2018 REU Participants
UTK REU participants (from l to r): Rafael Ocasio, Shonta Alford, Shuying Zhen, Joseph McConnell, Dennis Chertkovsky, Joleen Evans, Bruce Hicks, David Sheets, Caleb Dillingham, Celina Wilkerson, Quillen Blalock.
Shonta Alford is a junior at Jackson State University majoring in Computer Engineering. She will be graduating in 2020 and would like to pursue graduate work in electrical or hardware engineering. During her time at CURENT, Shonta is researching wireless charging.
Quillen Blalock recently graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and will begin his first year of graduate studies this fall. His interests include power electronics, PCB design, and analog. During his time at CURENT, he will be researching electroplating 3D printed inducers.
Dennis Chertkovsky is a senior at the University of Kentucky. He will graduate with his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in December. Dennis’ research interest is power electronics.
Caleb Dillingham is a junior at Western Kentucky University majoring in Electrical Engineering. He is interested in alternative energy and the power grid. While at CURENT, Caleb is researching the impact of solar and wind penetration on the grid.
Joleen Evans is a senior at the University of Idaho studying Environmental Science. She is interested in energy efficiency and sustainability, and her research at CURENT will focus on socio-behavioral studies of electric vehicle adoption.
Bruce Hicks is a junior at Mississippi State University. He will graduate with his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2020. His interests include high voltage power distribution systems efficiency and safety. While at CURENT, Bruce is researching rotor angle motion in the generation of power systems through the use of mathematical models.
Mirka Mandich is a rising senior at Seattle University pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. Her research interests include power systems, alternative energy generation, and smart grids. While at CURENT, Mirka is optimizing PMU placement in a power transmission system, integrating stochastic techniques to model bus connection failures.
Joseph McConnell is a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His research interests include smart grids and renewable energy sources like solar. His research while at CURENT will focus on island power grids like those found on Hawai’i and Puerto Rico.
Rafael Ocasio-Martinez is a junior at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. He is studying Electrical Engineering and will graduate in 2019. His research interest is power electronics, and he will study GaN-based Converters and other wide bandgap devices while at CURENT.
David Sheets is a junior in Electrical Engineering from Grove City College. His research interests include renewable energy and power generation.
Celina Wilkerson is a sophomore at the University of Denver studying Electrical Engineering. While at CURENT, her research will be focusing on modeling a PV generator model.
Shuying Zhen is a rising senior at Smith College, where she will be graduating with her B.S. in Engineering Science, and Spanish, in 2019. Her research interests include renewable energy integration, controls, and actuation. During her time at CURENT, Shuying will be researching the microgrid.
2017 REU Participants
Mason Fennel is a junior at the University of South Carolina, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He will be graduating in December 2018 and intends to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering. His research interests include power electronics as well as semiconductors and their applications to photovoltaic devices. He has been awarded the Magellan Scholarship where starting fall 2017 he will be researching silicon carbide as a nuclear radiation detector. During his time with CURENT he will be involved with modeling and testing High Efficiency Converters for Data Center Power Supplies.
David Dixon is a rising senior at Tuskegee University. He is pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and will graduate in May 2018. It is likely that he will pursue a career upon graduation. He is currently in the top 10% of his class, a student athlete, and a member of Eta Kappa Nu and IEEE. His research project for CURENT is focused on embedding load flow.
Eric Abreut is a senior pursuing a B.S in Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science at Florida International University (FIU). He is currently in the top 10% of his class and will graduate in May 2018. He is an active member of the Honors College at FIU, ACM, and Tau Beta Pi. He has completed previous research under the Advanced Research and Creativity in Honors program on the subject of gamification integration in marketing strategies and its applications for the educational system. He enrolled this summer 2017 for the second time to the CURENT REU program which is located at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He is currently working on an area towards defending the power grid also known as cyber security.
Elena van Hove is a rising junior at Purdue University pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. At Purdue she is involved in the Global Engineering Program, Engineers Without Borders, and GEARE (Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education). She aspires for a career in a diverse, international environment working to find engineering solutions for issues such as climate change and energy insecurity.
Ibrahima Niang is a rising senior pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at Columbia University and will be graduating in May 2018. His research interests include power systems, renewable energy, and power electronics. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking reading books, playing and watching soccer. His goal is to become an entrepreneur.
Jeremy Till is a junior at Tennessee Technological University. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a minor in computer science. His focus is in power and he plans to continue his education after graduating. In graduate school, he hopes to research in power systems. He is an active member of Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu at Tennessee Tech.
Kellen Oleksak is a junior at the University of Tennessee Knoxville majoring in Electrical Engineering. His areas of interest are Power Systems device modeling and design, as well as microgrid development. Currently, his research involves developing an API interface for streaming grid system models to CURENT’s Large Scale Test Bed visualization software for data analysis. Further interests include playing guitar and backcountry activities.
Larry Marshall is a junior at UTK majoring in Electrical Engineering. He plans to pursue his master’s degree upon completion of his bachelor’s degree. His interests include grid-level incorporation of renewable energies, wide-bandgap semiconductor rising technologies and applications and relevant research-based career opportunities. His chosen research topic for CURENT is the Smart Home Bed, where grid-level applications of dynamic frequency monitoring is being investigated.
Marissa Burge is a student at Baylor University majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. She is the Operations Officer for Engineers with a Mission at Baylor, and a member of Eta Kappa Nu and SWE. She is interested in humanitarian engineering, and she hopes to be able to travel to developing countries to try to meet their power needs.
Peter Pham is a rising junior at The University of Tennessee, majoring in Electrical Engineering. I’m currently working as a Math tutor at the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center. My interesting areas: Power Systems, Power Electronics, and Home Automation I plan to enroll to the 5-year BS/MS program at UT specializing in Power Systems. My research project for this CURENT this summer is to develop a Smart Home Management System.
Rafael Camarillo is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Computer Engineering attending at the University of Tennessee. After his undergrad he plans on pursuing a Masters in Electrical Engineering. He is part of IEEE and the IEEE Power and Energy Society at the University of Tennessee. Research interest included discrete power systems and renewable energy.
Katrina Eccles is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at Tennessee Technological University (TTU). She is a part of the Honors Program and a Student Ambassador of the College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech. Katrina is also an officer of her school’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter and a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon, a mathematics honor society. She has also recently become a member of Engineers Without Borders and IEEE. Her project for CURENT will focus on solar power variability.
Yicheng Li is a senior at University of Tennessee, Knoxville majoring in computer science. His research concerns about FNET data, establishing connection between PI Systems, and learning how to use GE EMS(Energy Management System) to make use of data in the PI System.
2016 REU Participants
Adam Foshie is a rising junior at The University of Tennessee, majoring in Electrical Engineering and minoring in Computer Science. He plans to pursue a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. His research project for CURENT is in Power Systems focusing on Demand Response modeling in residential settings.
Kyle Goodrick is a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee. His research interests include power electronics and device characterization. He is currently working with Dr. Daniel Costinett researching a new, automated method for characterizing MOSFET devices. Kyle is on the board of the IEEE PES/PELS student chapter, whose goal is to get more undergraduates interested in power electronics research. In his spare time Kyle is the president for the UT Canoe and Hiking Club and enjoys mountain biking and climbing.
Michael Breuhl is an electrical engineering student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He obtained a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering in May 2016. His research interest is are power systems and renewable energy. He is planning on pursing a Masters degree.
Andrew Wintenberg is a rising junior at The University of Tennessee, double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. He plans to pursue a doctorate in Electrical Engineering. His research interests include electronics and signal processing. During the CURENT program, he developed an algorithm for Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring using dictionary learning.
Carley Washington is a rising sophomore at Tuskegee University. She is pursuing a degree in Electrical engineering and will be graduating in May of 2019. She is researching power flow analysis within HVDC systems. At her school, she is a part of the Bioethics Honors program. She wants to do all she can to give back to her community and more.
Eric Abreut is a senior pursuing a B.S in Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science at Florida International University (FIU). He is currently in the top 10% of his class and will graduate in May 2018. He is an active member of the Honors College at FIU, ACM, and Tau Beta Pi. He has completed previous research under the Advanced Research and Creativity in Honors program on the subject of gamification integration in marketing strategies and its applications for the educational system. He enrolled this summer 2016 for the first time to the CURENT REU program which is located at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He is currently working on writing a code that will help find a semi-analytical solution to power system differential equations in order to determine if the system will remain stable or if it will lose its stability.
Jessica Wert is a rising junior at Smith College where she is pursuing a BS in Engineering Sciences and a Spanish minor. Her interests are in power systems and the integration of renewable energy sources to the grid. She was nominated as a representative from the engineering department to the Smith Committee for Sustainability and participates in a variety of extracurriculars including crew, chorus, campus leadership and tour guiding.
John Curtin is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He will be entering his ninth and final semester in the fall and will be graduating in December. He is a member of his school’s Eta Kappa Nu honor society chapter as well as IEEE. His project for CURENT is to create a power system fault simulation. This simulation will be implemented onto the school’s hardware power system simulator, called the Hardware Test Bed.
Joshua Ray is a senior at the University of Tennessee pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He plans to pursue a Master’s in Education and teach Computer Science in the K-12 schools system. His research interest is Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring algorithms and cyber security. He has worked at the Archbold Biological Station as a field researcher in accordance with the University of Tennessee looking into social networks between invasive and native anole species.
Juan Avalos is a rising senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Christian Brothers University. He is currently a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society and Alpha Chi National College Honors Society. Juan will be graduating in May 2017 with an interest in power electronics, electrics drives and analog circuits. His research during the summer of 2016 with CURENT involved analyzing power efficiency of wide bandgap semiconductors.
LeAnn Thompson is a rising junior at Tuskegee University pursuing a BS in Electrical Engineering. Her interests include communications and refining existing ways to the development of new and evolving networking techniques. Her research at CURENT involves HVDC dynamic modeling using an IEEE 9-Bus system.
Rushi Patel is a senior at Mississippi State University and pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He is part of IEEE as well as IEEE Power Electronics Society and IEEE Power and Energy Society chapter at Mississippi State University. He has participated in EcoCAR 3 program where his team examined controller area network. His research interests are in Power Systems and Power Electronics. Previously he has developed digital controller for Phase Shifted Full Bridge DC-DC Buck Converter as a research assistant at Mississippi State University. He is currently enrolled in the CURRENT program and working with Dr. Costinett to develop a loss model for Gallium Nitride DC-DC Buck Converter.
Ryan Fraser is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership at Gonzaga University. He will graduate in May 2017. Ryan is the chair of Gonzaga’s IEEE chapter, and he is also a 2014-16 IEEE PES Scholar and a 2015-16 Schweitzer Meritorious Scholar. For the summer of 2016, Ryan is conducting research with CURENT at the University of Tennessee where he is developing a system to protect consumer information from smart meters using load hiding techniques.
Shashwat Sitesh is a senior in Electrical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is interested in Energy Systems and Bioengineering. He has worked in the Neuro Lab and the as part of the highly selective Opportunity Research Scholars program at Georgia Tech where he analyzed gait patterns of rehabilitation patients by determining key gait events (end contact and initial contact) and key parameters such as foot and shank linear and angular velocities and designed systems to facilitate the understanding of gait patterns and the rehabilitation process of patients.
Tatianne Da Silva is pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Automation and Control Engineering at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais in Brazil. She was this past year studying at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as one of the students sponsored by a Brazilian government exchange program. Her research interests are in alternative and renewable energy sources and its effects in the power grid.
Clarence Jackson is a senior at the university of Tennessee, Knoxville studying computer science and mathematics. His research interests include data mining, data analytics, and intelligent systems.
Pictured below are: Anthony Huber, Kimberly Glasser, and Vishnu Chander
2015 REU Participants
Maeve Lawniczak is a senior in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee. She is interested in wearable technology and wearable devices. She has worked with the Center for Biotechnology at the University of Tennessee converting signals from detected bioluminescence cells to a digital output. She is currently working with Dr. Costinett researching applications of electropermanent magnets into the power grid. Maeve is on the board of Systers, which aims to recruit, mentor and retain women in EECS and is a student ambassador of CURENT.
Allan Bartlett is pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Kentucky and will graduate in May 2016. He will earn minors in Spanish and Mathematics, while also obtaining the PEIK Power and Energy Certificate and the Certificate of Global Studies. Allan has a 4.0 GPA and is ranked #1 out of 994 students in the College of Engineering at UK. He has completed two semester-long co-op rotations at Kentucky Utilities. He has studied abroad a total of 4 times. During the summer of 2015, he will conduct an electrical power systems research project at the University of Tennessee Center for Ultra-Wide-Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks.
Abigail Teron is pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering at the Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico. In 2011, she completed an Associate Degree in Graphic Design from Atlantic College University at Puerto Rico. She is an active member of IEEE, WIE, SHPE and SWE. In 2014 to 2015, she held the Publisher position of the IEEE Turabo Student branch where she was very active and managed the web pages and email. She organized an activity making the first initiation ceremony for the IEEE Turabo branch members, leaving a legacy for the Turabo branch. In May 1, 2015, she was recognized by IEEE Puerto Rico & Caribbean as Loyal Member of the IEEE, activity that was published in the IEEE web page (http://sites.ieee.org/prc/). Abigail participated in the CURENT REU 2014 program, where she designed a model that gets residents’ response for the financial incentives in a Demand Response program. From January to May 2015, she worked in the creation of an ECG Holter monitor with Alert system. She enrolled this summer 2015 for the second time to CURENT REU 2015 program. She is currently working on the Analysis of Power System Oscillation Modes Using Differential Groebner Basis, with function Approximation and the Harmonic Balance Method applying the DiffGB-HBM approach to a 2-machine system and validating 3-machine system.
Stephen Tang is a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Sciences and Mathematics. Stephen worked in cell imaging application development during the school year, and this is his 2nd year participating in CURENT’s REU program.
Mark Nakmali is a senior at the University of Oklahoma for Electrical Engineering. Primarily his research interests are in power electronics and power systems, but his recent interests are in the applications of solid state electronics in power systems and electronics, which he is doing this summer. Last summer, he did research for CURENT to find a way to measure how close a power system was to its breaking point and is getting his research published at the IEEE PES conference. He enjoys hiking, shooting guns, soccer, and wood crafting.
Chris Matthews is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. Chris is the Vice President of the Ozark Section Student Chapter of IEEE, the Corresponding Secretary of the Arkansas Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, and a member of Eta Kappa Nu and the IEEE Robotics Team.
Pedro Rivera is a senior at the Universidad Del Turabo, and is pursuing a Bachelor degree in electrical engineering. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he studied automotive technology at the UPR Carolina where he was selected to work on the PACT program for Honda. As an electrical engineering student, he has worked on communication, audio and visual filtering, as well as electronics projects. He has been a member of the IEEE as well as the SHPE foundations. In spring 2015, he worked on the development of an ECG Holter monitor with alert system. This summer Pedro is attending the University of Tennessee to working on a PCB design and Thermal analysis for a GaN enhancement mode power switching transistor inside a power inverter.
Shivam Patel is an engineering student from Albany, Ga. He graduated with a 3.75 GPA from Fort Valley State University where he acquired a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics in May 2015. In the fall of 2015, he will transfer to the Georgia Institute of Technology where he will study computer engineering. Afterwards, he plans on pursuing a masters degree.
Austin McEver is a junior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville studying computer science and engineering entrepreneurship. His research interests include theory of computation, software engineering, and power systems. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and playing the guitar.
Parker Diamond is a third-year undergraduate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. His interests are in the field of cyber security and information assurance.
Joseph Estrada is a Junior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His major is in computer engineering and his research focus is in using supervised and unsupervised learning techniques for load disaggregation. His interests include playing guitar and performance.
2014 REU Participants
Jared Baxter is an upcoming sophomore at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville majoring in electrical engineering. He is a member of the Honors College at UTK and belongs to many different honors societies on campus. He is currently conducting undergraduate research with Dr. Daniel Costinett and is a student ambassador for CURENT. Born and raised in Sevierville, TN, Jared graduated valedictorian of Sevier County High School and was a Wendy’s High School Heisman State Finalist. He always had a passion for math and science which lead him to study electrical engineering. His out of class interests include playing sports and the piano.
Doug Bouler is a senior studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He has interned at Oak Ridge National Lab where he worked on several projects including designing an implantable probe for monitoring post-operation liver transplant health and stability. His research interests include energy harvesting, wireless power, and biomedical applications. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, writing music, and soldering.
Hayden Dahmm is a senior at Swarthmore College, where he studies engineering with a minor in environmental studies. Dahmm hopes to pursue a career in environmental engineering, with a focus on designing sustainable and resilient infrastructures. Dahmm serves on the Swarthmore College Sustainability Committee, and he is a member of several campus environmental groups. During previous internships, Dahmm has researched methods of carbon sequestration and has designed tools for educating the blind in STEM disciplines.
Joe Allen is currently a Senior in Computer Engineering at the University ofTennessee,Knoxville.His interests are in image processing and computer networks.
Philip Wolfe is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, having just finished his second year. His interests include computer networks, digital design, signal processing, and software design. He worked in the Computational Electronics and Photonics lab in the Opportunity Research Scholars program at Georgia Tech, where he analyzed and simulated device physics of avalanche photodiodes to optimize them to function at higher modulation frequencies and be able to support faster optical fiber communication. He has a number of hobbies including piano, swimming, camping, cooking, and chess.
Anthony Perez is currently an undergraduate student at University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research experience as an undergraduate student has developed his interests in the areas of power electronics, renewable energy, distributed generation and power systems. Since 2011 he has conducted research with microgrids using the software HOMER. As a result he obtained his first publication at the IEEE Frontiers in Education conference in 2012. As an REU student at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, he worked with the Computer Science Department on the implementation of an algorithm into an operating system architecture, which pretends to solve the Economic Dispatch problem of power system in a distributed manner. In 2014 he worked in a project that uses the software HOMER to facilitate the financing process of photovoltaic system in Puerto Rico. That work became a publication and is going to be presented at the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference during summer 2014.
Mark Nakmali is an Electrical Engineering junior at the University of Oklahoma. Originally born in Oklahoma, his ethnicity is Thai. His interests are in woodworking, soccer and travel and the genres of music he enjoys are Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, Electronic Dance Music, and Country. His main interest in school is in power electronics, and he hopes that one day he can use this knowledge to work in a nuclear power plant. He is looking forward to seeing or even participating in the advancement of nuclear energy in terms of safety, minimization of radioactive waste, and efficiency in power production. What Mark hopes to gain from the CURENT program is experience in power electronics as well as making lifelong friendships with the other members.
Abigail C. Teron is an Electrical Engineer BS student at the Universidad del Turabo at PuertoRico. She received an Associate Degree in Graphic Design from Atlantic College University at Puerto Rico in 2011 with publishing experience. Also has a Technical Degree in Draftsman from Ana G. Mendez Vocational High School in 2007. Her goal is to complete a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and/or Power Engineering. She is the Publisher of the IEEE TuraboChapter and a member at SHPE. She enrolled at CURENT REU 2014 at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville; working in a Power system smart home test bed creating a Model residents’ response to the Financial Incentives in Demand Response Program.
Lauren Atwell is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering at Auburn University. She received her diploma from Starkville Academy in 2012. She has worked for Atwell & Gent, P.A. as an engineering intern. She plans to receive her Professional Engineering license after she receives her BS from Auburn. She is currently working in Simulink to simulate a closed-loop motor drive that can accurately control the speed of an induction motor.
Casey O’Leary is a senior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Computer Engineering at Washington State University. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science/Engineering. Computers have always been a major interest and hobby in Casey’s life, alongside competitive sports and his family. His interest in computers was sparked in his early teens when he got his hands on the hardware components necessary to assemble a personal computer. After spending a few days in an unfinished basement, he successfully assembled and booted the computer, resulting in the standard BIOS information scrolling across the monitor. After his senior year of high school, he had already decided that he was going to study in the field that intrigued him for so long.Opportunities, like the REU program at University of Tennessee, have begun to make his dream of working in the Computer Science and Engineering industry (and maybe one day at the NSA) more of a reality.
Runsha Long is an upcoming junior at the University of Oklahoma (OU) pursing a degree in electrical engineering. He went to college with biomedical engineering as his first declared major. However, after a course in engineering orientation he realized that electrical engineering is a more fitting path for his passion in mathematics and physics. When he is not dedicating his time to school related work, he enjoys volunteering at the OU Medical Center, where he provides nonclinical support for patients and families. As of now he has accumulated 1000+ hours of volunteer work, and plans to raise that number for as long as he remains at OU. In the future, with a sense of wanderlust and eagerness to experience new things, he aims to complete his Master’s at an out-of-state university. As for his goals after graduate school, he plans to find a job in industry, particularly a research and development position where he has the potential of coming up with new ideas to further the electrical engineering field.
Stanly Mathew is working towards his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). His interests lie in the field of power electronics, circuit design and development of microcontroller based dynamic systems. Stanly has worked to program the steering and motor control subsystems for model electric cars which can be used for security and surveillance purposes. Through his involvement with CURENT REU program at the University of Tennessee, Stanly looks to delve into research in the field of electrical power engineering and its impact on the smart grid design.
Chad Harley is currently pursuing his second bachelor’s degree at the University of Tennessee in the field of electrical engineering having been awarded a B.A. in English Literature in 2010. As a member of CURENT he has worked on projects which include grid modeling and smart home control under Dr. Fran Li. His interests include renewable energy source integration, microgrids, and machine learning algorithms.
Stephen Tang is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill majoring in computer science. His research interests include data analytics and visualization. His leisure time activities include jogging, programming, and obeying the whims of his pets.