My name is Maximiliano Lainfiesta (Max). I’m from Guatemala. I go to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville where I am a PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems Engineering candidate.
What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?
I care a lot about energy supply. Making sure we have energy in the event of an emergency and making sure we can recover from a power outage in a short period of time. Also, I care a lot about how we produce energy, how we can deliver affordable energy for all without damaging the environment so that our future generations can have a great world - if possible, better than ours. And very importantly, I care about delivering electricity to remote rural communities (millions of people still don’t have electricity in the world) so that many things can be improved for them like education, health, security, etc.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
One of the exciting projects I am working on consists of creating a computational/mathematical tool that will design a microgrid for remote rural communities by using satellite images. In Texas we are currently designing solar-powered microgrids that will be deployed in Guatemala. By doing this, the design process is very quick, very accurate, and costs less since we can do a lot of work in the computer before we go to the field. I hope I can help bring electricity to millions of people around the world that are currently facing this situation.
What are your plans for the next five years?
Over the next two years, I will focus on finishing my program of study. Later on, I would like to transition to the development banking sector. This is important because these banks provide the funding for very important infrastructure projects like hydroelectric power plants, transmission lines, roads etc. These projects, if well managed, can help millions of people achieve a better life. And especially important, in the future, I would like to teach since I believe education is an important pillar of sustainable development.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
I learned about SISE through a friend who shared with how good the experience was. The idea of sharing 2 weeks with so many incredible people, living, learning and creating together was just so tempting.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?
I love learning and I hope I can do a lot of that in Chicago! But also…. I love meeting new people and making new friends, eating, sightseeing, maybe going to the theater or to a concert!!! What better place than Chicago in the summer for doing all of this!!!
Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
I Like cats very much… but I don’t have one. 😞