Decision aid for Energy Efficiency Analysis

While working with the Monitoring-Based Commisioning group at EnerNOC, I designed and built an web app that, given time series of energy usage and weather data, generated several types of change-point baselines, and allowed an analyst to compare the baselines against one another based on meaningful criteria.

Baseline Evaluation Tool

In addition, I also built a tool that enabled the analysts to access, chart, and export all of our building sensor time series data:

Data Exploration App

Avoided emissions analysis for proposed wind turbine installation

From 2006 through 2008, I was a research assistant in the Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives, a team within the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at MIT. We were working with the town of Hull, MA, to help them quantify the potential environmental benefits (specifically the reduction in emissions) of a set of wind turbines the town is working to install a mile off its beach. I did this by examining the hourly emissions from each generating unit in the NEWE EPA subregion over the past 6 years, and associating the marginal emissions produced by the units that are responding to demand with the wind power that would have been generated in that hour. The data came from the EPA's eGRID program, and from wind speed sensors around Hull.

Avoided CO2 forecast barplot for Town of Hull offshore wind turbine project

MIT energy map development

From 2007 to 2008, Steve Peters, another graduate student at MIT, and I worked on a website to visualize the energy use of MIT on a building by building basis, across months. We coded the frontend of this project using an unholy kludge of standards-based SVG and JavaScript, and the backend was served by Ruby on Rails sitting on top of MySQL.

Screenshot of wiki design

Working under the auspices of the Sustainability@MIT Student Working Group and the MIT Generator, I, along with Travis Franck, deployed the wiki at to help all of the disparate groups on campus that are working on projects related to sustainability communicate with one another.

Screenshot of

Cleaning product ingredient health & environmental impact database

From 2005 to 2006, I developed, built, and deployed the prototype of CleanGredients, an online database that gives formulators of cleaning products access to information on the health & environmental impacts of the chemical ingredients used in their products. The project was managed by GreenBlue, a sustainability-focused nonprofit in Charlottesville, VA. In my role as developer and information designer, I worked closely with the varied stakeholders-- representatives from the EPA, chemical suppliers, and cleaning product formulators--and integrated their desires and concerns into the design and presentation of the database. I walked a fine line between ensuring that the chemical suppliers’ intellectual property concerns were addressed while simultaneously giving the cleaning product formulators access to enough information about the chemical ingredients to choose safe, effective chemical ingredients for their cleaning products.

CleanGredients Screenshot

In-situ atmospheric chemistry instrumentation

I did mechanical design for the Anderson Research Group for a year. The scientists in the group were (and still are) looking at the basic chemistry and physics of the atmosphere by putting extremely sensitive instruments on aircraft that fly really high (60,000+ feet) and measure the concentrations of various isotopes. I did a bunch of different things, from CAD-monkeying hand-drafted mechanical drawings into various AutoDesk products, to redesigning various optical mounts for the instruments flown by our group. I also supported the graduate students with mechanical design for their laboratory apparatus.

WB-57 high-altitude research aircraft with instruments highlighted

Serpentine robot programming

During my undergraduate years, I worked with serpentine robots (ok, snake robots!) in the CMU Lab for Sensor-Based Planning (which has now morphed into the Biorobotics Lab). I learned how to control a few of the robots, and developed a truss-inspection demonstration for one serpentine robot that had been donated to the lab by JPL.

Serpentine robot inspecting a simulated bridge truss