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Gwen Holdmann More

Bio:

Gwen is the Director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP), which is an applied energy research program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks focusing on both fossil and renewable/alternative energy technologies. ACEP is a highly interdisciplinary program with over 30 affiliated faculty spanning a wide range of energy-related disciplines.

Prior to joining the University of Alaska, Gwen served as the Vice President of New Development at Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks. While at Chena, Gwen oversaw the construction of the first geothermal power plant in the state, in addition to numerous other innovative energy projects ranging from hydrogen production to cooling a 10,000ft2 ice museum year-round using 150°F hot water.

Gwen moved to Alaska in 1994, shortly after graduating from Bradley University with a degree in Physics and Mechanical Engineering. Gwen is the mother of three children – Leif, Marais, and Lael. She is married to Iditarod and Yukon Quest musher Ken Anderson, and the couple maintain a kennel of about 50 dogs outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. They live off grid in a house they built themselves, and generate their own power through a combination of solar PV, wind, and diesel generator.

Gwen has been the recipient of several awards throughout her career, including an R&D 100 award, Project of the Year from Power Engineering Magazine, the Alaska Top 40 Under 40 Award.

For more information view Gwen's Researcher Showcase.

Presentations and Publications

Projects at ACEP:

Brent Sheets
Nickole Conley
  • Nickole Conley
  • Deputy Director of Operations
  • nlconley@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-5402 | Fax:
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Bio:

Nickole joined UAF in 2003. She has been in the College of Engineering and Mines (CEM) since 2005 where she served as the CEM Chief Financial Officer. Nickole also currently holds the position of Business Director at the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC). She is currently working on finishing her BBA at UAF in hopes to persue her masters. Outside of work and finishing her degree she loves the outdoors, traveling and spending time with her family.

Projects at ACEP:

Amanda Byrd
  • Amanda Byrd
  • Biomass Coordinator
  • agbyrd@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-6728 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
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Bio:

Amanda Byrd joined ACEP in 2008 helping to produce the 2009 Alaska Energy Plan, and the 2010 Alaska Energy Pathway.  Amanda brings to ACEP a deep interest in biomass as a potential energy solution for Alaska, and a keen interest in the health and livelihood of communities in Alaska’s rural regions.


Amanda grew up in Sydney, Australia and prior to college trained race horses in Australia and Japan for six years. She completed a bachelors degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of New England in Australia, which included one year studying at Colorado State University. After a summer as a Park Ranger in Grand Teton National Park Amanda fell in love with the North American forest. She initially came to Alaska to find adventure in 2002 and found it through her kennel of 18 sprint sled dogs, and her love for cycling, running, and skiing. Amanda is particularly fond of Alaskan’s resourcefulness and forest knowledge.

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
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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 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 two-year old son Gérard. 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
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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:

Thomas Johnson More
Nick Konefal
  • Nick Konefal
  • Research Engineer
  • nkonefal@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-7562 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
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David Light 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:

Heike Merkel
  • Heike Merkel
  • Data Manager
  • hmerkel@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-1145 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
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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) 474-5379 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
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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.

Melody Moen
  • Melody Cavanaugh-Moen
  • Outreach and Marketing Manager
  • melody.moen@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 978-0693 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
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Kara Moore More

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 More
Dominique Pride
  • Dominique Pride
  • Research Assistant
  • djpride@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907)-474-7689 | Fax: (907)-474-5475
More

Bio:

Dominique Pride Resume

Projects at ACEP:

Economic Model of Rural Fuel Pricing

Jack Schmid
  • Jack Schmid
  • Research Engineer
  • jwschmid@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 474-5432 | Fax: (907) 474-5475
More

Bio:

Presentations and Publications

  • Assessment of the Tanana River (Nenana, AK) for Hydrokinetic Turbine Operations (2010 Alaska Rural Energy Conference Presentation, Community Energy Lecture Series Presentation)

Projects at ACEP:

Jeremy VanderMeer 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
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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

Erin Whitney
  • Erin Whitney
  • Research Faculty, Data Collection & Management Program Manager
  • erin.whitney@alaska.edu
  • Phone: (907) 272-1521 | Fax:
  • Office Anchorage Office
More

Bio:

Dr. Whitney came to ACEP from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado where she led the Dynamic Windows research group and the Dynamic Windows Durability Testing Program, managed technical assistance for a 2 MW Solar America Showcase project, and provided energy analysis for solar thin film technologies. She has research experience in the fabrication and spectroscopy of photovoltaic devices and synthesis and characterization of carbon-based nanostructures and metal oxide nanoparticles for various renewable energy applications.


Erin grew up in Anchorage and is thrilled to be back home in Alaska, bringing along her husband and two children. Together they enjoy all forms of skiing, bike commuting as much as possible, and adventuring in the Alaskan wilderness.

For more information view Erin's Researcher Showcase.

Projects at ACEP:

Railbelt utility studies, data collection and analysis for Emerging Energy Technology Fund (EETF) and Renewable Energy Fund (REF) projects, and research into photovoltaic performance and potential in Alaska. 

Sarah Cox More

Bio:

Sarah is the Director, Circumpolar Affair Directorate (International Chair – SDWG Arctic Council) for the Federal Government of Canada. Sarah manages a team working in various areas including bilateral relationship with Russia on socio economic issues. Sarah previously worked as Director, Outreach and Liaison for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Sara’s skills are building and strengthening teams and mentoring and empowering teams.

Projects at ACEP:

Jani Juhani Lehto More

Bio:

Jani has a PhD in Science which centered on pyrolysis kinetics of peat and biomass fuels, and his previous studies focused on heat transfer mechanisms in bubbling fluidized bed boilers in biomass combustion. He is the Department Head of the Biofuels and Bioenergy Research Area at VTT in Jyväskylä, Finland, and Jani’s expertise is in biomass pre-treatment and use to generate heat and energy. In 20012, Jani was among the VTT team that was awarded an EARTO prize for breakthrough in biomass-based bio-oil.  

Projects at ACEP:

Antti Arasto More

Bio:

Antti Arasto, D.Sc. (Tech), Business Development Manager of Biofuels and Bioenergy research area.  Antti is an expert in techno-economic assessment especially related to bioenergy, biorefinery and carbon capture and storage technologies in addition to energy strategy assessments and roadmaps. He has wide knowledge on energy and system evaluation of various carbon neutral energy and bioeconomy related concepts backed up with know-how on energy related policies and strategies. In addition to offering development and project acquisition he is experienced in modeling and process simulation of energy production processes with various simulation tools, specializing in Aspen Plus process simulation software.

Antti has been Research Team Leader of Energy Concepts Research Team for five years developing and managing resources, competences and project portfolio of the team. Leadership skills extend to experience from program manager of the national Cleen Oy’s CCSP research program to operating as a member of the secretariat of European Energy Research Alliance. He has international experience especially within European energy related networks and projects being currently a member of European Biofuels Technology Platform and Zero Emission Platform joint task force on bio and CCS and VTT representative in EERA CCS joint program. He is an IPMA certified professional of project management and has proven skills in project portfolio management.

Projects at ACEP:

Ludvik Georgsson More

Bio:

Mr. Georgsson is the Director of the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP), Orkustofnun – National Energy Authority, in Reykjavik, Iceland.  From 1990-2013, he served as UNU-GTP Deputy Director with responsibility for planning, academic and financial management of its 6-month training program.  And, from 1975-1990 Mr. Georgsson worked as a geophysicist at the Geothermal Division of Orkustofnun, with responsibilities in the exploration of geothermal systems, both of low-enthalpy and high-enthalpy type and was manager of many exploration projects. He has been the editor of the UNU-GTP annual yearbook, Geothermal Training in Iceland, from its first publication in 1994.  Mr. Georgsson also serves as project leader of annual short courses on geothermal exploration and development, held both in Kenya and in El Salvador, which have been Iceland’s contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals.  He undertakes missions and site visits for the UNU-GTP to many countries of Africa, Asia, Central America, and Eastern Europe.

Projects at ACEP:

Gwen Holdmann More

Bio:

Gwen is the founder & director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP). Prior to joining the University of Alaska, served as Vice President of New Development at Chena Hot Springs Resort and was responsible for implementing world’s lowest temperature geothermal power system. Gwen graduated from Bradley University with a Physics and Mechanical Engineering degree and moved to Alaska with her husband and 3 children living off-grid in house they built themselves, powered by solar PV, wind, and diesel generator, and heated by wood stove. Gwen has been awarded: R&D 100 award, Project of the Year from Power Engineering Magazine, Alaska Top 40 Under 40, Fulbright Scholarship.

Projects at ACEP:

George Roe More

Bio:

George is a research professor at ACEP and has 35 years of experience working at Boeing in research and development of thermal management, energy harvesting, energy storage, alternative energy, and their integration with products sold by Boeing. George’s area of expertise at ACEP includes energy and energy management and their relationship to sustainable community development.

Projects at ACEP:

Sydney Kaufman More

Bio:

Sydney Kaufman is an AAAS Diplomacy Fellow in the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources where she is the lead on Arctic energy security and clean energy development.  Prior to the State Department, she was a Congressional Science Fellow in the Office of Senator Mark Begich working on energy and natural resources.  Sydney Kaufman has a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Colorado Boulder/NIST. Prior to graduate school, Kaufman spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer based out of Anchorage, Alaska, then worked for a small environmental consulting firm on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from McGill University.

Projects at ACEP:

Ann Meceda
Grant Sullivan