This summer, EERE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) welcomes six GEM fellows to support the research, development and deployment of energy-efficient technologies and systems in the built environment. The fellowships, made possible by the National GEM Consortium, enhance the value of the nation’s human capital by increasing the participation of underrepresented groups at both the master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science. Each year, GEM identifies and recruits more than 1,000 students and working professionals to enter advanced degree programs at the nation’s top universities. Select GEM fellows join BTO as summer fellows.
“We’re excited to work with these bright students this summer through the GEM Consortium,” says Terrence Mosley, EERE’s senior advisor for diversity in STEM. “It’s an ongoing challenge to expose students to what we do and careers in our industry, so programs like the GEM fellowship can help us bring more highly skilled minority students into the clean energy field.”
This year’s fellows are:
Eric Allee: Eric received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Arkansas and is pursuing his Ph.D. through GEM at his alma mater. He is a returning fellow, having worked with NREL and BTO last year on comparative analysis of AC and DC electrical distribution systems in residential buildings. This summer, he will be working on projects focused on the development of grid-connected power electronic interfaces to ease renewable generation interconnection.
Maurice Boone: Maurice recently completed his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, and will be pursuing his Ph.D. through the GEM program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. At NREL, Maurice will be working in BTO on integrated heat pumps for energy, emissions, and equity.
Kayla Clanton: Last summer, Kayla worked on the BIM to BEM Workflow Simplification of a Modular Building where she learned about how energy efficiency is not commonly thought of at the forefront of projects and how that issue can be changed. She is a current graduate student at her alma mater, Tennessee State University, where she is pursuing a master's of engineering in civil engineering with a concentration in structures. This summer, she expects to work on the analysis of HVAC systems within prefabricated structures on active construction sites.
Morgan Harris: Morgan is a second-year master’s student studying mechanical engineering at the University of California, Davis. Last year, she worked on a BTO and NREL joint project to increase the transparency of building automation system costs and identify specific barriers and drivers for increased adoption. She also analyzed data to develop marketing strategies aimed particularly at small building owners. This year, she will be working with the residential buildings team to develop a more accurate understanding of how people interact with energy depending on varying characteristics.
Ymbar Polanco-Pino: Ymbar will be obtaining his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri at the end of this semester. He will be pursuing his Ph.D. at Tufts University through the GEM program in the fall of 2022. He has worked with MIT's Aeronautics and Astronautics department through their summer research program and NASA's zero-gravity research through their Space Grant in the past couple of years. He is very excited to be working with NREL and BTO to ensure that renewable energy and energy efficiency is safely adopted and socially directed.
Gabriel Prepetit: Gabriel is completing his B.S in civil engineering at Syracuse University and will pursue his M.S in civil engineering at Columbia University through the GEM Masters fellowship program. He has previous work experience at Skanska as an MEP intern and Whiting Turner as an engineering intern He looks forward to working in BTO on issues related to heat pump technology in residential settings.