NAME: Max Hayes
U360 YEAR: 2018 – 2019
HOMETOWN: Atlanta, GA
COLLEGE: Brandeis University
GRADUATION YEAR & DEGREE(S): 2019 BA in Economics, minors in Environmental Studies, Anthropology, and Politics
What have you been up to since completing U360, and what are you doing now?
Since completing the U360 program, I graduated from Brandeis University and started my career in Washington, DC as a contractor for the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). As a Data Analyst for the EIA, I work with a diverse team of federal employees, contractors, and energy stakeholders to track, monitor, and analyze utility-scale electricity developments across the US. I have focused specifically on the pairing of renewable energy assets with batteries, as well as energy storage in general. By analyzing the 2019 Electric Power Annual Report, I provided forecasting insights into this trend published in the Today In Energy journal.
Since then, I was promoted to a Hybrid Data Analyst II role and am now working on multiple surveys monitoring both energy developments and modifications, as well as energy consumption and generation trends. As a Hybrid Analyst, I increase efficiency by identifying and resolving data alignment issues, and I improve accuracy by proposing and implementing new internal controls. I also serve as a bridge between teams, increasing communication and promoting synergy by connecting trends across developmental and operational data collection processes. Currently, I have been researching and monitoring the US hydrogen market and exploring its potential to serve as a fuel source for electricity generation and long-term energy storage. As a Hybrid Data Analyst, I have a unique perspective on domestic electric energy markets. With new technology, fuel sources, and grid modernization efforts underway, I look forward to continuing to monitor, track, and be a part of the clean energy transition.
What are your professional aspirations? What would you like to do over the next five years?
In the long term, I see myself working in environmental consulting, non-profit advocacy, or policy realms and hope to go back to graduate school to gain specialized knowledge. I would like to continue working in the energy sector and help both governments and private actors prepare for the electrification movement and grid modernization efforts that will be necessary for us to reach our current climate and carbon emission goals.
How do you envision creating a more sustainable world through your career, and how did Manomet’s U360 prepare you?
By using scientific evidence and data analytics to promote clean energy infrastructure, I want to learn how to effectively bring together diverse communities and stakeholders to create equitable, sustainable, and effective energy networks across the world. I believe that by connecting a wide range of sociocultural bonds, behavioral economic trends, and technological innovations, we can overcome the current energy crisis and prevent further environmental injustices.
Manomet gave me many of the tools that I need to effect positive change and educate others on the idea of sustainability beyond being the environmental buzzword it has become. The opportunity to connect with business owners and entrepreneurs across the country allowed me to better understand the factors that motivate them to make decisions and the unique barriers they face in creating long-term viability. I learned how to frame sustainability in ways that appealed to individual situations and perspectives and encouraged others to make proactive changes to increase productivity and decrease environmental and social costs. Throughout this process, I developed effective professional communication skills and habits that enabled me to connect with and motivate those who could make real-world change. By taking a more holistic perspective on sustainability and integrating it with an individualized approach to achieving long-term goals, we can actively reduce environmental costs and injustices without sacrificing productivity or viability.
What other sustainability issues are you passionate about?
While I am passionate about grid modernization and clean energy production, I have also become very interested in sustainable urban development and mobility. I see these issues as closely connected. By addressing them in tandem, there is an opportunity to simultaneously reduce negative human impacts on the earth while increasing social equity, inclusion, health, and happiness. The concentrations of world populations in urban centers are increasing, and cities are responsible for the bulk of production and consumption worldwide. I believe that we must begin to create the metropolises of the future, which includes retrofitting and rethinking the current infrastructure. Urbanization can transform social and economic trends in ways that can increase economic growth, improve social inclusion, protect ecosystems, and reduce poverty, energy use, and pollution.
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