Ruurd Schoolderman

Ruurd SchooldermanRuurd Schoolderman is a founding team member of the Caribbean Branch Office TNO, Aruba. He is responsible for business and partnership development and special project management. He holds a M.A. in Environmental Policy from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands (1996) and a M.A. in Organizational Management from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth Minnesota (2006). In addition he studied environmental policy and planning at the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
He has worked as a land-use planner with a focus on water-resource planning, coastal zone management and community development in the United States and the Netherlands. He then migrated to a role in which he developed R&D consortia in the areas of Climate Adaptation, Clean Energy and Water Resource management as part of the Dutch and European Innovation Programs. Since 2011 he has been working in the Caribbean on Renewable Energy and Sustainability issues and development of research and educational partnerships in the region. He splits his time between Aruba, the Netherlands and the United States.

Christina Becker-Birck
C Becker-BirckChristina Becker-Birck is a Senior Consultant at Meister Consultants Group (MCG) and specializes in renewable energy policy and climate adaptation. She has supported several islands in the Caribbean with designing and implementing renewable energy policies and finding ways to reduce barriers to investment. She recently led a series of trainings for local lenders on sustainable energy finance throughout the Caribbean region on behalf of the Organization of American States. Prior to joining MCG, she consulted to Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors, where she co-authored studies on how project development risks can be mitigated and how policy design impacts investment risk. She holds a joint Master in Public Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and the Hertie School of Governance. Mrs. Becker-Birck chairs the Policy Committee of the Caribbean Green Technology Center.

Prof. Edward Thomas, Jr.

Prof Edward ThomasProf. Thomas was born and raised on the island of St. Thomas and graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School in 1985. He attended the Florida Institute of Technology and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics. He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned Master’s degree in Physics. He earned the PhD in Physics from Auburn University in 1996 where his graduate studies focused on experimental plasma physics and fusion energy research. From 1996 to 1999, he was an Assistant Professor of Physics at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. In January 2000, Prof. Thomas returned to Auburn University as a faculty member where he is currently a Professor of Physics and the Lawrence C. Wit Professor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. Prof. Thomas’ research group conducts experimental plasma physics research with a focus on complex (dusty) plasmas, magnetized plasmas and fusion energy science. Prof. Thomas and his students have published over 70 scientific articles and have made over 170 presentations at scientific meetings. Prof. Thomas is also active in science policy and outreach through his work with the American Physical Society (APS), National Society of Black Physicists, the University Fusion Association, the International Union of Radio Science, and Quality Education for Minorities (QEM). Prof. Thomas has as well as serving on advisory committees for National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Research Council, and several research centers in the US and Europe.

Dr. Dolace McLean

Dolace McleanDr. Dolace McLean, Esq. holds a Ph.D. in English from New York University and a law degree from Cornell University Law School. Prior to joining the UVI faculty as an Assistant Professor of English, Dr. McLean worked as an attorney for the Government of the United States Virgin Islands. She is an editor of Calabash Journal, and co-author of several editorials, book reviews and articles dealing with Caribbean literature. An active member of the Virgin Islands Bar, Dr. McLean is licensed to practice in the Virgin Islands and New York. Currently she is the owner of her own law firm specializing in appellate advocacy before the courts of the Virgin Islands, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She is an executive officer of the Board of the United Way St. Thomas-St. John and when she is not too busy, she likes to spend time sailing the beautiful waters of the islands.

Elias Towe, Ph.D.

Elias Towe, Ph.D

Elias Towe is currently the Albert and Ethel Grobstein Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. Prof. Towe was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees from the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is a recipient of several awards and professional honors for his work in photonics, and is Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Physical Society (APS), the Optical Society of American (OSA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been and is a consultant to industry and the US and foreign governments on engineering and public policy issues.

Dave Smith, Ph.D.

Dave SmithDave Smith received his Bachelor of Science in Physics and AS in Computer Science at Missouri Southern State College in 1975 and his PhD in Physics from Purdue University in 1983. His thesis work involved spin analysis of exotic particles produced in pion-proton interactions from experiments performed at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). Since then he has worked as a professor at Purdue, the California Polytechnic State University, Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI), and the University of the Virgin Islands. He has done research in volatile gas movement in fires at the Lawrence-Livermore National Laboratory, education utilizing electronic media at IUPUI, and weather forecast models at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He has also been a dancer and choreographer in numerous dance companies including the Purdue Repertory Dance Company, the Calgary City Ballet, Orchesis Dance Company, and the Ballet Theatre of the Virgin Islands. He has been a Mocko Jumbie for over 25 years.

Doug White

Doug White is an Architect who has been promoting green building in the U.S. Virgin Islands in his architectural practice, focusing on custom residential design, on St. Thomas and St. John for the past 25 years. He introduced the first small scale, self contained, constructed wetland biological sewage treatment system for residences into the VI. He has been an active proponent and user of solar power for many years. His residence on St. John is net zero energy use and he drives a solar powered electric GEM truck. Doug has received the Virgin Islands Energy Office “Light the Way Award” and the U.S. EPA “Environmental Quality Award.” He has served twice as President of the V I Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and was a founding member, in 2004 of the Island Green Building Association (IGBA) of St. John.

Kenneth White

Kenneth WhiteMr. Kenneth White, recently named the Founding Director of the Portal to Discovery at Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been the Manager of the Office of Educational Programs at the Lab since 2004. Brookhaven National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy multi-discipline research complex with seven Nobel Prizes credited to work conducted at its facilities. Every year the Office of Educational Programs at Brookhaven hosts over 200 undergraduate student interns, university faculty, and teachers who conduct research with BNL scientific, engineering and technical staff. Mr. White is also responsible for the Laboratory’s K-12 science education programs that host nearly 40,000 students each year. Under Mr. White’s leadership, the programs at Brookhaven have doubled in capacity through partnerships and collaborative grants with local, regional and national agencies and organizations. Most recently, Mr. White has taken on the role of co-steward for the Long Island STEM Hub as part of the Empire State STEM Learning Network. The Long Island STEM Hub seeks to develop a cohesive and cooperative regional approach to motivating and preparing students for the high tech jobs of Long Island.

Mr. White, a veteran of the United States Navy, has held positions at military, commercial, and research nuclear reactor facilities as both an operator and trainer, and in public relations for environmental restoration projects. He earned his BS in Liberal Studies from the University of the State of New York with concentrations in education and engineering technology, and his Master of Business Administration from Dowling College. He is a recipient of the Brookhaven Award, a co-recipient of the American Nuclear Society Trade Excellence Award, and multiple awards during his time in the military.

Joseph Williams

Joseph WilliamsMr Joseph Williams is the Manager of the Energy Programme at The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. In this capacity he has responsibility for the coordination of regional energy policy and strategy as well as overseeing the implementation of same. Inter alia, this includes the establishment of a more strategic approach to transformation of energy sector in CARICOM.

He has approximately 21 years experience in the energy sector. Before joining the CARICOM Secretariat Mr Williams practiced in the private sector in Jamaica as an energy management consultant and spent approximately 15 years working in technical and managerial capacities in the electric and water utilities in Jamaica. At the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (electric utility), he headed the Energy Services and Marketing Department which was responsible for renewable energy and customer energy efficiency matters

Mr Williams is a professional Mechanical Engineer and also holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management with emphasis in National Energy Policy and Planning; from the University of The West Indies. He is a certified energy manager by the Association of Energy Engineers USA.

Maya A. Trotz, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Department of Civil & Environmental
University of South Florida

MayaMaya A. Trotz, Ph.D., born in Georgetown,
Guyana is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa. She works at the nexus of geochemistry/water quality and global/community sustainability and education with current and previous student research projects in Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica,
Bolivia, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, and Peru. She currently holds a patent on “Functional composites formed from colloidal polymer particles with photocatalytic metal oxide nanoparticles.”

Maya’s interests are interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, applied and seek to forge non-­‐ traditional university partnerships. She is a faculty mentor for USF’s Peace Corps Master’s International Program in Water. She currently directs sustainability driven research and education programs for graduate students, undergraduate students, and teachers, funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Education. These include NSF funded “Research Experience for Undergraduates” and “Research Experience for Teachers” programs at USF. As a Visiting Research Scientist at the Caribbean Science Foundation in Barbados during the 2013 academic year she helped to develop and implement the inaugural Sagicor Visionaries Challenge for high school students in 12 different Caribbean countries. Sponsored by Sagicor, the Caribbean Science Foundation, and the Caribbean Examinations Council this challenge asked students to identify a challenge facing their school and/or community, propose a sustainable and innovative solution and demonstrate how that solution used science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Dr. Trotz received a bachelor’s in chemical engineering with a minor in theater from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then a master’s and doctorate in environmental engineering from Stanford University. As a Postdoc she taught at the National Technological University in Singapore on behalf of Stanford University.

Kevin de Cuba

Kevin de CubaKevin de Cuba is, as a Senior Energy and Sustainable Development Specialist at the Department of Sustainable Development of the Organization of American States (DSD/OAS), leading several interdisciplinary projects regarding themes as energy, water, sustainable consumption and production, cradle-to-cradle, and climate change mitigation and adaptation within the DSD/OAS.

Currently he is the Program Manager of the Closed Looped Cycle Production in the Americas Initiative (2010 – ongoing), where he and colleagues are pioneering the introduction of the Cradle-to-Cradle design philosophy in the Americas. In collaboration with C2C Expo Lab (the Netherlands), the Cleaner Production Centre of Colombia, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from the United States, his team works on introducing and validating the “cradle-to-cradle” or C2C concept as an innovative business development tool to facilitate low carbon development through improved energy efficiency and environmental performance of manufacturing processes while increasing the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of businesses in the production sector of participating nations in the Americas, with particular focus on Small and Mediums size Enterprises (SMEs).

Mr. de Cuba holds a BSc. (Honors) degree in Environmental Technology with specialization in Waste Management and Waste Water Treatment from the Van Hall Institute, Wageningen University of Applied Sciences, and a MSc. degree in Sustainable Development with specialization in Energy & Resources from the Copernicus Institute at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Woodley Preucil

Woodley PreucilMr. Woodley "Woody" Preucil has over 25 years of experience as a senior analyst for 13D Research. Mr. Preucil, a senior managing director at the firm, has been instrumental in driving the growth of 13D's business over the last two decades by being actively involved in the identification, development, and analysis of many of the company's key investment themes.

Mr. Preucil's areas of expertise include alternative energy, smart grid, water, agriculture, climate change, cyber security, nanotechnology, genetics, personalized medicine, robotics and artificial intelligence, broadband and wireless, and the law of accelerating returns and its impacts on different industries.

Mr. Preucil received a BA in Economics and Accounting from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1983. Mr. Preucil has been a Chartered Financial Analyst since 1987 and is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute.

Karl Knight 

Karl Knight

Karl Knight is the Director of the Virgin Islands Energy Office. The mission of his office is to promote sustainable energy policies in the Virgin Islands encompassing energy production, distribution and consumption through training, outreach, financial incentives, and technical assistance. 

Mr. Knight began his professional career as a civil engineer with the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, providing project management and engineering design services before serving as the Chief Researcher in the Office of Senator Terrence "Positive" Nelson. Mr. Knight managed the legislative affairs of the office to include legislative research, reviewing bill proposals, and drafting legislation.

Karl joined the Office of the Governor in April 2007 as a policy advisor to Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. In that capacity he was primarily engaged in policy development in the areas of energy, environment, and public infrastructure. He also served as the Governor’s liaison to several executive branch departments and instrumentalities. Mr. Knight holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Morgan State University.

Michael Taylor (Professor at University of the West Indies)

Henry Smith

HSmith BioDr. Henry H. Smith is Director of the Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the Director of the Virgin islands Water Resources Research Institute at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI).  He obtained his undergraduate degree in marine and environmental science from UVI and his masters and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland and Colorado State University respectively.  He also holds a law degree from the University of Dayton and is a member of both the USVI and Ohio bars..  He has served as Senior Water Resources Planner for the U. S. Virgin Islands, Director for the International Center for Water Resources Management at Central State University in Ohio, and in several capacities at UVI including Vice Provost for Research and Public Service, Interim Provost and Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement.