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Staff

Gwen Holdmann
  • Gwen Holdmann
  • Director
  • gwen.holdmann@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-5402 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Bio:

Gwen is the founder and Director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, an applied energy research program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks which focuses on community- scale fossil and renewable/alternative energy technologies. Specific areas of emphasis include power systems integration for microgrids, hydrokinetic energy, low temperature geothermal, and diesel efficiency.

Prior to joining the University of Alaska, Gwen worked in the private sector as a design engineer and project manager, including the design and construction of the only operating geothermal power plant in Alaska at Chena Hot Springs. This project received several awards including a R&D 100 award (R&D Magazine) and Project of the Year in the Renewable Energy Category (Power Engineering Magazine).

Gwen has been inducted into the Alaska Innovator’s Hall of Fame, and was selected as a member of Alaska’s Top Forty Under 40. In 2015-16, she served as a Fulbright Scholar as part of the Arctic Fulbright Initiative. Gwen lives in an off-grid home with her family and 35 dogs, using a combination of solar, wind, battery storage, diesel generation, and wood heat. She has competed in the Yukon Quest and Iditarod sleddog races.

For more information view Gwen's Researcher Showcase.

Presentations and Publications

Projects at ACEP:

Robert Bensin
  • Robert Bensin
  • Senior Research Engineer
Baxter Bond
  • Baxter Bond
  • Research Professional
  • bwbond@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2532 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Bio:

Baxter is Yup'ik from the village of Tununak. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2018, and a Bachelor of Arts in Yup'ik Language in 2017, his heritage language. Both degrees are from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

His work focuses on electrical grid modeling for estimating energy storage requirements in hybrid diesel/renewable microgrids, and the development of a fuel usage meter called the Pump Monitoring Apparatus (PuMA). The PuMA will help determine building heat loads whose main source of heat are fuel oil vented heaters.

Baxter is also a photographer, Yup'ik language instructor, and Iñupiaq/Yup'ik dance instructor. In his free time he hikes, fishes, hunts, skis, sings, tinkers, and enjoys time with his best friend, a labrakita named Ori.

Projects at ACEP:

Dayne Broderson
  • Dayne Broderson
  • Solar Test Site IT Manager
Amanda Byrd
  • Amanda Byrd
  • Chief Storyteller
  • agbyrd@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-7544 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Bio:

Amanda Byrd is the Chief Storyteller at ACEP.  In her current role, she shares ACEP’s research news through the weekly newsletter ACEP This Week, films and produces short videoes that tell Alaska community energy and food stories, and 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 sits on the Alaska Wood Energy Development Task Group.

Her professional education includes an MS in Renewable Energy from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a BS Natural Resources Management from the 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 Grand 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.

 

Projects at ACEP:

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

Tonya Evans
  • Tonya Evans
  • Travel and Procurement Coordinator
  • tevans28@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-5402 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Bio:

Evans brings a wealth of administrative experience from her seven years working at the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and, prior to that, as an office manager for a local construction company. As part of her duties at ACEP, Tonya will coordinate all travel arrangements for ACEP researchers, manage procurement and provide administrative support to ACEP’s business manager, Marcia Cassino.

Evans moved to Alaska with her family as a teen and graduated from North Pole High School. She lives in North Pole with her husband, Brian, and their two teenage boys. When not working, Tonya enjoys traveling, lifting weights and time spent at their cabin in Central.

Projects at ACEP:

  • Travel and Procurement Coordinator
  • Administrative Assistant to Research Manager

Stephanie Jump
  • Stephanie Jump
  • Research Professional
  • sjump@alaska.edu
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
David Light
  • David Light
  • Energy Technology Facility Manager
  • david.light@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-1511 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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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:

Ben Loeffler
  • Ben Loeffler
  • Pacific Marine Energy Center Manage
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Bio:

Ben Loeffler was a Research Assistant at ACEP and served as a data analysis and reporting specialist for several Emerging Energy Technology Fund (EETF) and Renewable Energy Fund (REF) projects. His work focused on data collection, data management, and report writing. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech where he attained his BS and MS with his successful Master’s thesis focusing on developing an analytical model and numerical optimization of a single-phase thermosiphon for passive thermal management of power electronics.  As of July 2016 Ben was offered and accepted the position of Energy Management Engineer at the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Before his time with ACEP, Ben worked at the Extreme Tribology Lab at Georgia Tech as a research engineer and also at DHX Electric Machines, a startup company that develops novel internal combustion engines and electric machines.

Ben came to Alaska in 2015 to coach rowing, a pastime he picked up as an undergrad at Georgia Tech. He enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and cross country skiing.

Projects at ACEP:

Carolyn Loeffler
  • Carolyn Loeffler
  • ARENA Coordinator
Heike Merkel
  • Heike Merkel
  • PSI Operations Manager
  • hmerkel@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (970) 718-2817 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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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, 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.

Heike joined ACEP in 2013 as a data manager and took over as the operations manager for the Power Systems Integration program in the summer of 2017. The program develops and tests technologies to increase the penetration of renewable energy sources into microgrids. Heike is responsible for personnel, business and project management of the PSI laboratory as well as data management procedures at ACEP.

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

Projects at ACEP:

Tawna Morgan
  • Tawna Morgan
  • PSI Programmer
  • tmorga22@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-5402 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Bio:

Tawna joined ACEP's Power Systems Integration team in November 2017. She is providing programming and data analysis support for the PSI lab and program. Tawna moved to Fairbanks in 2005. Prior to joining ACEP she worked as a researcher at ABR Inc. where she designed wildlife studies and developed data collection applications and management systems. She enjoys designing innovative off-grid living solutions and adventures in Alaska.

Projects at ACEP:

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

George Roe
  • George Roe
  • Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy Manager
  • gmroe@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2631 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Seattle, Washington
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Bio:

George Roe is a research professor affiliated with ACEP and the Institute of Northern Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His areas of research emphasize energy management in relation to sustainable community development, stranded renewables, and exploring energy opportunities for sustainable maritime development. Others areas include microgrids, energy storage (thermal and electrical), low-grade thermal energy utilization, energy efficiency, and waste-to-energy systems. Current projects include the Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization, the Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy, and the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

Before joining ACEP in 2013, George worked for 35 years at Boeing, serving in both engineering and management capacities on multiple company, industry and government-funded research, development, and integration projects (e.g., thermal management, vehicle subsystems, crew protection, energy harvesting, energy storage, alternative energy). In addition, George has been an Adjunct Professor at Seattle Pacific University since 2009, teaching courses within its General Engineering and Appropriate and Sustainable Engineering programs. He holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington.

For more information view George's Researcher Showcase.

Publications:

Projects at ACEP:

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

Michelle Wilber