A Message from the Director

We are pleased to welcome two new faculty members to SERC and the Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) Department. We recently received confirmation that Peter Alstone and Liza Boyle accepted the tenure track positions that were offered to them. They will bring new ideas and dynamism to the ERE Department and SERC, and we are excited to have them join us.

Peter completed a PhD in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley this past fall, and is currently a post-doc at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is an alumnus of SERC and has an MS from HSU (ERE option of the Environmental Systems graduate program). His bachelor’s degree is in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University. Peter’s dissertation examined the role that information technology is playing in enabling the expanded use of clean energy, and his dissertation revolved around a case study of the off-grid solar market in Kenya. His postdoc work at LBNL involves analysis to estimate the potential for demand response on California’s electrical grid. The work is being used by the California Public Utilities Commission to set state policy related to demand response and grid integration of renewable energy. Peter’s position at HSU is a joint appointment, with responsibilities at SERC (40% of his time) and the ERE Department (60%).

Liza also finished her doctorate in the fall of 2015. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. She has MS and BS degrees in mechanical engineering from CU Boulder and the University of the Pacific, respectively. Liza’s dissertation focused on the effect of soiling due to particulate deposition on the performance of solar photovoltaic arrays. The work involved experimental measurements and statistical analysis aimed at identifying factors that affect array performance. In conducting the research, Liza drew from her expertise in solar energy and air quality. The work is intended to lay the foundation for the development of tools to help commercial solar operators optimize power production and operations costs for their arrays. Liza’s faculty position in the ERE department puts her in a good position to engage in research through SERC, and we look forward to collaborating with her when she joins us here at HSU.

In other SERC news, we are happy to welcome Kim Thorpe as a new staff member. She is working on our energy access projects. We have also remained very busy with project work, and are engaging closely with the HSU planning department and an architectural firm as they work to design a 1900 square foot addition for SERC.

Goodbye until next time.

Search for ERE/SERC Faculty Begins

The search for a new tenure-track faculty member in the area of energy resources engineering has officially begun. The position will be split between teaching and associated duties in the Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) Department at HSU and research activities with SERC. The position announcement can be found here.

The search committee consists of faculty colleagues Peter Lehman (committee chair), Arne Jacobson, Eileen Cashman, and Andrea Achilli. The deadline for applications is October 30 and the new faculty member would start in the fall of 2016.

The primary professional responsibilities for the new faculty member are teaching; research, scholarship, and creative activity; and service to the University, profession, and community. These responsibilities include advising students, participation in campus and system-wide committees, maintaining office hours, working collaboratively and productively with colleagues, and participation in traditional academic functions.

As detailed in the announcement, successful candidates will demonstrate

  • potential for effective teaching and teaching experience using a variety of methodologies
  • ability and interest in teaching a broad range of engineering courses, including upper and lower division courses
  • expertise in renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, power systems engineering, and/or clean transportation, and research experience to allow her/him to work productively with colleagues at SERC
  • commitment to and/or experience promoting and fostering a learning environment that is supportive of individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • record of, or potential for, successfully raising funds to support development of a robust research program
  • commitment to and/or record of involving students in research and scholarly activity.

Applications have already begun arriving and we are hoping for a robust response and a successful search.