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BERG: Belmont Energy Research Group

Personnel

PERSONNEL


Principal Investigator

Dr. Erica Belmont

Dr. Erica Belmont

Dr. Belmont received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University in Medford, MA, and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, TX. She grew up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Now living in Laramie, Dr. Belmont enjoys the beautiful Wyoming outdoors and spends free time mountain biking, trail running, and hiking with her dogs.

 

Current Graduate Students

Matthew Brown

Marcus Brown

Marcus graduated from Hastings College with a B.A. degree in Physics in his hometown of Hastings, NE. He has been pursuing his Ph.D. in the Mechanical Engineering department of the University of Wyoming since Fall 2017. Marcus's research focuses on the fundamental characterization of cool flames produced while burning various fuels. When he is not conducting research, you can find him hiking the great outdoors of Wyoming or playing 1-on-1 basketball with his twin brother.

Dr. Erica Belmont

Matthew Brown

Matt is from Hastings, NE and first came to the University of Wyoming in Fall 2017. He graduated with a B.A. degree in Physics from Hastings College and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Mechanical Engineering department. Matt's research focuses on characterizing the fundamental properties of cool flames produced while burning heptane and as well as other fuels. In his spare time, Matt's hobbies include scuba diving, playing basketball, and enjoying the great outdoors of Wyoming.

Alexandra Howell

Alexandra Howell

Alexandra is from Morrill, NE. She graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2017 with dual B.S. degrees in Energy Systems Engineering and Environment and Natural Resources. She received her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UW in 2019 and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at UW. Her M.S. research focused on thermochemical treatments to optimize the performance of biomass for energy generation. Her Ph.D. research focuses on thermochemical conversion of biomass during wildfires with emphasis on pyrogenic carbon formation and emissions. Alex's hobbies include traveling, biking, camping and generally enjoying the great Wyoming outdoors.

Luke McLaughlin

Luke McLaughlin

Luke is from Rapid City, SD and has been a student at the University of Wyoming since 2014. He has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in the Honors Program. Luke is currently pursuing a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming. He is interested in studying combustion diagnostics with the intent of improving combustion efficiencies and also furthering the development of clean energy systems. One day, he hopes to use his technical background to advise law makers on energy policy. Luke hopes to create a better world for everyone to live in.

Kurt Stahlfeld

Kurt Stahlfeld

Kurt grew up in Pittsburgh (go Steelers!) before attending Washington University in St. Louis where he obtained a B.A in Biology. Kurt then spent a year at Penn State studying engineering before moving to Laramie in 2016. He received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UW in 2018 and is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at UW. Kurt's M.S. research focused on fungal pretreatment of biomass for improved pyrolysis. Kurt's Ph.D. research focuses on production of biomass-derived functional materials. In his free time Kurt can be found hiking, mountain biking, and tinkering with his car.

Brendan Taedter

Brendan Taedter

Brendan is from Scottsbluff, NE. In 2018, he obtained his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming, as well as minors in Mathematics and the UW Honors Program. Brendan is currently pursuing his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UW, with the anticipation of finishing in May of 2020. His research is primarily focused on the extraction of valuable chemicals from coal via supercritical CO2, as well as performing various analyses on these extracts and the post-extraction coal samples. Ideally, these extracts could be used as feedstock for producing chemicals, fuels, and carbon fibers. Brendan enjoys running, hiking, and every Saturday of college football season.

Virginia Rivas Zambrano

Virginia Rivas Zambrano

Virginia obtained her B.S. in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Wyoming in 2018. She is pursuing her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and her research interests focus on clean energy as well as alternative fuels. Virginia was born and raised in the north coast of Venezuela, by the Caribbean sea. She is an avid soccer player and can be found on the field in her spare time.


Former Graduate Students

Farhan Arafin

Farhan Arafin

Farhan is from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) in 2014, and he received his MS in Mechanical Engineering from UW in 2018. Farhan's research focused on utilization of associated gases from oil and gas production. He evaluated the flame speeds and stability of these gas mixtures in order to facilitate their use as fuel.

Emily Beagle

Emily Beagle

Emily is from Sheridan, WY and began as a student at the University of Wyoming in 2008. She has B.S. degrees in Mechanical and Energy Systems Engineering and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UW, and she received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UW in 2018. Her research focused on utilization of biomass for energy applications, including pyrolysis, gasification and co-combustion with coal.

Gregory Canestrini

Gregory Canestrini

Greg Canestrini is a Wyoming native from Rock Springs. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming in 2013 and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming in 2015. His research focused on improved techniques for evaluating biomass pyrolysis and combustion kinetics.

Mohammadhadi Hajilou

Mohammadhadi Hajilou

Hadi is from Tehran, Iran. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering at University of Kashan and Iran University of Science & Technology, respectively. He received his Ph.D. from the Mechanical Engineering department of the University of Wyoming in 2019. His research focused on fundamental characterization of low temperature "cool" flames, in particular measurements and simulations of chemical species and propagation speeds of these flames.

Ahmed Balogun Mohammed

Ahmed Balogun Mohammed

Ahmed is a native of Kwara in Nigeria. He began his studies at UW in the fall of 2011 and graduated with his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and Honors Program in 2015. He completed his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2017 with research focused on torrefaction of energy crops for combustion applications and technoeconomics of utilizing energy crops for charcoal production in Haiti.

Sudhamshu A. Addamane Ramachandra

Sudhamshu A. Addamane Ramachandra

Sudhamshu is from Bangalore, India. He has a B.TECH in Mechanical Engineering from Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham and received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming in 2015. His research explored the design of self-aspirating porous medium burners to achieve optimum pressure drop and air entrainment for use in industrial flares.

James Rundel

James Rundel

James is from Trenton, NE and first came to the University of Wyoming in 2010. He received his B.S. in Energy Systems Engineering in 2014. After working in the energy utility industry for two years, he returned to the University of Wyoming in Fall 2016 and received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2018. James's research focused on the development and control of a radiative heater for biological tissue digestion.

Quaid Vohra

Quaid Vohra

Quaid is from Nashik, India. He earned his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pune in 2013 and his M.S in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming. His research at UW focused on developing laser diagnostic techniques for combustion research and building a vitiated co-flow turbulent burner.

 

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Mechanical engineering is the broadest of all engineering disciplines, dealing with solid mechanics, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, heat transfer, energy conversion, vibration, design, manufacturing, controls, materials science and electromechanical systems. Mechanical engineers are employed in almost every industry. If a design has moving parts or if energy is converted, a mechanical engineer was involved. Learn more or download our brochure.

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