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Alexandra C. Kahl

Environment & Climate Sciences


Faculty Advisors: Budhu Bhaduri & Liem Tran

Alexandra is a third year Phd student studying Energy Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee. She conducts her research in conjunction with the Geospatial Science and Human Security division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Alexandra’s work focuses on characterizing winter storms and connecting storm characteristics to energy infrastructure damage and risks to vulnerable populations.

Prior to pursuing her Phd, Alexandra received her master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech where she focused on disaster resilience and risk management. During her time at Virginia Tech, Alexandra learned how economic, social and political variables influence how a community can respond to a natural disaster. She put this into practice by working with low income communities in Southwest Virginia to help them develop improved floodplain management and response strategies.

Alexandra’s combination of technical skills, understanding of community engagement and prior work with vulnerable communities provides her an ideal perspective and skill set to develop holistic, equitable resilience solutions.

In her spare time Alexandra enjoys riding her horse and spending time with her family.


Alexandra’s research is conducted in conjunction with the Geospatial Science and Human Security division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). She focuses on energy infrastructure resilience in the face of severe winter storms. Alexandra works to analyze winter storms at the pixel level and connect storm characteristics to “on the ground damages”. She is also very interested in energy justice. Alexandra incorporates energy justice in her research by using synthetic population modeling to understand outage likelihood across vulnerable communities. Alexandra’s favorite part of her research is that it allows her to contribute to climate change adaptation strategies.


Master of Urban and Regional Planning, Virginia Tech and Bachelor of Science, Environmental Policy and Planning, Virginia Tech

Awards and Recognitions

Jump Into STEM Winner 2022


Allen, Melissa & Rose, Amy & New, Joshua & Omitaomu, Olufemi & Yuan, Jiangye & Branstetter, Marcia & Sylvester, Linda & Seals, Matthew & Carvalhaes, Thomaz & Adams, Mark & Bhandari, Mahabir & Shrestha, Som & Sanyal, Jibonananda & Berres, Anne & Kolosna, Carl & Fu, Katherine & Kahl, Alexandra. (2020). Impacts of the morphology of new neighborhoods on microclimate and building energy. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 133. 10.1016/j.rser.2020.110030.

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