Like many events and meetings across the world, the NM SMART Grid Center annual All Hands Meeting (AHM) shifted from face to face to virtual space seemingly overnight. As news of school closures and other mandates were announced in March, the unparalleled shift to home and online rippled across our lives, taking meetings and classes with it. While we were excited to gather all team members in one space to communicate progress and look towards the future, safety and health are the top priority.
News Category: SMART Grid
Every year the NM SMART Grid Center is required to submit three highlights from the previous project year to the National Science Foundation. For Project Year 2, the research themed highlights focused on work by Assistant Professor Ali Bidram and his PhD student Binod Poudel at UNM and advancements by Assistant Professor David Mitchell and his team at NMSU.
Here is what these outstanding team members are working on - summarized in 250 words or less.
All of our lives have changed in response to the latest pandemic. With respect to EPSCoR, most of us are working from home and are learning how to social-distance, video-conference with colleagues, and use Slack and other tools to maintain some semblance of normality in our workday. Upcoming EPSCoR meetings such as the All Hands Meeting, NSF Reverse Site Visit and, most likely, the New Mexico EPSCoR State Committee Meeting will become virtual—i.e., Zoom conference calls. In short, our way of life has changed, seemingly overnight and we do not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The NM SMART Grid Center is pleased to announce the most recent faculty hire for the project: Frank Currie, who is leading development of the Smart- and Micro-grid Training Center at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC). Within this role, Frank will spearhead development of the Distributed Energy Systems Program, an AAS and AS degree program specializing in smart grid and microgrid systems technician training.
“I am excited to build the program I wish had existed when I started school,” Frank said.
The theme of the conference was Science and Partnerships Across Disciplinary Boundaries, and many of the presentations were focused on partnerships, transdisciplinary research, big data and STEM initiatives. NM EPSCoR was proud to have multiple students present at the conference and contribute to the larger NSF EPSCoR conversation about these topics.
UNM Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Meeko Oishi has had a busy year. In March she was chosen to participate in the highly-selective Defense Study Science Group sponsored by DARPA. Her collaborative work on light therapy and circadian rhythms is rocking the world of health sciences.
Modeling and simulation tools are essential for researchers as they seek ways to integrate variable renewable sources of energy, like wind, into the electricity grid. Recently, NM SMART Grid Center graduate student, P. Christopher Scott, spent time as an extern at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to learn about power system simulation. The INL Power Systems team, including Dr. Mayank Panwar, mentored Scott as he built computer models in Simulink, ran them on an Opal-RT real-time digital simulator, and modeled and simulated a power system in the IEEE 14-bus system.
We are pleased to announce the 2019 NM EPSCoR Mentor Award winners—Dr. David Mitchell and Dr. Satyajayant (Jay) Misra. Both were nominated by mentees and demonstrated characteristics of excellent mentors, including strong professional and interpersonal relationships; working to advance their mentees’ academic, research, and professional goals; and creating inclusive environments for diverse students.
You probably have an “elevator pitch” to describe your research when you get the inevitable question, “So, what do you do?” That’s great when a non-scientist asks about your research in a casual conversation at a party. But, how prepared are you when you’re asked to do a presentation at a STEM conference for middle school girls, or when you need to design an outreach or broader impacts component for a grant proposal?
In August, Dr. Trilce Estrada, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at UNM and a faculty member of the NM SMART Grid Center Decision-Support research team was awarded the 2019 ACM SIGHPC Emerging Woman Leader in Technical Computing award.