Evan LaTourrette-Ghez ‘23 is the first Johns Hopkins graduate with a minor in energy, an academic program that was launched in 2022 to address the growing need for trained engineers and scientists working in the energy sector.
Managed jointly by the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) and with input from the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute (ROSEI), the energy minor attracts students from across the campus.
LaTourrette-Ghez is a mechanical engineering major with an additional minor in environmental studies, and he’s a member of the Hopkins Student Wind Energy Team. His interests span multiple areas and disciplines, making him precisely the kind of student for whom the program was designed.
We sat down with LaTourrette-Ghez to learn about his interest in energy, his experience in the new energy minor program, and his post-graduation plans.
Did you always know that you wanted to study energy?
When I started at Hopkins, I was studying environmental science. I then switched over to mechanical engineering after a semester because I realized what I was really interested in was renewable energy and sustainable technology and I wanted to get a more technical background. At that point, the creation of the energy minor was really attractive to me as it gave me a chance to take courses in something that I am passionate about.
How did the minor impact your studies overall, and what would you say to a student who’s considering minoring in energy?
I think the energy minor pushed me to explore courses in other departments that are related to energy that I may not have otherwise. There is a lot of interest in renewable energy amongst the student body, but I have seen that a lot of people don’t know how to get involved with it at JHU. I think the creation of ROSEI and the energy minor is a great way to help students explore their energy interests, and I would highly recommend pursuing the minor to others.
Which course that counted towards the energy minor was your favorite, and why?
I really enjoyed Energy Resources in the Modern World, taught by Jerry Burgess in the EPS department. I loved the field trips to a local nuclear power plant and a natural gas power plant.
Describe your experience and the opportunities you had as a member of the Hopkins Student Wind Energy Team.
The Hopkins Student Wind Energy Team has been a really great way to get hands on experience in renewable energy design. We built a small-scale wind turbine and have the opportunity to compete at this year’s CWC in Boulder, Colorado.
We have lots of industry mentors both in engineering and project development. We meet with them regularly and it’s a great way to network and learn more about the wind energy industry.
What are your post-graduation plans? Do you plan to pursue a career in sustainable energy?
I will be staying at JHU next year to pursue a master’s in mechanical engineering, and I hope to start a career in sustainable energy once I finish with my program.