Ph.D. candidate Aditya Keskar was selected as an NC STEM Policy Fellow by the North Carolina Sea Grant in partnership with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Now in its third year, the fellowship is an opportunity for recent graduate students to explore in-state, non-academic career options in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through yearlong assignments in high-level state agencies.
“For 2022, we have six NC STEM Policy Fellows working in three returning host offices as well as two new host offices,” said Susan White, North Carolina Sea Grant’s executive director. “We look forward to seeing the success of these new fellows as they work to tackle key science policy issues across the state.”
Keskar is advised by Dr. Jeremiah Johnson. His fellowship at the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality: State Energy Office will focus on implementing the NC Clean Energy Plan agenda, which aims to reduce electric power sector emissions by 70% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
“I am excited to work with the brilliant professionals at the State Energy Office,” said Keskar, part of an opportunity, he says, “to gain invaluable real-world state energy policy experience and apply the skills I have acquired through my Ph.D. to tackle the pressing energy transition challenges of our time and contribute to the state of North Carolina.”
To prepare for their appointments, fellows participated in professional development sessions in science policy and communication, an opportunity developed in partnership with Sigma Xi, a scientific honor society based in Research Triangle Park.
Keskar, who received an M.S. in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan and a B.E. in electrical engineering from PES University, Bangalore, conducts research that broadly focuses on enhancing grid flexibility by efficiently utilizing distributed energy resources on the power systems of the U.S. and India, specifically, exploring the interactions between demand response and energy efficiency in commercial buildings. He also leads a binational project that investigates the farm-level impacts of a wide-scale deployment of solar water pumps in India and considers future scenarios where the pumps could be used as a flexible grid resource. He co-founded the Student Energy Club at NC State.