People of PCHES: Thomas Braun

Thomas Braun is a Ph.D. candidate in Sustainable Development at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University in the City of New York. At the intersection of natural and social sciences, his research in environmental economics leverages applied econometrics and statistics to explore the causal impacts of human activities on natural systems.

For instance, Thomas is presently investigating the effect of urban traffic on air pollution by exploiting a high-frequency dataset in a unique setting facilitating causal inference. Possible implications could be the identification of optimal traffic policies aiming at minimizing urban air pollution as a function of weather conditions. Another example involves the identification of the impact of intensive agricultural practices on local climate in the US by relying on long series of historical weather data.

Before moving to New York to engage in his Ph.D., Thomas worked as a strategy analyst in the steel industry (Luxembourg) and uranium mining business (Kazakhstan) as well as in merger control at the European Commission (Belgium). He holds a Master’s of Science in mechanical engineering from École polytechnique, collaborated in a research project at MIT and is member of the prestigious Corps des mines in France. As a native from the Grand-duchy of Luxembourg, he speaks five languages and is passionate about Luxembourgish numismatics. Also, he loves to stargaze and enjoys outdoor sport activities such as biking and backpacking. In fact, over the next few years, your best chance to meet him outside of his office is in Central Park, where he spends most of his leisure time with friends training for an upcoming marathon and Outward Bound expedition.