Skip to main content

Students make most of exploring sustainable energy


June 10, 2008

The Sustainable Energy Fellowship has announced its 2008 cohort of student fellows. The students, selected from a highly competitive pool from around the country, have begun the yearlong fellowship process at an intensive weeklong program to explore the technologies, policies and economics of sustainable energy.

Researchers from ASU, Cornell University, Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan designed and direct the fellowship to be a unique educational and research experience for students to address the global need for the use of energy reduction designs supplemented by renewable energy technologies.

During the weeklong program, which ends May 31, students are exposed to research and education in energy production, conversion, storage, and sources that are environmentally friendly and renewable such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal. Additionally, students are being educated in effective Life Cycle Management Programs and Innovations that can be used by manufacturers and the service sector.

Leading practitioners from industry, government, and nongovernmental agencies supplement the learning experience by providing divergent points of view and technical expertise. This year’s program took place at Duke University, and expenses for accepted students were underwritten by Shell and Ford Motor companies.

“This is a great venue to expose some of the nation’s most talented students to sustainability and sustainable engineering research and education programs being undertaken at ASU, and we hope to excite them to continue advanced studies with our School of Sustainability,” says Jay Golden, the director of ASU’s National Center of Excellence for SMART Innovations and an assistant professor in the new School of Sustainability. “We also have the opportunity to interact and continue to position our Fellows with some of the leading industrialists, politicians, and thought leaders in energy, sustainability, and climate change.”

Golden, who directs the fellowship with colleagues Andy Hoffman from the University of Michigan, Lincoln Pratson of Duke University, Jeff Tester of MIT and Larry Walker of Cornell, sees an urgent and growing need for this kind of transdisciplinary training.

“For the first time in history, the world is predominantly urban and growing more urban every day,” Golden says. “This growing population is primarily served by nonrenewable energy sources that can have adverse impacts to the environment while also being susceptible to price fluctuations and availability.”

The fellowship chose 40 students from 20 universities. Among the universities represented in addition to ASU, Duke, Cornell, MIT and Michigan are: Stanford, UC-Berkeley, Penn State, Georgetown, Columbia, Brandeis, Smith College, University of North Carolina, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, USC, and Virginia Tech.

Students chosen from ASU are Jessica Katz (civil and environmental engineering), Yeshpal Gupta (mechanical and aerospace engineering), Maura McGarry (meteorological and atmospheric science), Helme Castro (material sciences and engineering) and Laurence Rosenberg (School of Sustainability).