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Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Previous Winners

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Rahoul Banerjee Ghosh

2023 Undergraduate Winner

Sir Fraser Stoddart Scholar

Rahoul is a second-year chemistry major at the University of Washington, Seattle. He grew up in Kolkata, India surrounded by teachers and academics, inspiring him to pursue research. He has been working for the past year under Professor David Ginger, studying the optoelectronic properties of gold nanoparticles with the hope of developing organic-inorganic complexes for photovoltaics, photodynamic cancer therapy and drug delivery systems. This year, he will be working in the group of Professor Xiasong Li, studying quantum chemistry with applications in clean energy materials. His long-term goals involve developing climate change solutions, through both sustainable technology and equitable global policy - as well as building lore for his Dungeons & Dragons campaign.


Nan-Chieh Chiu

2023 Graduate Winner

Pacific Power Foundation Scholar

Nan-Chieh Chiu is currently a third-year Ph.D. student with optoelectronic engineering and materials chemistry background at the Department of Chemistry at Oregon State University. His research focus is based on elucidating the structure-to-property relationship of new nanoporous materials for energy-related applications under the supervision of Dr. Kyriakos C. Stylianou. In particular, he is working on employing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which obtained versatility structures and high surface area, for hydrogen (H2) generation and storage.

Nan-Chieh’s passionate about utilizing his material design and synthesis skills for developing materials that are impactful to the field of H2 fuel and have a real impact on our society. He plans to work either at a national lab or in the industry after completing his Ph.D. thesis and pursuing cooperation with companies and academic groups for renewable energy implementation.


Martin Chown

2023 Graduate Winner

Clean Edge Scholar

Martin is currently a master's degree student at the University of Oregon's Center for Electrochemistry (OCE) studying battery energy storage and green hydrogen production technologies to accelerate the renewable energy transition. While growing up in northern Michigan, he began advocating for renewable energy by leading a project to install a 20 kW solar array on his high school campus. As an undergraduate, he studied chemical engineering at the University of Michigan and held leadership roles in clean energy and carbon capture clubs, which enabled him to develop a broad engineering background on the suite of clean energy and carbon removal technologies necessary to de-carbonize the world. Having received cutting-edge training and education in electrochemistry at OCE, he is excited to intern with Sila Nanotechnologies to develop batteries that enable sustainable and effective renewable energy storage.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team
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Anthony Gironda

2023 Graduate Winner

Association of Energy Engineers Scholar

Anthony is a 2nd year PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. Once-through nuclear fuel cycles leave thousands of metric tons of spent nuclear waste to be disposed of, approximately 80,000 tons in the US alone. The accepted proposal for disposal is deep geologic isolation. Engineered barriers encapsulate the waste container, and at geological time scales (10,000 yrs – 1M yrs), behavior and corrosion of the materials used to contain the waste are not well understood. Anthony’s research develops new x-ray spectroscopic instrumentation and techniques to characterize different concretes proposed for use in repositories to identify the best candidates for long-term disposal. Outside the lab, Anthony is interested in scientific policy, and is currently examining equitable policy and program implementation of Washington energy utilities in response to the Clean Energy Transformation Act.  After graduation, Anthony wants to be an educator and mentor as a professor, and be more involved in shaping science and energy policy.


Alexis Glaudin

2023 Graduate Winner

BNSF Scholar

Alexis Glaudin is a second-year PhD student at The University of Washington. She is a Lumbee Native American from York, Pennsylvania. Since she was a child, Alexis has cherished her Native background, which has fostered a strong fondness of and connection to nature and wildlife. This has inspired her work in the renewable energy field as she strives to improve the efficiency of state-of-the-art solar cells for a more widespread and cost-effective use of solar energy. To do this, Alexis seeks to synthesize metal-free, all-organic chromophores that can access the currently untapped near-infrared region of the solar spectrum and convert the light into usable energy through a process known as triplet-triplet annihilation upconversion. Her research efforts are being funded in part by the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). After completing her PhD, Alexis plans to create an interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and indigenous studies scholars focused on increasing tribal sovereignty through the implementation and education of solar energy on reservations. Through this organization, Alexis hopes to use solar energy to help Natives adapt traditional practices to modern-day issues and increase resource autonomy for all tribes.


Seancarlos Gonzales

2023 Graduate Winner

Seancarlos Gonzalez is a second-year chemical engineering Ph.D. student at the University of Washington. Seancarlos grew up in the Portland, Oregon area and he received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at the University of Notre Dame. While there, he researched novel battery materials for energy storage. Now, in the Bergsman group, he is studying the use of membranes for gas separations and carbon capture. Gas separations are ubiquitous but require significant amounts of energy due to the widespread use of cryogenic distillation for these separations. Developing more efficient membranes that could replace these distillations would reduce the energy consumption and the emissions produced by gas separations. Seancarlos's research uses vapor phase techniques to improve the separation properties of existing membranes in a way that can be scaled up to industry. He is also a Clean Energy Institute fellow at the University of Washington and enjoys doing STEM outreach by introducing K-12 students to clean energy and getting them excited about doing science.  


William Heins

2023 Undergraduate Winner

William Heins is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Washington (UW) earning a B.S. in chemical engineering with a concentration in energy systems and minors in chemistry and mathematical physics. William first conducted undergraduate research at the UW Washington Clean Energy Testbeds (WCET) with Professor J. Devin Mackenzie where they invented a novel method for manufacturing thin film solar modules. After one year, William authored and filed a provisional patent application with UW CoMotion and began a collaboration project with another university to explore the invention’s further applications. Last spring, he presented at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium to share the technology and inspire others in renewable energy. This January, William advanced the provisional patent to a utility patent/patent cooperation treaty (PCT) with UW CoMotion for official patent office review and will co-author future publications. Last spring, William also began undergraduate research with Professor Hugh Hillhouse at the UW Clean Energy Institute where he studies degradation of perovskite thin film solar cells, a technology capable of surpassing today’s silicon standard. He is completing his study in collaboration with the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and will compose an honors thesis followed by potential publication in a peer-reviewed journal. This spring, William will graduate magna cum laude with honors in chemical engineering and become a full-time chemical engineer in industry, committed to his mission of inventing and scaling renewable energy technologies to combat the climate crisis.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team
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Ashlyn Kamin

2023 Graduate Winner

Cascade Energy Scholar

Ashlyn (Ashe) is a third-year Ph.D. student in Chemistry at the University of Washington, where they are broadly interested in the design and synthesis of new molecules and materials with applications in next-generation energy storage devices. As an undergraduate at Whitman College, their research focused on synthesizing ultrastable halogen-free electrolytes for metal-ion batteries. Advised by Prof. Dianne Xiao, Ashe’s current research efforts are aimed at building conjugated metal–organic materials that can merge a host of desirable emergent properties such as high electrical conductivity, large surface areas, and accessible metal sites.
Ashe’s work has been supported by a Clean Energy Institute Graduate Research Fellowship and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Beyond research, they have a special interest in  interdisciplinary approaches to building a more equitable clean energy future. They have been heavily involved in K–12 science outreach efforts in partnership with the Clean Energy Institute at UW. Outside of lab, Ashe is particularly passionate about music and community organizing.


Charlotte Kamman

2023 Undergraduate Winner
Al and Nancy Jubitz Scholar

Charlotte is a fourth-year student in the Bachelor of Architecture program and a Stamps Scholar at the University of Oregon. Charlotte was drawn to the field of architecture for the potential it provides to practice applied sustainability. Her areas of interest include sustainability, building science, land management, and nature-based solutions to climate change. Charlotte is a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), specializing in high performance, science-based, sustainable building design. Charlotte recognizes that the built environment is an area in which the implementation and integration of renewable energy technologies can have an enormous impact. She plans to use her professional career to address climate change in ways that balance human and environmental needs.


Marlowe Lawson

2023 Undergraduate Winner
Stoel Rives Scholar

Marlowe is an undergraduate student at Western Washington University working to obtain a BA in Energy Policy and Management. After completing an internship with Greentech Renewables, a solar distribution company, they have joined a research project centered around energy efficiency in residential homes. Through both this research and their studies, they hope to address the economics of sustainable energy so that making the switch to renewables becomes the easy choice instead of an added cost.


After school, Marlowe wants to join the PeaceCorps and help establish increased energy efficiency in Latin America and is taking care to achieve this goal without taking away autonomy from these communities. In their free time, they have worked with Students for Renewable Energy to start making these changes at the university level as well as participating in the Women and Nonbinary Energy Network to address accessibility in energy as a male dominated industry.


Morgan McShea

2023 Undergraduate Winner
Linda Nettekoven Scholar

Morgan McShea is a current student at Cascadia College pursuing her BAS in Sustainability. She has a degree in Apparel Manufacturing Management from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and has worked in the fashion industry for over a decade. She decided to return to school to combine her knowledge of design and business with her passion for sustainability and building a better, green future. She has worked with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and interned with Friends of North Creek Forest in efforts to both drive community education and environmental stewardship, and to aid in the preservation and restoration of precious natural resources. She currently works as a fieldworker for Cascadia Consulting Group, where she works with communities, businesses, and municipalities to reduce waste, combat climate change, and build resilience.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Willow Thompson

2023 Winner
Raymond Guy Jubitz III Memorial Scholar

Willow Thompson originally earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Politics and Law & Society at Oberlin College, and recently pivoted to studying chemistry at the University of Oregon and Lane Community College. During the 2020 Oregon wildfires, as a volunteer firefighter, Willow co-led the evacuation of more than 100 people from her community near Detroit Lake, Oregon. Being displaced by a natural disaster sparked Willow’s motivation to develop technologies that can reduce climate disruption by lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Since August 2021, she has worked in Dr. Shannon Boettcher’s lab at the University of Oregon with graduate student mentor Grace Lindquist. In the lab, Willow studies green hydrogen production via anion-exchange-membrane water electrolysis. Her work has focused on understanding the catalyst layer characteristics that predict higher electrolyzer efficiency when employing more earth-abundant and inexpensive non-platinum group metals. She will begin a master’s program in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University this fall. Willow’s long-term goal is to facilitate increased reliance on renewable energy sources through her work in energy storage R&D.


Eden Tzanetopoulos

2023 Graduate Winner
BNSF Scholar

Eden Tzanetopoulos is a third-year Ph.D. student in Chemistry at the University of Washington (UW), within the lab of Dr. Daniel Gamelin. Eden completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. During her time at Berkeley, she worked in the Energy Conversion Group of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), concentrating on oxygen-evolution reaction nanoparticle catalyst development for hydrogen fuel cells. Her current research focuses on inorganic nanomaterial synthesis development and dopant design for lighting technology applications. More explicitly, her project presently centers around the development of hydrofluoric acid (HF)-free syntheses of colloidal A2BF6 nanocrystals. This material is a host lattice that upon being doped with Mn4+ ions can be utilized as the red-light component of high-efficiency white light-emitting diodes. Eden’s long-standing career goal is to develop and optimize optically active inorganic nanomaterials and study their light-matter interactions to evolve the renewable energy device market. Outside of research, Eden is motivated by renewable energy volunteer work and avenues of scientific mentorship across all ages and backgrounds. She is involved in K-12 outreach with UW’s Clean Energy Institute and is an active member of the Chemistry Women Mentorship Network. She strongly advocates for the multidisciplinary collaboration of sciences and policy work to enact substantial and sustainable changes in global energy infrastructure.


Sophia Votava

2023 Undergraduate Winner
Daimler Scholar

Sophia will be graduating from the University of Washington in Spring 2023 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, concentrating in Sustainable Power Systems. She is a Washington native from Spokane, and growing up in the Pacific Northwest inspired her to become an engineer in the fight against climate change. She has harnessed a variety of experiences in the energy industry through summer internships during her college career. She worked in the Energy Efficiency department at Avista Utilities, participated in undergraduate summer research through the UW Clean Energy Institute to size a solar and battery storage microgrid for a library in rural Ghana, and spent 2 summers in the field with Mortenson Construction supporting the building of 2 different utility scale battery storage projects in southern California. In her industry experiences, she opens dialogue about and advocates for inclusive company culture strategies to help support the growing number of women and underrepresented gender minorities pursuing careers in engineering and construction. She is thrilled to be entering the industry working in renewable energy, as she is joining Mortenson's engineering services full time in the fall to support and perform electrical design for Energy Storage projects.


Faith Wells is a member of Cold Lake First Nations and an undergraduate student currently attending the University of Montana. She will spend her senior year at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry before applying to their graduate school after graduation. She is particularly interested in the conjunction of Indigenous ways of knowing and Western STEM, especially in relation to earth sciences. She hopes to specialize in researching rare earth elements on tribal lands. Faith is Senior Operations Intern at Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and plans to spend her summer teaching science at the American Indians in Math and Science camp for the third year in a row.

Faith Wells

2023 Undergraduate Winner
Honorable Jeff Morris Scholar

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Sarah Beaudoin

2022 Undergraduate Winner

Sarah is currently a third-year student at the University of Oregon on the path to earning a B.S. in Chemistry with minors in Biology and Mathematics. For the last two years, she has been working as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Shannon Boettcher’s lab, an electrochemistry lab that focuses on developing renewable energy technology and creating hydrogen fuel from water in a reaction termed electrolysis. Sarah works closely with her mentor Grace Lindquist on multiple projects, most recently collecting data on non-precious group metal catalysts for the oxygen evolution in pure-water electrolysis. Having grown up in rural Northeastern Oregon, Sarah has a deep respect for the natural world and hopes to protect it in any way she can throughout her life.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Naseeha Cardwell

2022 Graduate Winner

Nas Cardwell is a third year PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering at Washington State University. Her research aims to mitigate the effect of climbing greenhouse gas emissions by upgrading existing biofuel to allow it to be competitive with petroleum-based fuel. Her work uses density functional theory to capture the lateral interactions of hydrodeoxygenation reactions for phenolics on a plethora of metal catalyst surfaces using a mean-field model. She is working to further develop these models to predict the lateral interactions and adsorption energies of aromatic-catalyst systems under various realistic conditions. After obtaining her degree, Nas' goal is to continue her sustainable energy work at a national lab; she is currently living her dream as a graduate researcher at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory under the Distinguished Graduate Research Program fellowship.

Besides her research, Nas is an active member in her institution's chapter of the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) as the current Secretary and is passionate about increasing representation and involvement for women of color in STEM spaces.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Miguel Gonzalez

2022 Graduate Winner

Born in the beautiful Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Miguel earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM) and a master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Washington (UW). Currently, he is working towards a PhD in structural engineering at UW, with an estimated graduation date of 2024. While at UPRM, he participated in STEM outreach in public schools and engaged in several student competitions; and at UW he has served in his department’s graduate student advisory board, where he works in the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee. Professionally, Miguel had an internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he performed structural analysis tasks on the TIRS-2 instrument, and a long-term internship at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he has supported the “Powering the Blue Economy” initiative in various roles. Miguel became interested in structural engineering and clean energy after Hurricane Maria decimated his hometown in 2017, which started him down a path of learning how to improve existing infrastructures. He shares his research at professional conferences and in peer-reviewed publications, has been awarded several academic fellowships, and hopes these efforts and blessings will serve him to ultimately become a research professor. In his free time, he enjoys watching football (soccer) matches and playing his Fender American Stratocaster electric guitar. Miguel says, “by following my curiosity and my passion for research, I hope to contribute to the development of more resilient structures that support the ever-pressing race towards a clean energy future”.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team
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Amitav Kamani

2022 Graduate Winner

Stoel Rives Scholarship Winner

Amitav is a first-year law student at Lewis & Clark Law School hoping to pursue a career focused on green energy policy and an expansion of renewable energy in urban areas. Prior to coming to law school, Amitav studied Environmental Sciences (B.S.) and Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law (B.A.) at the University of Virginia, and then obtained his Master of Education from Rhode Island College. For a couple years, he taught biology and AP Environmental Science to high schoolers through Teach For America, an experience which pushed him to go to law school. This summer he will be working at Nike, with a goal of  developing critical legal skills and taking them to the field of environmental law in aims of effecting change through government policies that will help tackle climate change and more localized pollution issues in dense, urban areas. Given the worsening outcomes forecasted by the IPCC, Amitav hopes to be an environmental law advocate that focuses on large-scale governmental change, perhaps by working at the EPA or state level positions that have a clear focus on expanding renewable energy. Amitav is also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion and wants to work towards creating work environments that are accepting and welcoming of our differences.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Reuben Martinez

2022 Winner

Honorable Jeff Morris Scholarship Winner

Reuben Martinez is a member of the Makah Nation, a recent graduate of Western Washington University with a bachelor’s in economics, and alumnus of Peninsula College, who spent his final year at WWU focusing primarily on renewable energy. At Spark Northwest, Reuben supports Tribes throughout the Northwest as a Tribal Liaison. Notably, Reuben works to identify each Tribes self-determined interests in renewable energy and works to connect Tribes with funding opportunities; such as applications for programs such as the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP), or the Washington State Commerce Grant. Reuben is also preparing to begin a Masters at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington, where he plans to focus on the nexus of marine law & policy, renewable energies, and sovereignty as means to support Indigenous Nations on a regional and international level as they plan for future generations.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Melissa Ong

2022 Undergraduate Winner

School: University of Washington – Seattle (Junior year)

Major: B.S. Chemical Engineering

Minor: Materials Science & Engineering

Undergraduate Research: My project in the Bergsman research group focuses on modifying commercial membranes to produce membranes with greater chemical stability. These could be used to replace energy-intensive thermal distillation processes currently used in industry. Current commercial membranes are either organic, which are low in cost but have low chemical and thermal stability, or inorganic, which are chemical and thermally stable but are expensive to produce. My research project aims to create hybrid membranes with high chemical stability and low production cost using a technique called vapor phase infiltration, which uses reactive vapors to modify polymeric materials.  By replacing thermal distillation, these resilient membranes could save up to 90% of the energy currently used in these chemical separations.

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Dave Ramsay

2022 Winner

Dave is currently a licensed High School Teacher who has returned to school himself in order to learn more about Renewable Energy.  Specifically, Dave is seeking to develop a Career and Tech Education curriculum that will enable high school graduates to step directly into a career in renewable energy here in the Pacific Northwest.  His hope is to establish something more relevant and applicable than just a brief unit in a Science or CTE curriculum.  With a working-world background in Electronics, Dave plans to supplement his knowledge to create a full-fledged program enabling students to become industry-ready upon earning their diploma, or to pursue a post-secondary education in renewables if they choose.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Duncan Reece

2022 Graduate Winner

Association of Energy Engineers Scholarship Winner

Duncan is a second-year Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington. Duncan completed his undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh and a Master's in Sustainable Energy Futures at Imperial College London before working at the ITER nuclear fusion project in France. His current research at the University of Washington focuses on material discovery for catalysts to improve water electrolysis for hydrogen production as an alternative fuel. Using Molecular layer Deposition, a technique that uses self-limiting surface reactions, hybrid organic-inorganic thin films with a controlled thickness and properties are produced. These thin films can then be altered to make metal oxides with exact porosity and pore diameter allowing for improved activity.


Apart from his research, Duncan is involved with the Clean Energy Institute, undertaking K-12 outreach initiatives to aid in renewable and alternative energy education. In addition, he is currently the VP of Finance for the Science and Engineering Business Association, which aims to help bridge the gap between Engineering students and business development. After his studies, Duncan aims to continue advancing the implementation of novel techniques and materials for alternative energy sources to help reduce energy poverty and improve energy security.

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Sean Sandstrom

2022 Graduate Winner

Pacific Power Scholarship Winner

Sean Sandstrom is a materials chemistry Ph.D. student in Prof. Xiulei (David) Ji’s lab at Oregon State University. His research focuses on aqueous electrochemical energy storage systems for grid-scale applications. Specifically, he is working on novel aqueous batteries that employ unique ions, such as halide anions and transition metal cations, as charge carriers. He hopes that he can help to develop the next generation battery chemistries that are inexpensive and more environmentally benign than the current technologies that are on the market today.


Sean is passionate about helping people and making the world a better place through science. He hopes that his future career can work to address the devastating effects of climate change and come up with new solutions to the significant problems we face as a species. His goal is to continue researching new chemistries for renewable energy storage after he graduates, either at a national laboratory or in the battery industry.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Matthew Shenton

2022 Graduate Winner

Daimler Scholarship Winner

Matthew Shenton is currently a PhD Student in the Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory at Washington State University. One of the major issues with utilizing cryogenic hydrogen as an alternative fuel source stems from the losses in fuel due to boil-off. His primary research focuses on developing accurate hydrogen boiling heat transfer correlations to mitigate this boil-off from novel storage vessels. Matthew’s passion is to transform the agricultural sector into a new state of energy independency and research the fundamentals required to achieve this vision. His future plans after completing his PhD are to implement cryogenic hydrogen technologies onto farms and to mentor students and farmers on how to utilize this technology effectively.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Hossain Taufiq

2022 Graduate Winner

Sir Fraser Stoddart Scholarship Winner

Hossain is a Public Policy PhD student at the Oregon State University. He was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Currently, Hossain is working on the “Marine Renewable Energy Beyond the Grid” project, with a focus on the wave and offshore wind energy user applications and community outreach in the Oregon coast. Hossain completed his undergrad studies in International Relations from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and MSc degree in Development Practice from the Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. During his master's program, he was awarded the MacArthur MDP Fellowship. Also, Hossain interned with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) and National University of Rwanda (NUR) as partial fulfillments of the MSc program. From 2012-2020, he worked with Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), University of Dhaka, UNDP, Population Council, USAID, Trocaire, Save the Children, Plan International, Planning Commission Bangladesh, Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), University of Guelph- Canada, IDS of University of Sussex-UK and BRAC University at various capacities.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Xianghui Zhang

2022 Graduate Winner

Xianghui Zhang is a graduate student co-advised by Dr. Di Wu and Dr. Su Ha in Voiland School of Engineering and Agriculture at Washington State University. His research interest is to employ experimental thermodynamic strategies to enhance our fundamental understanding on the “Energetics of Interfacial Interactions and Stability of Nanostructured Materials”. Specifically, His research focus is applying the surface technologies in the following three fields: 1) defining the thermodynamics, structure, and performance of electrochemical energy storage devices for renewable energy such as wind and solar energy; 2) mapping the energetic landscape of carbon supported ruthenium for biomass conversion using water vapor as probing molecules; 3) elucidating the confinement phenomena within zeolite catalysts. The fundamentals obtained from his research will deepen our understanding of materials essential for the harvesting of renewable energy and facilitate the transfer research from lab to industry.

Other than his research, he is active in different science outreach events. He was a judge of Imagine Tomorrow event in Pullman, one of the organizers of both solar cell demonstration in Pullman High School and Washington State Reginal K-12 Science Olympiad in Spokane.

Previous Winners: Meet the Team

Katie DeSpain

2021 Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

Daimler Scholarship Winner

Katie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rice University in May 2021 with a bachelor's in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Certificate in Engineering Leadership. She is currently a Senior Analyst in the Renewable Development department at Invenergy, where she works to develop large-scale solar and battery storage projects. Katie grew up in Portland, OR and has always had a love of the outdoors and a respect for nature. Her goal when she decided to pursue engineering was to have a positive impact on the planet and the people who live here, which is something she finds purpose and meaning in through her career in the renewable energy industry. She is proud that her scholarship from RESF allowed her to pursue her passions and help create a clean energy future.


Mia Hocking

2021 Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

Mia Hocking is a student at Lane Community College (LCC) pursuing an A.A. degree in Energy Management. Mia has accumulated an eclectic portfolio of knowledge and experiences along her career path including a B.S. in Business Management and accreditation in the visual arts. In retrospect, each of these endeavors led to her current position as Resource Conservation Manager (RCM) with the Hillsboro School District. In a non-traditional model, she enrolled in the LCC Energy Management after accepting the RCM with the school district knowing her new education would prove invaluable to the district and the community it serves.

Mia plans to continue her RCM work with the Hillsboro School District with a focus on improving the district’s energy profile, affecting long-lasting improvements to our energy policy. As a government organization, the school district seeks to be a leader in environmental stewardship. School Districts need energy champions! Opportunities such as investing in renewable energy is key towards reducing the impact on our climate and the sustainability of a healthy Earth.


Nathan Stovall

2021 Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

Nathan is a third-year undergraduate at the University of Oregon, pursuing a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Legal Studies. During his time at UO he has worked in Prof. Shannon Boettcher’s lab, studying renewable energy technologies. Specifically, he has worked to optimize water electrolysis, a process in which renewable energy can be used to evolve hydrogen gas, which can subsequently be pressurized and stored for later use as a clean energy source. The development of this technology will be critical in the widescale implementation of wind and solar power devices, which are currently limited due to their intermittent energy production and lack of energy storage mechanism. His research has primarily worked to decrease the costs of the catalyst material in proton-exchange-membrane water electrolyzers. Additionally, he is now working to understand the failure mechanisms in anion-exchange-membrane water electrolyzers, a competing electrolyzer technology. Upon completing his undergraduate degree, Nathan plans to pursue a doctoral degree in inorganic/materials chemistry where he can continue studying renewable energy technologies. Additionally, he hopes to become an advocate for environmentally friendly, and science-based public policy.


Courtney Beringer

2021 Graduate Scholarship Winner

Courtney is a PhD student in Coastal and Ocean Engineering at Oregon State University. She is passionate about developing marine renewable energy to mitigate climate change through environmentally and socially just means. Her current work is developing a laboratory scaled wave energy converter (WEC) to lower cost barriers to experimental testing and increase access to well-characterized models and data. Courtney believes K-12 outreach is important for engaging the next generation of students in renewable energy. She is currently a science communication fellow at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and you can find her presenting her WEC made out of legos at a "Meet a Scientist" day there. Courtney hopes to continue work in marine renewable energy after her PhD through a tenure track faculty position where she can do research, teach, and mentor students.

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David Evitt

2021 Graduate Scholarship Winner

AEE Scholarship Winner

David is a first-year graduate student in Mechanical Engineering in Dr. Nordica MacCarty’s Humanitarian Engineering Lab at Oregon State University. His research focus is optimizing fan-driven jets of air in the combustion chambers of wood cooking and heating stoves to reduce particulate (smoke) emissions and fuel use for families around the world. This builds on his work for the Aprovecho Research Center supporting the development of the Jet-Flame forced-air cookstove accessory that can reduce particulate emissions by as much as 94% in lab tests. David’s interest in biomass stoves began when he lived in Guatemala and co-founded the Estufa Doña Dora clean-cookstove business. He thinks of biomass as the original solar-energy-storage solution. For billions of people around the world it is the only local, renewable, climate-friendly energy source available. In advanced economies household-scale clean-burning biomass can complement solar and wind with sustainable heating or combined heat and power in the winter. His professional goal is to continue inventing and innovating to realize the potential of a sustainable biomass economy and build a future without smoke in the home.


Khoa Le

2021 Graduate Scholarship Winner

Khoa N. Le is a PhD candidate in Dr. Christopher Hendon’s lab at the University of Oregon. Khoa’s research focuses on using Density Functional Theory (DFT) to study the electronic properties of conductive metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). These materials are known to have large surface area due to their porous structure. The high surface area could increase the storage capacity and efficiency of energy devices. His study focuses on understanding the fundamental principles that allow these materials to be conductive and invokes design principles to enhance these materials’ conductivity so that they can be used in energy storage applications. His findings will aid the development and design of MOF-based electronics.

Other than his research, he is an Executive Board Member of

LGBT+inSTEM and DuckREFs working to advocate for increasing diversity.


Liam Twight

2021 Graduate Scholarship Winner

Sir Fraser Stoddart Scholarship Winner

Liam is a PhD student in Prof. Shannon Boettcher’s research group at University of Oregon. He studies metal oxides used in the production of environmentally friendly hydrogen fuels using renewable electricity. These materials act as catalysts; they lower the energy requirement and therefore increase the efficiency of hydrogen production. While initially prepared as crystalline, highly ordered materials, they display a tendency to transform at their surface to disordered structures when electrified.  Liam’s research aims to fully characterize the microscopic details of this surface restructuring and correlate them to the catalytic ability of the metal oxides to guide intelligent design of hydrogen producing devices. After earning his PhD, Liam’s goal is to continue renewable energy research in the private sector. He is active in promoting science outreach as a classroom aid at the Eugene Science Center and a mentor for undergraduate researchers at UO as well as a multi-university collaboration aimed at increasing participation of underrepresented students in STEM graduate programs.


Reece Carpenter

2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

Reece graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Energy Science and Technology and Energy Policy minor, as well as a degree in German. During her time at Western, she was the coordinator for her university's "Women+ In Energy Mentoring Network" club, which helps connect women and other underrepresented individuals with professionals and opportunities in the energy field. With experience in the policy side of environmentalism through an internship with the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, as well as a study abroad year in Austria with Rotary Youth Exchange, Reece is determined to find global solutions in this energy transition and fight against climate change. After graduating, Reece spent another year abroad as a teaching assistant with USTA Fulbright Austria where she taught English at an Austrian high school specializing in agriculture. Upon her return, she got a job with the Department of Energy in the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations under the Industrial Demonstrations Program. In her current position, she works with industrial companies to demonstrate innovative and transformative clean energy projects with the goal of decarbonizing hard-to-abate industrial sectors. In her free time, she volunteers with Rotary Youth Exchange and current/future exchange students. Reece hopes to get a Master's degree in the energy field to further her knowledge of clean energy topics and apply it in an impactful way to continue to provide promise in this energy transition.


Alexi Overland

2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

Alexi attends the University of Oregon and is pursuing a B.S. in chemistry and environmental science. She has been involved in undergraduate research since her freshman year and currently works in the Brozek lab researching metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and their potential applications for renewable and sustainable energy. Specifically, she works with titanium-based MOFs, atomically precise alternatives to titanium dioxide, as catalysts for solar-driven sustainable transformations. They envision these MOFs playing a crucial part in decreasing the cost and environmental hazards of conventional catalysts. Additionally, understanding the photooxidative reactivity of their materials could pave a way for their use in degrading and recycling plastics that pollute our oceans and the environment. Alexi hopes to pursue a career that will allow her to continue to create and research materials that have the potential to mitigate our carbon footprint and create greener and more sustainable processes.


Ali Trueworthy

2020 Graduate Scholarship Winner

Sir Fraser Stoddart Scholar

Ali is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters student in the Environmental Arts and Humanities program at Oregon State University. She does design engineering research and science communication within the Pacific Marine Energy Center. As a researcher in the Design Engineering Lab, Ali researches how designers can develop better systems, specifically, wave energy devices. In the coming years of her PhD, Ali hopes to do research that increases our understanding of how marine renewable energy can address climate change, and how designers of marine renewable energy systems can approach the technology such that it emerges as something nourishing to all. Inspired by the ways of thinking and creating that she learns from the arts and humanities and motivated by the possibilities of blending disciplines, Ali strives to understand the whole picture of how renewable energy could impact our climate, environment, and culture. 


Grace Lindquist

2020 Graduate Scholarship Winner

Grace Lindquist is a Chemistry PhD candidate Prof. Shannon Boettcher’s lab at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on anion exchange membrane water electrolysis technology. She is working to identify and understand key degradation pathways during electrolyzer operation with pure and dirty water feed. In addition to her research, Grace leads the UO’s Mad Duck Science Day, a program that provides lab-based science education to local middle school students, and is a part of the UO Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL). Grace’s goal after earning her PhD is to work in science policy advising on renewable energy technology implementation at a state or national level.


Ishaan Bhimani

2019 Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

Ishaan is a combined BS/MS student at the University of Washington studying electrical engineering with a concentration in power electronics. He has been involved with the EcoCar Mobility Challenge competition, and has interned at Tesla, working to test and validate solar energy products. In addition to his engineering activities, Ishaan has engaged in activism for renewable energy. He was part of a campus-wide movement to encourage the UW to convert to 100% renewable energy, and he even helped organize and spoke at 2 press conferences supporting statewide renewable energy legislation. Ishaan hopes to use his engineering talents to help integrate renewables into the grid and combat climate change.


Kathryn Corp

2019 Scholarship Winner

Co-Sir Fraser Stoddart Scholar

Kathryn graduated with her PhD in chemistry from the University of Washington in the fall of 2019 and moved to Berkeley, CA to start her career as a Senior Engineer at Opus 12. Opus 12 is a spin-out from research done at Stanford University and was grown at Cyclotron Road (a business accelerator at Berkeley National Lab). Opus 12 converts CO2 into commodity chemicals – turning pollution and waste into a profit stream and cleaner air. Kathryn is thrilled to be putting her chemistry degree to use in a field that will have a huge impact on the climate for future generations.


Michael Enright

2019 Scholarship Winner

Co-Sir Fraser Stoddart Scholar

Michael Enright is an assistant professor of chemistry at San Francisco State University. He leads a research team working to synthesize nanomaterials for sustainable solutions through energy solar energy conversion. Previously, Michael was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign working with Prof. Ralph Nuzzo on the development of luminescent solar concentrators. He earned his doctorate in chemistry with Prof. Brandi Cossairt at the University of Washington in June 2019 for his work on the Synthesis of Colloidal Semiconductor Heterostructures. Michael first developed his interests in renewable energy research and chemistry as an undergraduate at Ripon College in Wisconsin. 

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Michael Nellist

2018 Scholarship Winner 

Sir Fraser Stoddart Scholar

Michael earned his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Oregon in 2018. He is motivated by the need to generate cleaner energy from renewable sources, as well as finding new ways to store that energy. His dissertation focused on photoelectrochemical water splitting as one promising route for capturing the energy from the sun and converting it into hydrogen fuel. His research investigated these systems using novel microscopy approaches that provided insight into the mechanisms by which water splitting takes place. Michael completed a Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Münster where his research focused on solid electrolyte materials for more energy dense batteries. He is currently a Cell Development Engineer at Solid Power Battery, where he is developing next generation batteries for electric vehicles.


Teresa Wang

2018 Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

Teresa graduated from the University of Washington in 2018 with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Resource Management, and minor in Architecture and a minor in Urban Ecological Design. At UW, she was heavily involved with UW Solar, a student group which promotes solar energy installations on UW campus and in the greater Seattle area. She was also involved with the International Forestry Students’ Association, which works to promote the practice and education of sustainable natural resource use in both the local and international community. Additionally, she was a part of the Hydro-biogeochemistry Research Group at UW. Teresa now works as a Sustainability Consultant at Rushing Company, a MEP engineering consulting firm in Seattle.


Forrest Laskowski

2017 Scholarship Winner

Forrest received the award during his PhD at the University of Oregon, working in Shannon Boettcher's lab. His research focused on understanding the junction dynamics of photoelectrochemical cells for hydrogen evolution. He examined the semiconductor-catalyst junction of various photoanodes (i.e. n-Si, BiVO , Fe O ), both through experiment and computation, to identify key junction properties which produce efficient solar cells. Forrest's research ultimately revealed novel design principles for producing highly efficient photoelectrochemical energy storage cells ( After completing his PhD, Forrest accepted a postdoctoral research position at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where he currently works on next generation batteries in Kimberly See's research lab.


Dustin Welch García

2017 Scholarship Winner

Dustin finished his PhD at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. His research asked when and why NGO-led electrification programs catalyzed innovation in large-scale, public/private solar energy projects. Dustin now leads a consultancy, Ghost Grid | Consulting. This new venture builds upon his 10+ years of experience in the clean energy and development space. The services provided by his interdisciplinary consulting team include: research and programmatic evaluations, ethnographic fieldwork, data management, visualization, and analysis, as well as special projects that fall outside these areas.


Carolyn Virca

2016 Scholarship Winner

Carolyn received her bachelor of science from the University of Portland in 2013. She went on to graduate school at Portland State University where she joined the lab of Dr. Theresa McCormick studying artificial photosynthesis. During her time at PSU she founded the Portland State Women in STEM group and served as its President for three years. Carolyn earned her PhD in 2018 and moved to the University of British Columbia, where she worked in Dr. Curtis Burlinguette’s lab as a Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute Fellow studying machine learning. Her research interests include transition metal chemistry, catalysis, computational chemistry and photochemistry. She is currently employed at Intel.


John Todd

2009 Scholarship Winner

John received his Master of Science in Forestry from the University of Montana in 2010. During his time at UM's College of Forestry and Conservation, John studied the social acceptance of biomass energy in Montana at a time when its utility in Big Sky Country was under close public scrutiny. Today, John is the Executive Director for Wild Montana, where he puts his background in policy and public opinion to work leading an organization that protects Montana's public lands for future generations. When he's not working to protect the backcountry, you can find John, his family, and their faithful bird dog in some of Montana's last, best places.


Oisik Das

2008 Scholarship Winner

Oisik earned his PhD from the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM) at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research was focused on the utilization of biochar (obtained from pyrolysis/thermo-chemical conversion of lignocellulosic wastes) in areas of biocomposite development. Oisik did his postdoc at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, where he researched bio-based polymers and means to enhance their performance properties. Oisik received a master degree from Washington State University. He served MMU University, Ambala, India as Assistant Professor.  


Oisik is an Assistant Professor at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden and his research interests pertain to the development of high-value carbon materials for biocomposite applications.

 Honorable Mentions

2023 Honorable Mentions


All 2023 Honorable Mentions receive a check for $500, plus autographed copies of Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, donated by author Paul Hawken; and Bewilderment, donated by author Richard Powers.

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<-------  Grace Bryan, Undergraduate Student, University of Nevada, Reno

Jeanne Currie, Graduate Student, University of Washington ------>

<-------  Kiyava Deville, Graduate Student, UO Law School

Andrei Draguicevic, Graduate Student, University of Washington  ------->

<--------   Mahmood Muttaqee, Graduate Student, Oregon State University

Sierra Rothlisberger, Undergraduate Student, Washington State University ----->

<--------    Zengran Sun, Graduate Student, Washington State University

Xinyi Zhao, Graduate Student, University of Washington ------->

2022 Honorable Mentions

All 2022 Honorable Mentions received a check for $200, plus autographed copies of The Grid, donated by author Gretchen BakkeA Cubic Mile of Oil, donated by co-author Ripudaman MalhotraRegeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, donated by author Paul Hawken; and From Knowledge to Power: The Comprehensive Handbook for Climate Science and Advocacy, donated by author John Perona.

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<-------  Kevin Fabrizio, Graduate Student, University of Oregon

Inhwan Ko, Graduate Student, University of Washington ------>

<-------  Raina Krivina, Graduate Student,  University of Oregon

Noah Leibnitz   -------------->

<--------   Kyle Martini, Undergraduate Student, University of Oregon

Jules Mermelstein, Undergraduate Student, University of Alaska/Fairbanks --->

<-------- Yohan Min, Graduate Student, University of Washington   

 Alejandra Montano, Graduate Student, University of Minnesota ------->

<--------  Jezella Peraza, Graduate Student, University of Washington

Ariel Whitten, Graduate Student, Washington State University  -------->

2021 Honorable Mentions

All 2021 Honorable Mentions received a check for $200, plus autographed copies of All-Electric America, donated by co-author and Board Member Leah Parks, and Losing Earth: A Recent History, donated by author Nathaniel Rich.


<------   Eddie Kelinsky, Lewis and Clark Law School

Paris Myers, Undergraduate Student, Oregon State University   ----->

<-----  Duncan Reece, Graduate Student, University of Washington

2020 Honorable Mentions

<------   Raina Krivina, Graduate Student, University of Oregon

Heather Miller, Graduate Student, Oregon State University   ------>

<------  Walid Mouss, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington

Jordan Raymond, Graduate Student, Washington State University   ------>

<------   Irving Rettig, Graduate Student, Portland State University​


2019 Honorable Mentions

<-------  Ashley Berninghausen, Graduate Student, Oregon State University

Ryan Hagmann, Undergraduate Student, Western Washington University   ------>

Daniel Kelly, Undergraduate Student, Southern Oregon University

<--------   Erin Peiffer, Graduate Student, Oregon State University

Brian Pinkard, Graduate Student, University of Washington   ------->

<--------   Elizabeth Rasmussen, Graduate Student, University of Washington

Anton Resing, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington

Eden Rivers, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington   ------->

<--------   Zachary Taie, Graduate Student, Oregon State University

Ali Trueworthy, Graduate Student, Oregon State University   -------->

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