• Destenie Nock

Highlighting Student Success in Energy Hackathon!

October 15, 2020

By Destenie Nock

 

There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing and highlighting student success. This can occur both in and outside my research group, and normally the two are linked.


Over the summer Lauren Janicke, a sophomore in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University was responsible for investigating the range of air pollution emissions associated with transmission and distribution systems. To determine the emissions resulting from inefficient delivery of electricity Lauren developed a Monte Carlo simulation model. The model took in the different pollutants associated with different power plants, transmission and distribution efficiencies of different regions, and then computed the range of expected air pollution emissions by region. I was very impressed that she configured her model to investigate 140 countries, and 50 states in the USA. Lauren currently continues to work with me to write up the findings from her summer internship. Following her success in the summer program Lauren has gone on to have success in an Energy Hackathon!


From September 28 - 29, 2020 Carnegie Mellon hosted a VentureWell Virtual Energy Hackathon. Lauren Janicke received first place with her PhD teammates. There were three projects that a team could be assigned to, and Lauren's team received the World Bank's challenge to create an interactive dashboard for either Uganda or Nigeria to show solar and wind potential for on-grid and off-grid projects, site potential due to existing infrastructure, economic and political limitations, and implications for Goal 7 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Her team's dashboard for Uganda includes a map that can show power plants in various stages of development, transmission lines, population density, current electrification, wind potential, and solar potential. Additionally, the dashboard has statistics about Uganda, costs of potential projects, social and political factors. Lauren was able to build on her summer experience Lauren created a graph showing the CO2 offsets compared to using biofuels for the potential projects.


Congratulations to the entire team!

While the success belongs to the entire team, I must say I am exceptionally proud of Lauren for rolling with the big dogs, and being able to hold her own with the PhD students! Look out world Lauren is the next PhD student.


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Note about the author: Destenie Nock is an Assistant Professor position in Engineering & Public Policy (EPP) Department as well as in the Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Carnegie Mellon University. She loves working with students because of the direct impact she can have on helping people get to where they want to be in their career. She holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering an Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She earned an MS from Queen's University of Belfast, and two BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Applied Math at North Carolina A&T State University. In her free time she has had to learn some new social distancing hobbies. During COVID she has rediscovered her past self which reminded her that she loves to paint, sew, and go for walks in the park.

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