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Chien-fei Chen

Director of Education & Diversity, Research Associate Professor


Dr. Chien-fei Chen is a research associate professor and director of education and diversity program at the National Science Foundation funded engineering research center, Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT), Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). She is also an adjunct faculty in the department of sociology at the UTK.

Dr. Chen’s research centers in the areas of environmental sociology, pro-environmental behavior, renewable energy adoption, and energy justice. Specifically, her research goals are to: 1) foster interdisciplinary research and social-technological integration in the areas of power grid resilience, energy conservation behaviors, energy inequality among underserved communities, and barriers to alternative sources of energy supply; 2) integrate social-psychological theories and methodology, and human decision-making processes into engineering modeling to better understand power systems, and acceptance of renewable energy technology; 3) analyze human’s energy saving behaviors to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions; and 4) provide fundamental interdisciplinary knowledge to research community, utility companies, and policy makers. Dr. Chen recent publications appear in Building and Environment, Energy, Energy and Buildings, Energy Policy, Energy Research and Social Science (ERSS), Energy and Buildings, Journal of Environmental Psychology, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Electric Power Systems Research, and so on. Since 2018, Dr. Chen serves as an editorial board member of ERSS.

Dr. Chen leads the research projects of public acceptance of power grid and renewable technologies and demand response at CURNET based on social-psychological theories and concepts. Dr. Chen has actively involved with several international and interdisciplinary networks including International Energy Agency (IEA), Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 66 and 79. She is also involved with the NSF-REC-SEES Network and serves as the workshop chair for the NSF-RCN SEES-SHBE program “Enhancing Interdisciplinary Education and Diversity in 2016 and “International Workshop on Putting Sustainability into Convergence: Connecting Data, People, and Systems” in 2019. She has received several research awards from NSF and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to conduct the interdisciplinary research regarding wireless communication technology and social-psychological factors as well as remand response, micro-grid resilience and grid technologies. In 2019, Dr. Chen received the Fulbright U.S. Global Scholar Award, her proposal title, “When East Meets West: An Interdisciplinary and Cross-cultural Research on Energy Justice and Renewable Technology Adoption for Future Smart Communities.”


Curriculum Vitae

Research Fact Sheet

Contact Dr. Chen

E-mail Address:


Mailing Address:

508 Min H. Kao Building

The University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN 37996-2250

Telephone Numbers:

Office (voice): (865) 974-3787