Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
The Energy-Water Nexus
Gary's research presents a systems design that integrates brackish groundwater desalination with renewable power. Utilizing wind and solar power for desalination provides a means to supplement freshwater supplies without increasing dependence on carbon-emitting fuels. Additionally, this coupling can utilize a configuration by which the groundwater (which is at a relatively cool temperature) is used to cool the solar panels. The cool water increases the efficiency of solar power production, and the thermal load from the solar panels preheats water before treatment, which increases the volumetric throughput of the reverse osmosis process. Furthermore, since desalination is a time-flexible process that can be operated in a load-following manner during the hours when wind and solar power are available, coupling a wind or solar farm with a desalination facility helps solve challenges posed by integrating variable renewable power into the grid.
M.S. Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, expected May 2015, The University of Texas at Austin
B.S. Civil Engineering, 2013, The University of Arizona
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
Summa Cum Laude, The University of Arizona