Systems, Buildings & Energy EfficiencyMSU is studying tiny homes as a housing solution and discovering energy conditions that do not exist in larger homes (R. Johnson group).

ERI researchers investigate design and implementation of passive and active building systems including geothermal heat pumps, insulated structural panels, thermal battery storage and rooftop solar photovoltaic panels.  Additionally researchers are developing novel non-invasive monitoring techniques and control systems for multi-source applications. 

MSU is studying tiny homes as a housing solution and discovering energy conditions that do not exist in larger homes (R. Johnson group).

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Kevin Amende

Kevin Amende is an assistant professor in the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department. His research focuses on building energy systems and the manufacturing process.

Prof. Amende can be reached at 406-994-6304 or [email protected].


Maryam Bahramipanah

Maryam Bahramipanah is an Assistant Professor at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA. She got her Ph.D. degree in power system engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland. She received the M.Sc. degrees in electrical power system engineering from the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. Maryam is a specialist on power and energy systems with the focus on optimal dynamic control of active distribution power system. Her main expertise is related to develop dynamic and state-of-charge models of different Energy Storage Systems and optimal control of active distribution network.

Prof. Bahramipanah can be reached at 406-994-7603 or [email protected].


Hongwei Gao

Hongwei Gao is an assistant professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He develops power converters for solid oxide fuel cell systems. These DC-to-AC converters condition the power produced by fuel cells. Dr. Gao has developed soft-switched converters for residential fuel cell power systems and is working on modular inverters for large-scale fuel cell systems.

Dr. Gao can be reached at 406-994-5973 or [email protected].


Ralph Johnson

Ralph Johnson is a professor in the School of Architecture. He has taught at Montana State University since 1986. He is a licensed architect and active member of the American Institute of Architects and the American Planning Association. His research and creativity activities have focused on architectural design, urban and rural design as well as contemporary architectural theory. He is the recipient of over 25 teaching, architectural and urban design awards and has received over $250,000 in funded research for community design and development over the past ten years. His book, Building form the Best of the Northern Rockies, articulates Professor Johnson's sustainable planning principles and illustrates, through case studies, many of the successes that have been achieved throughout the Northern Rockies. In addition to his teaching, research, and publication related to sustainable communities, Professor Johnson served as the Director of the Burton K. Wheeler Center for Public Policy at Montana State University. The Center focuses on educating Montanan's relative to contemporary issues and the public policy strategies with the potential to address these issues.

Mr. Johnson can be reached at 406-994-4650 or [email protected].


Jaya Mukhopadhyay

Jaya Mukhopadhyay is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture. She teaches environmental system controls to ungraduated students and system integration to graduate students. Jaya Mukhopadhyay’s research interests include net-zero energy buildings, building energy simulation, daylighting, energy efficiency in residential & commercial buildings, passive solar building systems, operation & maintenance of high-performance buildings, and indoor environmental quality. Professor Mukhopadhyay has been the principal investigator for projects sponsored by ASHRAE and EPA. She received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, where her research focused on improving the energy efficiency of buildings utilizing shared energy resources.

Dr. Mukhopadhyay can be reached at 406-994-6439 or [email protected].


Hashem Nehrir

Hashem Nehrir is a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Dr. Nehrir received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees all in electrical engineering from Oregon State University in 1969, 1971, and 1978, respectively. He started his educational career in 1971 and joined the Montana State University Electrical Engineering faculty in 1987. He has taught a variety of courses on electric power systems, alternative energy power generation, energy conversion devices, electric circuits, and control. Dr. Nehrir's active research includes modeling, control, and energy management of alternative energy distributed generation (DG) sources and microgrids with multiple alternative energy and conventional DG sources, and smart grid functions including demand response and application of intelligent control and multiagent systems to power systems. His research has been supported by a variety of sources, including: The US National Science Foundation, NSF-EPSCoR, USDOE, DOE-EPSCoR, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, The Montana Power Company (now NorthWestern Energy), Montana Electric Power Cooperatives, and Montana Electric Power Affiliates Program (MEPRA).

Dr. Nehrir can be reached at 406-994-4980 or [email protected].


Zagros Shahooei

Zagros Shahooei is a Teaching Assistant Professor at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. He received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University with a focus in power and energy systems. Zagros also has a M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. With almost 3 years experience in power and energy industry, Zagros has an strong background in power system protection and control. His research interests focus on power system resiliency, modeling and integration of renewable energy sources into the electric grid, power system reliability and stability analysis and power system protection and control.

Dr. Shahooei can be reached at 406-994-5965 or [email protected].


Steven R. Shaw

Dr. Shaw is a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He works on modeling and control of energy systems, storage, and conversion devices.

Dr. Shaw can be reached at 406-994-5982 or [email protected].


Dr. Ying Zhang

Dr. Ying Zhang received a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, TX, U.S., in 2020. Her research interests focus on power system situational awareness with high-level renewable integration via optimization and artificial intelligence (AI). She received the Frederick E. Terman Award for Graduate Students in SMU. She authors a dozen publications in flagship journals of electrical engineering, e.g., IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, and IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, etc, including one Global ESI top 1% highly cited paper. She is a member of IEEE, the IEEE Task Force on Performance Evaluation of Distribution System State Estimation, and IEEE Power & Energy Society Women in Power Committee.

Dr. Zhang can be reached at 406-994-4835 or [email protected].