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Joana Abreu

Behavior Scientist

Joana leads Fraunhofer CSE’s efforts to evaluate how people interact with and accept novel building systems and controls. She works with government and industry clients to design and implement rigorous field experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral interventions. Her approach relies...
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Behavior Scientist  
Fraunhofer USA - Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, June 2013 to Present, Boston, Massachusetts United States

Dr. Joana Abreu leads Fraunhofer CSE’s behavior and energy research. She works with government and industry clients to design and implement rigorous behavioral field experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions with a behavioral dimension.

Internal Consultant and project manager - Project CoopRoriz On Demand  
ISA - Intelligent Sensing Anywhere, May 2012 to April 2013

Randomized demand response experiment. Comparison of demand response potential within different contextual settings: incentives, automation and voluntary.

Consultant at Empower Devices for the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Efficiency Program, CT, USA  
EmpowerDevices, January 2011 to June 2013

Independent Consultant for company EmpowerDevices, provides deep data analytics and trends analysis to the energy efficiency project Neighbor to Neighbor Connecticut, in which the objective is to push residential customers into a ladder of change from receiving a home energy assessment up to actually do home energy upgrades, using social networking and other community based outreach techniques. The goals are to help residents to fight waste, and improve conservation habits. Evaluated and diagnosed the constraints to the adoption of home energy improvements, by residential customers in the Connecticut Energy Challenge project. This information helped identify the problems with the project implementation and helped triggering the right approach to the problem. Developed the methodology that defines the weather normalized baseline for assessment of energy efficiency gains (for government, municipal, federal and residential sectors). Provides consulting for the Impact Evaluation, Cost Benefit Analysis Tests and Measurement Evaluation.

Consumer behavior invited expert Smart Galp Project  
IN+ IST/UTL, January 2011 to January 2012

Workshops and meetings, organized by GALP (utility) designed to develop a customer centric information system. Personal contributions include normative design (competitions, normalized ranking system (for gas, oil and electricity) and real time feedback. The establishment of a good relationship with the client is paramount for GALP as the company begins to establish itself as an electricity retailer in the residential market. Coaches and oversees project implementation in particular in what has to do with experimental design, and personalization of energy efficiency feedback to the client.

Researcher Innovation and Policy Institute, IN+ IST/UTL  
IN+, Instituto Superior Técnico/Technical University of Lisbon, January 2009 to January 2012

Conceived, designed and negotiated research projects for National grants (QREN, FAI and the National Science Foundation). The project called the “Net Zero Energy School, reaching the community” won a 200.000 Euro grant, and aims to develop interventions in the school and its community at two levels: structural and behavioral. The project includes the development of smart metering experiments in the households of a selection of families that mimic the socio-demographic characteristics of the school. Responsibilities in the design phase included conception of the project and negotiation with four different partners. In consequence, became a key element that enabled communication between engineers and social scientists. The second project was Smart Galp, which was submitted to the QREN and later resubmitted to another public fund (FAI).

Ph.D. Sustainable Energy Systems, MIT Affiliate, IST/MIT Portugal Program  
MIT Portugal Program, October 2007 to March 2012

The Program includes economics of energy and environment, engineering systems, renewable energy, carbon assessment, energy efficiency and demand side management.

PhD Sustainable Energy Systems  
MIT Portugal Program, October 2007 to March 2012

Thesis: Routines and feedback: a study about electricity consumption in households. Residential clients require intelligent tools targeted to help move across specific quasi-automatic everyday energy intensive practices. In 2009, the negawatt project, the first smart metering & feedback experiment to occur in Portugal, was the basis of this PhD. This research puts in evidence the role of periodic behaviors and their correspondence to actual practices. In the lights of practice theory, this research can improve the design of behavior change programs, since the options can adapt to the actual practices of the population. Collaboration with YelloStrom, B.V. The research reviewed consumer behavior theory through the lenses of economists, psychologists and social scientists. Using knowledge discovery methods, investigated the predictability of habitual (or automatic) behavior in households. The quantitative (datamining) component of the research work creates business intelligence by putting in scope how familial baselines can be characteristic of specific loading-day conditions, making it possible to identify personalized baselines, for specific loading conditions (temperature and day of week).

Director, Quality of Life Division  
YDreams, September 2005 to July 2007

Team leader and consultant for new projects in the fields of the environment and quality of life solutions. Projects include data, logic and visualization / interaction layers and were designed specifically to trigger interest and curiosity by the consumers / visitors, while conveying the message of our clients. Flagship examples include the projects Biodatamining, Wireless Chelsea, YHealth and Virtual City. Biodatamining was subsequently awarded a 1 million euro research grant by SIME ID and was designed to provide coaches with real time information about health care parameters of their athletes. Wireless Chelsea was a 200.000 Euro project developed for Chelsea FC, UK. Another flagship project was VirtualCity, which involved modeling and simulation of the impacts of air pollution by traffic flow in a city and was initially developed for our clients in Shanghai.

Staff Cegig Centre for the exploration of geographical information  
Instituto Geográfico Português, February 2002 to September 2005

Key point for several projects related with providing geographical information for emergency situations. Collaboration with public organizations such as the Portuguese Civil Protection (Project RISE), the European Space Agency (Project Premfire), Project Demeter. Collaboration with industry: Critical Software, Geodan IT B.V.

Staff National Clearinghouse for Geographic Information  
National Centre of Geographic Information, January 1996 to January 2001

Co-development with Fundação para a Computação Ciêntifíca Nacional and SIBS, in 1997, of the first payment method on the Internet for geographic data. Co-design the architecture of spatial metadata, a model inspired by the U.S. Tiger Files and which has revolutionized the access to geographical information in the country. The framework was later transferred to other European countries in the project ESMI (European Spatial Metadata Infrastructure, a INFO 2000 project). Inspired other institutions of the public administration to contribute to the network and to provide geo-data for free. Co-developed the metadata relational database architecture and populated the database with information based upon inquiries made to other public institutions. Common GIS (an ESPRI project) is another international project designed and developed while at CNIG. Represented the institution at National level (due to the fact that after one year at the job became the contact point for SNIG and provided tuition to the institutions mandated to provide free access to geodata) and International, due to having become responsible by representing the Portuguese

Trainee: Information Technology & Telecommunication  
Centro Nacional de Informação Geográfica, February 1995 to December 1996

Trainee at the National Centre for Geographic Information, for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Program: a building block to promote the dissemination of the geographic information market in Portugal. Responsibilities included developing surveys to member organizations, organizing data in Oracle databases and web publishing.

Geota - Grupo de Estudos de Ordenamento do Território e Ambiente, September 1990 to January 1996

Geota is an Environment NGO in Portugal


MIT Portugal, Instituto Superior Técnico, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Sustainable Energy Systems, Jan, 2007 to Jan, 2012
Th: Routines and feedback: a study about electricity consumption in households. Designed a smart metering and feedback experiment: the negawatt project. Teamed with technology partner YelloStrom. Families received indirect feedback through a sophisticated interface available online. Pattern extraction, and other datamining techniques, traditionally used in demand allocation transportation studies at MIT, put in evidence periodic familial habits. The habits correspond reports made by the families, as a result of in depth interviews. Research found that a few profiles could represent the habits of the family for specific climatic and day-of-week conditions. Suggests possible segmentation of populations based upon specific habits, and to target relevant policies or feedback, accordingly. Sup.: Dr. Jorge Vasconcelos (Technical University of Lisbon), Prof. David H. Marks (MIT), Prof. Francisco Câmara Pereira (Coimbra University; SMART – Singapore MIT Alliance)

University of Leeds  
Master of Science (MS), Geographical Information Systems, Jan, 2000 to Jan, 2001
Major in Geographical Information Systems, University of Leeds, Geography Department. Thesis: Discussion about of collaborative spatial decision support systems focusing in multi-criteria analysis. Dissertation supervisor: Prof. Steve Carver (University of Leeds, U.K.)

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa  
Environmental Engineering BS.C (5 years), Sustainability Studies, Jan, 1988 to Jan, 1993


Energy Night portugal  by  Joana M. Abreu, Filipa Reis, André Augusto, David Pera, Pedro Nunes, Ana Gonçalves, Alexandra Marques    
June, 2012 - Present
Inspired by one of the most successful energy events at the MIT, the Energy Night Portugal was an event that has presented a unique opportunity for energy enthusiasts to share the most exciting research happening in Portugal. The Energy Night bring together the professionals from industry, companies, startups, universities, research institutions and general public.