CJ Casey


My name is CJ Casey. I’m from Chicago. I go to the University of Illinois at Chicago where I am an M.S. Electrical Engineering and Physics candidate

What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?

Being new to the renewable energy and sustainability game, I haven’t chosen my ‘home team’ of fighting this growing problem in society as of yet. Some of my interests do include energy consumption and emissions issues. One in particular is the use of carbon capture from plants to produce clean, useable energy. There is also a very untapped market in harnessing the power of motion and stressed to fuel cells (i.e. piezoelectricity). This understudied and underdeveloped way to harvest energy has the potential to reach new heights in locations we never thought could utilize renewable energy.

What exciting projects/research are you working on now?

As of now, I am currently working with a Professor at UIC to develop a map of electromagnetic field radiation in order to determine the signal strengths around the UIC campus. In short, we are using an Arduino set to create a EMF sensor and configuring it to analyze the signal strength from cell phone towers as well as WiFi modules.

What are your plans for the next five years?

In the next five years I hope to finish up with my two degrees so my Mom can hang them right in the middle of my fridge. From there, I plan to research graduate schools (although I have never planned to go the graduate school route). I wish to research grad school because I did not choose to major In a renewable energy field during undergrad. Upon diving into this field more, I have grown interest and could potentially see educating myself further in this field.  

What made you want to apply to SISE?

Timing. If I had received the email informing my about this program a month earlier I may not have given it much thought. Fortunately, I just attended a 10 day research trip in the land of Fire and Ice (Iceland) to study renewable energy and sustainability. Those 10 days changed my life for the better and I was awoken to the beauty of this earth and our responsibility to protect it.

What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?

I really look forward to meeting other people from different backgrounds that share the same interests I do. There is so much power in collaboration and our generation has the ability to pave the way for the future of sustainability. I take great pride in being from The Windy City (Chicago) and I would love to make a direct impact on the community I take so much pride in. (Don’t ever underestimate the power of a group of nerds :P)

Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?

Unfortunately, I am allergic to cats.. BUT this in no way detracts me from cats. In fact, my sister is like the crazy cat lady from The Simpsons (no, for real.. she has 27 cats right now).. She actually opened up a cat-arcade-café in the city of Chicago a little under a year ago. (The Catcade). She is doing some awesome things there, and I do love those little furballs even though they make my eyes itch profusely