Vijay Modi

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty Member and Director of the Infrastructure Programs, Millennium Villages Project, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

“The United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Beyond”


There are many actors that are engaged in the provision of energy to the poor.  They have either the responsibility as governments, mandates as parastatals or business reasons as utilities or ESCOs, or simply local groups organizing to meet their own needs, such as co-operatives. Vijay Modi will speak to how the combination of small-scale generation, mobile telephony, digitization and finance are providing us with a nuance understanding of how we can best serve the small emergent consumer.  What have we learnt from the poor in this context?


Vijay Modi is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the Earth Institute faculty at Columbia University, where he also serves as the Director of Infrastructure Programs for the Millennium Villages Project. His expertise is in the field of energy sources and conversion, heat/mass transfer, and fluid mechanics. His current areas of research interest are related to energy infrastructure, CO2 sequestration, fuel cells, distributed sensing/control of flow, and heat transfer. Modi received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984.