Centre for Sustainability alumni Tarun Khanna and Oliver Ruhnau begin Assistant Professorships

Congratulations to former staff members and Hertie School alumni Tarun Khanna (MPP 2017, PhD 2023) and Oliver Ruhnau (PhD 2022) on their academic appointments at the University of British Columbia and the University of Cologne respectively.

Tarun Khanna joins the University of British Columbia

Tarun is the Assistant Professor of Energy and Climate Policy at the University of British Columbia. He also serves as a visiting researcher at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin. He pursued his studies in economics at the University of Delhi and specialized in energy economics during his PhD. His primary focus lies in the economics of decarbonisation and the policies needed to get there. Additionally, his wider research interests encompass evidence synthesis, policy evaluation, electricity markets, and energy in development. Tarun's work has been featured in Nature Energy, The Energy Journal, and Energy. Before turning to academia, he was a policy practitioner. Tarun worked with regulators, governments, and utilities in the design and implementation of electricity policy in South Asia. Some of this work was done with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and more recently the International Energy Agency (IEA). In the past year, he contributed to the policy debate in Germany, particularly in response to the energy crisis of 2022, through reports for the German government on demand side-measures. 

Oliver Ruhnau joins the University of Cologne, Institute of Energy Economics (EWI)

Oliver is the new Assistant Professor for Energy Market Design at the University of Cologne, and also joined the university’s renowned Institute of Energy Economics (EWI). Previously, he worked as a data scientist in the energy industry and studied engineering and economics at the RWTH Aachen University and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. His research interests lie in the field of energy economics and the sustainable transition of energy systems. In his dissertation at the Hertie School, he investigated flexible electricity demand in current and future electricity markets, with a focus on heat pumps and hydrogen electrolysis. Most recently, as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Sustainability, he led a publication on natural gas savings in Germany during the 2022 energy crisis, which was cited by top government officials and media outlets.

We thank both colleagues for their excellent contributions to the Hertie School and the Centre for Sustainability and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.