The students in the iCons Fourth Dimension cohort are glad to be back on campus for their sophomore year. I caught up with two scholars after the iCons Fall Workshop to find out what they are up to.
Jared Detwiler is a Mechanical Engineering major who plans to continue his iCons studies on the Renewable Energy track. His favorite part of iCons is the collaboration with faculty and students. He enjoys the small, interdisciplinary nature of the iCons classes as well as the opportunity to work in teams on case studies.
After an enjoyable summer of working at his local karate school and vacationing in Michigan, Jared jumped right back into his work upon return to UMass this year. His favorite class this semester is Thermodynamics, and he is involved in the Ghana Group of Engineers Without Borders.
Jared had the opportunity to attend this fall’s iCons Workshop. When I asked for his thoughts on the workshop, he replied, “This fall, our iCons workshop was based on the work going on in our Massachusetts Cape Cod Military Base with energy storage technology and our nation's need for a reliable supply of energy. We discussed the future implications of success with this kind of technology for our nation, and what would be required for this technology to make a greater impact. I appreciated the fact that the workshop was not extremely technical. I think that the fact we were able to discuss obstacles we have to overcome politically, socially, and economically for energy technologies made this a valuable learning experience as scientists and engineers that may primarily deal with the technical obstacles of technology."
Dylan Masi is also a Mechanical Engineering major who wants to pursue the Renewable Energy track of iCons this spring. Her favorite part of iCons is engaging in class discussions with professors and fellow students because of the interesting topics we discuss. She also loves to apply her skills to solve real-world problems.
Dylan had a busy summer working as a nanny and also at a summer tubing park. She also hiked the mountains of New Hampshire, went to the beach and went kayaking. Upon return to UMass, her favorite class this semester is Statics. She fills her time with commitments to the UMass Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team as well as the Society of Women Engineers.
Dylan also attended the iCons Fall Workshop. “At the iCons Fall 2014 Workshop, we got to hear from three representatives from the renewable energy industry, specifically on the new Liquid Metal Battery storage units being introduced at Joint Base Cape Cod. We discussed some theoretical solutions, as well as the main barriers, for the question of how to upscale the use of renewable energy so it can become more affordable for individuals. From the workshop, I learned a lot about the politics, and many other considerations, that are involved in a switch to renewable energy. Even looking at cost effectiveness varies based on the group that will be using it. For example, the first goal at JBCC is military capability, so their main focus is being able to survive if the grid goes down."
Jared and Dylan look forward to reuniting with their iCons cohort in class this spring!