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Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy Introduced to Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Krish Thiagarajan Sharman

Krish Thiagarajan Sharman

On July 19, Professor Krish Thiagarajan Sharman, the newly appointed Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy within the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, made an official visit to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center along with College of Engineering Dean Tim Anderson. This meeting was set up with the aim of introducing the endowed chair to the DOER. Dr. Sharman is an expert on marine renewable energy and energy producing offshore structures.

The Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy was established in 2014 with $2.5 million in funding from the state DOER to attract a preeminent scholar in the field who can provide leadership in positioning both UMass and the Commonwealth to take advantage of opportunities in emerging areas of renewable energy. Krish will collaborate with DOER staff on renewable energy research and projects.

The visit commenced with a brown-bag lunch seminar presented by Professor Thiagarajan Sharman and entitled “Technology migration from offshore petroleum to offshore renewables – challenges and opportunities.”

That seminar was followed by a meeting with DOER Commissioner Judith Judson, Deputy Commissioner Dan Burgess, and their colleagues, as well as with Assistant Secretary for Energy Patrick Woodcock. The group discussed challenges with developing the offshore wind industry in the Commonwealth, including developing the supply chain industry and education and training requirements. This discussion was followed by a meeting with Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Senior Director Bill White and his colleagues in which similar topics were discussed.

Sharman’s studies focus on harvesting energy from waves in marine environments. His expertise will broaden and strengthen the research program in renewable energy at UMass Amherst, which has long been a national leader in wind energy. He has published over 125 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings. (August 2018)