ESDD - Research Lab

Energy and Sustainable Development + Design

Energy and Sustainability (Development and Design) - Research Summary

This research lab includes socio-technical design research involving hybrid minigrid and vehicle power management focused within an energy, sustainable development, and averting sixth extinction nexus; physics education and experimental design; global health risks associated with inaccessible, unaffordable and unreliable electricity;sustainable development involving the interconnections between health, education, and economics; renewable energy; and merging traditional with technological skills; minigrid modeling with uncertainty as well as known variability for robust optimization design and control algorithms of power management. As such, this energy and sustainable development with design research lab has students from multiple disciplines including physics (complex systems and applied physics), physics education, medical school (or pre-professional), engineering (electrical, mechanical and environmental engineering predominately), business entrepreneurship, and international development. 2016 CV Here

Principal Investigator (PI)

Abigail Mechtenberg

Office: 208 Jordan Hall of Science

Phone: +1 734-719-0432 (text and voice mail only)



Ph.D., Applied Physics, University of Michigan

M.S., Physics, University of Michigan

M.Ed., Educational Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

B.S., Physics, Texas A&M University

Key Words

Energy Systems, Sustainable Development, Smart Grid, Hybrid Vehicle Control Optimization, Energy Education

Relevant Energy Publications

Abigail Mechtenberg, Moses Musaazi, Nancy Senabulya, Paul Musasizi, and Emmanuel Miyingo. “Low HDI Nations’ Electricity Reliability: Hidden Energy Crises in Health Care”. Risk Analysis, 2015. [accepted upon revisions]

Musaazi MK, Mechtenberg AR, Nakibuule J, Sensenig R, Miyingo E, Makanda JV, Hakimian A, Eckelman MJ. “Quantification of Social Equity in Life Cycle Assessment for Increased Sustainable Production of Sanitary Products in Uganda”, Journal of Cleaner Production (2013), doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.10.026.

Tulga Ersal, Changsun Ahn, John Whitefoot, Abigail R. Mechtenberg, Diane L. Peters, Ian A. Hiskens, Huei Peng, Anna Stefanopoulou, Panos Y. Papalambros, Jeffrey L. Stein. “Coupling Between Component Sizing and Regulation Capability in Microgrids”. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, 2013.

Abigail Mechtenberg, Kendra Borchers, Emmanuel Miyingo, Farhan Hormasji, Amirtha Hariharan, John Vianney Makanda, and Moses Musaazi. “Human Power (HP) as a Viable Electricity Portfolio Option below 20 W/Capita”. Energy for Sustainable Development, 2011. [Best Paper of the Year Nomination– Amulya K.N. Reddy Award; chosen as Lead Article in June 2012]

Abigail Reid Mechtenberg. “Fuel Economy: From Niche to Status-quo Manufacturing”. SAE International Journal of Fuels and Lubricants. October 2009 vol. 2 no. 1104-117.

Steve Wietstock - Research Summary

Dr. Wietstock's current research interests lie in the field of chemical education and the role experiential learning takes in student development. Particular interests include the use of green chemistry in the teaching laboratories -- especially in inorganic chemistry experiences. Dr. Wietstock recieved his B, S, in Chemistry from Alma College in 1982. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Uniformed Services of the Health Sciences in 1988 where he characterized the DNA polymerase enzyme in wild-type and temperature sensitive mutants of Herpes Simplex Viruses Type 1. He joins the ESD research lab as a researcher in biofuels.

Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)

Steve Wietstock

Office: 330 Jordan Hall of Science

Phone: +1 574-631-2302