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PhD Candidate Named IAEA Net Zero Challenge Finalist

Sep 23, 2021   |   by Julie Bonette

Dartmouth Engineering PhD candidate Prabhat Hegde has been named a finalist of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Net Zero Challenge. Hegde's team presented earlier this week at the organization's 65th General Conference.

Prabhat Hegde
PhD student Prabhat Hegde

Only six finalist teams were chosen, and Hegde's was the only team representing the US. Hegde worked alongside colleagues at his current internship with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI): Samuel Johnson, Daniel Moneghan, and Colton Smith.

The team's paper, "Zero-emission credits to support nuclear energy's role in
the decarbonization of the electric power industry," proposes using clear and concise policy recommendations to help achieve net zero targets, or the balancing of greenhouse gas emissions through their removal or elimination from society.

"Our idea is to deploy a United States federal policy on net zero credits to enable an energy transition to a net zero energy system through the use of nuclear power in conjunction with renewable energy."

Dartmouth Engineering PhD candidate Prabhat Hegde

"Prabhat's research at Dartmouth focuses on developing efficient computational approaches for planning large-scale energy and transportation systems, with a specific emphasis on models that capture the interactions between demand and supply side complexities of these systems," said Hegde's advisor Vikrant Vaze, the Stata Family Career Development Associate Professor of Engineering. "This background made Prabhat the perfect fit for the IAEA Net Zero competition and I'm delighted that his team was selected to be a finalist."

All submissions were based on innovation and creativity, research, logic, and originality. Hegde and his team were awarded IAEA certificates recognizing their efforts.

According to IAEA, policy changes are needed for an accelerated transition to net zero. The IAEA Net Zero Challenge was designed to encourage young people to take an active role in developing policies that concern their future.

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