Austin - Back to the Future

Hello, Fellow Scientists!

Observing how the world makes and uses energy motivates me to conduct research.  Research is essential to formulate hypotheses, develop testable predictions, gather data and develop theories.  My research focuses on creating more efficient solar energy.  Finding answers provides opportunities for me to alleviate energy poverty, provide access to clean drinking water and reduce reliance on fossil fuels creating a more sustainable planet.


Research is key to problem solving.  Science gives us complex puzzles to solve.  Looking to the past can provide answers.  For example, unlocking the key to abundant energy in the future could lie in examining the process of photosynthesis.  Professor of Energy, Daniel Nocera, of Harvard University is developing a way to replicate the process of photosynthesis through an artificial leaf.  The answer to our future solar energy storage needs could lie in elegant structures of a simple abalone shell.  Angela Belcher recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Prize is developing an idea of growing organic batteries by giving life to non-living structures through nanoscale technology.  This fascinates me!

My research also includes going back in time to learn from Ctesibius, Heron of Alexandria, and Archimedes.  Many valuable tools we use today came from inventions of these brilliant, daring scientists from ancient times. 

I conducted over two years of energy research and it continues to amaze me!  Organizations such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Department of Energy, United Nations, Oxfam, The Water Project, and Engineers without Borders are great resources.

I had an amazing week of research!  I also received the 3M products from my mentor Dr. Mahfuza Ali.  After researching a multitude of 3M products, I quickly realized the important contributions 3M scientists make everyday!    

Until next time,

Austin Crouchley