Carnegie Mellon University
May 30, 2014

Sun Presents Green Energy Research at International Symposium

Sun Presents Green Energy Research at International Symposium
CEE student Yunlin Sun (MS ’14) recently attended the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST) in Oakland, California. Sun presented her team’s research,  “Using Wind to Produce Renewable Energy in Southern California”, at the conference poster session competition. Their research was based on a project they completed in CEE’s Civil Systems Investment Planning and Pricing (12-706) course and was funded with support from National Science Foundation Sustainability Scholar Awards. 

Civil System Investment and Pricing is a graduate course that introduces students to the fundamental principles and quantitative methods used in engineering systems, and how to communicate their results. Instructor John Matsumura, senior engineer at the RAND Corporation, included a case study of the applicability of solar dish stirling engine systems in the course’s curriculum. Inspired by this work, Sun and her team investigated whether wind could be a better solution for California’s energy needs by comparing the Levelized Cost of Electricity of wind, solar and hybrid systems. They concluded that wind is the most competitive renewable energy for southern California and provided suggestions based on status quo.

 “The course has influenced me a lot,” Sun said. “The final project is really meaningful and I am so proud of my team”. The team, which included David Zgonc (MS ’14), Xin Fu (MS ’14), Xiao Huang (MS ’14), Jing Xue (MS ’14), and Heming Zhang (MS ’14) were encouraged by instructor John Matsumura to publish their work and chose the ISSST symposium as the best avenue to present their results.

Sun says that presenting at the symposium was a positive experience both personally and professionally, allowing her to hone her presentation skills and develop a clearer picture of the next steps for the project. “I met professors from Ireland, England, and other universities from states. All the professors and students provided positive feedback,” she says.  

 “I want to thank department head David Dzombak, instructor John Matsumura, Professor H. Scott Matthew and my teammates especially David Zgonc,” said Sun.  “CEE is a like a community that you could not only learn from but also like a family. Without the support and encouragement from CEE department, I don't think I could be able to make it”.