HDR’s Lukas Rowland Honored with 2021 RMEL Emerging Leader Award

Lukas Rowland
Lukas Rowland

HDR Electrical Engineer Lukas Rowland has received a 2021 Rocky Mountain Electrical League Emerging Leader Award. Rowland was selected based on his contributions to award-winning energy storage work, and his research on the role of distributed energy resources in electric vehicle fleet charging infrastructure.

“Lukas is a shining example to every young engineer in the transmission and distribution industry,” said Fernando Garcia, HDR's grid modernization lead. “His leadership supporting the evolution of our electric grid, along with his contributions to the power industry and HDR, is unparalleled.”

Rowland’s groundbreaking work on the Decatur Island Battery Energy Storage System was instrumental in the project receiving a 2020 World Changing Ideas Honorable Mention by Fast Company. He helped Orcas Power and Light Cooperative develop a microgrid system that enables residents of a small island to capture and store renewable energy from a community solar array, and subsequently discharge energy during an outage to maintain power.

In 2019, Rowland applied for an exclusive and highly competitive HDR grant to investigate strategies for using distributed energy resources, including solar photovoltaic and energy storage, to mitigate costs and environmental impacts associated with charging electric vehicle fleets. He was awarded the grant, and he successfully completed development of a modeling tool capable of providing financial, resiliency and emission reduction optimization solutions for commercial electric vehicle charging. The model holistically assesses costs and benefits of these DERs, and ultimately provides a data-driven roadmap for fleets transitioning to electric vehicles. 

“We continue to get requests from transit agencies asking us to do this type of analysis,” Rowland said. “The idea is that once we complete the study, future projects will be more efficient because the legwork has already been done.”

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes leaders with 5-10 years of industry experience who are making an impact through significant contributions within their organization and the electric energy industry.