Many MIT employees and students are National Grid customers; the company supplies much of the electricity to Boston and the northeastern US. Throughout the infamous “snowpocalypse” of 2015, the MIT community and the rest of Boston depended on National Grid to heat their homes and keep them safe through each storm. However, National Grid is also a global company, with operations throughout the United Kingdom, New England, and New York.
The LGO program has worked with National Grid since 2010 on a number of research projects, many of which have gained wider visibility in academic conferences and won awards in the energy industry. LGOs often work on projects involving advanced data modeling to improve customer coverage and power line repair during major storms. Jorge Calzada, Sloan MBA ’06 and Director of Data Science, is the point person for National Grid’s partnership with LGO. As a graduate of MIT, Jorge is eager to work with LGOs as interns and colleagues to further the company’s optimization processes.
Sandy Yuan (LGO ’17)
Location: Boston, MA, with some travel to the United Kingdom
Research topic: R&D, Energy
Sandy worked with executive leadership to develop strategies to adopt new technologies across the company’s operations. Her research modeled the use of battery storage technologies to ensure reliability across the National Grid network.
Sean Whipple (LGO ’14)
Location: Boston, MA
Research topic: Data Analytics, Systems Optimization
Sean created a model that uses real-time local weather data, advanced weather forecasting models, and outage modeling technology to predict power outages when a major storm occurs. The data analytics technology helps National Grid assign repair crews to fix power outages faster and lessen the storms’ economic impact. His project won the Best Thesis Award in his graduating class, and the analytics team at National Grid later won the Computerworld Data+ award. His model has gone nation-wide in utilities companies.
Michael Donohue (LGO ’11)
Analytics Business Partner, National Grid
At LGO: MBA & SM Engineering Systems
Previous studies: MIT, Materials Science; Harvard University, Applied Physics
Michael worked in materials production operations before joining LGO. He completed his internship at Amgen and worked at various medical device startups in the Boston area. He joined National Grid in 2015 and currently leads a team of data scientists to drive strategic change within the organization through greater use of machine learning and analytics.