2022 40 Under 40: Rob Best, Ph.D., CEM, EcoDistricts AP, 34

Associate, Arup; Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Stanford University

By Amara Rozgus, Chris Vavra, and Christina Miller May 16, 2022

A dedicated leader on the energy and sustainability team in Arup’s San Francisco office, Best is passionate about understanding the complex urban systems at the core of humanity’s resource consumption and unleashing new approaches to reducing the collective impact. He combines analytical understanding of urban energy systems modeling with the ability to effectively communicate complex technical topics to clients, guiding them on a journey to greater energy, water and carbon savings. In his days as a doctoral candidate at Stanford University, Best studied the intersection of microgrids, community thermal energy systems and urban planning. Best is an educator at heart, always happy to walk through any aspect of his work or to puzzle with a colleague or client over a difficult problem. He has a proven track record of creating new workflows to solve complex decarbonization and energy management challenges, supporting practitioners regionally in strategizing toward innovative solutions. He has worked on notable projects with focuses on building electrification and energy modeling and master planning and has attained multiple awards for his dedicated work to sustainability and his efforts to build a better, more resource-conscious world. When Best isn’t at work, he retreats into the serenity of the outdoors or plays music to his children. In the summer, he can be found enjoying both watching and playing baseball.