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Ramit Debnath BTech, MTech, MPhil (Cantab)

Ramit Debnath, BTech, MTech, MPhil (Cantab)

Gates-Cambridge Scholar,

Behaviour and Building Performance Group,

Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School &

AI for the study of Environmental Risks (AI4ER)

Visiting energy analyst in Renewable Integration and Secure Electricity (RISE), International Energy Agency

Winter Fellow - Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MiCEF)


I have a background in electrical engineering and sustainability sciences which shapes my perception of engineering as a tool for reducing inequality. I am interested in the application of data science to inform public policy, some of my recent work focusses on the public policy response in wake of COVID-19. 

For my PhD, I am using computational social science techniques to better understand energy injustices associated in a slum built environment. The goal of my research is to develop policy modelling methods for distributive energy justice in poverty of the Global South. I am also expanding these methods in food systems and climate change research. 

Currently, I am a visiting scholar and energy analyst in the Renewable Integration and Secure Electricity (RISE) team at the International Energy Agency, Paris. Here I am working with the highest policymaking body in India (NITI Aayog) on the future of variable renewable integration and flexibility of operation in the Indian power grid.  

I use methods like predictive textual analysis, social data science and qualitative methods. My usual tools are R and Python for machine learning and statistical modelling. Please check the publication section below for my latest research outputs. You can also follow my Twitter handle for latest updates @RamitDebnath. 

My research is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship under the grant number [OPP1144], the Trinity-MCSC scholarship (honorary) from the Trinity College, Cambridge and a Santander Mobility Grant from the Santander Group, Spain. I have recently received an Energy Transition Small-Grant from the Energy@Cambridge and Issac Newton trust; and also awarded a winter fellowship at Michigan Conservative Energy Forum to research on electric vehicle integration and policy analysis for the automotive capital of the world- Detroit.

Research Interests

  • Engineering for sustainable development 
  • Energy Justice
  • Policy analytics
  • Computational social sciences
  • Energy and built environment

Key skills: 

  • Data analytics (R and Python)
  • Content analysis and natural language processing 
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Mixed-method research design
  • Modelling, calibration and optimisation
  • Data-driven policy modelling
  • Statistical analysis using SPSS

Key Publications

Research in the news!

Journals (Peer-reviewed)




  • Ramit Debnath (present): Evidence-based policy modelling for energy justice and poverty alleviation in Global South: A nested empirical and unsupervised machine-learning approach in slum rehabilitation, Doctoral thesis, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, UK. 
  • Ramit Debnath (2018): Comfort, energy use and well-being in informal settlement: Investigating a rebound phenomenon in slum rehabilitation housing in Mumbai using backcasting approach, Master of Philosophy thesis, Girton College, University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Ramit Debnath (2016): A conceptual framework for future-proofing rural kitchens in India using building physics and computational fluid dynamic analysis. Master of Technology thesis, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India.
  • Ramit Debnath (2014): Low-cost ultrasonic error detection for fault analysis using Arduino. Bachelor of Technology thesis, School of Engineering and Technology - SU, India. 

Invited talks

  • Policy modelling for energy justice in poverty in Global South, Brownbag Seminar, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, UK
  • Environmental protection and sustainability drivers, Panel Discussion, Michaelmas Gates Internal Symposium, November 2019, GSCR, University Centre. Cambridge
  • Energy Justice in Poverty: Modelling the invisible drivers in slum rehabilitation, Michaelmas Gates Internal Symposium, November 2019, GSCR, University Centre. Cambridge.
  • Invisible drivers of energy demand in poverty. Energy Policy Research Group Team Workshop, July -2019, Clare College, University of Cambridge
  • Low and Middle-Income Countries: remodelling appropriate resources for use in constrained settings: Panel Discussion, Global Scholars Symposium-2019, Rhodes House, University of Oxford (
  • Treasure hunt for energy sustainability in poverty: Empirical evidence from slum rehabilitation in India. CHUTalks, January  2019, Churchill College, University of Cambridge (link)


Working papers

  • Debnath, R., Bardhan, R., Darby, S., Mohaddes, K., Coelho, A. C. V., Isa, A., & Sunikka-Blank, M. (2020, March 26). Energy justice, built environment and poverty: A deep-narrative analysis of energy cultures in Brazil, India and Nigeria for policy modelling. engrXiv Preprints,
  • Musa, O., & Debnath R., (2020). Social shaping of technology analysis for inclusive renewable planning in Sub-Saharan Africa: Case of Rwanda, engrXiv Preprints, 
  • Beveridge, I., Gelb, B., Ng, M., & Debnath, R. (2020). From a Nonconforming Diet to Anti-consumption: Exploring a Threat to Marketing-as-usual, (Under Review)
  • Debnath, R., Mittal, V., & Jinday, A. (2020). Challenges and opportunities from increasing renewable generation in the Indian Power System: A way forward for Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020.


  • Architecture and Building Physics, Oxbridge Academic Programs, New York [50 hours]. CamPrep Experience Architecture Final Project: Daylight simulation and visualization for improved well-being in classrooms: A case study of a Peterhouse classroom (Project link:
  • Innovation & Leadership Program and Science & Technology Program, Looker Education Group, Shanghai [40 hours]. Topics covered: Innovation management; Sustainable development; Urban Science; Whole Energy Systems Analysis; Systems dynamics modelling and analysis; Building Performance Analysis: Daylight modelling and simulation
  • Research mentorship program, ViaX, Beijing [10 hours]
  • Policy analysis workshop, Evolution of energy policies in China since 1950, ViaX, Beijing [10 hours]

Professional memberships

Cambridge Philosophical Society; Cambridge University Energy Network (CUEN); Cambridge University Engineering Society (CUES); Energy@Cambridge; Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG); The Energy Institute (EI); Global Energy Nexus for Urban Settlement (GENUS); Commonwealth Scholars Alumni Association; Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP); Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange Forum (CUSPE); CIBSE

Related roles

Reviewer: Energy Policy; Sustainable Cities and Society; Journal of Cleaner Production

Associate Editor: The Scholar Magazine, Gates- Cambridge Trust, Summer 2019

Secretary: Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange Forum (CUSPE)

Convenor: Global Energy Nexus for Urban Settlements (GENUS) & Cambridge University Energy Networks (CUEN)

Director (Delegate Affairs): Global Scholars Symposium - 2020 (cancelled due to COVID-19)