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EAP Summer Dispatch

July 26th, 2016

Dear Alumni, Students, and Friends, 

Happy Summer! I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful summer weather. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new-and-improved Memorial Union Terrace, it is well worth the visit. There’s nothing quite like a Terrace sunset!

With another academic year in the books, our students are taking a well-deserved break from their studies while our newest graduates are moving on to exciting opportunities across the country.  I would like to congratulate our 2016 EAP graduates — Jesse Simpson, Jianbo Xiao, Annie Lord, Emily Howell, Nate Miller, and Alex Karambelas — for their tremendous accomplishment.  Earning a graduate degree is no easy feat! You can learn more about these graduates’ future plans as well as what our current students are up to this summer in this special edition of the EAP dispatch.

I would also like to congratulate EAP student Adria Brooks and our EAP outreach assistant Olivia Sanderfoot on their recent acceptance of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. This prestigious award is granted to early-career graduate students with demonstrated potential to bolster scientific research in the United States. 
Congrats as well to EAP Chair Greg Nemet for winning 2016 Higher Education Energy Educator of the Year Award!

Olivia will soon be leaving EAP to focus on her research endeavors, and I’m happy to announce that EAP student Chris Browman will be taking over as the EAP outreach assistant, working with me to build EAP connections with alumni, friends, future students, and potential employers of our grads. Chris is an Environment & Resources graduate student whose research is focused on nuclear energy infrastructure. He is currently working with EAP Interim Chair & Professor Paul Wilson. Chris is excited to continue to build on our outreach and communication efforts following Olivia’s tenure. Thank you, Olivia, and welcome to the team, Chris! 

As always, if you have any suggestions for how we could improve the EAP program or would like to connect with our community, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Cheers! Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Sincerely,

Professor Tracey Holloway
Energy Analysis and Policy Faculty Committee



 
Event Recap:

EAP Summer Solstice
Happy Hour

On the eve of the Summer Solstice, alumni, students, and faculty got together at the recently reopened Memorial Union Terrace to catch up and enjoy a beautiful summer evening chatting about all things energy. The Alumni Planning Committee hopes to hold more social and professional networking events this fall. To be the first to know about these special events, like us on Facebook or join our mailing list. We hope to see you soon!
 

 
Summertime:
EAP Style

We asked some of our EAPers what they’d be up to this summer. Here's what they had to share:

The Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program recently awarded the 2016 Higher Education Energy Educator of the Year Award to Professor Greg Nemet, EAP Chair. Nemet received the award for “his willingness to work across traditional disciplinary boundaries, pulling knowledge from science, engineering, economics, and policy, and packaging it in a way that is accessible to any audience.” Professor Nemet was nominated for this award by EAP alumnus Scott Williams, who currently works as the research and education coordinator for the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI). Professor Nemet will return from a yearlong sabbatical in Germany this August. You can read more about Professor Nemet’s award by clicking here.

2016 EAP graduate Emily Howell and EAP alumnus Dan York will be heading to the ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy) Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Pacific Grove, California this August. Emily will be attending as a recipient of ACEEE's Linda Latham Scholarship. Congrats, Emily!

2016 EAP graduate Alex Karambelas will be attending the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Advanced Study Program (ASP) Summer Colloquia in Boulder, Colorado next week. The topic of the colloquia is “Advances in Air Quality Analysis and Prediction: The Interaction of Science and Policy.”
EAP Faculty Member Tracey Holloway will be among the all-star line-up of faculty teaching the workshop.


EAP student Ana Dyreson spent the month of June in China, where she worked at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou as the instructor for a mechanics of materials course for 17 UW–Madison engineering students who are studying abroad. Anna describes Hangzhou as “a beautiful city of hills and lakes, just a few hours from Shanghai.” In addition to gaining some teaching experience, Anna learned a few words in Mandarin, and says she just loved the local food!

Ana took this photo while working in Hangzhou this past June.

EAP student Lee Shaver is currently in Mysore, India continuing research on microgrid technology. He is working at the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) at the National Institute of Engineering (NIE). Together with the faculty there, Lee ran a three-week workshop on microgrids for 18 undergraduate engineering students of various disciplines. Several of the students will be continuing with the project: The next phase will involve installing a microgrid in an off-grid village, tentatively scheduled for the end of the year.

EAP student David Abel is spending the summer working on three different air quality research projects under the direction of Professor Tracey Holloway. The one study will quantify and analyze the effects of solar energy deployment on health-damaging power plant emissions in the Eastern U.S. Another study will provide a better understanding of the historical sensitivity of power plant emissions to temperature and assess different methods of forecasting emissions under a warmer future climate. 


David loved his trip to the Caribou River earlier this summer.
 


 

Reminder: GEAPS is accepting
posts for The EAP Blog!

GEAPs invites students, alumni, faculty, and friends of the EAP program to submit posts to The EAP Blog. GEAPS will accept submissions in any form, from a well-developed research abstract to a back-of-the-envelope calculation on an interesting energy problem. The group just asks that submissions provide meaningful insights into the broader discussion of modern energy issues. Posts can be submitted by emailing GEAPS.
 
 
Are you on LinkedIn yet?
 
If not, what are you waiting for? Over 80% of EAP alumni and current students have created LinkedIn profiles to highlight their academic and professional accomplishments. Check out the EAP group page and join our online networking community today!
 
Congratulations, 2016 graduates!
 
Our 2016 EAP graduates — Jesse Simpson, Jianbo Xiao, Annie Lord, Emily Howell, Nate Miller, and Alex Karambelas — are already off doing amazing things! Some of our recent grads were kind enough to sit down and give us an update on their future plans and offer some words of wisdom to future EAP students. See what they had to say below!

Annie Lord (M.S., Environment & Resources) will defend her thesis — a qualitative case study on municipal water conservation effectiveness in San Antonio, Texas —  on August 8th. She then plans to begin work this fall at an engineering consulting group at Black & Veatch in Fort Worth, Texas as a data analyst.

Words of wisdom: “The community offered by EAP is incredibly valuable, especially if you are in a large program, so take advantage of it!”

Emily Howell (M.S., Environment & Resources) will be continuing on to the PhD program in Environment & Resources program this fall and continuing her research on science communication of controversial environmental issues.

Words of wisdom: “Go to the EAP happy hours! These events are a great opportunity to build a cohort and meet alumni.”

Nate Miller (M.P.A.) is currently finishing up the last few credits required for graduation from the LaFollette School of Public Affairs and focusing on finding a job in energy and sustainability. 

Words of wisdom: “Persevere…. this is an extremely rewarding program and you absolutely can do it. The work we do really does make an impact for your client and/or your future employer.”
 
Congratulations to all our 2016 EAP graduates! Thanks for making us proud.
 


Student Snapshots
 
Adria Brooks 
 


Adria Brooks (PhD, Electrical & Computer Engineering) is interested in both the development and deployment of renewable energy technology in the United States.

After graduating with a B.S. degree in engineering physics from the University of Arizona, Adria continued to work as a research specialist in the solar photovoltaic systems research laboratory she had joined during her undergraduate career. After three years of studying photovoltaic technologies and engaging with politicians, grid managers, and the general public on renewable energy issues, Adria says she came to realize that “the factors prohibiting solar from greater adoption are not related to photovoltaic technologies. The barring factors are advancements in electricity grid technologies and comprehensive energy policies.” Adria decided she wanted to pursue a graduate degree that would allow her to work toward resolving what she saw as a key issue in the energy sector: “the miscommunication between the scientific community, grid managers, and politicians.”

Adria began exploring graduate programs that would allow her to study both engineering and energy policy. “Finding a graduate program where I could study energy policy in addition to the technical aspects of power systems was very important to me,” she says. Eventually, she settled on UW–Madison, largely because she could enroll in the Energy Analysis & Policy (EAP) program.

Adria’s graduate career is already off to an incredible start. Adria was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards given to graduate students in science. “It was certainly unexpected,” she says, adding that, "receiving the fellowship validated that we do have an accurate understanding of where current research needs lie in relation to distributed generation.”

Adria and her advisor, Dr. Giri Venkataramanan, are working to address a number of important research questions about distributed generation and “grid democratization,” or the idea that distributed generation has “pushed our electricity system away from utility monopolies to a more competitive market,” Adria explains. “More and more electricity customers have options in how they purchase or produce electricity. This democratization has opened many research questions in diverse fields of study.” Adria’s research interests include improvements to distributed photovoltaic systems and electricity pricing structures that discourage over-consumption of energy on a microgrid.

Adria is looking forward to the next four years of her graduate work at UW–Madison. “As a graduate student I am excited to gain a breadth of knowledge related to the technological, economical, and political aspects of power grid systems, specifically distributed renewables on the grid. Politicians and researchers must hear the needs of grid managers and provide the resources they require, both in terms of progressive policy and technology. 
I believe there is a lot of anxiety about utilities losing monopoly ownership of electricity, but some forward-thinking utilities have found business models that enable this democratization. Our energy policies should not reflect this fear of change.

José Ignacio-Medina


José Ignacio–Medina (PhD, Environment & Resources), wants to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the energy sector. He believes that while globally climate change poses the greatest threat to our energy security, in developing countries many people are more immediately concerned about environmental justice issues. While studying environmental engineering at the University of Chile, José became interested in resolving conflicts at the intersection of energy, climate change, and environmental justice.

José worked as a renewable resources engineer for a number of years before returning to school to further explore this unique interdisciplinary approach to energy analysis. He chose to attend UW–Madison because of the Energy Analysis & Policy (EAP) program, which he believed was one of the most competitive interdisciplinary programs in the country. José is now studying public opposition to power plants in Chile under Professor Brad Barham.

José’s ultimate career goal is to work on energy policy issues in the Chilean government. He believes the skills and tools he is learning as part of the EAP program will help him reach that goal. Specifically, José points to two courses he has found particularly influential: Foundation of Environmental Resources Economics, Applied Econometrics I and II, and Introduction to Energy Analysis & Policy.

As a student representative for EAP, José hopes to encourage other EAPers to take advantage of the professional development opportunities available through the EAP program and build their own skill sets in a meaningful way. If you have any questions about the EAP program or would like to chat with José about his research, feel free to contact him anytime.
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