Fellows

Department of Environmental Conservation: Wildlife, fish and conservation biology

Research Interests include the interactions among marine organisms and their physical environment, and more specifically, how understanding these relationships can help to guide offshore wind energy development plans.

After graduating from Connecticut College in 2007, Andrew worked as a research technician on a seabird project in Prince William Sound, Alaska. His work there included at-sea surveys for marine birds and mammals, and during this work he was introduced to the rare and declining Kittlitz’s Murrelet. With much of Kittlitz’s Murrelet ecology a mystery because of the species’ patchy distributions, and cryptic nesting behavior, Andrew devised a master’s project that focused on updating the Prince William Sound population estimate for this species, as well as investigating Kittlitz’s Murrelet habitat use, diet and foraging ecology. Since completing his Alaska fieldwork, Andrew has shifted his focus to seabirds in the Gulf of Maine, working as the island supervisor of the Petit Manan Island seabird colony in the summer of 2011. He hopes to use his experience in seabird ecology as he continues to investigate the relationships among species and their marine environment; ultimately, Andrew would like to synthesize physical and biological data to develop marine ecosystem integrity maps to guide offshore wind energy development plans.

Department of Environmental Conservation

My research interest is on developing behavioral, spatial, and demographic models to assess and minimize potential impacts of wind industry facilities on avian populations.

Blake received his B.A. in Biology at Vanderbilt University and completed his Master’s Degree in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Massachusetts. He has conducted field research on a variety of species including bears, island foxes, gyrfalcons, golden eagles, and Mariana crows. Most recently, he worked as a Wildlife Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the California Condor Recovery Program.

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering: Wind Energy Center

His research interest includes utility grid integration issues and modeling of the grid system with storage as large amounts of off-shore wind energy is introduced.

Carson has achieved a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Arizona University with an emphasis in renewable energy systems. His research involved looking at the impacts of utility-scale renewable energy integration on hydropower resources. He is currently working with Green Earth Energy and Environmental Inc. as the engineering unit manager and system designer. GEEE is a renewable energy integration company based out of northern Arizona.

Civil & Environmental Engineering: Structural Engineering & Mechanics

Casey grew up in New Jersey and completed her undergraduate studies in civil engineering at The College of New Jersey. She began at UMass Amherst in the summer of 2014 to pursue her PhD under the guidance of Dr. Sanjay Arwade. Her work is focused on soil-structure interaction and structural response of offshore wind turbines during hurricane events.

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering: Fluid-Structure Interactions Lab

Primary research includes experimental analysis of vortex-induced vibrations (VIV) of asymmetric and arrayed geometries as well as spar-type offshore turbine platforms.

Dan received his B.S in mechanical engineering from UMass in 2014 and chose to expand on his undergrad FSI research to more unstable VIV-related systems as a Ph.D student under Dr. Yahya Modarres

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Destenie is interested in researching the integration of renewables to the power grid.

Destenie obtained a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics form North Carolina A&T State University. Then she spent a year in Northern Ireland studying for an MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development at Queen's University of Belfast. Starting Aug 2015 she started the PhD program in Industrial Engineering under Dr. Erin Baker. Through the PhD Destenie hopes to learn more about the process of integrating renewables to the power grid.

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Wind Energy Center

My research interests include damage detection, signal processing, simulations and modelling.

Dylan is a PhD candidate studying damage detection and isolation in wind turbine blades and towers under the guidance of Professor Kourosh Danai and James Manwell. Dylan has been a member of the Wind Energy Center since 2007. His masters project involved the development and field testing of an open source data logger for measuring wind data at meteorological sites.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wind Energy Center

Research Interests: Floating offshore wind turbines, specifically unsteady aerodynamics and design optimization of coupled subsystems

Evan grew up in Virginia where he received his B.S. in Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University in 2011. His interest in wind energy lead him to pursue a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Wind Energy Center at UMass, Amherst, researching dynamic stall for floating wind turbines. During the course of his master's work, Evan took a year off for internships with Alstom Wind and the National Renewable Energy Lab. He will now continue to research floating wind turbines under Dr. Matt Lackner with a focus on design optimization.

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

My research interests include investigating the uncertainty in funding low carbon energy technologies in the face of Climate Change

Franklyn Kanyako is from Sierra Leone, West Africa. He received his B.Sc. in Aeronautic and Astronautic Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. He moved Abu Dhabi, UAE for M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering on scholarship from the International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA), where he research on vertical axis wind turbines. After graduating in 2014, he interned at the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team in New York.
 

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wind Energy Center

Research interests include floating wind turbines with a emphasis on structural dynamics and control.

Gordon graduated from UMass Mechanical Engineering with a B.S. in 2009, and completed his Masters in 2011. His Masters research focused on applying tuned mass dampers to floating wind turbines in order to reduce loads. For his IGERT PhD work, Gordon has started by looking at data from a 1/50th scale floating wind turbine experiment with the intent of improving wind turbine modeling tools.

Department of Environmental Conservation, Dave King

My research will investigate the risk that offshore wind development poses to songbirds during migration. My work will be focused in the Gulf of Maine.

Jen received a Bachelors degree in biology from Bard college, and a Masters in wildlife conservation from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has done field work with spotted owls in California, saw-whet owls in Pennsylvania, scrub-shrub birds in Vermont, and bobwhite quail in Mississippi. She has also had positions doing vegetation mapping in Colorado, and forest ecology work in Massachusetts and New York.

Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning

Research interests include GIS and geospatial modeling, regional development strategies, and affordable housing and open space conservation.

A native of North Carolina, John holds a Bachelor's in History from UNC-Asheville and a Master's in Geography and Geosciences from Appalachian State University. In addition to working as an environmental/facilities contractor with a large military installation, he has worked on diverse projects from resource conservation with the National Park Service to environmental and public health research with Duke University and the city of Durham, NC.

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Josh's Ph.D. research focuses on improving the accuracy of offshore wind resource assessment and the creation of accurate supply curves for use in integrated assessment models. Integrated assessment models incorporate energy use and greenhouse gas emissions into economic models to forecast the economic and environmental impacts of energy portfolio policy decisions.

Josh holds BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from UMass Amherst.

Department of Environmental Conservation

Research interest: how offshore wind energy development impacts commercial and recreational fishing.

Kate is currently an Assistant Scientist for the Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction at the New England Aquarium. She works with fishermen and scientists to find practical solutions to endangered and protected species bycatch in fisheries. Prior to that, Kate worked on coastal and marine spatial planning with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. She has also worked on projects to evaluate the effectiveness of marine reserves for protecting reef fish and coral in St. Eustatius, and has studied lemon shark and sea turtle ecology and coral reef health in South Caicos. Kate has a master's degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Vassar College.

Department of Environmental Conservation: Wildlife, fish and conservation biology

Research interests: Anthropogenic impacts in the marine environment, specifically regarding acoustics and marine mammals.

Kendra received a BS in Chemical Engineering and a BA in Environmental Engineering from Rice University and a Master in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington. She worked at the NATO Undersea Research Center in the Marine Mammal Risk Mitigation project and at the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Environmental Protection division. She also served on active duty as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy, and continues to affiliate with the reserves. In her spare time, Kendra enjoys exploring the world and participating in most activities in the mountains and on the sea.

Department of Environmental Conservation

Marine birds and ecosystem-based marine spatial planning

Kris received his BS in wildlife biology and a MSc in environmental science from the University of Rhode Island. From 2009-2013 Kris worked on a marine spatial planning exercise (RI Ocean Special Area Management Plan) that was initiated in response to proposed offshore wind energy development. Kris led a research team which conducted aerial and ship-based marine bird surveys, developed predictive models of marine bird distribution and abundance based on those survey data and communicated research findings to stakeholders and policy makers. Kris enjoys spearfishing, bird hunting with his dog Blue and hiking with his wife Sarah.

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering: Wind Energy Center

Luis’s interests are centered around developing standards for design, construction, operations & maintenance of offshore wind energy farms in locations vulnerable to storms and hurricanes such that these installations are secure and reliable. Further interests lie in the development of cost reduction techniques for the design, logistics and construction of offshore wind energy farms.

Luis graduated from Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Power Systems. He next received an MS in Renewable Energy & Energy Market at the EOI Business School in Madrid, Spain, coauthoring the collaborative work entitled "A Technical and Economic Feasibility Study for an Offshore Wind Farm Installation in Massachusetts". In the professional world, Luis has worked on federal energy efficiency programs and most recently as a Project Engineer for the development and design of solar photovoltaic commercial and utility-scale projects for a multinational company in Puerto Rico.

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering: Wind Energy Center

Research interests include the optimization of offshore wind farms. More specifically, an interest in analyzing the relationships and the interactions between marine species and wind farms in order to minimize adverse effects imposed by the offshore development, coupled with the maximization of power production.

Micah is a 2007 graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology where he received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Shortly thereafter he begin his career in the energy industry in Poza Rica, Mexico but made a career change to focus on the renewable energy industry. During this time he followed a path which was led by his passion, to develop renewable resources in order to transition from carbon based to clean energy sources. This path brought him to the University of Massachusetts where his Masters work focused on the environmental impacts due to fixed and floating offshore wind turbines. He hopes to continue this work while merging it with an analysis to maximize offshore power plant production while minimizing adverse environmental impacts that could occur with a heavy focus given to the adverse effects on avian species.

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Sustainability Education applying project based learning and environmental teaching methods to motivate urban grade school students to study engineering and spread sustainable development awareness about the communities they come from.

Moijue (Mo) is from Lowell Massachusetts, outside of Boston. Mo completed his bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts of Amherst in 2014 where he completed a summer of undergraduate research composing a curriculum around wind energy and basic math concepts for urban high school teens in Springfield, MA.

Department of Environmental Conservation

Research interests include the spatial ecology of coastal and marine birds in the context of offshore renewable energy development

Pam has a BSc. in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a MSc. in Biological and Environmental Sciences from the University of Rhode Island. For her MSc. research, she used satellite telemetry, habitat sampling, and spatial modeling techniques to investigate the movement patterns and habitat use of black scoters in relation to proposed development of offshore wind energy facilities in southern New England. Her Ph.D. research is in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and involves tracking the movements of common terns and American oystercatchers in Nantucket Sound, MA.

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering: Wind Energy Center

Research Interests: offshore wind energy; large wind turbine blades; materials science; composite materials; wood science; bio-based composites; engineered wood products; structural composite lumber; laminated veneer lumber

Rachel is a Pioneer Valley native, born in Northampton, MA and raised in the surrounding towns. She was pleased to return to Amherst in 2012 after having spent her undergraduate years in Burlington, VT, where she earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont with a concentration in Systems Biology. Rachel's PhD research is investigating the viability of engineered lumber for application to megawatt-scale wind turbine blades.

Department of Environmental Conservation: Human Dimensions

Research Interests: How humans perceive and interact with emerging renewable technologies, including offshore wind. Potential electricity rebound effects with the implementation of renewable technologies.

Rebecca hails from Sonoma, California. She received her Masters in general experimental psychology with an emphasis in social and conservation psychology from Cal State University San Marcos. She has investigated social normative influence and feedback on residential energy use. Her research utilizes a social science and statistical perspective to explore environmental conservation issues.

Political Science

Research Interests include local disputes over wind development, wind energy permitting and regulation, state and federal renewable energy policy, environmental politics, science & technology policy, and environmental political theory.

After graduating from Michigan State University, Bob studied political science and philosophy at Virginia Tech. He has conducted research on mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia, and participated in an NSF-funded study comparing renewable energy policies at the state and local levels around the United States. He has also worked in the electric utility industry on nuclear power issues.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wind Energy Center

Research Interests: Wind Energy integration and planning into the electrical grid.

Rodrigo Mercado is from Guadalajara Mexico where he obtained his B.S. in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from the University of Guadalajara. After graduating he worked for General Electric Aviation for 3 years in Queretaro Mexico with their rotordynamics team. Developing 2D and 3D FEM for jet engines for vibration and stress analysis.

Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning

Research interests include regional and rural development, renewable energy, resilient communities

Ryan is a PhD candidate in the Regional Planning program with interests in regional and rural development phenomena, particularly regional and local responses to the spatial dynamics of industry, energy and environmental risks, and responses to exogenous shocks. He earned a Master's in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts with a concentration in economic development and has a BS in finance from Bentley College. He has worked as a MassBenchmarks fellow at the UMass Donahue Institute, a research assistant for the NSF Partnership for Innovation at UMass, and has worked for the Office of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Holyoke on several development initiatives.

Electrical and Computer Engineering: Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory

Research interests include the design and use of radar to study migratory birds in the vicinity of wind farms.

Sheila received her BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. While at WPI, she worked on an interdisciplinary project at the US Department of Energy with a team of engineers and industry experts to understand the technical, environmental, and safety implications of hydraulic fracturing procedures. She also spent time at MIT Lincoln Laboratory conducting sponsored research in a microwave engineering laboratory and created a wideband analog RF channel emulator.

Department of Environmental Conservation

Research interests include the use geospatial technologies and how they can help make better decisions. His current research entails looking at the combined use of geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial visualizations; and their involvement and impact in wind energy planning.

Walt has a B.A, in Geography and a M.S in Geosciences from Montclair University, New Jersey. Walt has over 10 years of working experience in environmental engineering industries, specializing for the latter years in applied information management services. He specializes in developing and administering project databases and systems working specifically with
GIS. His developed skills include GIS analysis and data management with desktop and enterprise systems. Other work experiences include: modeling and visualization design, CAD and GIS integration techniques, and Web GIS site creation and management.

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Wind Energy Center

Bill is interested in dynamics of wind turbines with focus on how wind turbine drivetrains can be optimized for offshore conditions. He is also interested in genetic algorithm approaches to system identification and wind turbine simulation.

Before starting here, Bill was a research engineer at the National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colorado, where he lead the modeling team of the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative and conducted drivetrain test campaigns. He received his Masters and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. During his Masters he lead the mechanical power systems group for the Cornell 100+ MPG team that competed in the Automotive X-Prize.

Department of Environmental Conservation

Wing's research interests include how to develop public-private partnerships to address cumulative impacts of offshore wind development on wildlife.

After completing a B.A. in biology at Colorado College in 1996, Wing conducted wildlife field work across the U.S. and in the tropics. He then received an MPhil at College of the Atlantic where he conducted scientific research on seabirds within a framework of environmental law, policy, and economics. Since 2001 he has worked as a field biologist, program director, and now deputy director at Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI). This work at BRI, an ecological research nonprofit, has been complemented by nonprofit board work (Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, and College of the Atlantic) and professional board work (Maine Board of Environmental Protection, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, and Falmouth Conservation Commission).

Civil & Environmental Engineering: Structural Engineering & Mechanics, Geotechnical Engineering

Research interests include reliability, probabilistic analysis, soil-structure interaction, and offshore wind turbine foundation systems.

Wystan came to UMass in 2010 for her Master’s after completing a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Lafayette College. Her undergraduate research on pile foundations paved the way for her M.S. thesis on offshore wind turbine monopile foundations. Wystan’s Ph.D. research focuses on soil-structure interaction and the effects of soil damping on offshore wind turbines.

Industrial Engineering

Renewable Energy, Energy Policy, Sustainability, Infrastructure, Economics

Zana completed a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters in Engineering and Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Her research has focused on understanding drivers of regional electricity prices and development of energy efficiency projects in developing countries. Her current work looks for robust, non-dominated wind farm locations and addressing uncertainty in decision maker preferences and potential outcomes.

Department of Environmental Conservation, Paul Sievert and Betsy Dumont

Mitigating effects of wind development on coastal bat populations

Zara grew up in Westhampton, MA and now lives out in New Salem, where she hopes to have her own personal wind turbine some day. She started out tracking Blanding's turtles for her senior project at Bard College back in 2007, and has chased down all manner of beasts since then, from ducks to dragonfly larvae to dead coyotes (not as easy as you think). She earned her master's degree in Environmental Science & Technology at the University of Maryland in 2011, where she researched mosquito control and educational outreach. Since returning to Massachusetts, she has worked as an itinerant biologist - coordinating invasive species control efforts in the Connecticut River watershed, working for the UMass Extension Service and analyzing long-term fire ecology data.