Undergraduate Thesis. June 2008. Electronics Engineering Department, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Bogotá, Colombia.

We designed, constructed and test a system for the fabrication of sharp metal tips with nanoscale diameter. The fabrication of the tips is based on an electrochemical reaction between an anode and a cathode immersed in a chemical solution. The system allows to control temperature, voltage, current and chemical concentration. The process in visualized in real time and data is stored. The system was part of the project “Construction of a system of probe exploration by tunneling effect for nanoscalar measurement” of the research group of Nanoscience of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

Authors: Erica Niño, Ivonne Peña. Advisor: Edgar González.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 12.28.18 PM
System we designed, built and tested for the manufacture of conductive nanoprobes. Electronics Engineering Thesis by Erica Niño and Ivonne Peña. Best thesis award from the Engineering Department, Universidad Javeriana, 2008.
System for the manufacture of conductive nanoprobes. Electronics Engineering Thesis by Erica Niño and Ivonne Peña.
Tungsten nanoprobes, manufactured at 40 C, and constant voltage of 3V, 5V and 7V, respectively.
Geometry achieved for constant temperature and constant voltages of 3V, 5V and 7V, respectively.
Geometry achieved for constant temperature and constant voltages of 3V, 5V and 7V, respectively.

International Perspectives to Climate Change, workshop part of SUCCEED Program

(Description from Leonard Gelfand Center, CMU)

In 2011, Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making created SUCCEED: the Summer Center for Climate, Energy, and Environmental Decision Making. Held annually, SUCCEED consists of two pilot programs: a 2-day workshop to improve teacher curricula and a free 5-day summer school targeted at an age gap in the university’s outreach, that being students entering 10th grade. In conjunction with the National Science Foundation’s Climate and Energy Decision Making Center, we have adapted the SUCCEED curricula into K-12 lesson plans on climate, energy, and environment meeting Pennsylvania standards. Please use the links on the sidebar to navigate through these resources. Note, the lesson plans and handouts are designed to be stand-alone lesson plans and are not meant to be used in any particular order.

This workshop was designed by Ahmed Abdulla and Ivonne Pena. The final product compiled by Kelly Klima on behalf of the Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach.


Students will be able to:

  • Identify the sources of global carbon emissions and the countries responsible for them – past, present, and near future.
  • Describe which countries are taking action to mitigate carbon emissions, and the various ways in which this is being done.
  • Discuss what exists at the confluence of climate change and human activity, and how particularly vulnerable countries go about acknowledging this new reality and adapting to it.
  • Debate international policy frameworks to adapt to climate change and mitigate its worst effects.

[Read more…]

Image of International Session, SUCCEED. Source:
Image of International Session, SUCCEED.

Ph.D. Thesis: “Retrospective and Prospective Analysis of Policy Incentives For Wind Power in Portugal.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.53.50 AM
Image from


“Concerns over climate change impacts, goals to increase environmental sustainability, and questions about the reliability of fuel supply have led several countries to pursue the goal of increasing the share of renewable energy sources in their electricity grid. Portugal is one of the leading countries for wind electricity generation. Wind diffusion in Portugal started in the early 2000’s and in 2013 wind electricity generation accounted for more than 24% (REN 2013b). The large share of wind in Portuguese electricity production is a consequence of European Union (E.U.) mandates and national policies, mainly feed-in tariffs. Discussions on the appropriate policy design and level of incentive to promote renewable energy adoption and meet further renewable capacity goals are ongoing in Portugal, namely in what concerns the level and duration of feed-in tariffs that should be provided to independent power producers. This, in turn, raises the question of whether the past feed-in tariff levels were well designed to achieve the goals of a larger penetration of renewables in the Portuguese grid. The policies to induce wind adoption have led to a growth in wind installed capacity and share of electricity generated by wind in Portugal from less than 1% in 2000 to approximately 24% in 2013, but questions arise on their cost-effectiveness and whether alternative policy designs would have led to the same goal. vi The Portuguese wind feed-in tariffs are a guaranteed incentive which has varied between $85- $180/MWh over the last 20 years (ERSE 2011), and remained approximately constant since 2001 at $101/MWh. They are currently guaranteed for 20 years of production or 44GWh of electricity generation per MW installed (Diário da República 2013) – the longest period among countries with high wind electricity share. They do not incorporate any digression rate besides inflation, and are guaranteed for every unit of electricity fed to the grid. There are no power plants that have already been decommissioned despite being in operation for more than 20 years, favoring from new, detailed and hard-to-follow agreements in the legislation. All wind parks that are currently in operation have received feed-in tariffs since they connected to the grid, and are expected to keep receiving them at least until December 2019, and up to December 2036 – depending on year of connection and agreement under the most recent legislation (Diário da República 2013). The 2020 renewable energy goals in Portugal include having 6.8 GW of installed wind capacity, which implies the connection of 2 GW in the next years. If no further grid investments are made and wind capacity increases up to 100 MW to the connection point that we analyze, total annual electricity spill is likely to range the 20% to 40%. If the connection grid policy is designed to allow for wind spill, already ‘occupied’ connection points will be available to new entrants, lowering the total investment costs for new wind parks and increasing their profitability. This thesis is divided in three main parts: a first introductory section, a retrospective study of wind power in Portugal and a prospective analysis of the Portuguese wind power sector.” [Continue reading]

Energía eólica: Políticas de incentivos.

Energía eólica: Políticas de incentivos.
Energía eólica: Políticas de incentivos. I. Peña, et al. Energía Eólica: Políticas de Incentivos, Nano Ciencia y Tec. 2 (2014)18.

Alrededor del mundo, las políticas ambientales y energéticas se han ido acercando y consolidando dentro de estrategias regionales y globales unificadas. Esto se debe a que la comunidad científica ha hecho evidente el efecto invernadero de la emisión de ciertos gases, en especial de CO2 y metano, que está asociado en su mayoría con el sector energético pero que tiene consecuencias inmediatas y futuras en el medio ambiente [Leer más…]

I. Peña, et al. Energía Eólica: Políticas de Incentivos, Nano Ciencia y Tec. 2 (2014)18.

Summary of Ph.D. Thesis, about Wind Power Policies in Portugal [Portuguese version]

Os Incentivos à Energia Eólica em Portugal: uma análise retrospectiva e prospectiva

Autor: Ivonne Peña (

IST- Instituto Superior Técnico
CMU – Carnegie Mellon University

Preocupações sobre impactos das mudanças climáticas, metas para aumentar a sustentabilidade ambiental, e as questões que emergem sobre a confiabilidade do fornecimento de combustíveis fosseis levaram vários países a perseguir o objectivo de aumentar a participação de fontes de energia renováveis na sua rede eléctrica. Portugal é um dos países líderes para a geração de energia eólica. A difusão do vento em Portugal começou no início de 2000 e em 2013 a geração de energia eólica foi responsável por mais de 24% do total da produção eléctrica (REN 2013b). A grande participação da energia eólica na produção de electricidade Portuguesa é uma consequência de políticas nacionais e europeias, principalmente as tarifas “feed-in”. [Ler mais…]