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

SUPER Scholars

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2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017

2023 Scholars


Matthew Charles is a rising junior majoring in International Relations with specific interests in the National Security and the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources concentrations. His research with Oriana Mastro examines China’s energy security through their development in emergent nations and reliance on fossil fuels with trading partners. The project also includes the ramifications of foreshadowed political actions threatening the status quo of energy. Outside of school, Matthew enjoys fencing and attending concerts.


Alison Fajardo is a rising sophomore in chemical engineering. In the Plasma Dynamics Modeling Laboratory (PDML), directed by Professor Ken Hara in Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, both physics-based and data-driven models are being developed. Additionally, these computational tools are used for a variety of applications, including spacecraft electric propulsion, plasma processing, space weather, and fundamental plasma physics. In this SUPER project, we will focus on the development of data-driven models for plasma chemistry.


Kyle Haslett is a sophomore studying Management Sciences and Engineering, from Indianapolis, Indiana. He is passionate about finding new ways to optimize energy usage, in order to help both the planets limited resources, and people’s deep need of energy from around the world.


Arnav Krishnamoorthi is a rising junior studying Computer Science at Stanford University. Energy sustainability has always been a passion of his, and is interested in helping spread renewable technologies to underdeveloped areas. Growing up in the Central Valley, Arnav witnessed the power renewables have for small, local communities, and now looks to aid in the global transition to renewables in the battle against climate change. This summer, Arnav will be working with Professor Kovscek and Ph.D candidate Catherine Callas to develop a consistent methodology to screen potential geological storage sites for carbon capture and sequestration.


Yash Narayan is a rising sophomore studying computer science. He has a strong desire to use technology to solve sustainability problems. He will be continuing his research at the Sustainable Systems Lab working on the Google Data Commons Project ( In his free time, he loves playing sports, especially basketball, ping pong, football, and recently beach volleyball!


Michael Pascal is a rising senior in mechanical engineering. He will be working with Professor Harold Hwang and Dr. Jiayue Wang to develop a better electrolysis fixture that can increment independently over the thin-film membrane, allowing for electrolysis measurements to be taken over both symmetric and asymmetric strain states. 


Ryne Reger is a junior majoring in Economics, minoring in Mathematical and Computational Science, and coterming in Computer Science on the Artificial Intelligence track. Last summer, he lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation while working for an organization called Lakota Funds on economic development, housing, and food sovereignty. This year, he is excited to participate in a research setting to learn how to increase renewable energy on Tribal Lands. A proud Minnesotan, you will often hear Ryne explaining another fun fact about the state or talking about one of the many, many lakes! Around campus, Ryne is probably climbing at the gym, playing foosball in the dorm, or trying to plan his next hiking trip!


Camille Leihulu Slagle is a rising senior from Kailua, Hawaiʻi studying Chemistry and Earth and Planetary Sciences. Her interests in chemistry, energy, and sustainability arise from her upbringing as a Native Hawaiian, her love of interconnecting Indigenous and Western ways of research, and her life goal to see the islands return to a form of self-sustainability. This summer, she is working with Wendy Mao and Anna Celeste studying transition metal perovskite chalcogenides for their semiconductor purposes and green energy applications for the future.


Avni Vats is a rising sophomore studying Engineering Physics. She is interested in alternative energy and the intersection of engineering and data analysis in solving for climate change, with a focus on accessibility and affordability. This summer, she is working with John Baniecki and Paul McIntyre on energy efficient computing, specifically researching properties of non-volatile ferroelectric memories to decrease memory latency and energy penalty associated with data transfer.


Kaiden Wang is a rising senior studying Political Science. He is interested in studying political behavior, decision-making, and identity and what factors shape these, especially within democratic countries. This summer he is working with the Political Psychology Research Group (PPRG) to study public opinion on issues related to climate change and the factors that affect it.



2022 Scholars


Steven Abrego is a rising junior majoring in Electrical Engineering. He will be working with Juan Rivas-Davila on characterizing the efficiency of high frequency semiconductor devices. His interest in energy originates from growing up in the Central Valley of California, where rolling blackouts are a far too often occurrence. Steven plans to use his time here at Stanford studying semiconductors in order to one day solve issues such as rolling blackouts, as well as work towards increasing the efficiency of semiconductors to create more efficient grids and reduce energy losses. This project will allow Steven to expand his knowledge of semiconductors while contributing valuable research to the world of energy.


Michael Bendok is a rising sophmore planning on majoring in Economics with a minor in Data Science. His energy experience includes working with utility-scale tracking technologies at FTC Solar, modeling battery storage finance at Idemitsu Renewables, and co-founding an agrivoltaics startup called Fundusol. Through SUPER, Michael is working with advisors Frank Wolak and Jacques de Chalendar and researchers Caitlin McMahon, Maomao Hu, and Ryan Triolo on the COOLER project. The goal of COOLER is to make large, modern buildings more energy-efficient, low carbon, and resilient using data, optimization, and control. Michael's role is focused on running and monitoring set point change experiments on Stanford buildings. From these experiments, Michael applies data analysis and visualization to extract meaningful conclusions from thousands of hourly data points. Ultimately, through his research, Michael hopes to contribute to HVAC control best practices by providing insights into how modern buildings can avoid significant outages like the one that occurred in the first week of this year's SUPER program.


Chiara Biondi is a rising senior studying Mathematical Computational Sciences. She is interested in sensor data and its applications, particularly in the energy sector. This summer, she is working with Pepe Bolorinos in Professor Mauter’s WE3 Lab to build a data-driven model to optimize the energy usage of wastewater treatment plants.


Phillip Chacon is a rising junior studying Energy Resources Engineering. He is interested in carbon capture and energy storage as a means to reach net-zero carbon emission goals. This summer, he is working with Professor Hamdi Tchelepi and researchers Francois Hamon and Jacques Franc to model the flow of CO2 post injection in reservoirs using GEOSX.


Kristy Chan is a rising sophomore planning on majoring in Chemical Engineering. She is interested in renewable energy, especially solar power and energy storage. As a SUPER participant, Kristy is working in the Tarpeh Lab. Her project involves using electrochemistry to selectively remove sodium ions from wastewaters, such that the treated water can be used as a fertilizer.


Feliciano Cortes is a first-year coterm student studying Electrical Engineering - same as his undergrad. This Summer, Feliciano is working in Professor Reinhold Dauskardt's group which focuses on the innovation and design of high-performance thin-film devices. For his SUPER project, Feliciano is helping the perovskite solar cell team by testing out new materials and application processes of the rear electrode layer in the solar cell. Currently, silicon solar cells are the standard for durable solar panels, but perovskite solar cells are a promising lower-cost alternative. Feliciano's work will aid the effort for perovskites to achieve comparable efficiency and durability levels to silicon cells. In his free time, Feliciano enjoys going on long runs, honing his Super Smash Bros skills, and taking naps... lots of naps.


Andrew Franco is a coterminal graduate student majoring in Mechanical Engineering and recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biomechanical Engineering. Andrew is working with Professor Wendy Gu and Teng Cui to research cathode fracture mechanics in lithium solid-state batteries. Previous research has shown that adding a thin layer of metal would help reduce fracturing. For this project, the coating will be a thin layer of platinum where the mechanical properties of the cathodes are expected to improve. This summer research will include conducting nanoscale mechanical testing and SEM nanoindentation techniques.


Kara Herson is completing her bachelor’s degree in engineering physics major and a coterminal masters degree in mechanical engineering. She has previously worked in the solar industry, and is interested in studying emerging clean energy technologies. This summer she’s working with Professor Simona Onori on battery health estimation models for lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.


Alyssa Krull is a rising junior majoring in Energy Sciences & Engineering and minoring in Creative Writing. She is interested in the intersection of science and communication, and is passionate about educating the public on environmental- and energy-related issues. She is specifically interested in the transition to clean and renewable energy. This summer, she is working with Professor Mark Jacobson and Atmosphere/Energy PhD student Anna-Katharina von Krauland on the Solutions Project. The Solutions Project has developed detailed roadmaps to 100% renewable energy by 2050 for 145 countries and all 50 states in the U.S.. As a part of the project, Alyssa will be writing articles on renewable energy topics and developing infographics for science communication and awareness through social media platforms.


Ethne Laude is a rising sophomore studying Mathematical and Computational Science. She is interested in data-driven policy making, especially for sustainable development. This summer, she is working with Sarah Saltzer on the Pathways to Carbon Neutrality project, helping to develop and automate a Decarbonization Model for California using the Low Emissions Analysis Platform.


Christopher Noll is a rising senior at Stanford University majoring in Geological Sciences and minoring in Mathematical and Computational Science. This summer, Chris is working with Dr. Nicole Ardoin’s Social Ecology Lab group to explore the motivations and support systems of youth climate activists. He is interested in the development and funding of renewable energy projects and how environmental movements are instrumental in meeting global climate goals. Chris enjoys playing with the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, serving as a member of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability’s Student Advisory Council, and supporting Stanford’s international students as a SIB Mentor.


Marco Peralta Montoya is a rising junior majoring in Political Science. He is interested in public service, elections, and sociology. This summer, through SUPER, Marco is working with Professor Jon Krosnick’s Political Psychology Research Group (PPRG). Marco is working on a project to understand the disparity between U.S. public opinion polls on climate change based on question wording. The goal of this project is to help the public better understand people’s opinion on climate change and why surveys asking the same questions can produce different results.


Emma Sun is a rising junior studying either Energy Resources Engineering or Earth Systems. She is passionate about climate change solutions, conservation, and international relations! On campus, she is involved with the transportation team of Students for a Sustainable Stanford. Through SUPER, she is working with Dr. Oriana Mastro to better understand China through the lens of energy security. Emma is working to put together memos detailing China's energy relations with other states (including Russia and the U.S.), and the country's role in the global renewable energy transition. In her free time, she loves hiking and spending time outdoors.


2021 Scholars


Evan Baldonado is a rising junior majoring in Computer Science. He is interested in environmental justice, public service, and social movements and is involved with Students for a Sustainable Stanford on campus. This summer, through SUPER, Evan is working with Professor Jon Krosnick’s Political Psychology Research Group (PPRG). Along with Jordan Deasy from SUPER and others, Evan is working on a project with Dr. Bo MacInnis to better understand the ecosystem of U.S. public opinion polls that have questions related to global warming/climate change.


Cynthia Chen is a rising sophomore planning on majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Management Science and Engineering. Her past experiences working with energy include co-founding a renewable battery startup and working in smart-window related research in high school. As a SUPER participant, Cynthia is working in June Flora and Ram Rajagopal’s lab to build out an energy usage program for high school students by building out extensions in Tableau for students to more effectively visualize and understand their energy usage data, including implementing statistical analyses via Professor Rajagopal’s VISDOM platform, machine learning techniques, and various time series data visualizations. The group will conjunctively build out the program curriculum to better understand how students interact with data science techniques and implement an energy change program. Cynthia’s interest in this work stems from her involvement with data science and CS this past year at Stanford, through coursework and extracurriculars, and she hopes to use the methodologies of this project to connect to a broader range of data.


Jocelyn Chen is a rising junior majoring in chemistry and music. This summer, she is working with Sarah Saltzer and Sally Benson on the Pathways to Carbon Neutrality project looking at ways to effectively achieve net-zero carbon emissions in California. Her interest in energy stems from her love of nature and past work with food systems and sustainability. In her free time, she likes to play piano, go outdoors, travel, bake, and make crafts.


Jordan Deasy is a rising senior studying Urban Studies and Data Science. She is interested in urban policy, sustainability, and decision making. This summer, she is working with Professor Jon Krosnick on understanding U.S. public opinion related to climate change through methodology such as public opinion polling.


Kenny Hua is a rising sophomore studying Earth Systems at Stanford University. Growing up in the Inland Empire in Southern California, Kenny witnessed how marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and environmental hazards, sparking his interests in environmental health and education. Immersed in advocacy, he was exposed to grassroots efforts to urge for a transition to clean energy. This summer, Kenny will be working in Dr. Nicole Ardoin’s lab, investigating collecting environmental literacy.


Alexander Nelson is a traditional chemistry and Earth systems major interested in the development of chemical science for use in environmental applications such as energy storage and decarbonization. He is also passionate about promoting the global transition of energy systems to renewable technologies. After participating in SUPER last Summer, Alexander has continued working with Professor Mark Jacobson on creating, updating and experimenting with new data infographic presentations for the Stanford Solutions Project, who has worked to develop roadmaps to 100% renewable energy profiles for 140 countries worldwide. This project has allowed him to experience science communication at a high stakes level, and to participate in a long-term project that stands to make a meaningful impact for years to come.


Elena Sierra is a rising sophomore considering a major in Electrical Engineering. She is passionate about decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and about sustainable technologies; SUPER is her first experience with research. This Summer, she is working with David Fedor on carbon tax policy. Her role is to conduct a case study of nations that have implemented carbon tax policies and analyze the effects of those policies. Did these carbon taxes decrease emissions? By how much did the emissions decrease? How did the taxes affect the economy? How did citizens perceive and react to carbon taxes? This project is an opportunity for her to tell a story with her findings to present to policy makers when they consider carbon tax legislation.


Andrew Sleugh is a rising Junior studying Materials Science and Engineering. He is interested in renewable energy and its integration into society from both technological and economic standpoints. This summer, he is working with Professor Wendy Gu and Andrew Lee to help better understand the mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement in structural steel in order to aid the transformation of existing gas infrastructure to hydrogen-compatible systems. Andrew’s primary focus will be strain mapping analysis of fractured metal specimens as well as using other microstructural characterization techniques to identify trends in the pathways and effects of embrittlement. His hobbies include cooking, finding new music, and playing basketball and beach volleyball.


Haley Stafford is a rising sophomore and aspiring activist, engineer, and policymaker interested in the intersection of sustainability, environmental justice, and public policy. She intends to pursue a degree in Materials Science Engineering and minor in either Urban Studies or Public Policy. As a participant of the IntroSems Plus Research Program last winter, she wrote a policy memo detailing policy measures that the Biden Administration can take to decarbonize America’s infrastructure. Her positive research experience prompted her to apply to SUPER. This summer, Haley is working with Dr. June Flora to create an online youth education program that teaches middle school-aged students how to visualize and interpret their household energy consumption data and drive behavior change to decrease electricity usage. She is also producing promotional videos for Stanford Energy that highlight Stanford’s Powernet and Designing Your Energy Lifestyle (DYEL) projects.


2020 Scholars


Sarah Bloom is a rising sophomore interested in Symbolic Systems and Mechanical Engineering. She took Energy Options for the 21st Century earlier this year, which led her to SUPER as her first Stanford research experience. This summer, Sarah is working with Dr. Michael Machala's research group on a low-cost greenhouse in rural India which uses energy-efficient construction to improve farmer's livelihoods using the energy already present in their environment. Her individual role is to build out web and mobile interfaces to view live metrics of different sites of the system and remotely set new configurations. Sarah is excited to be using engineering and computer science to promote energy-efficiency and make a positive impact on people's lives.


Hugo Budd is is a rising sophomore planning on majoring in Atmosphere/Energy. He is interested in renewable integration and technology, energy storage, and climate justice. He wants to study how energy impacts people, and how renewables and storage can be used sustainably to reduce carbon emissions and expand energy access. This summer, he is working with the Jackson Lab on quantifying methane emissions from residential natural gas-fired appliances. He is developing a microcontroller-based logger that can measure a home's gas usage in high resolution. The group will use this device in field studies. When combined with data from spectrometers and other loggers, the group will be able to extrapolate an accurate estimate for aggregate methane emissions from homes in US.


Carlos Ciudad-Real is a rising coterm in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Atmosphere/Energy. He recently graduated with a BS in Environmental Systems Engineering with honors. His academic interests include environmental fluid mechanics, air quality engineering and energy/transportation systems. One way in which these interests intersect is through his undergraduate honors thesis which studied the resource potentials of tidal and wave energy along California’s coast and estimated the revenue potential with and without payments for reducing air pollution damages. Carlos’ professional goal is to work in Californian energy and environmental policy. In particular, he is interested in conducting techno-economic modeling that will support California’s effort to electrify its transportation system. This issue is one that he is personally invested in given my experiences in California’s Inland Empire which is a region that is disproportionately harmed by air quality stemming from light and heavy-duty vehicles. This summer Carlos will be working with Prof. Stefan Reichelstein on a valuation model for battery electric vehicle batteries for a second-life stationary storage applications. He hopes that this work will shed light on the life cycle value of electric vehicles and hopefully make a stronger economic case for the deployment of electric vehicles because of their salvage value.


Matthew Dardet is a senior at Stanford University studying political science, statistics, and the history of law. As part of SUPER, he is working this summer to test hypotheses about, analyze, and ultimately generate updated guidelines for an econometric, statistical, and survey methodology known as contingent valuation for estimating the value of environmental public goods in the United States. This methodology plays an integral role in providing courts, corporations, and government officials with insight into the economic preferences of an informed public, particularly as they pertain to public goods and environmental damage assessments. He is currently co-authoring a book with Professor Jon A. Krosnick and colleagues about the contingent valuation methodology and is writing an honors thesis on refining survey methodologies to more accurately poll the American public. He loves to golf and play the bass in symphonies, chamber ensembles, and jazz bands.


Sebastian "Seba" Marin-Quiros is a rising sophomore intending to study Mechanical Engineering. He is interested in energy storage methods that will maximize the possible renewable energy penetration in our energy mix. While he definitely plans on pursuing from a technical angle, he is very interested in learning about energy policy and industry as well. This summer, he is doing this by working with Prof. Arun Majumdar's lab to bring methane pyrolysis, a low emissions hydrogen production method, from a technical to a market stage. Within this project, he has spent most of his time studying the catalyst regeneration process.


Michael McDermott is a rising Junior studying Mechanical Engineering. He has long been interested in design and the intersection between mechanical systems and electronics. This summer he is working with Dr. Michael Machala and Frederick Tan of the Precourt Institute for Energy Research on the HotBucket Project, a rugged, and inexpensive way for farmers in India to better assess their crop quality. By connecting produce buyers to their respective sellers, the team hopes to reduce the current 30% net crop waste in the Indian subcontinent. Michael is working on designing, developing and prototyping lighting systems that will allow for the Machine Vision system to properly analyze the crops quantitatively. He hopes that his work on the project will help Indian farmers, make an impact on reducing crop wastes, and create a more efficient agricultural system in rural parts of India.


Sabrina Mengrani is a rising senior majoring in Earth Systems.


Alexander Nelson is a rising senior majoring in traditional chemistry and Earth systems. He is interested in the development of chemical science for use in environmental applications such as energy storage, CO2 conversion, agriculture and green synthetic chemistry. He is also passionate about promoting the global transition of energy systems to renewable technologies. Alexander is working with Professor Mark Jacobson on creating new data infographic presentations for the Solutions Project, whose work entails the development of 100% clean, renewable energy (Green New Deal) roadmaps for dozens of cities worldwide. This project is an opportunity for him to experience science communication at a high stakes level.


Kevin Skinner is a rising junior planning on majoring in Energy Resources Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. Through prior experience in construction, travel, and military service, along with his love for nature and the sciences, Kevin has become interested in the intersectionality of infrastructure design, integrated systems, energy technologies, and resource management. This summer, he will be working with Professor Stefan Reichelstein on analysing the potential for heat capture from Stanford's own SESI and its cooling system.


Hi! My name is Austin Stack, and I'm super stoked and grateful to be working in areas I'm so passionate about this summer - energy and sustainability. I grew up in Salem, OR and lived there my whole life before coming to CA for school. Home will always hold a special place in my heart. Having access to beautiful outdoor spaces made getting into natural spaces easy, and I grew up to love hiking, backpacking, skiing and all things outdoors. It's also where my family is: my two parents (who hold down the fort in Salem) as well as my older brother Ian who's going into his senior year at UO.

At school I enjoy spending as much time with my friends as possible, running the dish, taking weekend trips to the beach, playing basketball, and hitting up TAP for waffle fries. I'm currently in the CEE (Civil & Env Engineering) department, w/ a track in Atmosphere & Energy - my goal post grad is to apply these skills towards progress in both policy and energy.


Connery Wood is a rising junior dual-majoring in Physics and Geophysics. Having been interested in applying the mechanics of science to making the world a better place, he is now working as an intern with Professor Mark Jacobson to achieve a 100% clean energy plan for 143 countries around the world by 2050. He is helping translate the spreadsheet of information on energy use, costs, and benefits for a clean energy plan into individualized forms for individual countries.


Emily Wong is a rising junior intending to study Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Modern Languages. She is especially interested in the intersection of engineering and environmental conservation. This summer, she is working with professor Arun Majumdar on direct conversion of methane to methanol through photocatalysis, and is looking forward to this introduction to the field of energy!



Takao Yatagai is a rising junior, soon to declare Computer Science. He has been interested in renewable energies from last year, since he did a research project, with SUPER with Dr. Simona Onori on grid-scale batteries. In his second year of pursing renewable energy research, he is working with Professor John Weyant to assess how certain parameters, such as electric vehicle integration, affects the long-term predictions of renewable energy integration in the grid, using the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model, an integrated assessment model. Some of my hobbies include drinking coffee, playing soccer and tennis, and going to the beach!


Jevan Yu is a rising sophomore considering a major in Mathematical and Computational Science. His current research interests include energy system optimization and, broadly speaking, computational geosciences. This summer, he is working with Professor John Weyant on an uncertainty characterization of high bioenergy deployment scenarios in GCAM, one of the major integrated assessment models.



Rosadriana Zelaya recently graduated with a bachelors in chemical engineering. She is interested in the development and improvement of technologies for renewable energy and hopes to pursue a career in that area after graduate school. This summer Rosa is working with Professor Sally Benson and Michael Machala on improving drying methods of chili peppers in order to reduce energy required for storage. In her free time Rosa enjoys cooking, dancing and rock climbing. She will start her graduate studies in the fall.


2019 Scholars


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.


Portrait of Ryan Gonzalez in Stanford arcade

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 an 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.


2018 Scholars

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.


2017 Scholars

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.