Many MIT employees and students are National Grid customers; the company supplies gas and 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.
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.
Heather Hausladen Zhao (LGO ’18)
Manager, Field Excellence, New England Electric Operations, National Grid
At LGO: MBA & SM Mechanical Engineering
Previous studies: Wellesley College, Physics and East Asian Studies
A former Fulbright Scholar in China, Heather was a Chinese energy market analyst prior to joining LGO. She conducted her internship at ABB–with stints Sweden and Shanghai–where she built a predictive model for robot hardware reliability. After graduating from LGO Heather joined National Grid as a lead analyst within the company’s leadership rotational program. Since completing her rotations Heather has taken on the Manager for Field Excellence role.
Monica Kabel (LGO ’20)
Principal Strategy Analyst, National Grid
At LGO: MBA & SM Civil and Environmental Engineering
Previous studies: University of California-Berkeley, Environmental Science
Monica was a product manager at Bloom Energy before joining LGO. Her LGO internship at National Grid modeled the value of procuring reactive power from combined heat/power systems. Now full-time at the company, Monica’s analysis of infrastructure trade-offs supports National Grid’s drive to become carbon neutral.