Dr. McPhail is a senior engineer at PSE Healthy Energy and works on a variety of environmental and energy related projects. She approaches her work through the interdisciplinary lens of science and engineering innovation, business accessibility and opportunity, and financial and social mobility. Her current focus areas include evaluating decarbonization transitions for energy equity, access, health, and environmental impacts. Dr. McPhail originally joined PSE in 2016 to collaborate on the health and social equity implications of the clean power plan in midwestern states. Since then, she has taken on broader research projects to consider the policy implications for the decarbonization of the energy sector and its impacts to communities from a sociodemographic and social mobility perspective. Additionally, Dr. McPhail works in impact investing and business consulting, focusing on strategic investing in sustainable technologies and businesses for personal and community development. She previously worked in environmental compliance for the oil & gas industry. Dr. McPhail is a former Ford Foundation Fellow and an EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellow for her research.
Dr. McPhail received her PhD from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University, where her research centered around environmental and economic impacts of waste-to-energy technologies beyond incineration. She earned her Master’s in Environmental Engineering and a BSE in Chemical Engineering with a minor in environmental sustainability from the University of Michigan. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Acta Non Verba, a local Oakland-based youth farm project, and is the former President of the Board of Directors for Families of Color Seattle, a Seattle-based, family focused nonprofit which specializes in community dialogues, workshops, and education on race, identity, inclusion and anti-bias practices. She continues to volunteer her time with nonprofits seeking to address the knowledge and opportunity-gaps persistent in underserved and underrepresented communities.