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CCPI has a growing number of undergraduate and graduate students who undertake Center research while pursing degrees.

students4.jpgThree graduate students matriculated during the 2013-14 academic year and an additional five graduate students matriculated in fall 2014. CCPI students are supported on research grants from federal and state governments and private foundations; UD Departmental funds; Okie Fellowships administered by UD’s School of Marine Science and Policy; the Magers Family Fund that has awarded fellowships to students undertaking research on offshore wind power; the UD-DEMEC graduate fellowship program in wind energy research, and Knauss Marine Policy fellowships. In addition, the Center offers research opportunities to promising undergraduate students, including four who recently worked on the financial and electrical aspects of V2G, two on the public perceptions of wind power, and one on atmospheric modelling. Information on current and former graduate students can be found below. For additional wind-related information see the Wind Power Graduate Certificate program and the UD’s AWEA Student Chapter Website.

Current Graduate Students

Bill Bessmer
Richard Bowers
Brandon Budenz
Michele Burt
Kathleen Harris
Lauren Knapp
Lance Noel
Yang Pan
Niki Suto
Heather Thomson
Chi Yan


Alison Bates, PhD
Joseph Brodie, PhD
Ali Ponte, Masters
Jenna Toussaint, PhD
Shengbai Xie, PhD
Regina McCormack, Masters
Dawn Kurtz Crompton, Masters
Katya Samoteskul, Masters
Nathanial Pearre, PhD
Blaise Sheridan, Masters
Andrew Levitt, Masters
Bruce M. Williams, Masters
Deanna Sewell, Masters
Scott Baker, Masters
Jonathan Lilley, PhD
Meredith Blades Lilley, PhD
Amardeep Dhanju, PhD
Jacquline Piero, Masters
Andrew Kreuger, PhD
Christina Chrisensen (formerly Jarvis), Masters


Current Graduate Students

Bill Bessmer - (matriculated in Masters of Marine Policy in 2013) Bill has a B.S. in Biology from Stockton College of New Jersey and earned a Graduate Certificate in Coastal Zone Management from Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Institute. Bill also is pursuing a J.D. at Widener Law School though our joint-school/joint-degree program. He has worked with Professor Firestone on a wind siting project and is presently undertaking research on marine geothermal resources in the Gulf.

Richard Bowers - (matriculated into PhD, Marine Policy in 2014) Richard obtained both a Bachelor in Economics and a Masters in the Economics of Policy Analysis from University of Maryland Baltimore County. Richard has twice worked as an intern Princeton Energy Resources International (PERI). His master’s work focused on taking account of spillovers from learning by doing in wind energy technology and the effect of subsidies on those spillovers.

Brandon Budenz - (matriculated into M.M.P. in 2012) Brandon holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in chemistry and an M.S. from the University of Delaware in inorganic chemistry. Brandon’s area of interest is electric automobiles and the power grid. He is interested in grid storage through chemical potential, with his research being an application. Brandon matriculated in 2012 and is a research assistant on the eV2g project.

Michele Burt - (matriculated into Masters of Marine Policy in 2014). Michelle comes to UD after having graduated from Colby College in Maine with a double major in Biology (with a concentration in Evolution and Ecology) and Environmental Studies (with a concentration in Marine Studies). Michele has interned at Oceans Research (South Africa), New Aquarium, and Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Management. Michele is interested in the intersection of marine renewable energy and marine wildlife conservation.

Kathleen (Kathy) Harris - (matriculated in Masters of Marine Policy in 2013) Kathy is an MMP student advised by Dr. Kempton. Kathy received her Bachelor of Science from UD in May 2013. While an undergraduate, Kathy engaged in a research project on public acceptance of offshore wind with Professor Firestone. She now works on the DOE-sponsored Mid-Atlantic offshore wind integration project.

Lauren Knapp - (matriculated into PhD, Marine Policy in 2014) Lauren's interests focus on estimating the societal value of coastal energy, transportation, and nature-based infrastructure systems to inform policy tradeoffs. Her main passion involves using indirect, economic mechanisms to value environmental changes. She employs non-market and revealed preference approaches, having experience and interest in econometrics, experimental economics, choice experiments, and hedonic valuation. Her dissertation focuses on monetizing the nuanced aspects of social costs & benefits resulting from offshore wind energy development near Maryland. Previously, she has used these methods to value battery EV fleets and oyster aquaculture. Lauren is currently a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow with the Army Corps of Engineers and a PhD candidate in SMSP and expects to defend later this year.

Lance Noel - (matriculated into PhD, Marine Policy in 2011) Lance has a B.A. in Legal Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz. His research focuses on V2G capable electric vehicles, especially fleet vehicles, environmental and wildlife impacts of electricity production and the associated public trust doctrine implications, and modeling of large scale renewable penetration. Lance was a Magers Fellow during 2013.

Yang Pan - (matriculated into PhD, Physical Ocean Science and Engineering in 2014) Yang has a BS in Civil Engineering and Ocean Engineering and an MS in Ocean Engineering, all from Tianjin University (China). Yang comes to UD having been an ocean engineer in the China Classification Society, where his duties included surveying of offshore platforms and structural calculations. At UD he is working on developing a hybrid wind farm parameterization for mesoscale and climate model."

Niki Suto - (matriculated M.M.P., 2012) earned a B.S. in Energy & Environmental Policy – Science & Technology from the University of Delaware in 2011. She wears many hats, including being a founder and chair of the Newark Bike Project and an energy auditor in addition to her work as a research assistant on the eV2g project. Niki is undertaking research on optimal location of electric vehicle charging stations. Niki presently works for NRG.

Heather Thomson – a Ph.D. student, (matriculated into M.M.P. in 2010) has an M.S. in Oceanography and an MPSA in Public Service and Administration from Texas A&M University. Heather is currently studying the economic and environmental impacts and amenity/disamenity values associated with the UD wind turbine and with a coal-fired power plant.

Chi Yan - (matriculated into PhD, Physical Ocean Science and Engineering in 2014) Chi comes to UD with an M.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan after having earned a Bachelor’s degree from Huazhong University of Science & Technology in China. During the 2014-2015 school year, Chi will be a UD-DEMEC Graduate Fellow in Wind Energy Research.



Alison Bates - (PhD, 2016) Alison is currently at UMass Amherst, as a Lecturer in Renewable Energy & Sustainability and the Graduate Program Director for the M.S. Sustainability Science program. Alison wrote a three essay dissertation exploring, public perceptions of demonstration scale projects, de-conflicting offshore wind and commercial fishing, and a review of effects of offshore wind on marine mammals.  Key Challenges of Offshore Wind Power: Three Essays Addressing Public Acceptance, Stakeholder Conflict, and Wildlife Impacts, 2016.

Joseph Brodie - (PhD, 2016) Joseph received his Ph.D. in Physical Ocean Science and Engineering, where his dissertation focused on evaluating wake effects from different possible wind farm configurations for the Delaware Wind Energy Area. He also conducted research on grid operation impacts from large scale offshore wind, including the impacts of extreme wind variability events. Dr. Brodie now works as the Director of Atmospheric Research for the Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership, focusing on the ongoing development of offshore wind in NJ.

Ali Ponte - (M.S. 2016) Thesis Title: Utilizing Geological and Geotechnical Parameters to Constrain Optimal Siting of Mid-Atlantic Bight Offshore Wind Projects – current employment status: unknown

Jenna Toussaint - (PhD, 2016) has a B.S in Mathematics and a B.A. in Economics from Howard University. Jenna's current research interest is the potential impact of offshore wind projects on beach use, including changes in beach visits and economic welfare effects, for parts of the East Coast.

Shengbai Xie - (PhD, 2012-2015) Shengbai finished his PhD in Ocean Engineering in 2016. He is working at Convergent Science, Inc. as a Senior Research Engineer.

Regina McCormack - (M.M.P. 2014). Regina’s master’s research focused on the value of water used and consumed and the fish impinged and entrained by thermal power plants on the Delaware River and considered the benefit that would arise if they were replaced with offshore wind power. The European Wind Energy Association acknowledged her work as a best student poster at the 2013 Offshore Wind Conference. In summer 2014, Regina recently accepted a position a Marketing Analyst for the energy developer, Invenergy in Chicago.

Dawn Kurtz Crompton - (M.M.P. 2014). Her master’s analytic paper focused on offshore wind power, the dormant Commerce Clause, and the GATT. Dawn came to UD after having earned a law degree from Widener. While in the master’s program, Dawn also worked as a Law Clerk in the Governor Jack Markell’s office and is now an Attorney at Proctor Heyman in Wilmington.

Kateryna (Katya) Samoteskul - (M.S. 2013). Katya master’s thesis evaluated the costs and benefits of shifting the commercial ships farther out to sea in the mid-Atlantic to open near-shore areas to offshore wind energy development. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) awarded Katya Best Student Paper at its 2013 offshore wind conference. An article based on her thesis was published in the Journal of Environmental Management. She now works as a Marketing Analyst for the energy developer, Invenergy in Chicago.

Nathaniel Pearre - (PhD, 2013) Nathanial graduated with a PhD in 2013 after successfully defending his dissertation on vehicle driving patterns and what they mean for the time-dependent grid load and grid storage resource that private vehicles could represent. He is now a Research Engineer with the Renewable Energy Storage Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Blaise Sheridan - (M.M.P. 2013). Blaise’s thesis investigated the comparative private and social costs of alternative means of electricity generation. His first employment, which began while he was writing his thesis, was as a policy associate with the Energy & Climate Program at the Environmental & Energy Study Institute in Washington, DC. He is now a legislative assistant with Senator Chris Coons in the Washington, DC office.

Andrew Levitt - (M.M.P. 2013). Andrew received his MMP in January 2013, with an analytical paper on pricing offshore wind power, published in the journal Energy Policy. That paper grew out of the UD-NREL Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). Mr. Levitt continued to provide project management for the DOE-funded integrated design of an offshore wind farm. Mr. Levitt is also project manager for the eV2g collaborative between NRG Energy and University of Delaware.

Bruce Williams - (M.M.P. 2013) came to UD after a seventeen-year career with the LA District of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Bruce’s master’s research focused on new applications of remote sensing technology for offshore wind power. He is now working as a faculty researcher in Atmospheric Physics at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), helping to support development of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Area.

DeAnna Sewell - (M.S. 2012). Deanna, who studied in UD’s Physical Ocean Science and Engineering program, graduated with a Master’s of Science in Marine Studies. Deanna is now pursuing a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also a research participant with the NREL National Wind Technology Center in the offshore wind and waterpower group.

Scott Baker - (M.M.P. 2011) focused on estimating the offshore wind power potential in the Atlantic Ocean area adjacent to state areas with PJM Interconnection. In January 2011, Scott began working for PJM as a business solutions analyst in the Applied Solutions Department. Scott now works for PJM as a Senior Business Solutions Analyst & Lead for the PJM Advanced Technology Pilot Program.

Jonathan Lilley - (PhD, 2010). Dr. Lilley graduated with a Ph.D. in Marine Studies where his dissertation focused on ocean values and perceptions of offshore wind power and offshore oil and gas drilling. Jon was a Knauss Fellow at NOAA while pursuing his PhD. Jon was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, investigating public attitudes regarding the use of deep, cold ocean water for air conditioning as an alternative to fossil fuels. At the end of 2013, Jon began a post-doc at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research in Germany.

Meredith Blaydes Lilley - (PhD, 2010). Dr. Blaydes Lilley’s PhD dissertation examined wind power and migratory birds, offshore wind power and coastal tourism, and climate change perceptions. Meredith was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Hawai‘i, examining Pacific region climate change impacts and adaptation responses. Meredith recently accepted a position as an analyst at the US Governmental Accountability Office (GAO).

Amardeep Dhanju - (PhD, 2010). Dr. Dhanju’s dissertation was a series of four essays of on offshore wind power that touched on resource assessment, the role public power authorities could play in offshore wind power development, and a regulatory framework for offshore wind. Amardeep was awarded a Knauss Fellow where he served as the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) coastal marine spatial plan strategic coordinator. He has since worked with BOEM’s Environmental Studies Program as a Senior Ocean Policy Analyst where, among other tasks, he works on National Ocean Policy initiative.

Jacqueline Piero - (M.M.P, 2010). Jacqueline studied the motivations for and effects of citizen participation on the state of Delaware's 2008 energy policy decision that resulted in the first offshore wind power purchase agreement in the United States. While serving as a research assistant, she also worked on policy aspects of V2G. She now consults for companies in the electric vehicle industry.

Andrew Krueger (PhD, 2008). Dr. Krueger’s dissertation focused the visual disamenties associated with offshore wind turbines. After receipt of his PhD. Andy was one of the first BOEM hires in its new Alternative Energy Leasing Program. Andy has been at BOEM since, other than a stint where he pursued a dream to be a police officer, proudly serving in Albany, Georgia. While at BOEM, Andy has served as the Cape Wind project manager. He recently completed a detail at the US Department of Energy, where he worked on oil and gas issues.

Christina Christensen (formerly Jarvis) (M.M.P. 2005). Christina was first student to earn a degree focused on offshore wind energy. She evaluated the wildlife impacts of offshore wind power development relative to those from fossil fuel power production. Christina works for the US EPA in its Standards and Health Protection Division, Office of Science and Technology.

Students outside turbineStudent Experience

As  a research organization, the Center is fortunate to work with motivated and well-qualified students.  The graduate students have high levels of responsibility and carry out large portions of the effort, under supervision of PhD researchers.  This brings creative new minds to the research and development effort.  At the same time, we are training the next generation of professionals  -- they study the theory, work with industry, are involved in writing law and implementing policy, teach, give demonstrations and lectures about new clean technologies, and sometimes write draft law or advance new policies.  They are learning the science, engineering and policy--and working within the economy and the political process--to build a carbon-free society for the future.  Below they describe some of their experiences  with the Center...

"The V2g project has given me a chance to draw from university research, carry these ideas outside the academic world, and work with industry partners in an exciting field. I have gotten the opportunity to work on new technologies which have the potential to revolutionize the whole transportation paradigm and the chance to work on an interdisciplinary field that took me outside of my immediate comfort zone."
- Jon Lilley, PhD Student

"Working for the Center, I was given responsibilities quickly and felt very involved quite early on. I jumped right into working on a large grant and was able to learn through experience rather than strictly through course work. Just six weeks after starting with the Center, I was included in the group of Center researchers at a press event, sitting across the table from the President of the University, the management team of a global wind power manufacturer, and the Governor of Delaware."
- Blaise Sheridan, Masters student

"Doing research in cutting edge energy fields forces you to interact with industry experts because there is little or no previous literature on which to rely. Things are happening fast in this field, you can’t wait for reports or other experiments. As a consequence we get to do these things ourselves. We have direct interaction with lawmakers and law making. We are not responding to a bill that passes, but actually participating as an expert in the process. In just a couple of years of R&D at the Center, I have gained so much experience in the completely new field of Vehicle-to-Grid power that I have testified before a State Senate committee and answered lawmaker's questions--resulting in a new V2G law being passed. I now am answering questions from industry and the press, and I am a member of two US National committees setting standards for electric car connections."
- Scott Baker, Masters Student

"In my short time here working for the Center I already feel that I am becoming an expert in multiple disciplines. I am gaining experience not just in policy making but also in fields like engineering and energy systems. I have participated in the passing of an energy bill, demonstrations with an electric vehicle, and the submission of an academic article on the offshore wind resource for publication. I know that I will leave here with an understanding of much more than just marine policy and my specific area of research."
-Jo Huxster, Masters Student



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