Nicole Kuepper, 23, looks like a movie star and has an accent to die for. But the reason I’m naming her GPG’s first centerfold (an award that comes without the pesky fold-and-staple in the midsection) is because she’s incredibly brainy and has won several prestigious awards for her research in solar energy. In fact, her work may help light up the underdeveloped areas of the world.
Here in the U.S., you’ll hear solar energy bantered about as the answer to rising energy costs and global warming. Darn if it isn’t becoming downright trendy, and thefts of solar panels are even on the rise. (This must be a measure of popularity. Remember when you could get mugged for a pair of Air Jordans?)
But, we forget that there are places in the world that don’t choose to be off the grid, and the possibility of inexpensive access to solar energy could help cook and preserve food, refrigerate vaccines, and give people light in which to work safely. Take a moment and check out this video about her work: