In celebration of International Women’s Day CSERC partnered with SIGNALS to present this panel discussion on working in clean energy as a women, and the unique challenges involved.

The panelists were:

Maya Papineau – Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Carleton University. Dr. Papineau has over 17 years training and experience in environmental and energy economics, econometrics, and program evaluation. Her research addresses several contemporary questions in this field. This includes evaluating the robustness of engineering models’ predictions of renewable energy price reductions; using non-parametric techniques to estimate the trajectory for black carbon emissions caused by coal use from household stoves in China; assessing whether commercial real estate markets value energy efficiency; measuring the cost-effectiveness of building energy standards using quasi-experimental data; and implementing large-scale randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of energy conservation programs. Between 2011-2021, Dr. Papineau has been a team member, co-applicant or primary recipient of over $700,000 in grant funding to conduct her research. She has a B.A. in Economics from Carleton University, a Master’s in Environmental and Resource Economics from University College London (UK), and a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley. Before completing her doctoral studies, she worked as a Policy Analyst at Natural Resources Canada.

Kristen Schell – Assistant Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at Carleton University where she co-leads the APEX lab, and is a key faculty member of the undergraduate Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering program. Prof. Schell’s research areas include: renewable energy resource assessment and forecasting, power systems planning for negative emissions, strategic behaviour in electricity markets, renewable energy policy design, and design of adaptable, modular microgrids. A foundational theme of her research is the development of mathematical models to aid the renewable energy transition. Previously, Dr. Schell was an Assistant Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Prior to RPI, Dr. Schell was an IVADO Post-doctoral Fellow at Polytechnique Montreal and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and dual PhDs from Carnegie Mellon University and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Porto, Portugal.

Funto Oshunmakinde – Funto Currently works at Peak power energy as an analyst where she helps commercial consumers reducing their energy consumption from the grid through the operation of energy storage systems. She also helps consumers understand the importance of energy programs like Global adjustment, demand response management in saving energy and reducing their utility bills. She has a passion of incorporating innovative technology into helping consumers with managing their demand and constantly tinkering on ways to make energy more reliable and carbon-free. Funto has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering where she graduated cum laude and has a master’s degrees in sustainable energy engineering and policy with distinctions from Carleton University.

Natalie Irwin – A senior policy analyst at the strategic policy team at the office of energy efficiency natural resources Canada. Most recently Natalie was director of stakeholder engagement at efficiency Canada, the national think tank housed at Carleton University, where she led the engagement teams outreach activities. Natalie also oversaw the allied sponsorship program, coordinating with energy efficiency organizations and associations in North America. Natalie is currently completing her Master’s of Arts in Sustainable Energy part-time and currently holds a bachelors of business administration from Acadia University.