HSU Grad Student Builds on SERC’s Work in El Salvador

HSU engineering graduate student Nicholas Riedel is spending the summer in El Salvador, studying how energy is used on a university campus. Nicholas is conducting a broad-scale campus energy audit at Universidad Don Bosco and intends to compare and contrast energy efficiency opportunities in this tropical setting in a developing country with lessons previously learned about energy management at HSU. Mentoring for Nicholas’s efforts comes from SERC senior research engineer Richard Engel, who served as a Fulbright scholar at UDB in 2010. Nicholas’s visit to UDB is the first inter-campus exchange under an HSU-UDB cooperation agreement that grew out of Richard’s stay at UDB.

Richard and Nicholas kicked off this year’s project by traveling together to UDB, where they gave a day-long workshop on institutional energy auditing and energy efficiency. Twenty-one Salvadoran energy professionals participated in the workshop. Nicholas gave a hands-on tutorial on computer modeling of energy use in buildings, while Richard led a demonstration of energy auditing tools that have recently been acquired by UDB as part of a U.S. State Department-funded “Science Corner.”

Nicholas will spend the remainder of the summer collecting and analyzing data on buildings at UDB and modeling the costs and savings associated with different energy efficiency options. He has found a number of UDB faculty and students eager to collaborate with him on his energy-saving work. UDB is contributing to the project by providing housing and meals for Nicholas and release time for faculty who are working with him.