Energy Fellowships awarded to student researchers
Six Ph.D. students conducting research in energy-related fields have been awarded Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute Energy Fellowships:
Rachel Collino: "GaAs Wafer Bonding and Blistering Studies for Ion-Cut Synthesis"
Collino, a second-year Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, is studying high efficiency photovoltaic and thermoelectric devices and how they can be produced at low materials cost by using thin layers on a carrier wafer. She is refining a method of ion-cut synthesis, or using simultaneous nanostructure synthesis and layer transfer via wafer bonding.
Shawn Johnson: "Multi-sector, Multi-jurisdictional Collaboration Toward Sustainable Energy Pathways: Best Practices and Lessons Learned"
Johnson began his Ph.D. studies in resources and policy behavior at the School of Natural Resources and Environment in fall 2007. Using literature searches and interviews, Johnson will examine several regional collaborative efforts in the U.S. to see how these initiatives address issues of energy supply and demand and how such actions and policies are shaping the behavior of individuals, non-profit organizations, governments and businesses.
Darshan Karwat: "The Implementation of Biorenewable Fuels in the Aviation Industry: Policy Versus Engineering Tradeoffs"
Karwat received his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the University this spring and will begin his Ph.D. studies in winter 2008. His research will focus much needed attention on the issue of renewable fuels and environmental effects in aviation.
Brendan O'Connor: "Fiber-Based Organic Electronics for Energy Applications"
O'Connor is a third-year Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering and a graduate student research assistant at the Laboratory for Nanostructured Energy Conversion Devices. O'Connor is developing fiber-based organic optoelectronic devices.
Varuttamaseni, a third-year Ph.D student in nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, will participate in a multidisciplinary study of the technological challenges and societal impact of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The PHEV project is slated to begin in summer 2008 and will include researchers from across U-M, industry and national laboratories.
Changgua Zhen: "Simulation-Based Predictive Design of Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Nano-Structured Materials for Solid-State Lighting and Solar Energy Harvesting"
Zhen is a first-year Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering. His research interests involve the use of atomistic simulation for designing molecules with specific properties before trying to synthesize them in the laboratory.
• Scott Moura, mechanical engineering, for his work on "Optimal Design and Control of a Stochastic Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle to Grid System,"
• Sonca Nguyen, aerospace engineering, for her work on "Hydrogen Production by Dissociation of Water via a Helicon Plasma Source,"
• Leon Webster, applied physics, for his project "Hybrid Photo-Electrochemical Cells."
A second round of energy fellowships will be awarded in spring 2008.