A group of our students and a faculty member participated along with 40k+ participants in the RE+ 2023 Conference that was held in Las Vegas Septemer 10-14, 2023. The group consists of two graduate students, Chijioke Agupugo from the Masters of Appropriate Technology Program, Duncan Burns from the Master’s in Renewable Energy Engineering Program, Joey Crews a senior undergraduate student at the Sustainable Technology Program, and their supervisor Dr. Sohad Abu-elzait. The trip comes as part of an externally funded grant that Dr. Abu-elzait received recently. The team was introduced to the cutting-edge practices and trends in the renewable energy technologies and industry. The students met with industrial personnel who mentored the students and provided advice regarding the design and implementation of their Hybrid Energy System project. They joined the RE+ career fair, and they visited the mighty Hoover Dam.
The student team shared their reflections about this experience:
Joey Crews: "Attending the 2023 RE+ conference was an extremely valuable experience for me and my classmates. We were able to learn more about the industry through exciting new technologies and make connections with important people in the renewable energy field. I am excited to take what I learned at the conference and apply it to my research, coursework, and career going forward."
Chijioke Agupugo: “I was excited and privileged to attend the RE+ conference and was thrilled by the many new technological innovations in renewable energy microgrids, which is my topic of research under the supervision of Dr. Sohad. Operation of a total DC microgrid was exhibited. There was also an exhibition of a smart hybrid microgrid capable of self-dictating when there is no power supply from the grid through its smart controller. I was exposed to a new software developed by an Italian company that is used to model renewable energy systems. The conference served as a good connecting link to some renewable energy companies. The conference was an eye opener to innovations in renewable energy microgrids”.
Duncan Burns: “I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to attend North America’s largest renewable energy gathering, the RE+ conference this year. The scale of this event reinforced my confidence in my decision to pursue a career in renewable energy. I benefited from being introduced to and advised by multiple professionals in the field. This included representatives from companies such as AES, Pattern Energy, and SEIA. They gave me insight into the hybrid renewable energy system that my colleagues and I are designing. I received many technical tips, but a common non-technical thread of advice I received was an emphasis on understanding the relationship between technology and the societies it is introduced to. The renewable energy industry is seeking communicators who can bridge this gap and help make sure that the integration of these technologies leads to a sustainable and community-oriented energy future. I met graduates of App State’s Sustainable Technology program and was clear that they had all established themselves as leaders and innovators in the field. The warm reception I received whenever I introduced myself as an Appalachian State student showed the amazing reputation they had created. I look forward to attending this conference again next year”.