Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2011
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2004
  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Portland, 2002
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer Electrical, California, #21277
  • Professional Engineer, New York, #103209
Professional Honors
  • Outstanding Student Paper Award, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California, 2004
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
  • Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Scholastic Honor Society
  • Awarded “2017 IEEE Standards Medallion” For contributions to standards development in power and energy distribution.
  • Awarded the "2014 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal" by the NFPA's Fire Protection Research Foundation for the 2013 research project ("Best Practices for Emergency Response to Incidents Involving Electric Vehicles Battery Hazards: A Report on Full-Scale Testing Results") that best exemplified the Foundation's fire safety mission at the National Fire Protection Association's Conference & Exposition, June 2014
Professional Affiliations
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers—IEEE
  • International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety—ICES
  • International Council on Large Electric Systems—CIGRÉ

Dr. Cotts is experienced in both applied and theoretical electromagnetics and plasma physics including modeling and measurement analyses of natural and anthropogenic electromagnetic fields such as space weather, and geomagnetic storms as well as in the initiation, field effects, and characteristics of lightning discharges. Dr. Cotts performs modeling and measurement studies of power system EMF, audible noise, and radio noise including evaluations of 500-kV AC and ±560 kV DC transmission lines. 

Dr. Cotts has further experience in modeling magnetic fields and induced electric fields for offshore wind farms including those from wind turbines, offshore substations and subsea AC and DC transmission lines and is an officer in the IEEE working group for Corona and Field Effects overseeing IEEE standards 644, 430, 656, 1542, 1227, 2746, 1829 and 1308.

Dr. Cotts also performs various types of electromagnetic field evaluations for devices and systems including smart meter mesh networks and government/military communications facilities as well as exposure, EMI or EMC assessments. These assessments are provided for clients such as federal and state agencies, utilities, hospitals, medical-device manufacturers, construction developers, the U.S. military. In addition, Dr. Cotts regularly receives requests to perform exposure assessments for patients with pacemakers, ICDs, and other implantable medical devices and to remediate EMI issues for medical devices and in health care settings.

Dr. Cotts has been a leading figure in coordinating scientific outreach to developing countries through the United Nations International Heliophysical Year (IHY) and International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) programs and was a founding member of a NASA/UN-sponsored conference series organized and led multiple conferences on atmospheric and space science.

Dr. Cotts's has a decade of experience with the initiation, field effects, and propagation of lightning discharges; combining remote sensing measurements of ionospheric disturbances with numerical modeling of atmospheric, ionospheric, and magnetospheric interactions to determine the role of global lightning on the removal of radiation belt electrons. These radiation belt electrons are a critical factor in space weather for determining the effective lifetime of spacecraft with electronics that can be irreversibly damaged by radiation belt electrons.

Additionally, Dr. Cotts software engineering experience includes the use of Matlab, C, C++, and a variety of other scientific packages including Mathematica and COMSOL. He has experience with auditing software processes and algorithms used during his investigations related to control systems involved in failure events.