Active Members

Active Members

Peter Alstone works on decentralized energy systems on and off the grid. At Berkeley he coordinates the infoEnergy Working Group, which develops open science tools for energy systems analysis. He also contributes to the Lighting Global project, a market transformation program that supports modern off-grid pico-power. Peter’s PhD work with the Energy and Resources group focuses on the intersections of information technology, energy technology systems, and markets with work in California and Kenya.

Anne-Perrine Avrin is an MS/PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group. She works as a Graduate Student Researcher in the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory on nuclear desalination and on Switch-China, a modeling tool to analyze least-cost future energy mixes under various policy and fuel cost scenarios over the 2050 horizon. She holds a BS in industrial engineering and an MS in nuclear engineering from France. In 2010, she spent several months in Shenzhen (South of China) working on the design of the piping system for a new generation of nuclear power plant. In 2012, she worked on safeguards for advanced nuclear systems in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley. Currently, she is interested in development projects focusing on low-carbon electricity generation, water and energy access, energy education programs, and study of the potential synergies between renewable and nuclear energies.

Jean Kim Chaix is the Director of The Charcoal Project (TCP), a NYC-based 501c3 with a mission to advance the large-scale deployment of efficient technologies and renewable fuels for those who depend on wood energy for their daily needs. TCP is presently collaborating with MIT’s D-Lab to launch the Harvest Fuel Initiative, an accelerator of early stage entrepreneurs focused on producing and commercializing fuel briquettes in SSA. TCP is also coordinating the International Conference on Charcoal in 2014. Geographic focus: sub-Saharan Africa. Program of Activities: policy, communications, technology, business strategy, fuel-briquetting, sustainable charcoal, clean cookstoves, improved charcoal kilns, co-generation, mini-grids. On the web at

Kevin Christopher is an Energy Resources Group prospective student. Currently, he works in an open innovation function here at UCB within the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA). From his generational roots in the coal-mining country of West Virginia and time spent in now submerged areas of the Three Gorges in China, Kevin has an interest in the viability of communities built around or existing as hindrances to uniquely exploitable energy resources. Prior to joining IPIRA, Kevin worked for the startup ZERE Energy and Biofuels. He has presented or published in the areas of corporate social responsibility, crowdfunding, distributed energy policy, and patent pools.

Mathias Craig started blueEnergy as a nonprofit corporation in late 2003. He provides the organization with administrative, programmatic, and fundraising leadership. Mathias has over seven years of involvement in wind energy and has had significant experience living throughout Latin America. He has spent a considerable amount of time in Nicaragua and has strong ties to the peoples of the Caribbean Coast. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mathias is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.

Pierce Edward Cornelius Gordon is a first year MS/PhD Student at the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. Pierce graduated from the Dual Degree Engineering Program, where he obtained a Summa Cum Laude B.S. degree in Applied Physics from Morehouse College and a Summa Cum Laude B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. He has extensive undergraduate research experience in physics and aerospace engineering from experiences at the NASA Glenn Research Center, MIT, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, among others. Is professional experience comes from proprietary experience on chassis technology development on the next generation Corvette at at the General Motors Bowling Green Plant. While conducting independent research for scholarships, he became enamored with development research, specifically the work of such entities as the United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and the explicit and implicit purview of the Millennium Development Goals. As a dual NSF GFRP and Chancellor’s Fellow at the Energy and Resources Group, Pierce is interested in social implications concerning rural energy development in Sub-Saharan Africa, novel applications of energy technologies in the area, and issues of energy development. He is also an avid music lover and musician, a cook, and fitness fan of all types.

Pavan Iyengar is a Research Intern at the Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru, India interested in Quantum Photosynthesis,Modeling and Simulation, using Quantum Walks, Appropriate Rural Technology (especially Human Powered Technology for rural applications), Development of regions through Science Education, Integrated Sustainable Development and Ethics . Pavan did his undergraduation in Physics at Fergusson College, Pune , India and Masters in Physics at the Physics Department , UoP . Pavan specializes in Quantum Physics and is provisionally admitted as a graduate student to the Centre For Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore.

Louis Kang is a sophomore pursuing materials science and engineering with a specific interest in renewable energy and energy efficient electronics. He has previously worked on generating biofuel from fecal sludge in Ghana, during which he was responsible for designing and building a pilot-scale prototype plant. Louis is also a member of the Inertial Storage and Recovery research group at Berkeley dedicated to improving the efficiency of regenerative breaking through the use of flywheel energy storage system. He has a genuine passion for conceiving and executing great ideas and is hoping to make a meaningful contribution to rural energy development.

Deepa Shinde Lounsbury recently graduated with an MS from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. Deepa has worked at the intersection of finance and environmental technologies in many different forms. After a stint as a technology investment banking analyst at UBS, she worked at a clean technology venture capital firm called Angeleno Group. There, she evaluated many different types of environmental technology companies, including renewable energy, electric vehicle, and recycling technology companies from both a financial and technical perspective. She also worked on publications related to green buildings and mining at the World Resources Institute. Before coming to ERG, Deepa worked at South Pole Carbon (a carbon finance firm) in Bangkok, Thailand. Her current interests include minigrids, microfinance, sustainable rural electrification, public-private partnerships

Diego Ponce de Leon Barido is a MS/PhD student at the Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley, interested in the role that ICTs play in early warning systems and long term sustainability, Micro hydro development, and the efficient use and distribution of water and energy resources in megacities. He has fieldwork experience in Chiapas (Mexico) working on microcredit schemes and river survey studies, has worked developing ‘low-tech high impact’ water distribution systems for small communities in Uganda and Honduras, has used GIS models and InVest (Integrated Valuation of Environmental services and Tradeoffs) to develop a hydrological model of the Linthipe Basin (Malawi), and most recently was involved in a project linking hydrological variability to the sectorial economies of Punjab and Telangana, in India. He has also worked as an economic, financial, and strategy consultant for Analysis Group in Boston. He holds degrees in Economics and Civil Engineering from Macalester College and the University of Minnesota respectively and has published in a variety of healthcare economics and engineering journals. He is currently a Research Coordinator for the Fulbright NEXUS program for The Americas.

Jess Reilly is a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) at Berkeley, where she examines the balance of global energy development needs and infrastructure with ecology and community. Prior to ERG, Jess had 11 years of professional experience working at the nexus of resource analysis, ecology, and rural development. As a rural development consultant at Xola Consulting, Jess supported cross-cultural teams throughout the Americas and the Balkans. She worked extensively with small business owners and local and national government to define and grow the ecotourism sector as a means to economic development. Her field experience includes outreach, market research, program development, project management and implementation. As an ecologist, Jess supported development of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world’s largest thermal solar project. She has also established monitoring protocol for endangered amphibians and authored a national park proposal for central Chile. In 2011, Jess combined her roles in ecology and development at the Carnegie Institution, where she coordinated the capacity building program for CLASlite, a satellite-based forest monitoring tool for Andes-Amazon carbon mapping. Her interdisciplinary experience supports her interest in the energy-carbon-policy nexus, and she continues support projects in Latin American with the Fulbright NEXUS fellows, as well as supporting alternative energy strategies in Kosovo.

Jalel Sager was founding director of the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) from 2007-2009, the Council is a project of California’s Green Cities Fund (GCF), which partners with Vietnamese government agencies, non-profits, and businesses on sustainability projects. He is currently GCF’s international coordinator, a PhD student at UC-Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group and a member of the Berkeley Rural Energy Group. He also serves as the US correspondent for FuturArc, a journal of green building. In addition to certifying international green construction projects, VGBC now advises and trains Vietnamese government officials in the LOTUS green building standard originated by Jalel Sager, who has experience building durable, effective institutions for sustainable change.

John McQueeney is a senior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Development Studies with a minor in Energy and Resources. His focus is in Mexican and Central American energy policies and planning, with an emphasis on incorporating renewable energy systems, smart metering technology, and grid expansion. He is also currently a Health Worker for the International House in Berkeley, which provides residence for 600 international and domestic students. He is from Venice, California and hopes to build on his educational foundation with private/public sector experience in energy projects for rural communities.

Arjan Sidhu is a fourth year undergraduate studying Business & Energy at the Haas School of Business and Energy Resources Group. He has worked with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office on the Workplace Charging Challenge to increase the deployment of charging infrastructure and adoption of electric vehicles. At Berkeley, he worked with GRID Alternatives in international business development and was the Business Team Leader for CalSol, the UC Berkeley Solar Vehicle Team. Through the Berkeley Rural Energy Group, he has researched renewable energy potential in Colombia and hopes to continue working for his passion of ubiquitous global renewable energy access.

Alexandra McGee is a Latin American Studies graduate student seeking holistic understanding of the culture and politics of Latin America. While her professional background is in understanding the historic legacies and modern geopolitics of the region, personal interests revolve around the intersections of social, economic and environmental justice. She has focused on the ramifications and opportunities for renewable energy in Nicaragua to complete her MA, but this fieldwork research can be broadly applied to rural development, community participation, and cross-cultural awareness.

Javier Rosa is a 4th year Electrical Engineering and Computer Science PhD student at UC Berkeley, specifically conducting research with the TIER (Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions) group. He works on a microgrid metering system designed to monitor and control electricity in a rural microgrid. Additionally, Javier has helped deploy long-distance wireless links for a school as part of the PISCES project in Chuuk, Micronesia.