Connor Daly received the Taber Scholarship in Fall 2017 after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in energy from Michigan State University. When deciding where to pursue a Master’s degree, he did his research before coming to Illinois, “I looked at many other universities including Stanford, the University of Australia, Carnegie Mellon, and Cal Berkley. I chose Illinois because the program allowed me to choose my specialty and allowed me to focus on renewable energy generation. I also liked that the out-of-state tuition was very reasonable comparatively.”
Daly recognizes the potential impact he can have on the future of energy systems, “Climate change will likely be the largest engineering and societal problem for my generation, so I wanted to help solve it.” In fact, he’s already exploring solutions via his master’s design project, “I am currently working on a project in which we will attempt to improve the internal structural design of wind turbine blades,” Daly said. “Most research for turbine blades has been on improving the aerodynamics of the outside of the blade, so we want to tackle the inside.”
He plans to pursue wind energy solutions professionally after graduation, “Once I earn the degree I want to get a full-time position working on wind turbine design and really make an impact on the cost of wind energy,” he continued. “By doing that, I will hopefully be able to contribute to a small part of the solution for climate change.”
Update: Daly graduated from the Energy Systems program in May 2018.