1) Having just graduated from undergrad, what made you want to go into clean energy? Did you start college knowing that’s what you wanted to focus on?
I’ve been interested in clean energy since senior year of high school. To me working in clean energy allows me the perfect combination of working in an innovative field that will have tangible positive global impacts. Every history class I took discussed how new sources of power allowed for the Industrial Revolution to happen. I really think that we are on the cusp of a similar revolution, and I wouldn’t want to have missed an opportunity to help shape it.
2) What makes you excited about working at Clean Energy Trust?
One of the biggest things is the culture and being a part of such an accomplished and well respected team. I’m incredibly excited to learn from the whole team while maintaining and building upon CET’s impressive accomplishments. Also, the companies that we work with are fascinating. The amount of passion, talent, and drive amongst those entrepreneurs is inspiring.
3) What do you think will be the most exciting clean energy developments in the next 5 years? How about 15?
It might not be visible to the average customer but the penetration of distributed generation systems coupled with smart grid technologies and advanced storage is going to revolutionize the way that electricity is produced.
We have already seen the beginning of such programs like ComEd’s recent Smart Meter program. In 15 years, the combination of the electrification of vehicles and the rise of automated vehicles is going to change entire industries, in particular trucking and mass transit. Semis and buses are going to be electric and completely autonomous, clearing out traffic and our air. But there are a lot of things going on it’s all very exciting.
4) How are some ways younger people can get involved using or advocating for clean energy?
The single biggest thing might be to write to and call your representatives. There is incredible work going on in the private sector but as a younger person with fewer resources it can be hard to participate. But putting pressure on congressman and local elected officials to support clean energy development is a key part in getting heard and becoming involved. Also, volunteer. As with anything that you support there are always ways that you could give your time. For example, I know that a couple of CET staff members got started as volunteers at the Clean Energy Challenge. It’s a great way to get involved and do tangible work in a field that largely happens behind the scenes.
5) When you’re not working to advance the clean energy economy, what do you do for fun?
Doing my best to explore Chicago. I grew up in Evanston but never felt like I got a great sense of the city so discovering how much it has to offer has been awesome. I’m also learning guitar and trying to play basketball as often as I can.