Janak Gahlot (M.S. December ’14)
Janak applied to the EST&P Master’s program with the intention of gaining the necessary skills to specialize in energy engineering, energy markets, renewable energy integration, energy policy, and decision making. At CMU, he had ample opportunity to learn from a variety of courses while being surrounded by a diverse student body. Janak has felt extremely supported by the EST&P faculty and encouraged by the university as awhole: “I was overwhelmed to see the enthusiasm among the core faculty and my academic advisor, who guided me all along the program […]. This program offers a challenging academic curriculum in a setting that fosters idea-sharing and collegiality among the program participants and faculty. Also, the great academic environment, expert teaching and research as well as entrepreneurial thinking promoted by Carnegie Mellon have been the most valuable part of my experience here.”
Janak’s favorite class was Optimization in Energy Networks. This course applies optimization theory to large-scale energy networks. Based on interactions with the faculty during this course, Janak started project work with a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at CMU. The results of his work allowed him and another EST&P classmate to present a research poster at the 2014 MIT Energy Conference and at the 2014 Carnegie Mellon Annual Electricity Conference, the first for any EST&P student. Their work has paved the way for future EST&P students to participate in these conferences.
In his final semester, Janak served as Course Assistant to the 39-611 Energy Demand and Utilization course during the Fall 2014 semester. He was also an active member of the CMU Energy Club and volunteered at the 2014 Energy for the Power of 32 Conference. While a student at CMU, Janak especially enjoyed the opportunity “to reach out to the broader community on campus as well as other resources to see how we can better connect the business ideas with researchers and policymakers to address the technical, economic and social challenges.”
Janak has also worked on a project in collaboration with Callida Energy, an automated energy optimization start-up based in NYC which provides smart demand response services to commercial buildings. This project evaluated the demand response market potential in four locations: NYC, Boston, Pittsburgh and Houston at commercial and industrial facilities. By developing a client-specific, demand-response program with local utilities, Callida Energy hoped to reduce monthly demand charges. Janak focused on using HVAC, lighting and control systems, and BMS to reduce peak demand in buildings. His project involved investigating and evaluating the various demand response programs currently offered by local utilities. He analyzed and modeled energy consumption patterns in buildings using CBECS and EIA databases. His recommendations included optimized operations for HVAC, upgrading the lighting systems, deploying VSD, and change in building operations time to either pre-cool or pre-heat the building before the day’s operations begin.
Janak recently joined CLEAResult Consulting Inc., in Indianapolis, Indiana as an Energy Engineer II. CLEAResult designs, markets and implements energy programs forutilities, businesses and residential energy customers.