In honor of Black History Month, the Office of Fossil Energy (FE) is spotlighting members of our staff whose exemplary work furthers the mission of FE every day.
To celebrate, we invite you to get to know FE’s Dr. Quinta Warren, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow. As a (AAAS) Fellow, Dr. Warren works within FE to learn more about the role that science and technology play in shaping both domestic and international policy for the United States. In her current position, Dr. Warren uses her experience to provide technical expertise on the subjects of carbon management and power generation to FE’s Office of Coal and Carbon Management. Having earned her bachelor’s degree and PhD in chemical engineering, Dr. Warren has done work and research on several energy-related topics, including carbon capture, oil and natural gas extraction, and water and energy sustainability. She also runs her own consulting company, concentrating on water and energy sustainability.
In FE, she is currently doing research on deployable technologies that can be used to restart power plants and restore power to the grid when it goes down. She is also working on a project that focuses on using water used at coal plants in Botswana for power generation.
Dr. Warren says she believes it’s important for people of all backgrounds to engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) because these fields apply to nearly every aspect of our lives. In fact, she has even helped start a STEM university, called the Dakar American University of Science and Technology, to further science and engineering education in Senegal. Dr. Warren says STEM can be valuable in any sector of the workforce because studying these subjects helps people develop important skills like critical thinking and problem solving. Those kinds of skills are highly transferable and offer great flexibility since they are used in almost any field or job, she says.
Because STEM can have so many applications, Dr. Warren encourages young people who are interested in pursuing a science/energy career to find their niche.
“Science is very broad, and so is energy,” She says. “Don’t be scared off because you may not be good at a particular subject—say math, for instance. Find what you enjoy and develop your knowledge and skill in that area. Look for mentors who can share their path with you. The more people you talk to, the more your eyes will be opened to the possibilities in science and energy.”
Dr. Warren has found such possibilities herself, by connecting her personal love of travel with her professional interests and desire to help others. An avid traveler, she has been to 44 countries and all 7 continents. On her most recent trip to Nigeria, she combined her sense of adventure with her passion for energy to help design a water treatment and recycling system for use by local mushroom farmers.