On September 2, I visited SmartExergy, a 4-year old startup that provides wireless monitoring solutions for Smart Grids, Smart Homes, and Smart Production. The company is co-located with a number of other startups, in a building adjacent to the University of Freiburg’s Faculty of Engineering. Omar Gorgies, Smart Exergy’s CTO and a Ph.D. student in safe systems at the University of Freiburg, showed me around.
On August 28, I headed to Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg to meet with Sabine Reinecke, then a Ph.D. candidate (and now a post-doc) in the Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy. Her work examines climate change and biodiversity governance, in particular the interactions between different governance settings. During our meeting, we talked about various strategies for understanding environmental governance interactions. For context, we drew upon two of her studies: (1) an analysis of the REDD+ Partnership, an independent transnational exchange platform beside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and (2) a case study analysis of climate science and policy in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK.
When I arrived in Chile in May 30, the last two months of my Watson stretched out before me. Now, my departure on July 28 — just two weeks away! — seems scarily close.
I’ve had an amazing time here in Chile. I took Spanish classes in Santiago for the first two weeks and have been blundering about in the language since then. After classes ended, I started conducting interviews (mostly in English) and have had fun gaining insight into the Chilean Smart Grid scene (more on that later). I’ve also traveled out of Santiago for some sightseeing. I especially enjoyed my trip to San Pedro de Atacama; I think the Atacama Desert region is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Below are pictures from two sunsets during my San Pedro de Atacama trip. I hope you enjoy them!
On September 4, I met with Professor Antonello Monti at RWTH Aachen University. Prof. Monti directs RWTH’s Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems, working on topics such as monitoring and distributed intelligence for Smart Grids. He was also the technical manager for FINESCE, an EU-funded project running from 2013-15 that developed an open-IT infrastructure for Smart Grid-related applications. Prof. Monti and I sat down for an interview, and he also gave me a tour of his lab.