Leni Sinke is a graduate student in the Appropriate Technology program within the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment (STBE). She chose to attend Appalachian for its beautiful location as well as the history of exceptional work in sustainable energy and green building design here. The program stands out to her because of the expansive opportunities for interdisciplinary work, pulling professionals from different academic disciplines and industry backgrounds for the common goal of improving building and energy solutions. The technical aspects of the MS in Technology program have allowed her to gain the necessary skills and education to work in the solar energy field without an engineering degree.
Prior to entering graduate school, Sinke spent two years in Paraguay as a Peace Corps volunteer, which further ignited her passion for working within the climate field and being a part of the energy transition. She joined the Sustainable Technology program at App State as a Coverdell Fellow, a partnership between the Peace Corps and the University.
Sinke stands out within the department because of her extensive work with Ceres Greenhouse Solutions. Her thesis research focuses on performance of an advanced greenhouse that uses an innovative earth to air heat exchanger. The greenhouse is part of Appalachian’s Blackburn Vannoy Farm, a 369-acre demonstration, teaching, and research farm located in Ashe County and protected through the Blue Ridge Conservancy. While completing her thesis she helped to design and install a ground-to-air heat transfer (GAHT) system that includes sensors to monitor system performance. With this infrastructure in place, Leni and other researchers can continue to analyze the system and its capacity to heat and cool the greenhouse more efficiently.
Thank you for all of your outstanding work, Leni!
INSTAGRAM LINK to cratisdwilliams_appstate
Figure 1. AT Graduate Student Leni Sinke standing in front of the Atlas High Tunnel Greenhouse and Ceres Advanced Greenhouse under construction.
Figure 2. Leni Sinke installing pull-wire for underground sensors.
Figure 3. Dr. Jeremy Ferrell, Grad Student Leni Sinke, and Dr. Andrew Windham commission the GAHT Fans in the Ceres Greenhouse