I will be a third year doctoral student awaiting my candidature exam once I am done with Spring 2015. I packed my bags on the 16th of January to fly into Dallas Fort Worth on the 17th. I begin my classes on the 21st but before that, I will meet my PI tomorrow to provide a comprehensive update of the research work I conducted during the last two semesters (summer and fall) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (God!! I miss that place already !!!).
Here’s what I completed at NREL as a Research Participant Program intern for 8 months.
- Co-Authored “Power Systems of the Future,” report for the 21st Century Power Partnership. A thought-leadership report addressing the emerging trends in the global power sector. More on this once the publication is released end of this month (so I have been told)
- Authored “Clean Energy Policies Strategies for Enhancing Resiliency,” policy paper for internal use at NREL and due to be expanded into a larger document subject to funds in this particular area of research. I will be presenting the main thesis of this policy paper at the Climate Resilience and Adaptation Symposium hosted by the Institute of Urban Studies at UT Arlington and the American Planning Association – Midwest Texas Chapter. Please follow this link for more details about this event.
- Contributed to the resource libraries under the Clean Energy Solutions Center as well as a new one currently under development under the aegis of USAID.
- Conducted a multidisciplinary literature review on the topic of Decentralized Energy Systems which is hopefully expected to dovetail into the larger dissertation plan— currently undergoing PI review.
There were other smaller tasks for very nascent projects that do not remit a mention but all in all, the experience provided me deeper insight into the gaps that should ideally be captured at the level of a doctoral research.
On a more personal note, NREL provided me with a place to be bold with my research ideas. I really recommend the internship here for those who find themselves interested in working with some of the most intelligent people in the field of renewable energy. Find more information on this here. As I return to my doctoral education here in Texas, I always be grateful for this opportunity that came at a very crucial time in my academic career.