Emily Zee is an undergraduate student studying Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Environmental Policy. She is a 2014 summer intern at the Rutgers Energy Institute, working with Professor Monica Mazurek.
1. Please describe your research in a way that would be understandable to someone without any scientific or technical background. The purpose of this research project is to complete a cost benefit analysis of installing rooftop solar panels on Rutgers Busch Campus based on current and predicted energy demand and costs. Programs such as ArcGIS and Adobe Photoshop will be used to measure rooftop surface area and color, respectively. Other factors taken into consideration include rooftop albedo, slope, and orientation. Analyzing these properties is crucial to understanding which buildings would benefit most from rooftop solar systems. Other project goals include creating a building master inventory with updated building codes and unique identifiers. This will make it easier to model results and be a useful tool for facilities and university planners.
2. How did you come to be involved in this research? I was introduced to Professor Mazurek by my Aresty research professor in Spring 2014. We were both working on very similar projects, so we decided to merge our data and begin working together.
3. Where do you see your research fitting into our energy future? Installing rooftop solar panels on campus would be a great investment for the university and fits perfectly into our energy future. As energy becomes more scarce, it is important for Rutgers to incorporate renewable energy wherever possible. This is a project that would set us abover other universities, lower our carbon footprint, and save money.