Akua McLeod is a first-year prospective engineer from Southern California. She is an advocate in the arenas of environmental justice, educational equity, and renewable energy. Recently, she has worked to increase accessibility to STEM education for minorities as an Engineering Diversity Programs Intern for the Stanford School of Engineering, and previously as an intern for Sacred Sistahs, Inc., as an annual STEM conference program developer.
Akua is extremely excited for her summer work at the California Energy Commission, where she hopes to expand her understanding of distributed energy legislation and energy policy. In the future, Akua hopes to further explore the intersection of engineering disciplines, energy issues, and environmental policy through a graduate degree in either engineering or law.
Anthony Ho is a PhD candidate in the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford University. His research, supervised by Dr. William Greenleaf and supported by a Stanford Graduate Fellowship, focuses on applying state-of-the-art techniques in machine learning to aid the design and development of a novel class of low-cost, portable chemical sensor. This type of sensor, leveraging the power of pattern recognition on high-dimensional data, is able to achieve ultrahigh specificity and could be used in a wide range of areas such as health screening, industrial process monitoring, and environmental contaminant detection.
Anthony aspires to utilize his data analytics skills to help combat the world’s most imminent problem—climate change. He is excited to spend the summer helping Commissioner McAllister’s office at the California Energy Commission analyze California’s energy efficiency data and its progress toward reaching SB 350 target. Anthony plans to continue to work on data-driven problems in energy upon graduation.
Ben Lim is a Master’s Candidate in the Sustainable Design and Construction Program, focusing in Energy, at Stanford University. Ben completed a Bachelors in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA in 2013, and since then has worked in heavy civil construction for both contractors and construction managers. He is excited about this SEIC opportunity because his work experience has shown him that corporations and mature industries are averse to change, unless given a push by policy makers. Beyond SEIC and Stanford, Ben intends to make impacts in energy policy whether it be through invention, innovation or politics.
Charlie Duff is thrilled to have the opportunity to work at the California ISO as a Market Quality and Renewable Integration intern through SEIC this summer. His early interest in renewable energy inspired him to study mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with minors in engineering for energy sustainability, international engineering, and mathematics. During his time in Wisconsin, Charlie enjoyed working at the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium with a team conducting research on a novel electric motor design. Now at Stanford, Charlie is pursuing a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis on atmosphere and energy. His interests are focused on energy storage and optimizing energy systems in order to integrate renewable energy more easily. After touring CAISO in the fall, he found the work there to be fascinating and desired to intern there in the summer. Charlie hopes to take this summer experience and, in the future, continue to develop physical and digital solutions for a grid reliant on renewable energy.
Ignacio Mendez is a sophomore from Buenos Aires, Argentina, majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in computer science. He is very passionate about renewable energy, math, Latin American literature, and politics. In his free time, Ignacio enjoys running, reading political philosophy, and organizing events for his on-campus fraternity, Sig Ep. Ignacio is interested in working at the intersection of engineering and public policy, and hopes to improve the grid-scale energy storage technology needed to deploy renewable energy at large scales.
Isaac Sevier is a graduate student in the Atmosphere / Energy program of the Civil & Environmental Engineering department at Stanford University. Isaac studies renewable energy resources and technology, climate change science, and the impacts of energy policy on the environment. He is currently researching the use of cloud- based data analytics in building energy efficiency, specifically comparing policies that enable or discourage use of these tools and understanding barriers to adoption of newer technology. Recently, he created a dashboard of the decarbonization of energy systems for all OECD countries, and has conducted other short, course-based research on altering transportation patterns in urban environments to reduce air pollution, financing startups that address renewable energy opportunities in low- income communities, the feasibility of utilizing electric vehicle fleets for utility-scale storage, and the potential for pricing rooftop solar reactive power capacity in California. At the office of Commissioner Hochschild, Isaac is excited to work on policies related to microgrids and energy storage.
Isaac is a first generation American through adoption and the first in his family to attend college. He is a co-founder of Science Action Committee, an advocacy group focused on institutionalizing diversity in the STEM fields. Prior to joining Stanford, Isaac worked on an array of oilfield development projects in California, where he deployed over $23 million to produce new assets. He then joined a financial advisory startup in San Francisco managing portfolios for high net worth individuals, families, and foundations. Isaac received his undergraduate degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa in 2009 and will complete his Masters degree in June 2017.
Karen Huynh is a junior studying electrical engineering. She has worked in research labs the past two summers, and is a member of a student environmental consulting group on campus. She is excited to be an intern at the California ISO where she will be performing energy and environmental policy research to help develop new market designs. In the future, she would enjoy working with the electric grid to accommodate an increasing amount of renewable resources and to advance environmental goals.
Originally from Orange County, California, Matthew Cohen ‘18 is majoring in Political Science and Earth Systems. Previously, he has interned at the The White House under President Obama, for the President pro Tempore of the California Senate, Darrell Steinberg, and at the Center for American Progress. At Stanford, Matthew is a member of the ASSU Undergraduate Senate and is on the Stanford Student Enterprise board of directors.
He is excited to work at the California Air Resources Board this summer working on the agency’s million zero emission vehicle (ZEV) goal. California has had great success in taking steps to decarbonize its electricity generation; however, transportation continues to remain a key roadblock in California’s efforts to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions. Matthew hopes to learn more about how to decarbonize the transportation sector over the summer.
In his spare time, he enjoys reading, running, and playing golf.
Max Vilgalys started Stanford with a passion for environmental preservation that has been channeled into a commitment to building a more clean and efficient electricity system. Now a senior in electrical engineering, Max has had work experiences in research, government, and private industry that helped inform him about issues in the energy system as a whole. He is excited to use his technical experience analyzing markets and policy as an intern at the Western Interstate Energy Board this summer. In the fall, Max will begin a doctoral program in the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, where he hopes to use data science to study and improve energy markets and policy.
Nathan Iltis grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin and attended Montana State University, where he attained a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an incidental education in wilderness exploration. He then worked for a small Structural Engineering firm in Ridgway, CO, where he designed residential buildings and applied to the Atmosphere/Energy program in the Civil Engineering department at Stanford University. Now in his third quarter, his coursework is focused on transportation and building efficiency. He’s very excited to use this acquired knowledge and understanding to develop new policies for the State of California at the Air Resources Board. He will likely be digging deep into research focused on how best to implement Heavy Duty Vehicle efficiency standards or will continue the work of a former SEIC intern to increase access to clean transportation for low-income Californians. He hopes to gain valuable insight into California policy creation and build lasting connections through this wonderful opportunity he will have over the summer. After SEIC, Nathan hopes to find a niche in transportation or building efficiency with an entrepreneurial flavor, or continue policy work to decrease the carbon footprint of low-income individuals.
Sage Lagron is a senior majoring in Environmental Systems Engineering, freshwater track. She is particularly fascinated by the water-energy nexus. Her academic experiences have centered around water resource and water hazard management, while her summer experiences--including the Energy in the West Sophomore College and research with Rob Jackson on fugitive emissions from oil and gas wells--have had more of an energy focus. This past summer, as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholar, Sage conducted research on the intersection of climate change, hydropower, and Atlantic salmon fisheries management in New England. She is thrilled to be working with the Department of Water Resources this summer in the Power and Risk Office to delve deeper into the water-energy nexus from the perspective of a prominent water resources agency. Following her time at DWR, she will be a Sophomore College Assistant (SCA) for the ‘Water and Power in the Pacific Northwest: The Columbia River’ Sophomore College and hopes to pursue graduate studies in hydrology and water resources management.
Yiyuan Zhang is currently a master's student in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology (EFMH) Program at Stanford. He is interested in water resource management and hopes to integrate the theory he has learned with real-world practice. During his undergraduate studies, Yiyuan worked on a project entitled ‘Optimization of Water Supply Network based on Genetic Algorithms’. He redeveloped the corresponding toolbox in MATLAB to improve its efficiency. During his internship at the World Resources Institute, he assisted in developing a Water Energy Nexus Calculator Tool, which provides policy makers with optimum water diverting decisions. Yiyuan hopes to practice and enhance his multi-disciplinary learning capabilities, applying them to his advantage in practical projects during the SEIC program. Through this internship opportunity, Yiyuan is looking forward to gaining a deeper insight into a career in engineering, as well as expand his practical experience.