Dr. Cochran followed many academic and geographic passions that took her from undergrad (nuclear policy), to Peace Corps in Poland (energy efficiency NGO), Masters research in Cambodia (water and development), Ph.D. research in India (rainwater harvesting and equity), professor in Kazakhstan (natural resource management), back to India as an NREL researcher (large power system operations), and Los Angeles (community-led decarbonization planning). Her multidisciplinary degrees in both science and social science (BA in Public Policy/Physics and Ph.D. Energy & Resources) initially seemed to complicate her professional journey, but she has found ways for her research to have impact. Cochran will review some of her good (and bad!) choices and tips for thriving in a national laboratory.
Bio: Jaquelin Cochran, Ph.D., is the director of the Grid Planning and Analysis Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where she has worked for almost 14 years. Her work has focused on the evolution of the power grid with high deployment of renewable energy. She recently led the Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study and a portfolio of analyses about India’s power system. Before joining NREL, she was an assistant professor of natural resource management with KIMEP University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years with the Polish Foundation for Energy Efficiency (FEWE) in Krakow. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the Energy & Resources Group at the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. from Pomona College.