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2019 Summer Undergraduates

Beri Kohen Behar is a rising sophomore considering majoring in Mathematical and Computational Science. He is very interested in the intersection of energy and data science, and has been working this year for Stanford Powernet, a project focusing on network optimization of distributed energy resources. This summer, Beri is working with PhD student Lily Buechler to use statistical learning methods to develop empirical models of the thermal dynamics of livestock barns in dairy farms. He will investigate the suitability of different data-driven modeling methods and assist the Powernet team in implementing these models in control algorithms. These algorithms will be used to optimize the operation of electrical loads, energy storage, and solar generation to minimize the electricity costs for actual dairy farms in California.


Michael Byun is a rising sophomore considering Earth Systems, though he remains quite undecided major-wise. He has long been interested in sustainability, and is drawn to energy research for its critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at scale. The SUPER program is his first research experience at Stanford, and he is looking forward to help conduct research on consumer energy behavior change, which he thinks is a crucial area of study. This summer, he will be working with Dr. June Flora and Dr. Tom Robinson to examine consumer energy usage behavior change through youth education.


Carlos Ciudad-Real is a rising senior studying Environmental Systems Engineering in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Growing up in California’s Inland Empire, he has witnessed firsthand the environmental impacts of our current energy and transportation systems and hopes to contribute to the transition to sustainable energy through his academics and career. Equipped with the technical toolset of an engineer, Carlos is passionate about energy policy, economics, and finance that creates an equitable future for all. His experiences outside of the classroom thus far have included an internship with the California ISO where he studied the deliverability of ancillary services. Inspired by this internship, he will be writing an honors thesis on integrating ocean hydrokinetic power into California’s wholesale electricity markets. This summer, however, Carlos will be working with Prof. Stefan Reichelstein on the economics of battery electric bus fleets in relation to their conventional counterparts.


Antone Cruz is a rising sophomore studying Chemical Engineering. This summer, he is working in Professor Matteo Cargnello's lab with PhD student Angel Yang researching bimetallic heterogeneous catalysts for propane combustion. This project is an opportunity for him to deepen his knowledge of chemical synthesis and contribute to the critical field of industrial catalysis.


Hallie Dunham is a rising co-term student studying Electrical Engineering for her BS and MS with a minor in History. She is working in the Powernet group with Professor Ram Rajagopal, Sr Research Scholar June Flora, and PhD students Lily Buechler and Aaron Goldin. Hallie is contributing in various ways to multiple projects within this group. Powernet is currently involved in a renewable energy integration project at a farm and for this Hallie is doing modeling and data analysis of a livestock barn that has been outfitted with solar powered fans and various sensors. She is also helping to develop energy management system user interfaces with a human centered design approach. At the same time, she is working on another project that will involve building measurement circuits for home appliances, developing load models, and analyzing load flexibility. For many years, Hallie has been passionate about making renewable, efficient energy use viable and widespread, interning previously at Doosan GridTech and the National Renewable Energy Lab. In the future, Hallie hopes to continue to work in the field of renewable energy integration.


Ryan Gonzalez is a senior studying mechanical engineering working with Dr. Machala in the Precourt Institute for Energy. Dr. Machala is developing a low-cost solar-electric greenhouse for use in rural India. This summer, Ryan will be working on reducing the cost of the greenhouse structure, will help prototype a racking system for use inside the greenhouse, and will investigate the ability of ultrasound and computer vision to accurately determine the quality of fruits and vegetables grown in the greenhouse. Ryan is excited to use his engineering knowledge on a project that will directly and positively impact the world.


Daniella Grimberg is a rising sophomore. She has not yet declared her major, but is interested in majoring in Computer Science. Her passions lie in the intersection of life-sciences and technology, and more specifically using engineering to solve environmental issues. Daniella is working with professor Sally Benson and PhD student Michael Machala in collaboration with The Council On Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). Her project is to study trends in Rural Income Generating Activities (RIGAs) in India post electrification. She hopes to share her findings with business stakeholders rural entrepreneurs and investors in India to help direct their efforts and hence accelerate the development of rural businesses.


Kevin Hernandez is a rising sophomore. He is planning to major in Electrical Engineering. He has interests in renewable energy, sustainability, and computer science. This summer he will be working with Christopher Takacs, under Michael Toney of the materials science department at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He will be working on probing material conductivity with software defined radio. This summer he will be introduced to applications of signal processing along with software defined radios, what it means to work in a research lab, and material science. He hopes that this experience will give him better insight regarding career goals and in shaping his Stanford career to further explore any new found interests.


Amir Kader is a rising junior majoring in mechanical engineering. His strong interest in the environment and sustainability initially developed through his time spent mountain biking in his hometown’s coastal mountains. Having taken a variety of energy and sustainability-related courses at Stanford, SUPER will be Amir’s first research experience. This summer, Amir will be working on developing polymers as solid electrolytes in lithium-metal batteries. Amir’s goal in the upcoming years is to continue to find energy-related topics that interest him and to use those interests to make a positive impact on the future of energy and environment.


Michael Kao is a rising sophomore studying materials science and engineering. He has interest in energy technologies, energy policy, and biological applications of energy devices. At Stanford, he has explored a variety of topics through Precourt Insitute’s energy seminars and courses. This summer, he is excited work with Professor Zhenan Bao’s research group to develop organic stretchable batteries for energy storage applications ranging from wearable electronics to implantable devices. Michael looks forward to helping advance energy storage applications and better understand new energy technologies.


Chloe Leblanc is a rising senior studying electrical engineering. She's very interested in the development of renewable energy technologies. This summer Chloe will be working with Thomas Navidi and Professor Ram Rajagopal on optimizing the electric grid and adapting it to the rise of electric vehicles and photovoltaic panels. They hope to reduce production costs for energy production companies.


Akua McLeod is a rising senior majoring in electrical engineering. She is passionate about renewable energy and interested in developing technical solutions to issues of energy equity. Akua has previously worked as a fellow at the California Energy Commission, through the Stanford Energy Internships in California and the West program, where she analyzed low-income barriers to energy resources. This summer, Akua will be working in Stanford’s Power Electronics Research Lab, where she will seek to develop an automated quality metric for inductive components used in wireless charging. She is excited for this opportunity to explore research and develop a deeper understanding of the interface between power electronics and energy devices. In her free time, Akua enjoys hiking, listening to music, and cooking new recipes.


Katherine Peña is a rising sophomore who is a prospective Management Science and Engineering major. This summer she will be working on a research project with Professor Nicole Ardoin and Research Associate Emily Williams trying to better understand what types of pro-environmental actions different groups of people are more willing to engage in, and possible reasons why. Katherine hopes to use the research skills and insights she develops as she pursues her interests in urban planning and clean energy.


Takao Yatagai is a rising sophomore, and is interested in pursing an engineering physics or computer science major. His first interest in energy was sparked by a TED Talk on the end of the universe- when all the energy in the universe will be so dispersed that the universe will come to a cold end. He was further fascinated by the concept of batteries; artificial devices that could store and release this abstract concept of “energy” which could ultimately determine the fate of the universe. This summer, Takao is working with Dr. Simona Onori on developing duty cycles for grid-scale applications of lithium-ion batteries. Through this research project which heavily involves both the fields that the majors he is interested in encompasses, Takao aims to gain knowledge of the research process and further dive into my interest in energy and energy storage.


Rosadriana Zelaya is rising senior majoring in chemical engineering. She is interesting in the development and improvement of technologies for renewable energy and hopes to pursue a career in that area after grad-school. Rosa is working with Professor Matteo Cargnello on the synthesis, characterization, and catalytic testing of nano-structured materials for hydrogen production through photocatalysis. In her free time Rosa enjoys cooking, drawing and dancing.