Afamia Elnakat, Ph.D., R.E.M.
Occupation: Environmental Sustainability Outreach and Associate Professor of Research
Afamia is an associate professor of research at the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute. She is also teaching faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering at UTSA.
Afamia’s research is dedicated to emphasizing living sustainably while alleviating environmental impacts. Utilizing her multidisciplinary knowledge and background in engineering, biology, geology, chemical fate and transport, and water resources, Afamia specializes in multidisciplinary approaches in assessing environmental policies and institutional barriers to facilitate cooperation between different entities.
With her private industry background in engineering consulting firms, and commitment to community initiatives, Afamia has gained experience in technical, political and socioeconomical aspects of resource management.
Ph.D., Environmental Science & Engineering - 2002
University of Texas at El Paso
"The Use of Symmetric Triangular Linear Fuzzy Regression in Investigating
Transectoral and Transboundary Water Allocation”
-NSF Scholarship in Math and Engineering
Dwain Rogers, J.D.
Occupation: Transportation and Policy Research Director
Dwain Rogers attended the University of Texas at Austin, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1990, and went on to receive his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1993. He practiced law at the firms of Thompson & Knight and Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr and worked as in-house counsel for Solectron Corporation in Austin. Dwain’s law practice focused on intellectual property, funding early stage tech companies, litigation and commercial real estate. Beginning in 2003, Dwain worked for the Texas General Land Office as a litigation and real estate attorney and as Special Counsel. In early 2008, Dwain was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the GLO’s Renewable Energy Division, working to locate renewable energy projects on state-owned lands and to encourage the development of the renewable energy industry cluster in Texas. The Renewable Energy Division was created by Commissioner Jerry Patterson to develop a new revenue stream for the Permanent School Fund, an endowment fund which benefits K-12 public education. The division has overseen the execution of the first offshore wind leases in U.S. history and the first utility scale solar lease in Texas history. Since the spring of 2012, Dwain has worked as Transportation Research Director for the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at the University of Texas at San Antonio. As part of the CPS – UTSA Energy Research Alliance, the Institute performs cutting edge research on a wide variety of energy issues, challenges and opportunities facing the San Antonio community.
Juan Gomez, Ph.D., P.E.
Occupation: Deputy Director and Associate Professor of Research
Juan Gomez is the Deputy Director and an associate professor of research at the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute.
Juan’s areas of expertise include water treatment (conventional and membrane processes), water resources planning, public infrastructure planning and design, cost estimating, hydraulic modeling and dynamic simulation, water supply economics, and project and construction management. Juan utilizes a system’s based approach for proposing solutions to some of the most critical challenges we face today including water, energy, transportation, housing and food supply. While technology will continue to play a key role in solving these challenges, Juan is a big believer in needing to look more closely at how socioeconomic and demographic factors, policy and regulations, economics and human behaviors affect and influence the way people use and value technology.
Prior to joining the Institute, Dr. Gomez was part of the Global Technology Group for a large global engineering and consulting firm for over 9 years. He worked in projects throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico, Singapore, the Middle East, and other geographies.
• Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas (No. 95679)
• American Water Works Association - member
• WateReuse Association - member
• Water Environment Federation - member
Ph.D., Environmental Science & Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso 2003
M.S. Environmental Systems, Humboldt State University 2000
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Universidad Industrial de Santander 1997
Les E. Shephard
Occupation: Institute Director and McDermott Distinguished Chair in Engineering
Dr. Les E. Shephard is the Director of the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and holds the USAA Robert F. McDermott Distinguished Chair in the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering. Dr. Shephard joins UTSA from Sandia National Laboratories, which is managed by Lockheed Martin Corporation for the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served for more than 27 years. Most recently, Shephard was vice president of Sandia's Energy, Security and Defense Technologies Division, a multi-program, science-based engineering laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M.
Related Projects: Carbon Capture, Storage, Sequestration and ReutilizationElectrification of TransportationUTSA SmartLiving CampusUTSA Installation of Distributed Solar Energy ResourcesLarge Scale Photovoltaic IntegrationSan Antonio Clean Energy Incubator
Linda M. Day
Occupation: Associate Director of Operations
Linda joined the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute in January 2012. She brings eight years of experience in higher education administrative management in both academic and research-focused environments.
Linda holds a BBA in Management from Texas State University. Her background in financial operations ranges from small business accounting to integrated corporate financial management systems. In addition, she has managed multiple research grants funded by such agencies as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Her goal is to advance the mission of the Institute as well as that of UTSA through the establishment of standards and processes that serve the unique needs of the organization and inspire innovative solutions at the university level.
Rolando E. Vega, Ph.D., P.E.
Occupation: Renewable Technologies Research Director
Dr. Vega has been a renewable energy consultant and researcher for the last 6-years. He started and was responsible for the Renewable Energy consulting business in US, Mexico, Brazil and China for a global 1700+ employee company. Dr. Vega helped develop the company’s consulting revenues from non-existent to about $6M in 3-years. He drives teamwork, effectively draws from the strengths of his team and focuses in innovative ideas and great communication to provide solutions. Dr. Vega’s former clients include top tier global owners, utilities and manufacturers of renewable energy assets and operations.
Nominated in 2009 for the American Association for Wind Engineering Award for his Ph.D. dissertation, Dr. Vega currently works with The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) as the Director of Renewable Energy Research. Before this position, Dr. Vega worked with ABS Consulting leading the technical and business development efforts of a global team to assess, predict and mitigate wind and solar power on renewable energy assets. He developed a technical team of experts to support project demands to:
• Evaluate and approve acceptability of design basis (including hurricane risk) for U.S. and Europe offshore wind power project certifications
• Inspect wind turbine blades, towers and foundations,
• Assess fatigue and fracture cracks in several wind turbine towers and blades,
• Perform loading calculations using the NREL-FAST code,
• Perform wind and solar energy resource assessments and measurement certifications,
• Assess wind power resources in the State of Texas in over 40 sites,
• Render Monte Carlo simulations and reliability analysis of wind loads on structures,
• Define climatology and site aerodynamics using short-term meteorological records,
• Act as principal designer of StickNet, an instrumentation platform to measure the meteorological conditions in (convective) thunderstorm, hurricane and tornado weather.
• Provide management, professional and technical services in the construction and energy industry.
He currently chairs the joint industry consensus-based committee of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Recommended Practices for Compliance of Large Wind Turbine Structures. Dr. Vega is a registered Professional Engineer and holds an active NCEES record for licensure in any U.S. state.