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Institute for Regulatory Law & Economics moves to CU Denver

Effective fall 2021, the Institute of Regulatory Law & Economics (IRLE) moved under the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing (CEDC). IRLE is an interdisciplinary educational and outreach program that provides the tools required for principled and thoughtful regulatory decision-making. IRLE’s primary objective is regulator education to enable more economically-informed regulatory policy. It originated in the Silicon Flatirons Program in the Law School at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2004 and then moved to Carnegie Mellon University in 2018. 

With its move to CU Denver, IRLE will leverage collaborations with the School of Public Affairs and the Global Energy Management program in the Business School. The institute is co-led by CEDC Senior Associate Dean and Chief Computing Officer Douglas Sicker and Research Professor Lynne Kiesling. The addition of IRLE to the college’s diverse research and educational enterprise amplifies the impact made through partnerships that serve the state and the country.  

In October, IRLE faculty and regulatory professionals from around the country gathered in Aspen, Colorado for the annual IRLE Workshop. The four-day conference capitalized on the expertise of leading academics, practitioners, and scholars who distill critical law and economics issues that arise in closely regulated network industries and presents them in a coherent fashion. The curriculum also included a discussion of corporate finance principles and risk valuation as applied to regulation.  

“I’m thrilled to bring IRLE to CU Denver, where the emphasis on applied interdisciplinary research fits well with our approach to the challenges of technological change facing the utility industry and its regulators,” said Keisling. 

The addition of IRLE also broadens the reach of the college’s research enterprise. Kiesling, through her LLC Knowledge Problem, is a co-PI on a five-year $6.65M Department of Energy research grant led by Post Road Foundation in partnership with SLAC National Laboratory, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, and Energy Efficiency Maine. The project will investigate the capacity of a novel Transactive Energy Service System to harmonize communications and optimize energy use among the distributed energy resources, local energy markets, and buildings of three rural communities; it will result in both academic publications and systems implementation and concrete outcomes. 

Positioned at the intersection of academic research and teaching with practical application, IRLE is a natural fit for CEDC and for CU Denver, and is poised to help make a CU Denver education work for all — to transform lives, to expand economies, and to uplift communities. 


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At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.

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