Biography

Bethany Corcoran is a Ph.D. candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University.  Her research aims to 1) quantify the effects of aggregating electric load and renewable resources across large geographic areas, and 2) determine how to most economically integrate large amounts of renewable energy into the US electric grid.  Bethany’s research incorporates a wide range of topics, including mathematical optimization, engineering economics, statistics, geographic information science, renewable energy, and electric power systems.  She recently travelled to Denmark as an invited researcher to collaborate with the Martin Greiner research group at Aarhus University.

Outside of research, Bethany is the leader for a wind energy project through the student organization SWEP (Solar and Wind Energy Project).  She led a wind data collection campaign at the Port of Redwood City, near Stanford’s campus, and is currently in discussion with a California-based wind turbine company about installing a mid-sized wind turbine. Throughout this project, Bethany has shared her knowledge with numerous SWEP members from multiple departments through one-on-one and group teaching sessions on the basics of wind energy, project development, and data analysis. 

Bethany earned her BS from The Ohio State University in Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering in 2007 and an MS from Stanford University in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2008.  As an undergrad, she studied abroad in the Czech Republic and South Africa.  She earned first-place honors in the university-wide undergraduate research forum for her honors thesis research project on microbial fuel cells using landfill leachate as a substrate.  She co-led a design team on a farm-scale biodiesel production project, and completed a senior-year capstone research and design project on cellulosic ethanol from sugarcane bagasse waste.  In 2006, she was selected as a Morris K. Udall Scholar and in 2007 as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow.

Bethany grew up on a family farm in Eastern Ohio and maintains her green thumb with her small vegetable garden.  She also enjoys being outdoors (hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing), traveling, admiring classical art, baking, and sharing those baked goods with her officemates and friends.