Meet the 2022 – 2023 Bunn Fellowship Recipient: Maitreyee Marathe

Maitreyee Marathe, EAP student and 2022–23 Bunn Fellow

Congratulations to Maitreyee Marathe for being awarded the 2022-23 George Bunn Distinguished Graduate Fellowship! This award is made possible through an endowment from UW–Madison law professor George Bunn (1925–2013), who helped found EAP in 1980. Every few years, the Bunn Fellowship allows outstanding EAP students to receive an academic year of financial support towards their education and research. We interviewed Maitreyee to learn more about her background, interests, and what she wants to do after graduation!

 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the city of Pune in India. I completed my bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India.

What were you doing before starting your studies at UW-Madison?

After my undergraduate studies, I interned with two grassroots organizations in India – SELCO Foundation and the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies. Through these internships, I studied the feasibility of microgrids (small local power grids that use local distributed energy sources such as solar) for energy access to remote communities. I was a part of field visits to over 10 villages in different parts of India, and I was also involved in the deployment of solar home systems in rural and urban households. This experience has helped me in my graduate research work on energy access at UW-Madison.

What drew you to UW-Madison and the EAP program?

I chose to pursue graduate studies at UW-Madison because the coursework and research environment gives me the chance to develop electrical engineering solutions to problems identified through community-engaged energy projects. I was drawn to the EAP program since it would aptly complement my electrical engineering courses and help me place my research through the lens of governance and policy making.

What is your favorite part about EAP?

My favorite part about EAP would be the community that it gives me – a network of students and professors across different departments who are all motivated to work towards clean energy and energy equity.

Can you describe your current research?

The broad theme of my work is developing operating frameworks for energy access in resource-constrained settings. I am working on a self-organizing control architecture for community-scale microgrids and developing an optimization model for effective energy rationing to manage the limited energy affordable for low-income customers. I am developing a bench-top low-power test bed for validating some of these frameworks

Tell us one unique thing about you that few people know?

I love watching comedy shows, and I tried my hand at it recently when I took a class in improvisational theatre for scientists!

Any post-graduation aspirations you would like to share? Dream job?

I am not one hundred percent sure about what I want to do after I graduate, and I am still exploring options! I am passionate about energy access and developing solutions that are aware of the context of the end-user. I am considering working for a start-up or a small-scale company in the space of distributed energy resource management and home energy backup systems.

 

Once again, congratulations to Maitreyee! We’re inspired by your work! 🎉