U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
SunShot Initiative Fellowships
SunShot fellowships provide an opportunity for scientists, engineers, and researchers to lead and improve projects to meet the goals of the SunShot Initiative.
SunShot Fellows in front of the Apollo Lunar Module at the National Air and Space Museum. Image from DOE
There are three types of fellowships for recent graduates and experienced scientists and engineers.
All fellows are assigned to policy-related projects and mentored by senior EERE staff. The fellowships are administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) in collaboration with EERE. ORISE is responsible for the implementation of the fellowship program, processing applications, the review and notification processes, and management of payments to fellows.
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships are awarded to eligible M.S. or Ph.D. graduates who have more than three years of post-degree experience in a technical or research capacity at the time of application.
Candace Pfefferkorn supports the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) team in overcoming hurdles associated with the cost-effective deployment of CSP systems. Specific efforts are centered on CSP-enabled thermochemical energy storage and the reliability of optical coatings and materials. Candace has a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and conducted graduate and postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health where she gained expertise in numerous steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic characterization techniques. Candace joined the program in September 2012.
SunShot Fellows are Ph.D. graduates who have held a graduate degree for less than three years at the time of application.
Adam Cohen is a SunShot Fellow focused on accelerating soft cost reductions. Adam spearheaded a new program that merges big data processing, predictive analytics, behavioral economics, and pilot experimentation to develop novel techniques for driving solar cost reduction. The Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies program now supports seven research teams across the country. Adam also helped lay the groundwork for the SunShot Prize competition that spurs businesses and communities to implement disruptive strategies for reducing soft costs. Adam holds a Ph.D. in physics from University of Maryland and a B.S. in physics from Bucknell University. He joined SunShot as a Fellow in September 2011.
SunShot Junior Fellows
Junior Fellows are recent bachelor's graduates who have held a degree for less than five years at the time of application.
Anna Brockway is a SunShot Junior Fellow interested in both the technical and policy aspects of solar energy development. Anna is working on three main projects, which are targeted at achieving a deeper understanding of the chemical reliability of solar system materials; improving forecasting metrics to better predict the availability of solar resources; and evaluating the current status and potential impact of shared solar deployment in the United States. Anna joined the SunShot program in January 2013 and holds a B.S. in chemistry from Haverford College. At Haverford, she focused on applying computational physical chemistry tools to issues related to alternative energy and sustainability technologies.
Doug Fabini is a SunShot Junior Fellow focusing primarily on grid integration of solar energy and power electronics for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Through his efforts, he seeks to enhance the functionality and reliability of solar power electronics and to enable the integration of distributed and central-station solar generation at scale. As part of his Fellowship, Doug conducted a short-term placement at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he investigated the use of reactive power from PV inverters for optimizing electricity distribution system performance. Doug joined the program in January 2012 and holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Edward Hoegg is a SunShot Junior Fellow focusing on concentrating solar power. Of primary interest to him are the sensible, latent, and thermochemical forms of energy storage. Edward became a Fellow in July 2012 after working as a contractor for the SunShot Initiative. Edward holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Washington College. His research includes a new method for palladium-catalyzed indenoannulation for the formation of large bowl-shaped molecules and the unusual fragmentation of ethyl dihydrocinnamate and related arylalkanoates in mass spectroscopy.
A variety of internships, fellowships, and scholarships, including postdoctoral research positions, are available through EERE.
Katherine Crowley was an AAAS Fellow working to quantify the risks associated with financing solar projects. Katherine spent nine years teaching mathematics at Washington and Lee University, St. Olaf College, and Columbia University, and served as a legislative aide to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) for one year.
Carmen Cioc was a SunShot Fellow working in the PV technologies group. Carmen earned a Ph.D. in engineering for her work in mathematical and numerical modeling of thin-film fluid flows and thermal mixed-elastohydrodynamic lubrication. She also earned an M.S. - Professional in Photovoltaics degree from the University of Toledo, where she performed PV-related research in the ultrafast spectroscopy laboratory. As part of the SunShot PV group, she provided technical mentoring, guidance, and support to more than twenty projects under the Solar Energy Technology Office's SBIR/STTR program.
Alex Polizzotti was a SunShot Junior Fellow for two years beginning in July 2011. Alex joined the program shortly after receiving an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Pomona College. During his time at SunShot, he focused primarily on Cu2ZnSnS4 (copper zinc tin sulfoselenide or CZTS) – an analogue to the copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) absorber layer used in thin-film solar cells. Alex organized a meeting in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and IBM to identify highest-priority needs in CZTS photovoltaics. He also co-authored a prospectus on CZTS photovoltaics based on the results of this meeting, which is currently being reviewed for publication. Alex is now at MIT pursuing a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Lenny Tinker originally started in the Department of Energy Solar Office as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow and was recently hired to support the development and execution of funding opportunities for the SunShot Initiative. Prior to his position in the DOE, Lenny was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany. As a postdoctoral researcher, he designed inorganic complexes to be used in organic light emitting diodes and to promote triplet-triplet upconversion processes. Lenny obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University and a B.S. from Beloit College. His Ph.D. research focused on visible light-induced water reduction using iridium(III) chromophores and colloidal catalysts. The aim of this research was to develop an efficient technique to produce a portable fuel using sunlight.