SEI and EPICenter Announce Spark Award Recipients

<p>2022 Spark Award Recipients</p>

2022 Spark Award Recipients

The Energy, Policy, and Innovation Center (EPICenter) and the Strategic Energy Institute (SEI) are proud to announce that the 2022 recipients of the annual Spark Award are Timothy Chen, Rachel Harris, Bryan J. Hare, and Navid Nasajpour. The Spark Award was established to recognize current Georgia Tech graduate students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing student engagement with energy research at Georgia Tech with evidence of broader impacts and service/leadership. 

About the Awardees

Rachel Harris is a Ph.D. student in the College of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Rachel’s research is focused on Power System Optimization under the direction of Assistant Professor Dan Molzahn. Rachel mentors high school and undergraduate students for the Georgia Tech chapter of IEEE Power and Energy Society and has served on the Georgia Tech Graduate Student Senate. Her advisor, Dan Molzahn said, “Rachel is a leader on campus and is doing outstanding work in power and energy topics.”

Timothy Chen is pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering under the guidance of Associate Professor Matt McDowell. His research focus is on finding ways to improve lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. He is currently president of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Association and has been a featured speaker through Skype-a-Scientist where he spoke with elementary school students about his work in energy storage. Advisor Matt McDowell said, “I have no doubt Timothy will go on to have a very successful career. He is highly deserving!”

Navid Nasajpour is a Ph.D. student studying advanced energy systems and storage in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. His research focus is on solving the problem of global lack of technologies and storage devices that can store clean, renewable energy. Navid’s advisor Hamid Garmestani called Navid a “prolific researcher” and said this award will help him to continue his research toward his goal of developing superconducting thin films that increase energy storage and optimization.

Bryan J. Hare is a Ph.D. student in the field of Chemical Engineering focused on the conversion of cellulosic biomass derivates into renewable hydrogen. He has been an active member of the Georgia Tech Energy club and a key member of the student led committee that has secured funding and permission to install a piezoelectric sidewalk in front of the Georgia Tech library. Energy Club advisor and Assistant Professor Dan Molzahn said, “Mr. Hare’s work on the piezoelectric sidewalk will be a lasting legacy showcasing the impact that he has had with respect to energy education and indicates his exceptional leadership and service to Georgia Tech.”

News Contact

Priya Devarajan

Research Communications Program Manager