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2017 Summer Undergraduates


Abigail Taussig has always known that she would be an engineer, but it wasn’t until she lived in the woods during the summer of 2016 that she knew her engineering goal would be to help the environment. She worked as a canoe guide for the US Forest Service, and the wilderness experience gave her the motivation to return to school in the fall and declare chemical engineering to focus on clean energy. Her first taste of clean energy engineering was on the Stanford Solar Car Project, which quickly became her biggest passion, as she is now involved in the project’s array team. She is excited to work on solid polymer electrolytes in the Bao Group this summer because she loves solar power, and she believes that storage is the next battle that needs to be fought in order to make green energy a sustainable form of energy. The SUPER program will be her first research experience of many more to come, as she aspires to attend graduate school and then work in academia.

Adam Gould is a junior Earth Systems major pursuing the Energy track. The SUPER program will be his first research experience and he is excited to develop and apply his knowledge to solve today's energy problems . This summer his research will focus on the use of heated fluids in the Los Angeles Oil basin, for the purpose of geothermal heating. Adam wanted to get involved with energy early on in his academic career, and after developing an interest in thermodynamics chose to focus on geothermal energy. Adam will use his research experience to help him define his post-undergrad plans and the focus of his future energy career.

Alison Chen is a rising junior studying computer science. In the past, Alison has done a variety of work in STEM, including teaching high school girls in Girls Who Code’s summer computer science program. She currently interns at Stanford Recycling and works on promoting zero waste through social media. She is particularly excited to work with GLEE (Girls Learning Environment and Energy) this summer as her project will be a direct application of two of her primary interests - technology and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, this SUPER project will be a great opportunity to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team with backgrounds including business, education, and public policy. In the future, Alison hopes to do work in the intersection of technology, design, and the environment.

Armelle Coutant is a rising junior studying Biology and minoring in Sustainability. Understanding how to foster sustainable interactions between humans and their environment has been a central aspect of Armelle’s undergraduate experience, which she has developed both by studying at the Stanford Hopkins Marine Station and by planning a quarter abroad in Australia. In addition, Armelle has taken neurobiology courses in order to further her strong interest in Neuroscience. The opportunity granted by SUPER to work in the Environmental-Decision Making and Neuroscience Lab is particularly exciting because it will enable her to combine her two main interests: Neuroscience and sustainability. The research involves analysis of images from National Geographic, as well as collaborations with environmental non-profits, and fMRI brain imaging to determine consumer responses to different types of energy labels. She hopes that the diverse and intersectional aspects of the tasks will give her both the skills and the insight to continue combining both interests in the future.

Though renewable energy and environmental sustainability have long interested Clay Meyer, he has had many opportunities to deepen his understanding in college. Starting in the fall of his freshman year he began to take energy and sustainability courses in which he was able to discuss drivers and barriers of energy resources in both lecture and workshop settings. Clay’s interest in these subjects led him to a freshman summer internship at the Global Energy Network Institute where he worked with an international team to prepare and lead forums addressing local water and energy issues to the San Diego community. This last summer he worked with Mark Jacobson and The Solutions Project where he headed a project to estimate the efficiencies of modes of transportation when run on various fuel types.  This coming summer Clay is excited to continue his work with The Solutions Project on their 100% clean, renewable energy city roadmaps. When completed, these roadmaps will provide a pathway for many large cities in North America to become powered completely by renewable energy. These cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.  Clay expects to be able to use this summer’s experience to improve his understating as to what specific part of the renewable energy field he would like to work in or pursue more schooling in. 

David Mendoza is a sophomore undergraduate majoring in electrical engineering with a focus on energy and the environment. This summer, he will do research on low-cost high-efficiency thin-film solar cells. He is excited about this opportunity because he wants to advance this technology to apply it to commercial solar panels and make renewable energy more cost-effective. David hopes to continue doing research and hopes to attend graduate school and obtain a PhD.

Francisco (Paco) Lopez is a sophomore planning on studying chemical engineering. Freshman year, Paco began working under Emmett Goodman in the lab of Dr. Matteo Cargnello. Learning the ins and outs of the field of catalysis, he found a curiosity and love for research. He hopes to use his research knowledge to help solve important energy problems in order to have a high positive impact on the world. Paco is excited for the opportunity to participate in SUPER, because he can learn how to research independently and tackle hard questions with carefully thought out experiments. After SUPER, he plans on continuing research in the chemical engineering department while pursuing his degree. 

Marissa Lopez is a rising junior majoring in Political Science.  She is originally from Denver, Colorado and spent her childhood hiking, rock climbing and backpacking with her family. It was those experiences in the Rocky Mountains that fostered her interest in climate change and global warming. As such, this summer she is looking forward to working with Professor Krosnick and the Political Psychology Research Group to map American attitudes on climate change.  In addition to her upcoming research, Marissa is an active member of the Stanford community.  She is an on campus tour guide, a manager at the Visitor Center and a peer counselor at the Bridge and Sexual Health Peer Resource Center.  After her research experience, Marissa will be flying to Madrid to spend a quarter studying abroad.  Once she returns to campus, she hopes to continue working with the PPRG and nurturing her interest in the intersection of politics and psychology.

Michael Chen is a rising Senior studying Mechanical Engineering with a focus on energy conversion and storage. He came to Stanford unsure of what to study, knowing only that he wanted to work on problems that would make the world a better, cleaner, and more sustainable place. After an introductory crash course on all things energy with Professor Arun Majumdar, Michael knew he wanted to tackle the challenge of bringing renewable energy to the masses. Two years later, Michael is conducting research on fast-charging algorithms for commercial lithium-ion batteries with the Chueh Group. He will be cycling batteries and employ physical characterization techniques to investigate how they failed. He will also be working with the Ermon Group to use novel machine learning methods to figure out which algorithms to try next. Michael is hopeful that his research will one day allow everyone to charge electric vehicles in just ten minutes. When he’s not charging and dissecting batteries, Michael is building the battery pack for the Stanford Solar Car Project’s 2017 race vehicle, “Sundae”. Fueled by coffee, he hopes to one day pursue a career developing, engineering, and bringing to market paradigm changing energy storage technologies.

Patrick Perrier is a rising senior in the Energy Resources Engineering department, and he will be working on the further development of Stanford’s Oil Production Greenhouse gas Emissions Estimator (OPGEE). He has gathered an array of knowledge in petroleum fluids and renewable resources. In addition, Patrick also has a strong foundation in general engineering fundamentals and experience in computer programming. He is excited to be a part of the SUPER program, so that he can engage in groundbreaking work on campus. In addition, he is excited to be a part of an indispensible tool to many relevant parties in the energy industry. In the future, he hopes to attend law school and become involved in environmental law and energy policy.