Dr. Peter Burgherr

Short description
Group Leader
photo of Peter Burgherr
Paul Scherrer Institute PSI
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI

Peter Burgherr holds a PhD from ETH Zurich (ETHZ) and is the head of the interdisciplinary Technology Assessment (TA) group at PSI. The TA group is part of the Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis (LEA), which carries out comprehensive assessments of energy systems to support the complex decision-making processes towards a more sustainable energy future within the nexus of energy transition, climate change and Sustainable Development Goals. He is also a lecturer at ETHZ, and was a PI and Executive Committee member within the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Supply of Electricity (SCCER SoE), and a PI in the Future Resilient Systems (FRS) program phase I (2014-2020) of the Singapore ETH Centre.

His personal research interests include comparative risk assessment in the energy sector and its relevance in the broader context of sustainability, resilience, energy security and critical infrastructure protection. He is a primary responsible for the continuous development of PSI’s Energy‐Related Severe Accident Database (ENSAD), which is the world's most authoritative database on severe accidents in the energy sector. Furthermore, he is strongly involved in the sustainability assessment of current and future energy technologies as well as their evaluation within a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) framework. Finally, he contributes to the development of MCDA applications for specific project case studies as well as MCDA tools (e.g. Mighty MCDA, MCDA Index Tool).

He regularly presents his work at international conferences, workshops and meetings, publishes in peer-reviewed scientific journals, contributes to books, and various other types of publications. Additionally, he serves on a regular basis as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals, and is Review Editor for Frontiers in Energy Research – Section Sustainable Energy Systems and Policies, Editorial Board Member for Sustainability – Section Energy Sustainability, and member of the Reviewer Board for Future Internet. As part of his duties, he supervises students at different levels (PhD, MSc, BSc, interns), engages in the PSI mentoring programs, and contributes to the diversity training for leadership persons at PSI. He was also the first laureate of the PSI Diversity Award. Last but not least, he is active in teaching and education at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) in Sustainable Energy Systems and Board Members in Utility Companies, and lectured at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), University Geneva,the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) at the University of Chicago, and KINGS (Busan, Korea).