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Staff

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

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

Max Frey
  • Max Frey
  • Program Assistant
  • mefrey@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-1143 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Bio:

Max Frey was born and raised in the Matanuska Susitna Valley of Alaska.  He came to Fairbanks to attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he studied business and attained his bachelor’s degree in Administration with an emphasis on Marketing and a minor in the German language. He has professional experience in renewable energy concepts, administration, and event organization.

Max ’s role at ACEP is Program Assistant.  He is taking over the final stages of management of the Pilgrim Hot Springs Project from Markus Mager and he is a hard working member of the ACEP Outreach Program Team.

Max Frey is happily married to a beautiful woman named Alina as of September, 2012 and lives in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Projects at ACEP:

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

Heike Merkel
  • Heike Merkel
  • Data Manager
  • hmerkel@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2539 | 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 and learning how to operate a saw mill, ski on glaciers, and kayak 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 at UAF and a MS in Geophysics in 2009. She subsequently worked in institutional research and learned how to navigate the university Oracle database. Since January 2013, Heike is the data manager for the Alaska Center for Energy and Power and is responsible for quality control of incoming data and is currently working on the set up of an online database for the Alaska Wind-Diesel Applications Center. In her free time, Heike enjoys various outdoor activities and traveling.

Projects at ACEP:

  • Data Acquisition and Analysis

Luis Miranda
  • Luis Miranda
  • Research Engineer
  • luis.m@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 888-2609 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
  • Office Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Bio:

Work experience:
Luis completed a Master’s degree at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, in Electrical Engineering and Computers, specializing in Automation.
He is most proficient with Matlab, Simulink and C++.
In his thesis, Luis implemented an adaptive control algorithm based in Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR) using Matlab.

Areas of interest:
Machine Learning, Adaptive control, Complex Models, Parallel Computing, Computer Vision.

Projects at ACEP:

Power Systems Integration: Luis will be developing and perfecting models for each individual component of our Energy Technology Testing Facilities, ensuring their future compatibility and reliability when exposed to different scenarios.

Kara Moore
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Bio:

Kara is a graduate of UAF most recently in 2011 with her Masters in Natural Resources Management & Geography.  After working in land management Kara found her way to ACEP and is happily working away on website needs. 

Photo Courtesy of Annie Miebs, Natural Photography.

Projects at ACEP:

  • Website Content

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:

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