Sung Min Kim '19 awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Sung Min Kim

Sung Min Kim '19, has been awarded the prestigious 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). She is currently in the Civil Engineering Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado Boulder. 

Q. Was there a particular faculty member or class that influenced you the most? 
A. During my last two years at Cornell, I joined the Reed Research Group where I was introduced to decision analytics tools to facilitate improved stakeholder decisions. Working as an undergraduate researcher with Dr. Patrick Reed has given me the exposure to planning tools and models that help apply engineering, socio-economics, and public policy to manage the continual function of essential civil systems. Analyzing tradeoffs between various objectives using multi-objective evolutionary algorithms inspired me to investigate how multi-objective optimization can improve our management practices in other essential systems and affirmed my desire to pursue graduate research on these complex systems. 

Q. What is your research about? 
A. My graduate research centers on energy market optimization and high renewable integration to bridge the gap between business decision-making and engineering risk analysis. I have explored financial and economic implications of high renewable generation on power systems and power generation under hydrologic constraints. My NSF GRFP proposal expands upon previous work to better understand the tradeoffs between energy and water resources via multi-objective evolutionary algorithms in long-term planning optimization for power systems. Because long-term generation capacity planning directly shapes U.S. power infrastructure investments, electricity markets should consider damaging environmental impacts to better align with decarbonization goals. 

Q. Most memorable CEE experience
My most memorable CEE experience was being part of AguaClara’s 1 L/s Plant SubTeam. It was wonderful to be part of a community of like-minded and passionate individuals. I enjoyed working on group projects and studying for prelims with friends in Hollister.

Q. Why did you choose Cornell?
A. I chose Cornell to study the environment at a campus surrounded by nature. Cornell has a great CEE program where I took a wide variety of classes, met engaging professors, and obtained research opportunities. I loved my time at Cornell and it helped build me to who I am now.

Q. Do you have any advice for undergrads?
A. My advice is to fully enjoy your time at Cornell. Take advantage of all the academic opportunities and non-academic resources available. Take that interesting class, work on a research project, join a project team, volunteer in Ithaca, etc. Four years go by quick!

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