An engineer - computational social scientist passionate about energy and climate justice


Dr Ramit Debnath is the inaugural Cambridge Zero Fellow at the University of Cambridge, a visiting faculty associate in Computational Social Science at Caltech, and a sustainability fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge.

Ramit seeks to understand what is desirable machine intelligence for climate action. He uses design thinking, large language models, machine learning and AI to reduce misinformation, recover trust and remove skepticism to improve public understanding of climate change. He is the recipient of the 2022 Google Cloud Climate Innovation Challenge and the Postdoctoral Alan Turing Enrichment Award. Dr Debnath has a background in electrical engineering and sustainable development and a PhD as a Gates scholar from the University of Cambridge.

Ramit has attracted over £400,000 in research grants and prestigious fellowships. And published extensively on solving society's wicked problems, which can be found here: Google Scholar.

I was part of the flagship FuturesWeWant project by the BEIS, UK Government for the UN COP-26. Read more about it here:

Professional History

Director of Studies, Gonville and Caius College (Sept 2022 - Present)

  • Architecture, climate change and sustainability

CambridgeZero Fellow (June 2022 - Present)

Visiting (Faculty) Associate in Computational Social Science, Caltech, USA (Dec 2021 - Present)

    • Working on climate misinformation and greenwashing on social media using natural language processing, machine learning and AI.

Sustainability Fellow, Churchill College, University of Cambridge (Jan 2022 - Present)

    • Delivering sustainability research programs at the Churchill College (link).

Affiliated researcher, Bennett Institute of Public Policy, University of Cambridge (Feb 2022 - Present)

    • Working on energy markets in low-income communities, people-centric transition and data science (link)

Research Associate in Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School (Jan 2022 - Present)

    • Working on energy and climate policy, people-centric just transition and data science (link)

Laudes Foundation Research Associate in Climate Policy, Centre for Natural Materials Innovation, University of Cambridge (Jun 2021 - Present)

    • Led an evidence synthesis project for the UK government on emissions reduction in the built environment using nature-based solutions and natural materials. This work has informed policymakers at UN COP-26, Glasglow (link).

    • Ongoing research includes deriving data-driven climate policies for emissions reduction in the built environment (Working paper).

Associate - Cambridge Centre for Climate Repair, Department of Engineering (Sep 2021 - present)

    • Investigating public perception and attitudes towards climate repair strategies (like geoengineering) using social data science.

Visiting researcher, International Energy Agency, Paris (Nov 2020 - Nov 2021)

    • Co-authored a seminal report on empowering cities for a net-zero future with consultation from over 100 stakeholders across industry, government, academia, citizen and civil society. The report received over 5000 downloads within 48 hours and was declared as a key policy document on energy transition and climate sustainability by the Italian G20 presidency.

    • Co-authored a national-level energy policy report with NITI Aayog, Government of India (GoI) on renewables integration in India. The GoI in their press briefing acknowledged that this report provides practical suggestions for the Indian states to manage their renewable integration challenges to meet national targets of 175GW by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.

    • Assisted in conducting workshops and roundtable group meetings with ministers, heads of state, and leading industry and academic experts. The outputs have been used in shaping critical policy documents for climate action at a national scale.

    • Implemented natural language processing to assist in decision making on digitalisation to the Italian government through the 3DEN (data-driven digital networks) project.

GROWTH Leadership program, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi (Sept 2021 - Dec 2021)

    • Industry leadership program for future just energy transition experts and professionals.

Visiting researcher - DSG, The Alan Turing Institute (September 2021)

    • Competitively selected for September 2021 Data Study Group to work on health data science.

    • Executed data-centric engineering for 'Automated assessment of vascular perfusion'.

Climate change consultant, CambridgeZero, University of Cambridge and Deloitte (May 2021 - Present)

    • Authored an evidence synthesis for the India chapter of UK BEIS's Net-zero future vision for COP-26. Generated transition pathways across 5 sectors to boost India's commitment towards meeting the Paris agreement.

    • Executed policy synthesis for a net-zero future with experts from UK, Brazil, Jamaica, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

    • Lead author: COP 26 Futures We Want - India Country Profile for UK Government's BEIS and the citizen-science based #FuturesWeWant: India 2050

Research Assistant, Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, University of Cambridge (Jun 2021 - Present)

    • Estimating the environmental consequence of online activities like online shopping google search as a basis of public provocation for COP-26.

    • Designed a public outreach and engagement animation for the Festival of Social Science - 2021 on 'Planned obsolescence of smartphones and its environmental impact'.

Research Affiliate, Energy Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge (Oct 2018 - Dec2021)

  • Shaped my PhD research through intense interdisciplinary intellectual exchange and knowledge transfer from the leading academics and practitioners in the field.

  • Collaborator, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford (Dec 2019 - Jan 2021)

  • Research Assistant in Social Policy, SciencesPo (Feb 2021 - Jun 2021)

  • Research Assistant in Social data science, Cambridge Judge Business School (Oct 2020 - Mar 2021)

  • Overseas Research Fellow, Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MiCEF) (Nov 2020 - Mar 2021)

  • Visiting Researcher, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Stanford University (Oct 2016 - Jan 2017)

  • Research engineer, Centre for Urban Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (Oct 2016 - Jul 2017)

  • E4D Summer School, ETH Zurich (Jun - Jul 2016)

  • Ben Gurion University of Negev Summer School (Jul - Aug 2015)

  • TISS Winter School (Dec 2014)

  • Summer Intern, National Thermal Power Plant India Limited (May - Jul 2013)

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