The Beginning

Hello, my name is Jose De Casas and I’m currently studying Energy Engineering at the College of Engineering. I am all about renewable energy, enjoying the outdoors, playing volleyball, and listening to music (e.g. jazz, hip-hop, R&B). The reason why I applied to CEC is because of my passion for renewable energy. The reason why I advocate for renewable energy is that my elementary/middle school was across the street from an oil refinery that would spew toxic chemicals on our playground. Sometimes we wouldn't even be able to go out because there was too much sulfur in the air. Anyways, as I grew older, I knew that these weren't great conditions to live in and I learned about others who had similar living conditions. So, I decided to help make a change by improving air quality via renewable resources.

I decided to apply to Tecnologico de Monterrey specifically because they were going to perform research on power electronics for integrating renewables in the power grid. This kind of research is something that I am specifically interested in because I know of the challenges that come with integrating renewables into the power grid. One of the main challenges is that it is difficult for renewables to produce a constant voltage. This variability in voltage output causes grid instability and lower power quality.

Additionally, I wanted to get to know more about where my family is from and improve my Spanish. For this reason, this weekend I am traveling to Zacatecas with my dad because that’s where my grandparents were from. In the end, after this internship is over, I hope to have learned more about the research life, power electronics, Spanish, and my cultural heritage.

1st week of being here at Tecnologico de Monterrey has been cool. So far at the lab, all I’ve been doing is performing some soldering work and installing necessary components. Outside of the lab, I’ve been grubbing at different places, eating all the tacos I can. I’ve been telling my family and friends that I’m going on a diet called “puro tacos” (pure tacos). The campus is nice, I see a lot of (what seems like) friendly animals like peacocks, ducks, deer, and I seem to be finding more. The walk to the lab has nice views as well, it has a great view of the Cerro de la Silla (Chair Mountain). Named chair because it looks like a chair, can you see it?

Currently, I am working on programming a DC power supply to simulate a solar panel array using Matlab. I never really used Matlab before but I’m starting to like it, although I still prefer Java as of right now. I think I’m receiving promising results.