While studying organic materials throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, Kristen Brown developed a strong commitment to using clean technologies to solve global energy and sustainability challenges. As a Ph.D. research scientist at Northwestern University, Kristen currently uses photosynthesis as a roadmap to design efficient solar devices. Her research in renewable energy spurred her involvement in the greater Northwestern energy and sustainability community and provided her with the opportunity to engage with business professionals, student leaders, and policy makers.
At Northwestern, Kristen has worked with The Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) and The Northwestern Energy and Sustainability Consortium to provide interdisciplinary training for students. She recently organized a half-day science policy workshop which brought in the UCS Midwest Campaign Manager and local legislative directors to teach effective communication and storytelling skills, basics of the legislative process, and the impact of citizen scientists in state and national politics. She is also currently working to develop a quarter-long “Policy of Energy” seminar series. The seminar is designed to educate the undergraduate, graduate and MBA community to leadin current energy policy issues. As Kristen completes her Ph.D., she looks towards a career which draws on her experiences at Northwestern. She looks forward to combining the clear lens of scientific understanding with political and legislative acumen to create the strategic, long-term initiatives necessary to progress our nation’s efforts towards global sustainability. Read her blog post, Embracing Change: Equipping Ph.D.s for Careers Outside Academia.