The SunTrain Team
Christopher D. Smith
Chief Executive Officer - Idea Founder
Penn State University: Energy Business // Finance
Solar Energy International: PV Systems Engineering // Battery Systems Engineering
Christopher Smith is the chief executive officer of Paradigm Power and Planning LLC. He is the idea and whitepaper author, the development leader of the SunTrain concept. He organized Paradigm Power and Planning in 2016 as a means to develop boutique energy projects to further the industry and mitigate climate change. Showcase projects include net zero energy buildings, off-grid facilities, microgrids, energy transmission experiments, DCtoDC projects, and utility scale energy projects for industrial operations, and utility scale applications.
Christopher's educational background includes degrees in Energy Business, and Finance from the Pennsylvania State University. He also minored in Economics and Meteorology. Christopher received higher education from Solar Energy International in Paonia, Colorado where he received two technical degrees Photovoltaic Engineering, and Energy Storage Systems. Christopher has his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, his North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification and has received various awards for his work in the green energy field.
In the greater energy industry, Christopher volunteers his time to the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) as the operations manager. He also volunteers for the Energy Storage and Microgrid Training and Certification (ESAMTAC) program as a curriculum developer.
Andrew J. Hall
Chief Technical Officer - Contributing Author
Cornell University: Masters in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Cornell University: Bachelors in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Andrew attended Cornell University where he focused primarily on energy systems and sustainability. He worked as a research assistant in the Cornell Energy and the Environment Research Laboratory and was published in Environmental Pollution for analyzing the impact of traffic controls, or implementation of EVs, on near-road air pollution in urban environments and was awarded a Verizon Sustainability Fellowship grant. Furthermore, he acted as an engineering lead on the Cornell 100+MPGe team to design and manufacture a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle which was entered in the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE Competition.
Andrew’s professional experience comes from a decade spent at Bloom Energy in Product Development as both a Mechanical and Systems Engineer bringing their stationary fuel cell power generator to market and, subsequently, through the IPO. His work at Bloom Energy resulted in two patents for characterizing the electrochemical response of fuel cells to detect changes in the incoming utility gas supply, as well as development of specialized sensor technology to optimize overall AC efficiency of the plant. Most recently, Andrew has worked in the stationary energy storage sector designing lithium ion battery systems that integrate with photovoltaics to power telecommunication towers in remote areas in order to stabilize, manage, and/or replace power produced by an existing grid connection or diesel genset.
Katie R. Klatt
Chief Operations Officer - Contributing Author
Harvard University: Masters in Public Health in Health Management
University of Virginia: Bachelors of Science in Nursing
Katie Klatt earned her MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with a focus in health management. Her expertise covers emergency management, biostatistics and epidemiology, communications, and business organization and strategy.
Katie has focused her practical public health work in emergency management and response, serving on the initial COVID-19 response team for Boston Emergency Medical Services. At Boston EMS, she adapted protocols to respond to the rapidly unfolding pandemic, as well as developed and implemented the infection control database. She now helps organizations prepare for and respond to crises, and become better consumers of health intelligence. As the world must adapt to climate-driven phenomena, her work encompasses the ways in which renewable energy can be utilized in ensuring organizations are prepared for and can rapidly respond to emergencies.
Prior to her transition into emergency management and public health,
Katie worked as an ICU nurse in the US and Australia. She has seen firsthand how health conditions can be caused or exacerbated by climate change, and strives to be a part of the solution that can influence health on a larger scale.
Dr. Chris E. Forest
Contributing Author // Concept Validator
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ph.D in Meteorology
University of Wisconsin-Madison: Mathematic, Physics, Engineering
Chris has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, Engineering, and Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as the lead for the climate science group for the NSF Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management. He served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report on Chapter 9: Evaluation of Climate Models. He was a review editor on the Climate Science chapter for the 3rd National Climate Assessment report for the US. He has served as Chair of the Topical Group on the Physics of Climate for the American Physical Society and served on committees for the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. He has served as Senior Research Fellow for Project Drawdown relating to Climate Science.
Chris is currently a Professor of Climate Dynamics in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at The Pennsylvania State University, where he is also an associate in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and an affiliate in the Department of Geosciences. He is presently the Director of the Center for Earth System: Modeling, Analysis, and Data at Penn State. His research focuses on quantifying uncertainty in climate predictions and their implications for assessing climate risks.
Dr. Dennis W. Thomson
Contributing Author // Concept Validator
University of Michigan: Ph.D in Physics & Meteorology
Denny completed his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in physics and meteorology, respectively. His first post-doctoral experience included a year at the University of Hamburg, Germany. He has since accumulated more than five decades of experience specializing in passive and active, remote sensing with surface-based acoustic, and surface, airborne and satellite sensing and reconnaissance systems, and many aspects of atmospheric measurements for studies of energetics and turbulence.
Some special assignments and national service included many years on advisory panels at National Center of Atmospheric Research and NOAA's Environmental Research Lab, Argonne National Lab, Lawrence-Livermore National Lab, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, trustee of the Univ. Corporation of Atmospheric Research, several U.S. Army Research Labs, and the National Academy of Science. With commensurate clearances in both Department of Energy and Department of Defense, he also has contributed to the development and operation of several classified analysis, communications, and reconnaissance systems.
For nearly 70 years Dr. Thomson has had an avocational interest in trains, and railroad technology and history. This, combined with teaching responsibilities in the atmospheric physics of anthropogenically-forced climate change has stimulated his interest, advocacy, and approval of the "SunTrain" technology and operation.
Jack J. Lucas
Chief Information Officer - Idea Cofounder
Curtin University: Masters in Occupational Therapy
University of Western Australia: Health Science
Jack Lucas is a healthcare professional who received a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Curtin University and a Bachelor's Degree in Health Science from the University of Western Australia. Jack’s role in the SunTrain concept’s implementation is a layman editor. Jack is passionate about the environment and wants to affect material change.
Jack is from Albany in Western Australia which generates 80% of the town’s power from wind energy. Jack was born and raised in a city that embraced renewable, clean energy. On a recent trip to Alaska, both Christopher and Jack were astounded by the natural resources. Jack co-authored the SunTrain concept together with Christopher, while hiking along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.