While at CalPlug I was the demonstration and education team leader. I coordinated and facilitated events to raise awareness about the importance of energy efficiency by teaching students about energy consumption of home appliances and consumer electronic devices, such as the "1KWhr Challenge" and the "Wall of Power". I really enjoyed the freedom of managing the projects and the experience of working in teams to turn visions into reality. The creativity and innovation I’ve encountered at CalPlug has allowed me to apply the knowledge I learned in my classes to real world applications. Calplug has helped me to develop other crucial skills such as strategic planning, presenting, marketing, and networking. I’ve learned more about the business aspects of energy efficiency in terms of who the major companies and representatives are as well as the government regulations for energy efficiency. My experiences at CalPlug have helped me to pursue a career in the field of business management related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.
When I got an opportunity to join the Energy Management System Team, I thought CalPlug was purely a research lab like others at my university. Instead, CalPlug turned out to be such a flexible platform for both graduate and undergraduate students that provides excellent facilities and a professional working environment. CalPlug built a close connection between university research and commercial application in real industries. I really enjoy the exciting projects involving different areas from Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and even Sociology. Not only have I gained technical knowledge, but also communication skills which are among precious experiences needed to further my career. Another great aspect of Calplug is that the work I deliver will be used in real products, and can even impact the industry.
I was fortunate to be one of the students in Calplug’s first group, from September 2011 until March 2012. I led four members on the Set Top Box (STB) team to work towards the long term goal of making the STBs more energy efficient. CalPlug was an experience where I not only learned technical skill sets, but also interpersonal and managerial type skills. For example, I learned how to conduct research in a methodical manner, attended a STB workshop where industry experts from around the country presented, and learned profound details of the energy industry. I also learned how to give an effective presentation and how to lead a team. All that I have learned from CalPlug will contribute to what I do in the future, whether it is graduate school or working in industry. I have not completely decided what I will do after I graduate, but because of my time at CalPlug I am interested in pursuing a career in the clean-tech field. Some of the greatest advantages about working at CalPlug are the state of the art equipment and instruments they allow students to use as well as the potential for networking with important key industry players. The fact that students are given a lot of autonomy and responsibility to carry out the tasks with the support and guidance of the directors is priceless.
I was part of the instrumentation team and our group was mainly in control of the testing of devices that came through the laboratory, which primarily consisted of set-top boxes at that time. I really enjoyed being able to demonstrate my hard work by having a workshop where representatives from different companies came to our lab. We were able showcase the research that I was involved to the representatives at this workshop. Overall it was a great experience to be a part of CalPlug!
Young Min Kim
Home Energy Management team at CalPlug focuses on a long term objective of creating an automated load-recognition home energy management solution by using load signatures. As a member of this team, I was primarily responsible for collecting and analyzing data of plug load devices in order to obtain the devices’ load signatures. I had been a part of CalPlug for about a year, and it truly has been a great experience that has given invaluable insight and opportunities. At CalPlug, I was able to practice the materials that I had learned in my previous engineering courses and put them to practice. In addition, CalPlug offers a great research environment. I was introduced with various testing equipment and programs that I had not encountered in my courses. It was a great chance to learn about these tools which will definitely help me in the future. Not only was I able to develop technical skills that would help me in my future career, but also speaking and presentation skills. One aspect I find unique at CalPlug is that students are given the opportunity to present
and give demonstrations about their research to professionals working in government and well-known companies. Overall, my experiences here at CalPlug has been wonderful and it will significantly help me in my future studies.