UT student recognized as first author of international journal article

July 26, 2012 | Research, UToday
By Bob Mackowiak

The International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management has published an article titled “Solar and Wind Energy Portfolios and Real-Time Pricing.”

What is especially interesting about the article is that the first author, Kathryn E. Hoepfl, is not a faculty member, but was a student in the UT Physics and Astronomy Department when she worked on the research.

“It is rare that an undergraduate student can get published in an academic journal,” said co-author Dr. Andrew Solocha, UT associate professor of finance. “This will help immensely with her admission into a good graduate program.”

“Kathryn, whose major is physics, is very mature, hard-working and responsible. She took ownership of this project, and the results of the research were excellent, so we put her as first author for this paper,” Solocha said. “This is a very prestigious journal; I don’t know of any other student who has been recognized as first author, and I am pleased as punch for her.”

Other co-authors of this paper are Dr. Alvin D. Compaan of the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy and Dr. Eldon Johnson of the Central Washington University Department of Finance.

“I was not certain that I was going to be listed as first author until one of the final editing drafts,” Hoepfl said. “The order did not matter to me, though. I was simply excited that
the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management was accepting my work and flattered that Dr. Solocha, Dr. Compaan and Dr. Johnson were willing to go through the process with me. Their help and guidance were superior, and I am lucky to have them as mentors.”

Her research has been focused in the area of distributed electricity generation and renewable energy policy. Her work has been presented at the American Physical Society National Conference and has been funded by the Third Frontier Program of the Ohio Department of Development through Garland Energy Systems and the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant to the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

This article develops a method to determine the least volatile combination of power output from wind and solar hybrid systems. Hourly data for wind and photovoltaic systems in northwest Ohio to show that a combination of both is more stable and would have higher value to the grid than each individually.

Hoepfl, who received a bachelor’s degree in physics from UT in May, is working at First Solar as a reliability engineer.

“I plan to stay in the solar industry,” she said. “I believe that renewables are key in securing our energy future.”

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