Skip to content

2018 Summer Undergraduates




Wael Abid is a rising sophomore studying Computer Science and Mathematics, who will be working with Professor Ram Rajagopal and PhD student Thomas Navidi this summer. Professor Rajagopal's research focuses on the integration of renewable-energy sources, smart distribution systems and demand-side data analytics. Wael will work on how to best coordinate Distributed Energy Resources (i.e. rooftop photovoltaics (PV), energy storage units, etc) within a two-layer decentralized control architecture consisting of local and global power controllers to maximize arbitrage profits.

Kara Glenwright is a sophomore studying Atmosphere/Energy in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program. The SUPER program will be her first research experience and she is excited to get some hands-on experience and opportunities in the field of energy. This summer she will working with GLEE (Girls Learning Environment and Energy) and she is excited to work towards achieving a more environmentally sustainable world through behavior change and education programs for youth. This SUPER project will be a wonderful opportunity for her to combine her interests in technology and sustainability into a comprehensive project where she will learn so much more about the intersection of the two. Kara hopes to continue to immerse herself in energy research projects, specifically ones like GLEE that focus on the more social side of energy conservation and environmental sustainability.

Jung-Won Ha is a rising sophomore and though currently undecided about his major, he's interested in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science. Before coming to Stanford he conducted research regarding the modification of polymer electrolyte membranes using plasma beams. The main purpose of that research was to improve the overall energy efficiency of fuel cells and hence decrease their production costs to encourage mass production. His original interest in developing renewable energy technologies stemmed over the course of previous summers where he personally visited different villages of Peru to provide solar lanterns to homes without electricity. He personally witnessed the capacity for change that these renewable energy technologies could bring to people’s lives on a personal level. He became motivated to improve the performance of these technologies so that more people are able to easily gain cheap access to these clean forms of energy. He is beyond excited to work with Professor Cargnello this summer since he specializes in heterogeneous catalysis and photo catalysis, which are key processes in the development of sustainable energy.

Allen Huang is a rising sophomore planning on studying computer science and biology. His interests in sustainability and environmental issues was fiercely sharpened after spending last summer in the National Radio Quiet Zone, backpacking, rock climbing, and learning about science through the National Youth Science Camp. The SUPER program will be his first lab experience at Stanford, and he is looking forwards to the cutting-edge research. This summer, he will be working in the Cegelski lab, focusing on a chemically modified cellulose produced by bacteria that is easier to convert to glucose and ethanol. Allen hopes to use this experience to further his love of science and exploration, guiding his post-undergrad plans.

Tuheen Manika is a rising sophomore with a strong interest in sustainability and helping the environment. He is extremely excited to participate in SUPER this summer and engage in his first research experience. This summer, he will be working in Dr. Zhenan Bao's lab, under David Mackanic, synthesizing and optimizing flexible and stretchable batteries. In addition to gaining a stronger understanding of the inner workings of batteries, Tuheen hopes to develop an aptitude for research-minded thinking, as well as forming the patience and mindset to work on difficult challenges with unclear solutions. During his free time, Tuheen enjoys hiking, reading cool Wikipedia articles, and flying across the world using Google Earth’s Flight Simulator.

Simone Speizer is a rising junior studying Atmosphere/Energy Engineering and minoring in Physics and Spanish. Passionate about the environment since elementary school, when she wrote a mystery story about climate change for a creative writing unit, Simone has taken a variety of environmental-themed classes in her two years at Stanford so far, touching on topics ranging from renewable energy to the impact of climate change on vector-borne diseases. Extracurricularly, she has worked to decrease waste generation on campus by developing a waste sorting training and helping coordinate donations of excess food from dining halls. Though she is excited about a wide variety of environmental issues, Simone is especially interested in reducing the impact of humans’ energy use on the planet. This summer, her research will focus on examining the factors correlated with high methane leakage rates from homes in the Bay Area. She hopes that her work will contribute to accurately scaling the state’s methane budget, and that it will be useful in guiding emissions reductions strategies.

Frederick Tan is a senior studying Mechanical Engineering. His summer research will revolve around continuing to develop and deploy an agricultural project for use by rural farmers in Karnataka, India. He hopes to reduce food waste and economic losses for rural farmers by using solar energy to improve their post-harvest food processing process.

Paul Walter has always been very interested in clean, renewable energy for a sustainable future. Despite always having an interest in the area, he had not fully immersed himself into the energy scene until the Fall of 2017 when he took Energy203: The Energy Transformation Collaborative. He currently works at ARPA-E, a funding agency for big potential energy ideas, within the U.S. Department of Energy. Over the summer, he will be researching the electric grid.

Matthew Waltman is a rising junior majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. This past year he worked as a project lead for Design for America (DFA) on a project called Team Activate. Team Activate looked into political apathy on campus and sought solutions to combat apathy and foster engagement. He is excited to be part of the Political Psychology Research Clinic to research American's opinions on climate change and the factors that can lead to environmental activism. Matt wants to go into energy and climate policy because he believes that is the best way to enact wide scale change, and through SUPER he hopes to gain the research skills necessary to help him with his goals. At the end of the summer, Matt will be going to the Patagonia Mountain range for a BOSP seminar on Human-Nature interaction.

Kelyn Wood is a rising junior studying Mechanical Engineering and Energy Resources Engineering. He has shown a broad interest in conservation and the environment over the years, from projects on renewable energy to an initiative with Students for a Sustainable Stanford to replace red Solo cups with compostable alternatives. This is his fourth year of doing research, though his first with SUPER. Last summer, his work in the SURI program focused on direct generation of heat with vertical axis wind turbines with John Dabiri, who he will also be working with this coming summer. This time, his research will be looking at using the movement of trees to model the associated wind speed, for the purpose of using this relationship to site future wind farms. This process involves taking video of different shapes oscillating in a wind tunnel, then applying a machine learning algorithm to find a pattern between these shapes. In the future, Kelyn hopes to continue this trend of finding engineering solutions to renewable energy problems.