The nonprofit group Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) honored Lucille Olszewski, Dr. Julie Lundquist, and Ian Baring-Gould last week at its annual luncheon during the WINDPOWER 2013 Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
The awards put the spotlight on professionals at the pinnacle of the industry as well as on the up-and-coming next generation of leaders. This year continued the tradition of awarding a “Women of Wind Energy Champion” for someone who has repeatedly gone above and beyond to encourage and support the career development of women in the wind energy sector. All three winners, WoWE said in a news release, "provide examples of achievement, creativity and courage."
“Highlighting and recognizing the stories of incredible women and men like this year’s WoWE Annual Award winners is critical not only to recognizing and appreciating their successes, but also to help other women in the sector see role models and new career pathways,” said WoWE Executive Director Kristen Graf.
2013 WoWE Award Winners
Champion Award – Ian Baring-Gould, Senior Mechanical Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, received WoWE’s Champion Award. This newest award seeks to honor an individual who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women in the field of renewable energy through mentoring and professional development that goes beyond expectations as well as advocating for work place practices that support women in a manner that fosters a path forward. Since the inception of WoWE, Ian has been an active participant in the organization and its membership. Through his involvement with the Wind for Schools program, he has consistently encouraged the involvement of young women. Ian has a deep understanding of the importance of engaging kids at a younger age, particularly girls. Ian is at the forefront of educating the next generation of wind consumers and professionals. As a result of his passion, creativity and commitment, countless women have been inspired and involved in this exciting industry.
Woman of the Year – Lucille Olszewski was honored with the Woman of the Year Award. Each year WoWE seeks out a woman who stands out for her leadership, inspiration, and significant contributions to the expansion and improvement of renewable energy completed at the highest level. Lucille answers to each of these requirements. She first started in the wind industry in the mid-1980s as a young meteorologist with one of the largest wind manufacturers and developers in the world. Wind prospecting requires a person who not only has a good understanding of the interaction of terrain and wind, but also understands other requirements like access, transmission lines, lack of legal and environmental restrictions, and a variety of other factors, referred to as buildability. During her 30 years in the industry Lucille has developed a keen eye on all fronts, having assessed over 9,000 MW of planned capacity and sited over 14,000 wind turbines. She has pioneered radio telemetry systems for meteorological data collection and was the first to use cell phone technology for data collection. Lucille is highly respected among her peers and known for her integrity. She has been a true inspiration and role model for women considering a career in wind energy for over a quarter of a century.
Rising Star – Dr. Julie Lundquist, Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder with a joint appointment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was honored with the Rising Star Award. This award is given to a woman who is relatively new to wind energy and is already making significant professional contributions by demonstrating unusual talent, dedication and innovation in her renewable energy work. During her time at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), Julie’s research moved ahead the frontier of wind energy forecasting. She has studied the effects of atmospheric stability and turbulence on wind energy forecasting and wind turbine performance. This research has revealed relationships in the atmospheric boundary layer that affect wind resource assessment and wind energy forecasting. Her work extends beyond traditional academia into how the industry can revolutionize wind resource assessment. Her exceptional vision, ingenuity, passion, and leadership make her a shining example for others in the field, and she will no doubt inspire future generations of talented women to continue to discover new advancements for wind power.
Photos from the event are available on Women of Wind Energy’s Facebook page. High-resolution photos are available upon request.
About Women of Wind Energy:
WoWE was founded in 2005 and works to promote the education, professional development, and advancement of women to achieve a strong diversified workforce and support a robust renewable energy economy. Since that time, WoWE has grown to an organization with 35 local chapters in the U.S. and Canada, an annual luncheon at WINDPOWER, and a growing grassroots network of more than 1,600 women and men. In 2010, WoWE launched the first-ever WoWE Leadership Forum and will host its fourth forum in November 2013. The organization is supported through hundreds of volunteer hours and the generous contributions of AWEA, GE Energy, DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability and a large number of other leading renewable energy companies, as well as membership contributions.
Honoring leading women in the wind power industry, March 19, 2013
Wind Co-op of the Year awards showcase co-op ethos, March 4, 2013
Time to nominate top public power utility for wind, February 20, 2013
TVA named 'Utility of Year' for pioneering wind power in Southeast, December 3, 2012
AWEA honors Alabama Power for using wind power to save dollars for Southeastern customers, December 3, 2012
Windustry honors Dan Juhl with community wind award, June 22, 2012
Wind Powering America program honors several for contributions to advancing wind energy, June 14, 2012
Paul Woodin receives Community Wind Innovator Award for 2012, June 12, 2012