical modeling tools to address societal problems related to sustainability planning, energy policy, equity, and engineering for social good. She brings to CMU a breadth of professional experience, having worked in industry, national labs, and government settings on issues related to energy systems.


  • PhD Industrial Engineering and Operations Research,  UMass Amherst
  • MSc Leadership for Sustainable Development, Queen's Univ Belfast
  • BS Electrical Engineering & Applied Math, North Carolina A&T State University


  • Applied optimization, decision analysis, and data science for electricity and food systems
  • Sustainability, equity, and equality impacts of energy transitions.
  • Engineering for social good as it pertains to critical infrastructure systems (i.e. electricity systems)

Select Publications

  1. Huang, L., Nock, D., Cong, S., & Qiu, Y. L. (2023). Inequalities across cooling and heating in households: Energy equity gaps. Energy Policy182, 113748.
  2. Goforth, T., & Nock, D. (2022). Air pollution disparities and equality assessments of US national decarbonization strategies. Nature Communications13(1), 7488.
  3. Cong, S., Nock, D., Qiu, Y. L., & Xing, B. (2022). Unveiling hidden energy poverty using the energy equity gap. Nature communications13(1), 2456.
  4. Pfeiffer, O., Nock, D., & Baker, E. (2021). Wind energy's bycatch: Offshore wind deployment impacts on hydropower operation and migratory fish. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 143, 110885.
  5. Nock, D., Levin, T., Baker, E., (2020), Changing the Policy Paradigm: A Benefit Maximization Approach to Electricity Planning in Developing Countries, Applied Energy.
  6. Nock, D., Baker, E., (2019), Holistic multi-criteria decision analysis evaluation of sustainable electric generation portfolios: New England case study, Applied Energy.