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Explore Energy is a cross-campus effort of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

2024 Cohort

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Kate Adams headshot

Kate Adams is a first-year MBA-MS student in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) and the Graduate School of Business (GSB). She has a B.S. in International Studies and B.A. in French from Indiana University, where she was a Wells Scholar. Prior to Stanford, Kate worked in management consulting at Bain & Company in Chicago and in growth strategy at BioLite, a clean energy company, in Nairobi, Kenya. Kate is excited to spend the summer working to expand access to clean energy at the Nevada Clean Energy Fund as an Investments Fellow and to take advantage of the great hiking available in the Reno area!

Pamella Ahairwe headshot

Pamella Eunice Ahairwe is a second-year graduate student in the Master’s of International Policy Program at Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. She is interested in sustainable finance for clean energy, climate mitigation, and climate adaptation and how technological innovations can help address environmental-related challenges. Over the summer, she was a Stanford Sustainable Finance Initiative Fellow, where she worked with the Environment for Development Global Hub - Makerere University Centre in Uganda on renewable energy financing. As a Shultz Energy Fellow, Pamella will be working with Nevada Clean Energy Fund on bridging the gap between U.S government policies and clean energy needs of communities in Nevada. 

Before joining Stanford, Pamella worked as a Policy Officer at the European Centre for Development Policy Management in the Netherlands and Belgium, where she focused on development finance for sustainable development. She also worked with the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, where she helped assess the bank’s financial decisions in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

Danielle Amir-Lobel headshot

Danielle Amir-Lobel is a Master’s student in Management Science and Engineering, on the Technology and Engineering Management track. As an undergraduate at Stanford, she double majored in Symbolic Systems (Neurosciences concentration) and Economics. Danielle’s interdisciplinary academic studies have translated into her research, as she has worked at two Stanford neuroscience labs, conducted research at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), and performed behavioral science research through the Graduate School of Business (GSB). Most recently, she worked at eBay as a financial analyst on the global marketing team. Throughout these experiences, she has been passionate about harnessing data, technology, and insights about human behavior to improve societal outcomes. She hopes to continue this mission this summer while working with the Western Area Power Administration on electrification of their vehicle fleet.

Yueer Cai headshot

Yueer Cai, a Master's student at Stanford University, deeply engaged in the intricacies of sustainable design and construction with a fervent focus on energy sustainability. Her academic endeavors, particularly in life cycle assessment and integrated infrastructure systems, have ingrained in her a profound understanding of sustainable practices and their pivotal role in combating climate change. This foundation has propelled her to lead significant research projects, such as the assessment of recycled plastic wastes in building materials, which aimed to diminish the environmental footprint of construction. Her pursuit of sustainability extends beyond academia; it is a personal commitment that has steered her professional experiences, including impactful internships with leading firms where she's delved into market research and investment analyses in the real estate and startup sectors, focusing on energy efficiency and technological innovations. She's looking forward to working with the Western Interstate Energy Board this summer on transmission use and congestion analysis in the Western States.

Kyle Chen headshot

Kyle (Qile) Chen is currently enrolled as a first-year master's student in Atmosphere and Energy Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to pursuing a master's degree, Kyle completed a B.S. in Environmental Science at UCLA, where he specialized in environmental engineering and atmospheric science. With a diverse background, he is passionate about using an interdisciplinary approach to solving climate change challenges, especially in the energy sector. He is especially interested in analyzing the future energy market with the increasing demand for renewable energy. This summer, Kyle is excited to work at the Power Operations Management team at the California Department of Water Resources, where he will be conducting a power planning study for the State Water Project operational strategy.

Lisa Fung headshot

Lisa Fung is a first-year undergraduate studying Computer Science. With her strong mathematical and computational background, Lisa enjoys utilizing data to investigate ways to improve natural disaster mitigation and renewable energy generation and integration. Lisa hopes that her work can produce more sustainable and efficient renewable energy infrastructure that will benefit our highly urbanized and energy-reliant society. Previously, Lisa conducted research in applying tensor decompositions to study geospatial urban mobility data, and performed quantitative wildfire research and risk analysis. For her work, she was named a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar in 2023. This summer, Lisa will work with the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) on Wildfire Mitigation Analysis to conduct research and analysis to quantify the potential impacts that wildfire risk may have on critical WAPA electricity transmission lines and substations.

Parul Gupta headshot

Parul Gupta is a founder/operator with 20+ years of experience working with global teams across diverse setups - startups, academia, nonprofits, and research. She co-founded Springboard (SF-based, Series B+ edtech startup) and scaled it to 8-figure annual revenue, 200+ employees, and ~800 contractors over a decade. After building a strong leadership team and transitioning to a board role, she joined Stanford as a Sloan Fellow to follow her passion for climate & sustainability. 

Before Springboard, Parul spent a decade in technical R&D roles in telecom and computing. She is a UCLA and IIT alumna, a co-author on 10 granted patents and 12 peer-reviewed publications, an MIT TR35 India Young Innovator, and IIT Bombay Distinguished Service honoree. She is also engaged in the broader startup ecosystem as an angel-investor, advisor, board member, and venture partner. This summer she'll be working with the Nevada Clean Energy Fund as a Clean Energy Investments Fellow.

Lihan Huang headshot

Lihan Huang (she/her) is a second-year master's student majoring in Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and holds a B.S. degree in Environmental Science from Duke Kunshan University. Growing up in Changzhou, a Chinese city once haunted by eutrophication but now known as the city of renewable energy, Lihan developed a passion for reconciling nature and energy transition. Continuing her pursuit, Lihan has gained experience in energy market data analysis and power dispatch modeling at S&P Global. She is excited to be part of the Shultz Energy Fellowship cohort and to work with the City of Palo Alto Utilities as the Karl Knapp Energy Fellow in City Government to enhance the city's electricity model. During her leisure time, Lihan loves hiking, traveling, and enjoying various water sports such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. She is also an amateur photographer.

Owen Jung headshot

Owen Jung is a sophomore studying Data Science and English. He's interested in the optimization of civil engineering problems, specifically in energy systems and transportation, using computational and mathematical methods. He also believes in promoting environmental education through literature and art, with the purpose of building a more sustainable cultural relationship with nature. This summer, Owen will be working with the Western Interstate Energy Board to analyze and understand the Western Interconnection power grid.

Max Kessler headshot

Max Kessler is a third-year PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering and a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, researching approaches to mitigate the climate and health impacts of methane emissions. Max focuses on photochemical-based technologies, drawing inspiration from the ways nature uses sunlight to clean the air of methane. To communicate his work to wide audiences, Max creates short movies, which have included an award-winning documentary on climate action. Prior to Stanford, Max worked as a Fulbright researcher in Germany to develop a bio-inspired suction cup to reduce the energy intensity of manufacturing. Max holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. 

This summer, Max will be working at the Advanced Clean Cars Branch of the California Air Resources Board on greenhouse gas emission regulations for light-duty vehicles. He looks forward to deepening his perspective on where and how his PhD research fits into public policy.

Adri Kornfein headshot

Adri Kornfein is a Junior studying Electrical Engineering with a concentration in physical technology and a focus in power systems. Her passion for renewable energy ignited during a seminar on the Energy Transition in Hawaii with the Bill Lane Center, driving her dedication ever since. She hopes to apply her electrical engineering skills towards building a grid capable of handling the complex load required for electrifying the modern world. Additionally, she is passionate about international climate policy, believing that tackling climate change must happen at an international scale. This is why Adri completed an internship in Germany for the renewable battery company CMBlu in summer 2023, working on possibilities for large-scale grid storage. She is incredibly excited to work at the California Energy Commission this summer under Commissioner Noemí Gallardo. In her free time, she enjoys learning languages, reading philosophy, and hiking California’s beautiful nature.  

Tasnima Naoshin headshot

Tasnima Naoshin is a second-year Master's student in the Civil & Environmental Engineering, Atmosphere/Energy program. Prior to joining Stanford, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. Within the field of energy, she is passionate about clean energy policy, optimizing grid performance for a changing climate, and rolling out renewable energy resources in an equitable manner. Tasnima has previously served as a Schneider Fellow with the Union of Concerned Scientists and interned at the EDF Innovation Lab. On campus, she has been involved in research projects focused on microgrid performance and zero-emission public transit. This summer, Tasnima will be working with the Western Electricity Coordination Council to develop generic transient stability models for future renewable energy resources.

Claire Petersen headshot

Claire Petersen is a first-year PhD student in E-IPER. Her fields of inquiry are energy systems and economic policy. Her past research has focused on decarbonizing heating and cooling, as well as economic policies to facilitate renewable generation in electricity grids. Prior to Stanford, Claire received an MPhil in Energy Technologies and an MSc in Carbon Management under a Marshall Scholarship. She has bachelor's degrees in environmental engineering and economics from Northwestern University. This summer, Claire is excited to work in the office of Commissioner Andrew McAllister at the California Energy Commission, using energy consumption data to study building decarbonization.

Shambhavi Rathore headshot

Shambhavi Rathore is a first-year MS student within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to commencing her studies at Stanford, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Delhi Technological University (India). Her background includes several Life Cycle Assessment projects, ranging from evaluating the environmental impacts of Li-ion batteries in automobiles to analyzing the environmental footprint of cosmetic packaging based on its structural designs. 

Driven by a deep-seated passion for environmental justice, Shambhavi aspires to leverage her technical skills towards creating equitable and sustainable solutions. This summer, she is excited to expand her knowledge in energy policy and gas system decommissioning & decarbonization planning as a Shultz Fellow at the California Public Utilities Commission, Office of Commissioner Karen Douglas.

Dillan Saltsman is a first-year undergraduate student studying for a BS in Environmental Systems Engineering and hoping to move toward a coterminal MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering. Dillan enjoys going on adventures outdoors and engaging with photography. He is involved in efforts on campus such as Fossil Free Stanford, with a particular interest in environmental justice and the clean energy transition. He also hopes to focus his studies on water resources management as it is particularly relevant to California, the state he calls home. Dillan is a fellow with the California Department of Water Resources in the Division of Operations and Maintenance. He is excited to explore this intersection of water and energy and learn from his mentor's insight this summer.

Elijah Schacter headshot

Elijah Schacter is a Junior at Stanford University studying Economics and Statistics with a specific interest in the energy sector. This summer, Elijah is looking forward to working in the Resource Assessment and Planning Division of the California ISO. Outside of work, Elijah enjoys playing music and going on long runs.

Selma Sharaf headshot

Selma Sharaf is a first-year MS student in the Atmosphere/Energy program within the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. Prior to joining Stanford, she worked in clean energy consulting at Synapse Energy Economics, where she focused on producing analysis related to resource planning, energy-related emissions, and rate design. Selma completed her undergraduate degree in environmental engineering at MIT. During her time at MIT, Selma served in multiple energy and climate action roles, conducted research with the Atmospheric Chemistry and Composition Modeling Group and the Resilient Infrastructure Networks Lab, and completed a senior capstone on offshore wind planning. This summer, Selma is looking forward to working in the Market Design and Analysis Division of the California ISO, where she will be developing an off-line market clearing model to analyze different design concepts of the ISO’s market.

Merrill Storch

Merrill Storch is a first year MS student in the Atmosphere/Energy program under the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. Before Stanford, she got her B.A. in physics from Hamilton College, where she largely studied nuclear physics. At Hamilton, she was exposed to topics of climate change and environmental justice and became passionate about mitigating the adverse effects of climate change through energy generation decarbonization. At Stanford, she's currently studying power grid modeling, spatial planning for renewables, and climate law and policy. She's looking forward to working under Commissioner Darcie L. Houck at the California Public Utilities Commission this summer.

Stephanie Unur headshot

Stephanie Unur is a fourth-year undergraduate pursuing a degree in Environmental Systems Engineering, with a focus on Sustainable Urban/Energy Systems, as well as a Master's in Sustainability Science and Practice. She is interested in renewable energy, green building, and environmental equity. Combined with her interest in environmental responsibility and public service, she is eager to help cultivate more sustainable communities. She has previous experience working at a state environmental agency, an engineering consulting firm, and several academic departments across Stanford. This summer, she is excited to return to Hawaii to work with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission's Office of Policy and Research with the goal of making the state's operations more sustainable and equitable.

Vicky Zhang headshot

Vicky Zhang is a second-year M.S. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department's Atmosphere / Energy program. Prior to pursuing a master's degree, she completed her undergraduate degree at Columbia University in Earth and Environmental Engineering, focusing on carbon capture. She is passionate about decarbonizing the supply chains and energy grid, especially optimization models and system redesign. This summer, she will be working with transient stability models at the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, researching changes that the latest generation technologies could have on the model and presenting findsings on reliability models to stakeholders.

Jeanette Zhou headshot

Jeanette Zhou is a sophomore studying Material Science and Engineering. Her interests lie in the intersection of engineering, environmental science, and policy, with a focus on the exploration of new materials that can drive progress in sustainability, clean energy, and healthcare. Her past research experience includes work in radio science, data science, bioinformatics, and molecular biology. Outside her studies, Jeanette dances with and serves as the financial officer for Stanford’s Swingtime and works in the Muwekma Ohlone native plant garden field project. This summer, Jeanette will work with the California Air Resource Board’s Freight Technology Advancement Branch assessing the energy and power demands of a major railyard operating zero emission locomotives.