Penn State senior research associate and associate professor of aerospace engineering, Dr. Susan Stewart is the recipient of PennFuture’s 2019 Woman of Renewable Energy and Climate Award. She is one of eight honorees of this year’s fifth annual Celebrating Women in Conservation Awards scheduled for April 25, 2019. The Woman of Renewable Energy and Climate Award recognizes a woman who is dedicated to addressing the impacts of climate change through the development and implementation of renewable energy technology.
“The Women in Conservation Awards are presented each year by PennFuture to individuals who are champion advocates in their areas of conservation. Recipients are selected by PennFuture from nominations submitted by the community. This year we are recognizing eight central Pennsylvania women,” said Travis DiNicola, director of development at PennFuture, a statewide conservation nonprofit organization. “We encourage friends, families and supporters of conservation to join us in applauding these accomplished awardees at the Women in Conservation Awards celebration.”
Stewart joined the Penn State faculty in 2007 and has been working in her current role in the aerospace engineering department since 2011. She has served in several different research and teaching positions at Penn State, but her efforts always concentrate on renewable energy—particularly wind and solar power. She was the co-author of the program proposal for the intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems. In her four-year term as wind option leader for the program, she developed multiple solar and wind energy courses.
The roots of Stewart’s work in wind energy can be traced to her time as a research engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), where she helped create the Strategic Energy Institute to address energy-related issues. She and her colleagues used offshore wind monitoring data to provide groundbreaking information on the feasibility of wind energy as a significant source of power in the southeastern United States.
The time Stewart spent at Georgia Tech helped guide her academic direction upon her return to Penn State, which she attended for her undergraduate degree. As part of Pennsylvania’s Wind for Schools program, she helps elementary and middle schools integrate wind energy activities into their curriculums. Additionally, since 2009 she has been part of an interdisciplinary program that helps building-integrated wind solutions achieve maximum power output.
Stewart was born and raised in State College, PA. She attended Penn State for her bachelor’s degree and received her master’s degree and doctorate from Georgia Tech. She served as a research engineer at Georgia Tech for four years before returning home to State College in 2007.
The six categories with 2019 Women in Conservation awardees are lifetime achievement; environmental education; environment arts; environmental media, marketing and communications; Susquehanna River watershed; and renewable energy and climate. For a list of all eight 2019 central Pennsylvania Women in Conservation winners, visit pennfuture.org