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Dr. Thomas Acker

Dr. Tom Acker is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University (NAU), where he has been since 1996 after receiving a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University. He is currently the director of NAU’s Sustainable Energy Solutions Group, and teaches and performs research related to energy systems and renewable energy. During 2003-04 he spent a sabbatical year working at the National Wind Technology Center of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, focused on grid integration issues related to wind and hydropower resources, as well as region-wide transmission planning. He previously spent three months in 1997 on a faculty fellowship to the National Wind Technology Center studying wind turbine aerodynamics. Acting on behalf NREL, he is the “Operating Agent” in charge of leading an international effort to study wind and hydropower integration for the International Energy Agency. His recent research activities include wind power integration, wind flow modeling via meso-scale and micro-scale (CFD) methods, wind assessment, water/energy projects, Native American applications of renewable energy, and agricultural/energy projects. He also recently led an effort at NAU to plan a new Master’s of Science in Engineering degree with an emphasis in Sustainable Systems Engineering.

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