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Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN
Class of 2017
Engineering science and physics double major
“I have felt extremely supported in my learning and have gained knowledge and skills that will advance my career in renewable energy.”
At Smith, I've had opportunities to work on developing solutions to the complex issue of climate change both inside and outside of the classroom. One potential solution is to transition from fossil fuels to carbon-neutral, renewable energy sources, such as solar. However, widespread adoption of solar energy faces unique challenges, including intermittency of sunshine, high upfront costs and changes to solar policy that create financial uncertainty. For my engineering honors thesis, I developed a decision-making framework that nonprofit institutions in Massachusetts, such as Smith College, could use when considering installing on-site photovoltaic arrays. Using this framework, I recommended specific sites on Smith’s campus for future solar development and designed photovoltaic arrays for those sites. This was a yearlong experience that allowed me to explore the social, political and technical dimensions of solar energy in-depth. Throughout the process, I felt extremely supported in my learning by my professors and mentors at Smith and gained useful knowledge and skills that will advance my career in renewable energy.