Life After a PhD: Matteo Craglia

Life After a PhD: Matteo Craglia

This is the next in a series of posts from former PhD students of Resource Efficiency Collective to explore where they are now, and how their PhDs prepared them for life beyond academia.

Next up, Matteo who completed his PhD in 2020. 

Please give a brief summary of your PhD  

My PhD examined the potential that technical (engineering) improvements have on saving CO­2 emissions from passenger cars and how much they might be offset by rebound effects and the increasing size and power of vehicles. I showed that in the past two decades the majority of efficiency improvements were offset by cars getting larger and more powerful. Using new techniques that account for uncertainty, I then examined how technical improvements to vehicles might help to reduce emissions in future, showing that increasing the share of electric vehicles and reducing the size and power of vehicles will be particularly important. 

What were your main achievements during your PhD?   

Getting the PhD! 

What is your current role?   

I work as an analyst at the International Transport Forum where I work on decarbonising transport topics, writing analytical reports and organising workshops to convene transport policy makers with industry, think tanks and NGOs.  

How did your time with Resource Efficiency Collective impact your future?   

Jon’s research covers the full spectrum of economic sectors, from ammonia production to transport to food production. This allowed me to learn about a variety of challenges to tackling climate change and be exposed to a wide selection of research topics. Jon also encourages students to carry out small side projects during the PhD which are sometimes refreshing from the daily grind of a PhD and allowed us to bring new insights into our own research, learn about new topics as well as being beneficial professionally. I was lucky enough to undertake an internship in the OECD, which also helped to land me my current job.         

How did your PhD prepare you for your current role (or perhaps it didn’t!)? Are there any skills learned during your PhD which help you in your role today?   

I am in the very lucky position that I get to blend the research skills I learnt during the PhD with outreach. I read academic papers, carry out new modelling and write analytical reports, whilst also working on a variety of other projects including capacity building and participation/organisation of workshops. Doing the PhD helped me to break down an analytical project into subcomponents, it gave me the time to invest in improving skills, in particular coding and writing, and made me more independent.  I’m still doing research on many of the same topics I carried out in my PhD! 

What advice would you give to someone who is on the final stretch of their PhD?   

Don’t give up, you can do it! Also make sure to talk openly with your peers, don’t bottle up anxieties, help each other and also try not to compare yourself to others too much, every PhD is different. 

Read more about Matteo’s papers here 

Find Matteo on LinkedIn here 

Read other posts from our Life After a PhD series

Photo credit: Christopher Burns