Michael L. Machala
2010-2011 Luce Scholar
Placement: Lao Institute for Renewable Energy (LIRE), Vientiane, Lao PRD
Michael Machala received his B.A. in Chemical Physics, from Kenyon College in 2009. Born in the beautiful Magic Valley of central Idaho, Michael grew up beside Rock Creek on the Oregon Trail. In high school, he had a chance to influence pollution of another type as president of the regional anti-tobacco coalition. The coalition lobbied at the local and state levels, helping pass the 2004 Idaho Clean Indoor Air Act. Kenyon College helped inspire Michael's passion for renewable energy technologies, particularly photovoltaics. Before and after graduation, he was able to pursue this passion at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. Outside work, he loves music (having played violin in the symphony orchestra through college) and competitive swimming (walking-on to Kenyon College's varsity swim team and improving to become a multi-All American and co-Captain of the team that won the NCAA Div III National Championship his senior year). Michael worked in Dresden, Germany as a Transatlantic Renewable Energy Fellow, absorbing lessons from Germany while continuing his research in low-cost solar cells.