By Greta Shum
On June 4, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment celebrated 13 graduating seniors who earned certificates in Sustainable Energy at the Andlinger Center Class Day Celebration.
As part of the ceremony the inaugural Andlinger Center Senior Thesis Prize in Energy and the Environment was awarded in recognition for outstanding achievement in the senior thesis. This year, the award was presented to Roan Gideon ’18, a civil and environmental engineering major.
The afternoon kicked off with introductory remarks by Yueh Lin (Lynn) Loo, the director of the Andlinger Center, the Theodora D. ’78 & William H. Walton III ’74 Professor in Engineering, and professor of chemical and biological engineering.
“Seniors, you are the first class to have completed your certificate requirements since our new building opened in the fall of 2015,” said Loo.
“You are the first cohort of graduates to have taken ENE courses in our classrooms and conducted laboratory experiments in our facilities at the Andlinger Center. We are so proud to have had you be a part of our growth.”
She also expressed gratitude to the families and friends of the graduating seniors, who have shown support over the course of the seniors’ college careers.
Students who pursue the certificate are required to take a series of demanding courses in energy science, technology, climate change, and geo-environmental sciences.
Certificate students also incorporate energy-related topics into their independent work in order to receive the certificate. This year, senior thesis topics ranged from renewable energy and alternative fuels to advanced energy conversion and storage systems, and energy economics.
Elke Weber, the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and professor of psychology and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, is the Associate Director for Education at the Andlinger Center.
Weber reminded the graduating seniors of the importance of community. She explained that the expertise they had developed over the course of completing the certificate both enriched the University community and was augmented by the support of family members and guidance of faculty advisors and staff.
In recognition of outstanding independent work completed as part of the program, the Andlinger Center established the Andlinger Center Senior Thesis Prize in Energy and the Environment and presented the inaugural award at the Class Day Reception.
The prize was established to recognize the graduating certificate program senior whose senior thesis exemplifies outstanding research, and a strong commitment to understanding and solving the worlds’ energy and environmental problems. The recipient is determined based on nominations by the students’ advisers and review of the students’ theses by Andlinger Center directors and faculty.
Yiguang Ju, who is the director of the Program in Sustainable Energy as well as the Robert Porter Patterson Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, presented the inaugural award to Roan Gideon ’18 in recognition of his thesis, entitled, “Integrated Wave and Offshore Wind Energy: Benefits and Challenges.”
In his thesis, Gideon investigated whether co-locating offshore wind farms and wave energy generation arrays produces positive results. He concluded that the benefits of wind-wave co-location, while strongly dependent on the geographic location of the operation, can be significant. He also demonstrated that current wave generators are too large for deployment, resulting in a low capacity factor.
Gideon was advised by Elie Bou-Zeid, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. In addition to the Certificate in Sustainable Energy, Gideon also received the Certificate in African Studies. He hails from Rhinebeck, New York and will work as a water resources engineer at Dewberry. Gideon was also recognized with the School of Engineering and Applied Science J. Rich Steers Award.
In her remarks, Weber also highlighted the diversity of career paths ahead of the seniors. A few immediate plans include engineering positions in industry and government, graduate school in fields ranging from mechanical engineering to civil and environmental engineering, as well as positions in finance and consulting.