Susan White Stewart, Ph.D.

Research Associate
Aerospace Engineering & Architectural Engineering
Pennsylvania State University

Current CV (PDF)


My research focus is on renewable energy technology and implementation (resources, hybrid designs, policies, and society) as well thermal fluid system design optimization for improved energy system performance. My recent thrusts have been:

  • Developing online courses for University wide Professional Masters in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems.
  • Solar thermal system bubble pump modeling and design optimization.
  • Wind energy system design optimization under site specific conditions
  • Extreme offshore wind analysis and translation to U.S. offshore design standards
  • Modeling the impact of various levels of smart grid implementation on the utility grid
  • Heat pipe design for thermal energy harvesting

Recently Funded Research/Programs:

  • Pennsylvania Wind for Schools Program.” Three-year program funded by NREL, December 2010.  PI.
  • “Proper Siting of Building Integrated Wind Turbines,” One-year study internally funded through a competitive process at ARL, November 2009.  PI.
  • "Wind Energy in the Built Environment: Connecting Aesthetics and Performance," April 2010. Two year study funded by PSIEE Sustainability Seed Grant Program. Co-PI.
  • "GridSTAR: Grid Smart Training Application Resource Center," Three-year study funded by DOE, Oct. 2010. Key Participant.
  •  “Wind Energy Workforce Development: Engineering, Science, & Technology Meeting the Needs of the Future, Now,” Two year program funded by the Department of Energy, December 2009.  Key Participant.
  •  “Utility Grid Automation and Risk Management,”  One year study funded by: Lockheed Martin, December 2008. Co-PI.
Education & Background: I received my MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and my BSME at Penn State in 1999. My graduate research was focused on energy system design optimization. Upon finishing my PhD I joined my former advisor, Sam Shelton, in starting up the Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute. In this position I performed a variety of alternative energy technology assessments, investigated the feasibility of offshore wind development in the South Atlantic Bight, and worked with a multidisciplinary group to determine effectiveness of converting southern pine to ethanol. In March 2007 I moved back to Pennsylvania and joined the Applied Research Laboratory to assist with their efforts to apply their extensive energy system development expertise to the renewable energy industry. Currently, I am coordinating renewable energy workforce development efforts for the departments of Aerospace Engineering and Architectural Engineering. I also am the Director of the DOE Sponsored Pennsylvania Wind for Schools Program.

EGEE 438: Wind & Hydropower Energy Conversion. This course examines the principles of sustainability and renewable energy conversion with emphasis on wind and hydrokinetic energy resources. Offered each Spring.

EGEE 597 D: Distributed Energy Engineering and Management. This survey course examines the theories and practices of distributed energy production and management in the context of regional and integrated energy grid structures. Offered Spring 2010.

A E 897 A: Solar Project Development. This course examines the theories and practices of photovoltaic system business development and financing. The course builds upon a fundamental understanding of systems engineering, engineering economics and building energy systems to prepare students to conduct investment grade solar energy system proposals and financing plans. 

  • Committee Member, National Academy of Sciences Study for the Transportation Research Board on the Structural and Operating Safety of Offshore Wind Turbines, June 2010 – March 2011.
  • Reviewer, National Science Foundation, Generation 3 Engineering Research Center: Pre-proposals - January 2010; Full Proposals - June 2010; Site Visit Reviewer - September 2010.
  • Co-organizer Penn State Wind Energy Working Group:
  • Vice President, Penn State Mechanical Engineering Society, Feb 2009 -present.
  • Track Chair, 2009 & 2010 ASME Energy Sustainability Conference.
  • Founding member, Georgia Wind Working Group, 2005-2007.
  • Member, American Wind Energy Association Offshore Wind and Education Working Groups.
Selected Publications:

Committee on Offshore Wind Energy Turbine Structural and Operating Safety; Transportation Research Board. 2011.  Structural Integrity of Offshore Wind Turbines: Oversight of Design, Fabrication, and Installation - Special Report 305  National Research Council, The National Academies Press, 2011.

Stewart, S.W., Haupt, S.E., and Cole, J.A. 2011 ”Addressing Wind Resource Potential in the Built Environment,” Proceedings of ASME Energy Sustainability 2011, Washington DC.

Poerschke, U., Woollen, M., Srebric, J., Stewart, S., and Murtha, T. 2011 “Design Investigations on Building-Integrated Wind Energy: Lessons from an Architecture Studio,” Proceedings of 2011 American Solar Energy Society Meeting, Raleigh, NC.

Albanese, L. C., Gandhi, F., and Stewart, S.W.  2010  “Adaptive Geometry Wind Turbine Blades for Increasing Performance,” Proceedings of ASME Energy Sustainability 2010, Phoenix, AZ,  May 17-22.

Stewart, S.W. 2010. “Finned-Tube Condenser Design Optimization Using Thermoeconomic Isolation.” Applied Thermal Engineering, 30(14-15): 2096-2102.

Stewart, S.W., Shelton, S.V., and Hunt, M.H.  2010. ”The Impact of Hurricanes on Offshore Wind Development,” presented at 2010 North American Offshore Wind Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, Oct. 5-7. 

Stewart, S.W. 2009.  “Economical Design of Wind-Solar Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems,” Proceedings of ASME Energy Sustainability 2009, San Francisco, CA, July 19-23.

Stewart, S.W.  2008. “Offshore Wind Shear Estimations for Windpower Assesment.” Proceedings of ASME Energy Sustainability 2008, Jacksonville, FL, August 10-14.

Martin, K.A., Schmidt, M.F., Shelton, S.V. and Stewart, S.W.  2007.  “Site Specific Optimization of Rotor/Generator Sizing of Wind Turbines,” Proceedings of ASME Energy Sustainability 2007, Long Beach, CA, June 27-30.

Bulpitt, W., Stewart, S., Hunt, M.  2006.  “Offshore Wind Farm Feasibility Study for the Southeast,” Proceedings of POWER-GEN 2006, Orlando, FL, November.  

Bulpitt, W., Stewart, S., Hunt, M, and Shelton, S.  2006.  “Innovative Partnerships for Offshore Wind Development.” Proceedings of Windpower 2006, Pittsburgh, PA, June 4-7.

Bulpitt, W., Stewart, S., Hunt, M. and Shelton, S.  2006. “Feasibility of Offshore Wind Power in the South Atlantic Bight,” Proceedings of Offshore Technology Conference 2006, Houston, TX, May 1-3. (Invited Paper).


I have had the opportunity to assist with the planning and organization of several renewable energy events over the last few years as noted below. I was a Co-organizer and speaker at the following events:

Penn State Wind Energy Engineering Short Course (2011 & 2012), University Park, PA.
The Pennsylvania Wind Energy Symposium 2008: Power for the Future, State College, PA, Nov. 2008.
Southeast Regional Offshore Wind Energy Symposium, Charleston, SC, Feb. 2007.
Alternative Energy Technology Innovation, The Coming Economic Boom. Savannah, GA, May 2005.


I have two beautiful children (Will:6, Katie:4) with my husband of 11 years, Drew. We are both State College natives.