Francis O'Sullivan

Director of Research and Analysis
MIT Energy Initiative


Building a safer, cleaner nuclear reactor

Building a safer, cleaner nuclear reactor

Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie are reviving the nuclear dream

May 19, 2015Read more
Francis O'Sullivan


Dr. Francis O’Sullivan is Director of Research and Analysis at the MIT Energy Initiative, and a lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research interests span a range of topics related to energy technologies, policy and economics. His current research is focused on unconventional oil and gas resources, the energy-water nexus, and solar energy. He has extensive expertise regarding the production dynamics and associated economics of North America’s shale plays. His work also includes the study of global gas market dynamics and the LNG trade, and he is actively studying the implications for international energy markets of emerging unconventional hydrocarbon resource plays, particularly those in China and Australia.

He has written and spoken widely on these topics, and has made presentations to the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Brookings Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Governors’ Association, the National Association of Regulated Utility Commissioners, at CERAWeek, the American Physical Society, and to a range of other academic, policy and industry forums. He is an author of the 2011 MIT Future of Natural Gas Study, and a member of the MIT Future of Solar Energy study group. Dr. O’Sullivan is also an elected member of the National Academies’ Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability.

Prior to joining MIT, Dr. O’Sullivan was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he worked extensively in the areas of economic, investment and risk analysis, strategic planning, and operations in the private equity, oil and gas, electric utility, and renewable energy sectors.

Dr. O’Sullivan received his Ph.D., E.E., and S.M. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his B.E. degree from the National University of Ireland, all in electrical engineering.

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February 13, 2014
America's leaky natural gas system needs a fix, study finds
The U.S. natural gas system is letting more methane, a potent greenhouse gas, escape into the air than previously thought, a new study confirms.

February 13, 2014
3 Questions: Francis O’Sullivan on the climate impact of ‘leaky methane’
Researchers find that national estimates of methane emissions have been underestimated over the past 20 years.

October 21, 2013
Evaluating the Risks of Natural Gas
MIT researchers weigh natural gas development options and economic risks for small nations using Cyprus as a case study.

November 30, 2012
Study: 'Fugitive' methane from shale gas production less than previously thought
MIT researchers, using field practices, find emissions from shale gas production to be significantly lower than previous estimates.