Spring Intern Bridges the Fields of Engineering and Policy

Somewhere at the intersection of technological innovations, policy debates, and utility regulation lies the subject of energy efficiency.  To help tackle such an interdisciplinary field, NEEP’s policy team was fortunate enough to welcome a fledgling engineer into our midst for an internship during the spring of 2015.

Jennifer Skerker, an Environmental Engineering major at Tufts University, was attracted to the field of energy efficiency by the opportunity to combine technologies and policies to address environmental issues.  Prior to her time with NEEP, she had worked with Engineers without Borders to research water quality testing techniques for villages in Uganda, and spent a summer with Impact DC where she gained exposure to the political process.  These experiences helped emphasize the role that policymakers can play in tackling the most challenging of environmental issues. 

While at NEEP, Jennifer had the opportunity to weigh in on a number of salient policy debates.  She tracked legislation throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, identifying which bills would directly impact energy efficiency policies and how.  Jennifer also played a vital role in developing NEEP’s comments on possible implementation of an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard in New Hampshire. 

Adapting lessons learned through contemporaneous coursework that focused on technical writing skills, Jennifer produced a number of highly informative written works while at NEEP.  Regular readers of NEEP’s blog may recognize her as the author of our recent post entitled “Utility Mergers: Where Does Energy Efficiency Fit In?” or may notice her blog on energy efficiency in New Hampshire (forthcoming).  It’s safe to say that Jennifer’s recent exposure to technical writing and communications have been an invaluable asset to the policy team during her time at NEEP.

Jennifer plans to spend the summer in New Mexico, where she will be assisting in research on the use of effluent wastewater to water turfgrass. She will then continue with classes at Tufts University in the fall. Her overall professional goals at the moment include pursuing a career that combines engineering and policy because she believes that merging these fields is a very effective way to solve larger, societal issues.

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