My internship at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory sparked my interest in the field of energy technologies, thus I chose to take a gap year to further pursue my passion. I got myself an R&D engineer position at Glint Photonics in the SF Bay Area.
I was the project lead of an ARPA-E Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) project: Stationary Wide-Angle Concentrator Photovoltaic (PV) System. There, my main objective was to develop an actuation system for solar panels. This experience had been different from academic research, and I learned new things everyday. I built laboratory setups, designed and ran experiments to investigate in novel thermocapillarily driven actuators, piezoelectrically driven actuators, and magnetically driven actuators.
I cannot talk much about the science behind these designs due to NDA, but I can say I was doing a much wider range of independent research compared to when I was in academia, and I think it was a good preparation for my PhD. I was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and got into several graduate schools towards the end of my time at Glint.