March 4, 2024
Staff Accomplishment

Chini Helps Explore Timely Energy Infrastructure Questions

A journal selects PNNL’s Chris Chini as guest editor for a special issue focused on current and future energy infrastructure vulnerabilities

Chris Chini, PNNL staff member

Chris Chini serves as a guest editor of a journal's special issue on energy infrastructure. The first papers from the special issue will be available later this year. 

(Photo courtesy of Chris Chini | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

It’s scary to ponder. An American energy infrastructure that’s already navigating the delicate transition to clean energy is now increasingly confronted by more intense weather and other potentially destructive events. How can the United States—and other nations—adapt to and overcome these challenging dynamics?

Chris Chini, an Earth scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is helping find answers. He was named by the journal Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability as one of three guest editors for an upcoming special issue. The special issue, titled “Focus on Physical and Natural Threats to Energy Infrastructure and Systems,” is designed to highlight some of the latest research efforts and findings.

“It’s a great opportunity to be a part of this effort, to interact with researchers studying the challenges to our energy system, to learn from and share their work, and to help inform some of the solutions that will be needed,” Chini said.

According to online information about the special issue, historical events have highlighted “vulnerabilities in existing energy infrastructure to physical and natural events in different regions of the world.” However, the relationship particularly between the clean energy system transition and physical and natural threats is not well understood.

“We need a greater understanding of the relative impacts to our energy system with a changing climate and world,” Chini said. “We also must understand the potential methods and opportunities to address the impacts.” 

The concept for the special issue was identified in the December 2023 time frame. After getting the green light, Chini and co-editors Rebecca Peer of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and Brian Tarroja of the University of California, Irvine, began seeking relevant research papers. Papers can still be submitted through August 14. The special issue will be published on a “rolling” basis—that is, as individual papers are reviewed and approved, they’ll be made publicly available. The journal is open access and, currently, all publication fees are waived.

Chini joined PNNL in September 2023 and works in the Earth Systems Predictability and Resiliency group. His research interests are at the intersection of energy, technology, infrastructure, and data, and align closely with the aims of the special issue.