Edgar Virguez is an energy systems engineer promoting the transition towards decarbonized electric power systems. Understanding the collective effort required to achieve a rapid and cost-efficient energy transition, he pursues multidisciplinary inquiry-based research. He integrates methods from operations research and geospatial analysis, focusing on identifying pathways toward providing accessible, affordable, clean, and reliable electricity.
Edgar’s solid knowledge base arises from his academic formation. At Duke University, he completed a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Policy (’22) with a Certificate in College Teaching and an M.A. in Environment (Energy and Environment) (’18) with a Geospatial Analysis Certificate. At Universidad de los Andes, he obtained an M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering (’10), a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering (’09), and a B.Sc. Environmental Engineering (’09). Complementary, Edgar has strengthened his transferable skills by participating in professional certificate programs in Australia, the United States, and Colombia. Acknowledging his academic excellence and research contributions, he has been awarded scholarships and fellowships for more than USD 575,000 from competitive national and international programs sponsored by institutions such as the Sloan Foundation and Procter & Gamble (P&G).
He has participated in nineteen research or consultancy projects with a total budget of USD 3.43 million, working with organizations such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Edgar has directed life-cycle assessments and cost-benefit analyses of integrating new fuels into energy markets, designed mitigation strategies for local governments, and performed risk assessments of exposure to air pollutants. His research has appeared in top-tier peer-reviewed journals like Applied Energy, Energy Conversion and Management, and Energy Policy.
Concurrently to his research interests, he is passionate about improving higher education. During the last decade, he has held several higher education administration positions. He has enhanced the units’ academic, administrative, and financial processes by applying optimization and data analytics methods and defined, planned, and executed strategic global research alliances.
Edgar has developed as a next-generation pedagogue teaching 16 courses, serving more than 560 students, and achieving high ratings by his students. For his contributions and exemplary promise as a leader of the higher education field, he has received several professional honors (total amount of professional awards USD 26,425). In 2020 he was honored as a K. Patricia Cross Future Leader awardee by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), identified as a rising star.
At Duke, he had a distinguished tenure receiving several of the most prestigious awards for graduate students, including the 2021 Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2021 Forever Duke Student Leadership Award. In 2022, he was selected as a board member (Young Trustee) of Duke University’s highest governing body, the Board of Trustees. Edgar was appointed from 2022 to 2025, recognized as an individual of outstanding character, ability, and vision from the current ~10,000 graduate and professional student body and ~8,000 graduate or professional alums of Duke’s Class of 2021 and 2022.