“Energy E3: Education, Engineering Design, and Entrepreneurship,” by Abigail Mechtenberg


Location: 101 Jordan Hall of Science Map

Abigail Mechtenberg

Energy E3 enables energy education, engineering design and entrepreneurship by collaborating with resident technical experts to locally educate, prototype, design, build, install, maintain and create business ventures, as well as ways to propagate this renewable energy R&D project. Asset-based “so-called” international development theories frame this research within the constraints of locally-sourced materials and resident brilliance.  After ten years in Uganda, the Energy E3 program has begun in Rwanda, Nigeria, and Haiti. Mechtenberg will present the three levels of electricity generating devices and the technician expertise needed to locally build microgrids as well as present one patentable design (weaved wind turbine blades). This is the basis of our Empowering Nations to Power their Nation R&D program and includes changing US energy curriculum as well. Demonstrations of energy prototypes are presented throughout the presentation (from gravity light to concentrating solar power generator). In conclusion, her propagation network model will be briefly presented in terms of experimental design energy education pedagogies, electricity and health care research results, renewable energy minigrid simulations, wealth inequality econophysics modeling, as well as future energy accelerator business competitions. 



Abigail Mechtenberg is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Physics and International Sustainable Development Researcher for ND Energy. She publishes in research that focuses on understanding that national security and environmental stability rely on multiple criteria optimization of energy production, storage, and consumption within a complex system of global networks: social, natural and engineered. Specifically working with counterparts in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs), Mechtenberg leads ND Energy’s international efforts to support the University’s mission and Catholic identity through her Energy E3 program: energy education, engineering design and entrepreneurship. However, she also works with medical professionals from Harvard Medical School to Mulago Hospital on hidden energy costs associated with electricity failures in LMICs health care facilities among other research projects at the intersection of energy,  security, and stability. She earned her M.Ed in Physics Education from University of California, Santa Barbara, a M.S. in “pure” Physics and Ph.D. in “Applied” Physics from the University of Michigan and a Post Doc in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering on Design and Control Optimization as it relates to hybrid vehicles and mini-grids. Her Energy and Sustainable Development with Design (ESDD) laboratory combines her breadth of academic expertise and depth in evaluating solutions vital in avoiding instability: from economic inequalities to energy disparities.

Our Universe Revealed series sponsored by the Department of Physics

Originally published at energy.nd.edu.