Tau Technical Communications was founded by Dawn Santoianni, an accomplished writer who has authored numerous scientific articles, reports and proposals for congressional, academic, corporate, and public audiences. Dawn is a faculty member of The Oxford Princeton Programme where she develops and leads courses on coal technologies, markets and regulations. She serves as a Topic Director and coal subject matter expert for Our Energy Policy Foundation, helping facilitate substantive nonpartisan dialogue on U.S. energy policies. Dawn recently hosted a lively expert discussion on the synergies between natural gas power and renewable energy.

Dawn has over 20 years experience spanning energy, power generation and pollution mitigation. Examples of recent work and significant work in the public domain are listed below. If you would like to see further credentials including a CV, or want to view an actual piece, please contact Dawn.

Original Written Content:

Dawn was asked to write a series of technical ICE cutawaycomparisons on the differences between gas turbines and reciprocating engines for power generation. The technical comparisons were to be showcased on a new section of the client’s corporate website. The client needed a writer that had in-depth knowledge of the power industry and could interview their lead engineers. The content Dawn wrote can be viewed under the “Technical Comparisons” section on the client’s website.

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Dawn has written articles for American Coal Magazine on sustainability issues related to coal ash and the implications of low natural gas prices on coal power. Making the Case for Sustainability in the Coal Ash Debate was published in Issue 1 2014. Is There a Future for Coal Power was published in the fall 2012 issue.

Dawn was invited by the editors of Scientific American to provide commentary on the technological challenges of reducing reliance on coal power and integrating renewable energy sources into the U.S. electric grid. The intent of the piece was to inform readers of the evolution of the nation’s generating fleet and transmission system. The Backbone of the Electric System: A Legacy of Coal and the Challenge of Renewables was one of the most read blog posts when it appeared.


microgrid-city-viewDawn wrote about microgrid technology for Scientific American’s Plugged In blog, including the economic and regulatory obstacles to adoption. Are Microgrids the Key to Energy Security? was published in December 2012. Dawn also wrote Innovation Cleans Up Waste-to-Energy for Scientific American, reviewing potential waste-to-energy (WTE) technology game-changers.

Case Study:

Dawn conducted a case study on the implementation of an intelligent meter data management system by a municipal utility. The case study involved interviewing the utility’s technical architect and vendor’s sales manager and crafting a compelling story about the utility leveraged systems integration to maximize ROI on their AMI investment. The case study is currently in publication.

Radio Interview:

Dawn was interviewed bMicrogrid-global-view-300x225y the Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio Network for the show Future TenseMicrogrids: hyper-distributed power was broadcast on October 13, 2013. The podcast and transcript can be accessed from the Radio Network website. The interview covered drivers and challenges to microgrid adoption, including electric reliability, economic and regulatory issues.

Presentations and Conference Papers:

Dawn presented two papers at the 2014 World of Coal Ash in Lexington Kentucky on Job Impacts in the Coal Industry: What Can We Expect from the Natural Gas Boom and Environmental Regulations? and The Social Media Battleground: How Public Perception, Science Communication, Media Coverage, and Politics Are Shaped by Social Media. To see either PowerPoint presentation, contact Dawn.

Executive Report:

Dawn led the development of an executive report that was sent to members of Congress for consideration during the crafting of new legislation. It was important to the client that the report conveyed pertinent analysis methodology but presented key findings in a visually appealing format. The report was used as a reference by Congressional leaders during Committee markup on the proposed legislation.

Congressional Testimony:

Dawn testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on April 14, 2011. The hearing focused on H.R. 1391, a bill to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating fossil fuel combustion waste under subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Click on the link above to watch the webcast. Dawn’s testimony starts at time 1:48:00.

Technical Report:

Dawn was a principal investigator and author on a technical report used for formal comment to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a proposed environmental regulation.  The report, Cost Analysis of Proposed National Regulation of Coal Combustion Residuals from the Electric Generating Industry 1022296, follows the client’s standard formatting and style.

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