Joel started his career as an intern in the office of former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He went on to hold senior roles in both private sector and public sector clean energy and technology organizations while maintaining an academic career that included publishing 10 energy-related academic papers and over 50 book reviews on a range of technical and popular topics.

Joel completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Engineering after earning a B.A. at the University of British Columbia, a B.Sc. at the London School of Economics, an M.Sc. at the University of Oxford, and a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. He has undertaken visiting research appointments at research centres affiliated with Imperial College London and the University of Oxford.