1/c Erin Wright (Mechanical Engineering, Class 2018) has been awarded a 2018-2019 Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master of Philosophy degree in Energy Engineering at Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK. Her Fulbright research project will be on the biofuel combustion process in diesel engines. She plans to explore the effects of nanoparticle additives to biodiesel as a method for decreasing emission levels and increasing engine efficiency. 1/c Wright will be conducting her research at the Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research at Newcastle University.
During her time at the USCGA, 1/c Wright worked on a several research projects. In the Helicon Plasma Experiment project, she helped develop a remote control system that allowed researchers to maintain a safe research environment. As a junior, she worked on a Hybrid Performance project supervised by the US Department of Energy and analyzed how a fuel cell and a gas turbine operating in a symbiotic relationship can increase the energy efficiency of a power generation system. In the summer of 2017, she contributed to research in the Brayton Cycle Laboratory at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she helped model a system that converts solar power to electrical energy using a Supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle. Her senior project at the USCGA is on reverse osmosis desalination and provides a base knowledge of instrumentation controls and mechanical system design. The coursework and research during her undergraduate program at the USCGA has delivered a foundation in research methodology, experimental testing and communication.
As a Fulbright scholar, she plans to establish a research partnership between the Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research at Newcastle University and the USCG Research and Development Center’s Science and Technology Division. This partnership will further cement the longstanding research partnership between the US and the UK. Upon her return from her Fulbright study, she hopes to work as a USCG Prevention Officer responsible for maritime security and enforcement of environmental regulations on vessels operating in US waters. Her plan is to work on developing USCG policies relating to the use and implementation of sustainable technology in the USCG and the US maritime community. Eventually, she would like to represent the USCG on the International Maritime Organization in the UK where she will be responsible for designing policy relating to environmental protection in the international maritime community.
1/c Wright believes that engineers should continuously develop green energy technologies in order to reduce environmental pollution, address climate change and inspire others to do the same. As an engineer in the USCG, she plans to contribute to the development and implementation of those technologies within the maritime industry. As a Fulbright scholar to the UK, she will join the Engineers Without Borders organization within Newcastle community to become a mentor to young students and teach them sustainable engineering principles. Through hands-on workshops, her students will construct basic models of green energy technologies. During field-trips they will explore the causes of environmental pollution and climate change. As this will be her first visit to Europe, she wants to explore the culture, history, and architecture throughout the UK. Additionally, she plans to explore other interests such as sailing, archery, and theatre within the local community.