Advisory Committee

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Advisory Committee

Bill Barnes

Bill is Director of Clean Energy Solutions at Encore Renewable Energy, where he develops solar energy and energy storage projects. Over 30 years in the energy industry he has originated and supported more than 9 GW of power generation projects in the US, Europe, and Africa and held staff business development positions with Energy and in the oil refining and marketing industry. He has written widely on energy matters most recently in The Petroleum Economist and The Financial Times. Bill holds a master’s degree in finance from London Business School and a BA from Davidson College. He lives with his family near Bennington, Vermont.

Alejandra Menchaca

Alejandra co-leads the Sustainability practice for Thornton Tomasetti in Boston since 2017. She combines expertise in mechanical engineering and building science to give clients a clear understanding of the impact design strategies and innovative solutions have on long-term building performance. Alejandra leverages research and simulations to provide project teams with sustainable design knowledge and energy expertise. She is experienced in the design of both passive buildings and energy-intensive structures such as laboratories and healthcare facilities. Her expertise also includes thermal comfort, energy modeling, daylighting and computational fluid dynamics. Alejandra holds a PhD from MIT in Mechanical Engineering, and has taught courses on natural ventilation and energy in buildings both at MIT and the Harvard GSD.

Sahar Sam

Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Solaires. Sahar has a Bachelors and Masters in Materials Science Engineering. She developed a cost effective fabrication process for thin film solar cells during her Master's. She completed her Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from University of Victoria (UVic), Canada in 2015 and worked at UVic as a postdoc and also instructor until 2017 when she started her work as Senior Research Manager. She was focused on scaling up and commercializing a technology she invented for touch screen displays. Knowing the demand for renewable energy sources, Sahar started Solaires in February of 2020 with the focus on developing flexible, light and cost-effective solar panels that can generate electricity from sun and also indoor light.

Luis Echegoyen

Luis Echegoyen has been the Robert A. Welch Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas at El Paso since August 2010 and was elected President of the American Chemical Society in 2018, so he served as president elect in 2019 and is the president in 2020. He was the Director of the Chemistry Division at the National Science Foundation from August, 2006 until August, 2010 where he was instrumental in establishing new funding programs and research centers.

He was simultaneously a Professor of Chemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina, where he maintained a very active research program with interests in fullerene electrochemistry, monolayer films, supramolecular chemistry, endohedral fullerene chemistry and electrochemistry; and carbon nanoonions, synthesis, derivatization and fractionation.