​B.S. University of New Hampshire, 2001​M.L.A. Harvard University, 2008Ph.D. Arizona State University, 2013Post-Doc ​Center for Nanotechnology in Society, 2013-14

"I focus on 'wicked problems' that demand multiple expertise to design and test solutions."

Rider W. Foley, Associate Professor

Dr. Rider W. Foley is an associate professor in the science, technology & society program in the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. He is the principal investigator at University of Virginia on the ‘4C Project’ on Cultivating Cultures of Ethical STEM education with colleagues from Notre Dame, Xavier University and St. Mary’s College. He is also the co-leader of the ‘Nano and the City’ thematic research cluster for the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University. Rider is a Research Collaborator with the Sustainability Science Education program at the Biodesign Institute. His research focuses on wicked problems that arise at the intersection of society and technology. Rider holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability from Arizona State University, and a Master's degree in Environmental Management from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from University of New Hampshire. Before earning his doctorate, he has worked for a decade in consulting and emergency response for Triumvirate Environmental Inc.

Research Interests

  • Wireless Health
  • Smart Buildings/Cities
  • Risk and Decision Analysis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Resources
  • Wind Energy
  • Solar Power
  • Battery/Fuel Cell Technologies/Energy Harvesting
  • Infrastructure Engineering/Transportation Studies
  • Science, Technology and Society

Selected Publications

  • “Bridgework Ahead! Innovation Ecosystems vis-à-vis Responsible Innovation.” Journal of Nanoparticle Research. Foley, Rider W., Arnim Wiek. (2017, in press)
  • “Ideal and Reality of Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration on Sustainability Problems – A Case Study on a Large-scale Industrial Contamination in Phoenix, Arizona.”Sustainability Science, 12(1): 123–136. DOI.10.1007/s11625-016-0393-1 Foley, Rider W., Arnim Wiek, Braden Kay, Richard Rushforth (2017)
  • “Towards an alignment of activities, aspirations and stakeholders for responsible innovation.” Journal of Responsible Innovation, DOI.10.1080/23299460.2016.1257380 Foley, Rider W., Michael J. Bernstein, Arnim Wiek. (2016)
  • “Sustainability Education Framework for Teachers: Developing Sustainability Literacy though Futures, Values, Systems, and Strategic Thinking.” Journal of Sustainability Education 6(1): 1-14. Warren, Anne E., Leanna M. Archambault, Rider W. Foley. (2015)
  • “Illustrating Anticipatory Life Cycle Assessment for Emerging Photovoltaic Technologies" Environmental Science and Technology 48 (18): 10531-10538.DOI.10.1021/es5016923 Wender, Ben, Rider W. Foley, Valentina Prado-Lopez, Daniel Eisenberg, Dwarakanath Ravikumar, Troy Hottle, Jathan Sadowski, William Flanagan, Angela Fisher, Lisa Laurin, Thomas P. Seager, Matthew Fraser, David H. Guston. (2014).
  • “An Operationalized Post-normal Science Framework for Assisting in the Development of Complex Science-policy Solutions: The Case of Nanotechnology Governance.” Journal of Nanoparticle Research 16(7): 2492. Bernstein, Michael J., Rider W. Foley, Ira Bennett. (2014).
  • “Anticipatory Life Cycle Assessment for Responsible Research and Innovation.” Journal of Responsible, 1(2):200-207 Wender, Benjamin A., Rider W. Foley, Troy Hottle, Jathan Sadowski, Valentina Prado-Lopez, Dan E. Eisenberg, Lise Laurin, Thomas P. Seager. (2014)
  • “Drivers of Technology Adoption—The Case of Nanomaterials in Building Construction.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 87: 232–244. Arora, Sanjay, Rider W. Foley, Jan Youtie, Philip Shapira, Arnim Wiek. (2014).

Courses Taught

  • STS 3020 Science and Technology Policy
  • STS 4500 STS and Engineering Practice
  • STS 4600 The Engineer, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility

Featured Grants & Projects


    4 Campus Project

  • 4VA

    Future Energy Infrastructure