Current Students

Below are profiles of current ESS students. Those outside of the official ESS dual degree (MS/MSE) program, but with interdisciplinary education in sustainability and engineering from the University of Michigan, are also included.

Sophia Camarero
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Chemical Engineering

Sofia is pursuing a Dual M.S./M.S.E in Sustainable Systems and Chemical Engineering. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de la Republica in 2018 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Cailin Buchanan
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Chemical Engineering
Cailin is interested in using engineering to address environmental issues and completed a dual degree in Sustainable Systems and Chemical Engineering in 2018. During her master’s program, Cailin conducted research at the Center for Sustainable Systems, evaluating the fuel savings and environmental impacts of lightweighting shipping containers on a variety of vehicle modes. She developed a model that uses life cycle assessment tools to analyze the influence that mode and distance have on the degree to which lightweighting impacts freight transportation life cycle burdens. Her thesis work was published in Transportation Research Part D: Transportation and the Environment. Previously, Cailin received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University along with a minor in German in 2016. While at Ohio State, she completed a research thesis in the field of heterogeneous catalysis, specifically addressing toxic chlorinated compounds in ground water systems. Cailin is now pursuing a PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with Professor Nirala Singh, researching the kinetics of redox flow batteries.

Claire Dodinval
ESS Sustainable Water Systems – Sustainable Systems/Mechanical Engineering
Claire is a second year graduate student studying Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Systems with the ESS – Sustainable Energy Systems program. She completed her undergrad degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with concentrations in Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability and Environmental Engineering, and a minor in Natural Resource Conservation. For her capstone project in undergrad, Claire traveled to Kampala, Uganda to study their water quality and inequities in water access between locals and refugees in the area, before returning to the States to work with a design team on potential solutions. Claire has interests in renewable energy grid integration, energy systems planning, and the nexus of energy technology, economics, and policy. Her overarching interest is in mitigating climate change. Claire works for the Center for Sustainable Systems, doing research work with Professor Gregory Keoleian on alternative transportation fuel and technology. Between graduating from Illinois and heading to Michigan, Claire spent five months living in New Zealand. She loves hiking, paddling, and camping, and enjoys travel in general.

Elena Essa
MS Sustainable Systems /MEng Energy Systems Engineering
Elena is currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan pursuing a dual degree (M.S./M.Eng.) in Sustainable Systems through the School for Environment and Sustainability and Energy Systems Engineering through the College of Engineering. She also completed her undergraduate degree in statistics from the University of Michigan in 2019. Elena’s research and academic interests focus on sustainable energy and technology deployment in developing communities, energy justice, and also international climate policy.

Amanda Farthing
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Mechanical Engineering
Amanda is passionate about finding equitable, environmentally-sound pathways to renewable energy-powered societies. Amanda obtained a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University, where she participated in the international engineering groups Engineers Without Borders and Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries, helped initiate Clemson’s first Green Revolving Fund, and investigated the potential for utility-scale solar PV in South Carolina. She has worked with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Commercial Buildings Research Group on the Demand-Side Grid (dsgrid) model and metrics for grid-friendly, energy-efficient buildings and districts. Prior to her enrollment at U of M, she researched community solar development in Santiago, Chile through the U.S. Student Fulbright Program. Apart from clean energy, Amanda loves mountain biking, climbing, spicy food, and petting dogs.

Erica Gardner
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Chemical Engineering
Erica is pursuing a Dual M.S./M.S.E in Sustainable Systems and Chemical Engineering. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University in 2018.

Rachel Kaup
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Chemical Engineering
Rachel is pursing dual degrees in chemical engineering and sustainable systems.

Youssef Machkhas
MS Sustainable Systems /MEng Energy Systems Engineering
Youssef is a second year graduate student pursuing a dual degree (M.S./M.Eng.) in Sustainable Systems and Energy Systems Engineering. He previously completed his undergraduate degree at Rice University in Houston, studying both chemical and environmental engineering. The summer before his senior year, he studied Iceland’s potential for wind energy, sparking his interest in the subject. Youssef’s academic and research interests focus on sustainable energy, the energy, water, food nexus, and energy storage. He also loves hiking, playing basketball, and listening to music.

Julia Magee
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Mechanical Engineering
Julia is in her first year of the ESS dual degree program, where she is studying Sustainable Systems and Mechanical Engineering. Inspired by her semester abroad in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh, Julia’s interests are in the sustainable implementation of renewable energy systems across the globe, and in renewable energy grid integration. She received her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Music from Cornell University in 2018. Her work experience includes participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship program, where she researched the barrier properties of various polymer and multi-layer films as part of an effort to develop composite liners for natural gas pipelines at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. During her free time, Julia is a devout watcher of reality TV, and enjoys traveling, listening to music, and eating.

Jocelyn Marchyok
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Mechanical Engineering
Jocelyn is in her second year of the ESS dual degree program, where she is studying Sustainable Systems and Mechanical Engineering. She is interested in the creation and equitable implementation of sustainable energy systems technology. Her research is currently focused on the climate and economic impacts of integrating renewable energy generation and storage technology into the electricity grid.

Stephen McShane
MS Sustainable Systems /MEng Energy Systems Engineering
Stephen is pursuing a dual M.S./M.Eng. degree (expected ’21). He earned a B.S. in Chemistry with a focus on Chemical Biology from Brown University in 2017. He is passionate about biochemical research, climate change science and policy, and traveling the world.

Kamerhon Moses
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Mechanical Engineering
Kamerhon is a second-year graduate student pursuing a dual degree (M.S./M.S.E) within the SEAS and Mechanical Engineering Departments. After graduating with a Mechanical Engineering B.S. from LSU, he wanted to dedicate his education to advancing the progress in international development and emergency management through the integration of clean energy systems. He was drawn to the Sustainable Energy Systems track at the University of Michigan to further educate himself on both the techno-economic and cultural dynamics of current interventions in underrepresented communities. Kamerhon is currently involved in organizations such as SWB, GSBES, and PGMEnt; and appreciates opportunities to give back to the community. In his free time, Kamerhon thoroughly enjoys cooking, reading non-academic literature, and traveling to new places.

Jeremy Nyitrai
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Environmental Engineering
Jeremy is pursuing a Dual M.S./M.S.E in Sustainable Systems and Environmental Engineering. He earned his bachelors degree in Environmental Engineering from University of Buffalo in 2019.

Conner O’Brien
MS Sustainable Systems /MEng Energy Systems Engineering
Conner is currently pursuing a dual M.S./M.Eng. in Sustainable Systems and Energy Systems Engineering. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Ethnology from the University of New Mexico in 2013. His passion for sustainability and renewable energy was inspired by his childhood in Taos, NM where he grew up in an off-grid, solar powered strawbale home. After working in the financial industry for nearly 4 years, Conner decided to pursue his passion and enrolled in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. He is interested in renewable energy generation and storage technologies, renewable energy grid integration, and sustainable refurbishment. Apart from renewable energy, Conner enjoys hiking, camping, watching and playing soccer, and spending time with his family.

Lindsay Rasmussen
ESS Sustainable Water Systems – Sustainable Systems/Environmental Engineering
Lindsay is pursuing a dual M.S./M.S.E. in Sustainable Systems and Environmental Engineering. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2020. She is interested in environmental policy and how emerging contaminants impact drinking water treatment facilities.

Daniela Tapia-Pitzzu
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Environmental Engineering
Daniela is a first-year dual degree student pursuing an M.S. in Sustainable Systems and and M.S.E. in Environmental Engineering.

Jackson Teener
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Environmental Engineering

Jack is pursuing an M.S. in Sustainable Systems and an M.S.E. in Environmental Engineering. His research interests include direct air capture of CO2 to make liquid jet fuels. He is passionate about ensuring we have a sustainable energy transition with a specific focus on energy efficiency and decarbonization, whether in a corporate, non-profit, or governmental space. He has experience in energy finance (LCOE, NPV) as it relates to sustainable technologies, performing life cycle analysis, quantifying energy efficiency projects, analyzing sustainability policy, and adapting to new modeling software. He is also interested in the importance of community partnership in developing sustainable systems and empowering vulnerable populations with sustainability solutions.

Andrew Timmins
ESS Sustainable Energy Systems – Sustainable Systems/Environmental Engineering
Andrew is a first-year dual degree student pursuing an M.S. in Sustainable Systems and and M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering.