Sofie Rhoads wins best research project at SISE “boot camp” competition


In August, URSP graduate student Sofie Rhoads (M.C.P. ’18) and her research group won the award for best collaborative research project, a celebratory nod to their innovative vision for the Chicago community of North Lawndale. The project was the culmination of a two-week “boot camp” at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE). SISE pools undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to learn, research and collaborate around themes of sustainability. 


Sofie was one of 40 students—and the first ever selected from the University of Maryland—chosen this year to attend SISE, out of a highly competitive pool of 120 applicants world-wide. The intensive, unique experience mixes lectures on sustainability-related topics from Chicago-area leaders in business, research and technology, site visits, networking and collaborative research. This year’s topic was transportation, with a concentration on mobility.


Now in its seventh year, SISE approaches today’s rapid advancements and global challenges, specifically energy transition, through a collaborative lens. Pulling from diverse backgrounds and specialties, SISE trains the next generation of young scholars to work together to craft innovative solutions to global challenges; proudly owning the hashtag #bestnerdsonearth, SISE 2017 participants hailed from 23 academic institutions and 34 different disciplines, including sociology, business, engineering, biology and economics.


“I would highly recommend SISE to anyone who is interested in spending two weeks of their summer in a fast-paced, intellectual environment that provides an extremely generous support package,” said Sofie. “The program gave me experiences I’d never have had otherwise with people I never would have met.”


Learn more about SISE here.  

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Maggie Haslam