Elizabeth A. Kócs
Director, Partnerships & Strategy, UIC Energy Initiative
Adjunct Faculty, CUPPA & Faculty Fellow, Honors College
Co-Founder & Executive Lead, IL Center for Urban Resilience & Environmental Sustainability (CURES)
DPI Affiliate, Discovery Partners Institute
NREL Energy Executive, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Building & Room:
2352 SES, MC 273
Dr. Elizabeth A. Kócs is an environment-behavior scientist at the intersection of social, economic, policy, and technological advances in energy, sustainability and urban resilience. At the UIC Energy Initiative, she has a strong focus on energy and technology for transportation, the electrical grid and smart cities. She brings years of expertise in relationship building and partnership engagement to grow the UIC energy and sustainability network, programs and impact, and to cultivate local, regional, national and international initiatives to support collaborative efforts fostering Chicago’s growing energy, mobility, and urban sustainability ecosystems.
Dr. Kócs is a founding leader of the Illinois Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES), a University of Illinois collaborative focused on providing cities with knowledge and pathways for achieving climate resilience. She also serves as a DPI Affiliate at Discovery Partners Institute, where she leads programmatic efforts to disseminate IL CURES work. As a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy Executive Leader, she collaborates with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC) to leverage expertise, tools and resources across research, public and private entities to develop benchmarking and strategic analytic tools for addressing climate-related energy and transportation challenges. Dr. Kócs continues to serve on the Materials Research Society MRS Bulletin Energy Quarterly Board and the MRS Focus on Sustainability Subcommittee, leveraging her knowledge and network to strengthen the energy and sustainability dialogue in the materials community.
Dr. Kócs launches collaborative curricular and research training programs within UIC and with partner institutions, develops grant proposals for calls from national agencies and foundations, and oversees the UIC Energy Initiative budget, website, and digital marketing and outreach. Dr. Kócs also serves as the faculty mentor for SEES, the Symposium on Energy, Environment and Sustainability, which is a student-led effort convening subject matter experts from public and private sector, as well as highlighting alumni and student work across energy, environment and sustainability topics.
Dr. Kócs' environmental work spans energy and sustainability perspectives, transportation electrification, stakeholder engagement, urban planning, policy frameworks, smart cities, and zero-emissions technology. She teaches courses on urban sustainability, energy storage and sustainable mobility at UIC, has published in materials, energy, architectural, planning and environmental research journals, and has been invited over 100 times to give talks, and chair and moderate sessions at conferences worldwide. Dr. Kócs continues to serve as a member of the Materials Research Society (MRS) Bulletin Energy Quarterly Board, and member of MRS Focus on Sustainability sub-committee, and served as Editor-in-Chief for the MRS Energy & Sustainability journal from 2015 - 2018.
Dr. Kócs earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute, an Executive MBA from the University of Illinois, and a PhD from the City University of New York.
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Multiple Memberships, Board Memberships and Advisory Posts
- DPI Affiliate, Discovery Partners Institute
- Board Member, Advisory Council for Master of Energy Engineering
- Faculty Mentor, Symposium on Energy, Environment & Sustainability (SEES); Chicago Area Universities for Sustainability & Energy (CAUSE)
- Education and Research Subcommittee Co-Chair, Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy (CCSE)
Other Energy-Focused Roles and Synergistic Involvement and Awards
- Board Member, Eco-Friendly Mobile Farm Stand, Chicago
- Editorial Board, Materials Research Society (MRS) Bulletin Energy Quarterly Editorial Board; Focus on Sustainability (FoS) Committee
- Board Advisor, Chicago Mobility Task Force Lead, and UIC Partner Lead, Chicago Advanced Energy
- Chief Advisor for Partnerships and Strategy, Bronzeville Community Development Partnership (BCDP), Smart Summer Studio
- Member, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Energy Subcommittee to the Environmental Committee
- Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative – 2019 U.S. C3E Award Finalist