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Dr. Chien-fei Chen

Research Associate Professor


Dr. Chien-fei Chen is an environmental sociologist and research associate professor renowned for her groundbreaking work in the fields of energy and environmental justice, clean energy, and access to renewable resources. As the Director of Energy and Environmental Justice at the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE), the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Dr. Chen has been instrumental in advancing interdisciplinary research on energy justice, community engagement, and infrastructure resilience. Her expertise spans various areas, including social-psychological and policy factors affecting energy/environmental justice, energy efficiency, microgrids, electric vehicles, and solar technology adoption. Additionally, Dr. Chen’s exceptional contributions have significantly shaped our understanding of the socio-technological integration necessary for building efficiency and sustainability in the built environment. Through her practical research, she empowers academics, communities, utilities, and policymakers alike, promoting equitable access to clean energy and advocating for a sustainable future. Dr. Chen’s publications appear in many interdisciplinary journals, including Building and Environment, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Environmental Sociology, Energy, Environmental Sociology, Energy and Buildings, Energy Policy, Energy Research and Social Science, Energy and Buildings, Journal of Environmental Psychology, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Electric Power Systems Research, and so on. She has served as the editorial board member of Energy Research and Social Science since 2017. Chen has received several large-scale interdisciplinary research awards from National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Welcome Trust Foundation. Dr. Chen received the 2019-2020 Fulbright U.S. and U.K. Global Scholar Awards for her energy justice work. With this award, she almost entered Wuhan, China, to conduct her research, but turned around at Shanghai airport on Jan. 22, 2020, the day before Wuhan was shutting down.


Dr. Chien-fei Chen is a highly qualified sociologist with a Ph.D. from Washington State University, where she specialized in research, data analysis, and understanding social structures and human behavior. She also holds an M.A. in Mass Communications from the same university, equipping her with comprehensive knowledge of media theory, strategic communication, and effective media analysis. Additionally, her B.A. in Foreign Language and Literature from National Cheng Kung University bolstered her proficiency in diverse languages and fostered an appreciation for different cultures, enriching her communication skills across cultural boundaries.

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