Margaret A. Cook

Positions
  • PhD Candidate
Biography

Margaret is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. She earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering at UT-Austin in 2011 and her M.S. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering and M.P.Aff in Public Affairs in 2014. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Civil Engineering. While in graduate school, Margaret has worked in Texas Legislature under Chairman Drew Darby, in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the Department of Energy, at Apache Corp. in the Special Projects Department studying economics of produced water treatment, and at Austin Energy in the Environmental Services Department looking at the impact of thermal discharge at one of the city’s power plants. Margaret also enjoys volunteering in K-12 outreach programs at local schools.

Research Topics
In her research, Margaret examines the impacts of water scarcity, economics, and policy on water use in the oil and gas industry including the use of water trading between water user groups to solve water scarcity issues in Texas. Under certain political and economic conditions, the high purchasing price for water for use in hydraulic fracturing could encourage more efficient water use in the oil and gas sector, as well as in other water use sectors intending to trade their water rights.
Margaret’s research as part of the Energy-Water Nexus has also focused on the effects of droughts and heat waves on thermoelectric power generation and fuel extraction. Recent droughts and heat waves have revealed the vulnerability of some power plants to effects from higher temperature intake water for cooling. To analyze this impact, Margaret has modeled plants that might have the greatest risk of de-rating due to thermal discharge limits and higher temperatures. 
Publications
Education
  • M.S. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, 2014
  • M.P.Aff. in Public Affairs from The University of Texas at Austin, 2014
  • B.S. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, 2011
    Minor: Religious Studies
Awards
  • UT Environmental Science Institute Scientist in Residence Fellowship, 2016-2017
  • National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, 2014-2016
  • American Public Power Association DEED Scholarship, 2014
  • Henry Beckman Fund Endowed Presidential Scholarship, 2014
  • UT Energy Forum Texas Research Challenge Crowd Favorite Poster, 2014
  • Archer Center Graduate Fellowship in Public Policy, 2013
  • National Science Foundation Honorable Mention, 2011 and 2012
  • W.H. Espey Memorial Endowed Presidential Scholarship, 2011
  • Civil Engineering Student Leadership Award, 2010
  • Virginia & Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Scholarship in Engineering, 2007-2011
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
  • Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society
Additional Documents
    Contact Information
    T: 3617795276
    E: margaretcook@utexas.edu