The C3E Awards recognize mid-career women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and accomplishments in clean energy. Now in its 11th year, the C3E Initiative is led by the U.S. Department of Energy, in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative, Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, and the Texas A&M Energy Institute.
By raising the visibility of role models for women in clean energy, the C3E Initiative is helping to attract more women to the field—catalyzing innovation, fostering new business models, and expediting global progress toward a clean energy economy. This year’s winners are working in diverse clean energy fields and are illustrative of a group of women who are accomplished inventors, researchers, as well as leaders in business, community engagement, government, and international development.
Sarah Bieber, director of energy partnerships at Acumen, works to bring power to the 730 million people living without access to electricity today. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she convened early working groups and raised a $90 million relief fund to ensure that supply chain challenges didn’t undermine clean energy projects that serve low-income customers in Africa and South Asia. In her work at Acumen, she continues to invest in emerging clean energy businesses committed to serving the poor.
Angelica Ramdhari’s first foray into renewable energy came at the University of Florida in Gainesville where she assisted the University’s athletic program become carbon neutral. The Neutral Gator program utilized energy-efficiency investments in affordable housing to create carbon offsets for campus sporting-event facilities’ emissions. After graduation, Ramdhari returned home to New York City and joined Solar One, a leading green-energy nonprofit. She is director of the Resilient Solar program which focuses on the design and collaborative installation of solar and battery resilience projects in low-income coastal communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The projects provide clean energy, emergency-blackout power, and affordable battery systems to public schools and libraries in those neighborhoods at high-risk of extreme storm flooding.
Shirley Meng often refers to herself as a ‘battery doctor,’ and she is applying her theoretical training to discover better, longer-lasting energy storage that can last decades. Efficient, reliable energy storage is critical for wind and solar projects, and Meng is working across several institutions including the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at University of Chicago, the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS), and the Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion (LESC) at the University of California San Diego to investigate new, scientifically-sound batteries. One of her discoveries was commercialized by a new company, South 8 Technologies.
Phoebe Wang realized early in her career that bringing clean energy technology would require business training to supplement her materials engineering degree. After earning an MBA from Rice University, she leveraged her scientific and business training to launch a career as a cleantech venture capitalist. Today, she serves as an investment partner at the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund and has invested more than $150 million in frontier technology startups during her 10-year tenure as a venture capital investor. One of her investments was in South 8 Technologies, an energy storage start-up utilizing fellow 2022 C3E winner Y. Shirley Meng’s research.
Sylvia Louie currently serves as the Director of Business Development of New York Power Authority (NYPA). She is responsible for ensuring NYPA meets the ambitious climate change goals adopted in New York State. Leveraging her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and her years of leadership within the organization, she is working across the agency to develop of large-scale renewables, energy storage, and transmission projects to help meet new clean energy standards. She is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in the state of New York, as well as a certified project management professional (PMP).
Based at the Idaho National Laboratory, Rachel Taow is a process modernization lead at the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN). Her work helps modernize public-private partnerships to advance a new generation of nuclear power investments. Like many in the C3E cohort, she was encouraged to pursue additional training – in Taow’s case a law degree – to deepen her knowledge and achieve her future career goals.
Ramsay Siegal always wanted to be an architect. Like many of the C3E cohort, she realized that understanding how a building was constructed was only part of the solution to addressing larger global challenges and she focused on the emerging green building field. Siegal pivoted to working on projects that integrated solar technology, and eventually moved into climate tech venture capitalism. Today, she works with Earthshot Ventures to leverage their funds to support entrepreneurs addressing climate change.
Shannon Miller is the chief executive officer and founder of Mainspring Energy, where she leads the design, manufacture, and commercialization of the Mainspring Linear Generator. Firming the grid is critical to ensuring solar and wind technologies are part of clean energy power infrastructure. The Mainspring Linear Generator is a prime example of the innovation needed to improve the reliability of clean energy networks. Miller has embraced the role of co-inventor and business leader, and established core values that promote pragmatic optimism, excellence without ego, and proactive collaboration.
One of the goals of C3E is to continue to inspire and support women as they pursue their careers. These women are leaders within their fields, and many also mentor and support other women in the clean energy sector. Do you know a mid-career woman who has done exceptional work in the clean energy space? We want to hear from you! C3E nominations are open through February 15.
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