Publications and Projects
Welcome to our portfolio which showcases our work in optimization, systems simulation, system modeling, R, data analysis, data visualization, and more.
If you are looking for our more creative work: pictures, videos, short stories, etc. check out our gallery.
Most of the code is available in GitHub, some of my R files are available in as R notebooks here, while other work such as our paper on Climate Change and SAVs has been published and access to its files are restricted.
Nonetheless, have fun look through our projects and if anything sticks out don’t feel afraid to call, email, or contact us on social media.
These projects have been published or submitted to peer reviewed journals or conference proceedings.
Contributions of shared autonomous vehicles to climate change mitigation
- •Develop an energy system optimization model with shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs).
- •Analyze ten scenarios to explore the economic and climate change impacts of SAVs.
- •SAVs lower costs and carbon emissions, even if they induce significant additional VMT.
- •This is primarily because a transition to SAVs accelerates vehicle electrification.
- •Synchronizing electric SAV charging with renewable power output has large benefits.
Co-optimization and community: Maximizing the Benefits of distributed
electricity and water technologies
- • Develop mixed-integer linear program that optimizes distributed energy and water technology (DET, DWT) capacities and hourly dispatch
• Analyze 17 scenarios to explore the economics and operation of distributed energy and waters systems (DEWS)
• DETs and DWTs are economically competitive at today’s prices, especially when they are co-optimized
• The electricity or water produced by distributed technologies generally increases with aggregation level because as more houses pool their resources they can afford to buy more efficient technologies.
• Because the model is backstopped by the utilities there is a maximum “budget” that can be spent on distributed technologies and co-optimized systems do this more efficiently
• Co-optimizing balances the energy demand increase from DWT technologies with the carbon intensity reductions of DET technologies
Decomposing Systems: Illustrating the Utility of Distributed Energy
Resources with Decomposition Techniques
- •Created a optimization model evaluating DER integration
- •Decomposed the DER model using Benders techniques.
- •One model calculated electricity price based on demand and the other calculated DER investment and demand based on price
- •The model iterated between the decomposed models until price and demand stabilized.
- •Utility price increased with DER adoption (encouraging more DER adoption) but overall costs decreased.
Pathways for Reducing Energy Burdens in Harris County (TEPRI)
- •A TEPRI project to evaluate the Energy Affordability Gap (EAG) in Harris County
- •The EAG in Harris County is $190 million or 1.7 TWh
- •Single Family Houses especially home owners pay more in energy than apartment renters.
- •Solar has the technical potential to eliminate the EAG and much more but is currently not cost-effective
- •Energy efficiency upgrades can eliminate the EAG cost-effectively
These projects were funded by an outside source to research a specific problem. If any of them interest you or you have questions how I did certain things don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute (TEPRI) Projects
TEPRI examines the causes and effects of energy poverty using a research lens. Some of the projects we have helped them with include:
- Pathways for DERs to Reduce Energy Burdens in Harris County
- Renewable Thermal Alliance
- Galveston Community Solar
Science in Residence Games (Planet Texas 2050)
As part of Planet Texas 2050 involvement with the Science in Residence program, I had to create various activities and lesson plans related to the core tenants of Planet Texas 2050. These activities are available at the website below. Also the other activities I created as part of the Science in Residence program and there code are listed in the Activities and Lesson Plan section below.
Planet Texas 2050 Activities and Lesson Plans
These are personal or class projects that researched interesting problems. If any of them interest you or you have questions how I did certain things don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Simulating Dispersed Employers, Highways, and Traffic’s Effect on Urban Form
- Adapts Monocentric City Model to account for:
- •Roads with varying speeds
- •Commuters working in various areas throughout the city, not just the city center.
- •The hidden effect of suburban traffic on commute time and city utility.
Since there is quite a bit of randomness in traffic, this is actually a simulation model that used an RNG to simulate traffic.
Those results where then applied to the modified monocentric city model. It was an interesting project for me performed mostly in R.
The code and report are in the Github link above. Enjoy.
Zoning, Land Use, Parking, and Solar Potential in Austin
- Downloaded Land Use Data from Austin Open Data
- Investigated the land use for every acre of land
- Extrapolated how many parking spots Austin has
- Calculated how much rooftop space Austin has for solar panels
From this project I concluded that if I was writing Austin’s codes, I would reduce the size of the single family lots, encourage more multifamily lots, eliminate parking requirements entirely (let the market decide how much parking to build), encourage all homeowners to put solar on their rooftops, and then upgrade the grid to spread all of that solar energy across the city.
Sentiment analysis using Natural Language Processing
Modifed a self-attention neural network to anaylze the sentiment of a brand on twitter
Used the Sentiment 140 dataset to test our model
Tested how various hyperparameters affected results
Distributed Water and Energy Optimization
I developed an optimization model that looks at whether it makes sense to invest in distributed energy resources like wind and solar or distributed water resources like rainwater harvesting or grey water recycling at current utility prices. I solve the model from both the individual household level and the community scale level. I first created this project as a one-off project, but the idea was interesting and am going to create a full fledged paper to be peer reviewed. However, the code from the original model is available on GitHub.
Used GAMS to write an optimization model and wrote a report and presentation for the original water only solution catered to Cape Town. The GAMS files along with the report and presentation are available via the GitHub link above.
Oil Well Wastewater Disposal Optimization
Developed a mixed integer program that investigates how to optimize the wastewater from a small number of wells which have sinks in nearby cities and injection wells.
Used GAMS to write an optimization model and wrote the report which is available in a PDF via the GitHub link above.
Activities and Lesson Plans
A big part of Engineer Living is sharing our knowledge and ideas, especially with the younger generations. So, we have created activities and lesson plans that encorporate some of things we research and often times are just fun games that solidify interesting concepts. If any of them interest you or you have questions how I did certain things don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Using Economics to Make Fun Physics Games
I created quite a few games for this physics class using basic economics concepts. The lessons plans on the GitHub page are really just a giant list of activities.
The best activities were the light trading competition (where students had to buy and sell industries associated with the light spectrum i.e. cell phones, TV, etc.), the city building game, flotilla, and the simple card based economics game.
The flotilla game uses my monocentric model in R and adjusts inputs based on what the different groups invest in. It is available in Github and this online R notebook. It clearly illustrates how carbon taxes, traffic, parks, etc. affect a cities growth and carbon footprint.
The card based supply and demand game I got from CMU and it elegantly introduces students to the ideas they need to play most of my games.
Check out the games and lesson plans via the GitHub Link below.