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HOMER Energy Welcomes NSF/ASEE Summer Fellows

by Daniel Walker on June 11, 2012

This June, HOMER Energy welcomes two new members to the team. Steve Frank and Kathryn Schumacher are joining HOMER this summer as part of the NSF/ASEE Engineering Innovation Fellows Program (EIFP). This program brings together NSF fellows with leading industry partners such as HOMER Energy.

Steve Frank, NSF/ASEE Engineering Innovation Graduate Fellow

Steve Frank began his engineering career with a B.S. from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. Messiah College’s engineering program matches students up with real world applications. Steve became involved with renewable energy through a project designing an off-grid solar energy system for a handicap rehabilitation center in West Africa.

Steve is currently a PhD student at Colorado School of Mines. He has received an NSF fellowship for his graduate research. Though the NSF/ASEE EIFP, Steve received an analyst position at HOMER Energy.

Steve will be examining how HOMER models electrical converters and controllers. Currently, the HOMER model treats controllers and converters as transparent. In reality these components may have slight effects on the economics of the system. Steve will be looking at how we can make these components more explicit, and how they can be accurately and efficiently integrated into the HOMER model. A long-term goal for HOMER is to eventually include choices for different types of converter components in the software.

Kathryn Schumacher, NSF/ASEE Engineering Innovation Graduate Fellow

Kathryn Schumacher started her engineering education at MIT. She finished her B.S. in chemical engineering in 2009. She became interested in systems engineering through an internship at a petroleum refinery. Although she decided the petroleum industry lacked innovation and was not for her, she carried this interest in systems engineering into her graduate work.

Kathryn currently attends University of Michigan, pursing a PhD in Industrial and Operations Engineering. It is here where she was introduced to programming as a tool for network planning and capacity placement for renewable energy systems. Her current project is on unit commitment—deciding which generators to turn on and off to meet load requirements. Kathryn is interested in applying her optimization background to real world applications.

Kathryn, like Steve, is a NSF fellow and participant in the NSF/ASEE EIFP placement program. Both will be joining Homer Energy for summer 2012. Kathryn will be working on an upcoming HOMER project, combining forces with the Marine Corps to optimize a version of HOMER for use by the military. Kathryn and Steve are both excited to be joining HOMER energy, and are welcomed to the team.

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