Big Ideas, Small Talks

KristinaMJohnson

Kristina Johnson, CEO of Enduring Hydro and former undersecretary of Energy
(source: Public Domain)

Small talks are the bread and butter of graduate life. You know, those little pamphlets pinned to billboards across campus? Well, some of them don’t advertise an n’th tutoring service. They don’t advertise a social club, a new search engine or even a “Four year-old computer CHEAP!!!”. No, some of  these pamphlets advertise small talks, in rooms you didn’t even know existed, by people which the unassuming presentation belies their extraordinary background.

On Wednesday May 28th, the McGill Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design held one these conference talks on “Renewable Energy and the role of Engineers”. The talk was given by Kristina Johnson who was on campus to receive an honorary doctorate. She is an incredibly distinguished woman who held many prestigious positions, but who donned her engineering hat for the occasion. Well, that hat and the one of former undersecretary of Energy under Steven Chu during Barack Obama’s first term. Her role boiled down to this: she had to manage a 10.5 billion dollar portfolio of investments in renewable energy with the goal to reduce the United-States’ carbon emission by 83% based on 2005 emission levels by 2050. This is not a small feat.

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Internship at Hydro Quebec

I began an internship this week at Hydro Quebec Distribution.  I’m excited.  I’m a little nervous.  I have no idea how I am going to fit this in my schedule, atop my current part-time internship at CEATI (though my hours there have been increasingly intermittent), my three courses, and my lab work.

Somehow, this will magically work, I think.  “Magically” meaning “at the cost of great deals of sanity and mental stability.”

I’m excited, though.  Working for one of the world’s largest hydroelectric power providers and one of the world’s top research authorities in power systems will certainly look good on the resume’.  Even if the company is operated entirely in French.

Boy, I’m going to have my work cut out for me.  Ladies, let the music play.

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