My research focus is on renewable energy technology and implementation (resources, hybrid designs, policies, and society) as well thermal fluid system design optimization for improved energy system performance. My recent thrusts have been:
- Wind energy system design optimization under site specific conditions
- Solar thermal system bubble pump modeling and design optimization.
- Solar thermal enhanced salt production
- Extreme offshore wind analysis and translation to U.S. offshore design standards
Recently Funded Research/Programs
- “IGE: WindU – A Multi-University Consortium in Wind Energy Graduate Education – Meeting a National Need.” Funded by NSF, 2019 – 2022. PSU PI. With NAU (lead), Texas Tech, and UMass Amherst.
- “Energy 2100: Ensuring a carbon-neutral global energy economy” Funded by PSU Strategic Initiative. 2018. Steering Committee Member. https://sites.psu.edu/energy2100/
- “Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition.” Funded by DOE, 2014, 2016, 2018 & 2020. Penn State team overall champions in 4 out 6 competitions thus far. PI.
- “AeroWomen Workshop.” Funded by PSU Equal Opportunity Planning Committee, 2017. https://sites.psu.edu/aerowomen/ Co-PI.
- “Industry-based Case Studies for an Online Wind Energy Certificate Program.” Funded by PSU Leonhard Center. 2016. https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/106/papers/21657/view PI.
- Penn State Sustainability Institute, Reinvention Fund “Community Solar on State.” January 2014-January 2015. https://www.communitysolar.psu.edu/ Co-PI.
- “Pennsylvania Wind for Schools Program.” Funded by NREL since December 2010, PI.
- “Proper Siting of Building Integrated Wind Turbines,” One-year study internally funded through a competitive process at ARL, November 2009. PI.
- “Wind Energy in the Built Environment: Connecting Aesthetics and Performance,” April 2010. Two year study funded by PSIEE Sustainability Seed Grant Program. Co-PI.
- “GridSTAR: Grid Smart Training Application Resource Center,” Three-year study funded by DOE, Oct. 2010. Key Participant.
- “Wind Energy Workforce Development: Engineering, Science, & Technology Meeting the Needs of the Future, Now,” Two year program funded by the Department of Energy, December 2009. Key Participant.
- “Utility Grid Automation and Risk Management,” One year study funded by: Lockheed Martin, December 2008. Co-PI.
Education & Background
I received my MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and my BSME at Penn State in 1999. My graduate research was focused on energy system design optimization. Upon finishing my PhD I joined my former advisor, Sam Shelton, in starting up the Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute. In this position I performed a variety of alternative energy technology assessments, investigated the feasibility of offshore wind development in the South Atlantic Bight, and worked with a multidisciplinary group to determine effectiveness of converting southern pine to ethanol. In March 2007 I moved back to Pennsylvania and joined the Applied Research Laboratory to assist with their efforts to apply their extensive energy system development expertise to the renewable energy industry. Currently, I am coordinating renewable energy workforce development efforts for the departments of Aerospace Engineering and Architectural Engineering. I also am the Director of the DOE Sponsored Pennsylvania Wind for Schools Program.