University of Alaska Fairbanks logo bear University of Alaska Fairbanks

Staff

Amanda Byrd
  • Amanda Byrd
  • Biomass Coordinator
  • agbyrd@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2516 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More

Bio:

Amanda Byrd is the Biomass Coordinator at ACEP and serves as a team member on the Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy project and Global Applications Program.  In her current role she provides technical support to ACEP partners at the Alaska Energy Authority by organizing quarterly biomass meetings, writing case studies on commercial scale biomass boiler projects installed around Alaska, and is helping to develop standardized application and reporting requirements for new Renewable Energy Fund biomass energy applications for funding.  She is also working with AEA and local Fairbanks North Star Borough officials to develop a high-efficiency, low-emissions commercial scale biomass energy heating project in Fairbanks.

Before working with ACEP, Amanda was the managing editor of Mushing Magazine for three years.  In addition to her current role, she is the part-time marketing manager at Goldstream Sports.  Her professional education includes a MS in Renewable Energy from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a BS Natural Resources Management from University of New England, Australia.

Originally hailing from Australia, Amanda grew up in Sydney where prior to her college experience she trained race horses there and in Japan.  After falling in love with the North American forests through a year-long exchange program to Colorado State University and a summer experience as a Park Ranger in Grant Teton National Park, she moved to Alaska in search of adventure.  She is currently a reformed sprint dog musher who enjoys running (but don’t call her a runner) and has participated in Fairbanks' Equinox Marathon several times.  Other favorite past times include mountain and road cycling, floating rivers, baking, cooking, and writing.

For more information view Amanda's Researcher Showcase.

Projects at ACEP:

Marcia Cassino
  • Marcia Cassino
  • Program Assistant
  • mcassino@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-5402 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More

Bio:

Marcia Cassino has recently joined the Alaska Center for Energy and Power Team as a Program Assistant. She has 13 years of experience as an administrative assistant. Her main focus will be to assist with project administration, travel and procurement, and provide administrative assistance to the Research Manager.  

Marcia came to Alaska in 2006, when the military blessed her husband with orders to Eielson Air Force Base. She loves Alaska and has a passion for hunting, fishing, camping, and all that the great outdoors has to offer. She often volunteers in the community to include co-chairing the post-celebration at Pioneer Park for STOMP (Salute to Our Military Parade), Fairbanks Community Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska and Santa Clearing House. She loves spending time with her family and friends. Marcia has been married to David Cassino for 24 years and has 4 grown daughters and 8 grandchildren with her 9th grandchild on the way. 

Projects at ACEP:

  • Assistance with Project Administration
  • Travel and Procurement Coordinator
  • Administrative Assistant to Research Manager

Rob Cermak
  • Rob Cermak
  • ETL Programmer and Control Systems Integrator
  • cermak@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2093 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More

Bio:

Joined ACEP in 2015.  Employed most recently by the former Arctic Region Supercomputer Center in Fairbanks, Alaska as an Information Systems Professional.  Prior to moving to Alaska, was working as a programmer in New Jersey for Rutgers, The State University while completing an undergraduate and master of science degree in Meteorology.  Enjoys the challenges of off-grid living using a mix of solar, wind, diesel and gas power generation.

Projects at ACEP:

Provide programming and control system integration assistance for all users of the PSI laboratory.

  • Improvements to the PSI SCADA and data collection systems.
  • Actively involved in integration and interoperability of instrumentation for use in the PSI SCADA system and high resolution data collection.
  • Documentation and preservation of hardware, software and lab processes to ensure ongoing operations of the PSI laboratory.

Paul Duvoy
  • Paul Duvoy
  • Research Professional
  • pxduvoy@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2140 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More

Bio:

Paul earned a M.Sc. Degree in Civil Engineering at UAF in December 2010. He also holds an Engineering Degree in Systems Engineering from National Technological University in Argentina.

At ACEP his work focuses on the numerical and analytical modeling for hydrokinetic resources assessment and debris mitigation, field measurements and data analysis. He also conducts research modeling for discrete element simulation of geotechnical problems on Mars and the Moon at INE.

Paul lives in Fairbanks with his wife Andrea and their sons Gérard and Émile. When not working, Paul’s interests include astronomy, French cinema, philosophy, and photography.

Publications:

  • Duvoy, P., and Toniolo, H. (2012). HYDROKAL: A Module for In-stream Hydrokinetic Resource Assessment. Computers & Geosciences, 39 (February): 171–181. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2011.06.016.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S009830041100207X
  • Johnson, J.B., Toniolo, H., Seitz, A.C., Schmid, J., and Duvoy, P. (2013). Characterization of the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska, to Determine the Important Factors Affecting Site Selection, Deployment, and Operation of Hydrokinetic Devices to Generate Power. Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center, Fairbanks, AK, 130 pp.
    http://www.uaf.edu/files/acep/2013_8_8_HKD_report_with_appendices.pdf
  • Toniolo, H., Duvoy, P., Vanlesberg, S., and Johnson, J. (2010). Modelling and field measurements in support of the hydrokinetic resource assessment for the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 224(8) (December 1): 1127–1139. doi:10.1243/09576509JPE1017.
    http://www.uaf.edu/files/acep/Toniolo_et_al_2010_Tanana.pdf

Resume and Projects

 

 

Projects at ACEP:

  • Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center

Nick Konefal
  • Nick Konefal
  • Research Engineer
  • nkonefal@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2538 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More
David Light
  • David Light
  • Research Engineer
  • david.light@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2743 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More

Bio:

Joined ACEP in July of 2011 from a career in the rural power industry. Employed most recently by Alaska Power & Telephone Co. designing, installing, and servicing remote diesel power plants throughout the interior and southeast. Worked on the Eagle AK  Yukon river hydrokinetic turbine pilot project. Previously in Alaska was employed by N.C. Machinery Co. Caterpillar Power Systems as the Fairbanks branch Service Manager following many years as a field technician, and engineer in remote communities as well as the Prudhoe Bay oil industry. Prior to moving to Alaska was also employed by Caterpillar in New York, and the New England area beginning in 1983 working on large standby, and mining industry power generation systems. My home is in the Gold Stream Valley, and I greatly enjoy my time in Alaska taking advantage of all of its outdoor activities.

Current Projects:

  • Current position as project manager for the Energy Technology Facility.  Involved in the design, construction and development of our testing laboratories on the UAF campus.
  • Actively involved in research programs including diesel engine technology, energy storage systems, wind diesel integration, and advanced control systems.
  • Support of hydrokinetic research, and development projects.

Projects at ACEP:

Melissa McCumby
More

Bio:

Melissa began working for UAF in the summer of 2011 in a temporary clerical position at the Institute of Northern Engineering. That placement opened the door for her to work in other various position on the campus, filling vacancies that needed temporary fulfillment. She worked at the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization for three years before coming to ACEP.

Projects at ACEP:

Heike Merkel
  • Heike Merkel
  • Project and Data Manager
  • hmerkel@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2539 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More

Bio:

Heike moved to Alaska in 1996 after graduating from an Engineering School in Germany with a Bachelor’s degree in Structural Engineering. After enjoying all Alaska has to offer for a few years and learning how to operate a saw mill, ski on glaciers, and kayak down wild rivers, she went back to school and graduated with a MS in Civil Engineering from UAA in 2001. That was followed by more graduate work on Arctic sea ice and a MS in Geophysics from UAF in 2009. 

In January 2013, Heike joint ACEP and became the data manager for the Data Collection & Management Program. In this position she was responsible for the development and continued maintenance of the online database for the Alaska Wind-Diesel Applications Center as well as quality control and database upload of incoming data. In 2017, Heike took over project management for ACEP’s Power Systems Integration Laboratory. She is responsible for keeping research projects in the lab on budget and on time. 

In her free time, Heike enjoys various outdoor activities and traveling.

Projects at ACEP:

Christopher Pike
  • Christopher Pike
  • Research Engineer
  • cpike6@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 799-6731 | Fax: (907) 786-7739
  • Office Location: Anchorage, Alaska
More

Bio:

  • Chris first came to Alaska in 2004 and quickly fell in love with the all things Alaskan.  Between 2004 and 2011 Chris lived in the western part of the state, only accessible by air and water.  During this time, he came to realize the impact that the high cost of energy was having on every aspect of people’s lives.  He began working with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power in 2012 and has been involved in projects ranging from studying the performance of solar thermal systems in the Arctic, geothermal exploration in Western Alaska and working as part of the data collection and analysis team.  Recently he has been working as part of a team to improve our understanding of the performance of solar photovoltaics in the state and learn more about ways to reduce the cost of this technology.

Projects at ACEP:

Jeremy VanderMeer
  • Jeremy VanderMeer
  • Research Engineer
  • jbvandermeer@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2632 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More

Bio:

Jeremy received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada and his M.Sc. in Renewable Energy from the University of Oldenburg, Germany. He has worked on several solar power and micro-hydro projects in the D.R. Congo before moving to Alaska and joining the Alaska Center for Energy and Power. He is currently helping design and build a high resolution data acquisition system to gather grid data. Jeremy also runs simulations of Alaska microgrids with already gathered data to test different control schemes and the addition of generation and storage units. He loves living in Alaska and tries to take full advantage of its great backcountry. The similarity between some of the unique challenges faced by Alaska's communities to those experienced during Jeremy's years living in Africa are intriguing, including power generation. This is leading to some exciting opportunities for ACEP to partner internationally and share expertise in the growing microgrid field.

Projects at ACEP:

  • Power Systems Integration
  • BlackBox Data Acquisition Project
  • Modelling Electrical Grids

Lesli Walls
  • Lesli Walls
  • Research Grant Manager
  • ljwalls@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-1930 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
More

Bio:

Lesli Walls joins the Alaska Center for Energy and Power as Grant Manager for ACEP research awards. She has over 11 years experience and her main focus is in post award research administration and compliance management.  

Lesli is a lifelong Alaskan who is raising her 2 sons to have a love of all that Alaska can offer. She has a strong affection of photography, reading and trying to learn something new every day.

Projects at ACEP:

  • Management of ACEP research awards