We are excited to announce Alanna Cooney as the winner of the 2022 Art Rosenfeld Award for Energy Efficiency!
Alanna is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley, where her research focuses on thermal energy storage for a decarbonized future. She began her career as a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) designer for data centers, where, along with learning valuable lessons in navigating the professional engineering world, she discovered her passion for sustainable energy systems and undergraduate mentorship.
Compellingly titled “Solving the Problem of Too Many Selfies,” Alanna’s research explores the potential of a method called latent thermal energy storage (LTES) as a scalable energy storage system. The global increase in digitalization and subsequent reliance on vast data centers has created a need to decrease their energy consumption and carbon footprint. To that end, Alanna plans on using machine learning methods to control multi-temperature LTES assemblies, developing an energy efficient data center thermal storage system. In her words, this study would combine cutting-edge academic research with her practical and budget-driven experience as an industry professional.
Ultimately, Alanna aims to teach in the field of energy and sustainability in a manner that allows her to engage with undergraduate students through teaching, mentorship, and research. Her innovation extends to the delivery of engineering education and mainstreaming sustainability to be the core lens through which all aspects of engineering are taught. As one of the 2022 recipients of UC Berkeley’s Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (OGSI) Award, Alanna already seems to be hard at work towards that goal!
On receiving the Art Rosenfeld Award, she says, “I am incredibly honored to receive this award and hope to continue Dr. Rosenfeld’s inspiring work in energy research in whatever way I can. I have heard so much of Dr. Rosenfeld’s impact in the field of energy efficiency and am extremely humbled by this opportunity to be a small part of that legacy. As an engineer who has gone from industry to academic research, making sure that my research focuses on practical solutions that can translate from the lab to the real world is extremely important to me and I hope to use the Art Rosenfeld Award to demonstrate the feasibility of my novel thermal energy storage system to reduce the carbon footprint of data center cooling systems.”
We wish Alanna the best of luck in her research and are excited to witness selfie storage being made more sustainable!