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Mechatronics Graduate from Northeastern University Joins Zapotec
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Mechatronics Graduate from Northeastern University Joins Zapotec image

Sanae Matsuki has joined Zapotec Energy’s team of design engineers this summer after receiving her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Mechatronics from Northeastern University in May 2017. She comes to us with a strong background in electromechanical systems.

During her time as an undergraduate student, Sanae interned as a design engineer for a variety of companies, including General Electric Aviation in Rutland, VT and Coravin in Burlington, MA. Sanae also worked with Caltech in 2013, conducting MEMS research, and with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, helping to create an autonomous research vehicle.

While at Northeastern University, Sanae chose to spend a semester in Arusha, Tanzania working as a Solar Engineering Intern for a company called Sikubora. In Tanzania, Sanae helped design independent PV systems that were less than 1 kW in size. She quickly learned that it is not as difficult to integrate solar PV in countries like Tanzania because there is no centralized power grid, there is less energy being consumed per capita, and there are less regulatory barriers related to stand-alone systems.

Her experience in Tanzania motivated Sanae to move her career path toward the renewable energy industries. Specifically, Sanae was inspired by solar energy when recognized the level of independence the technology is able to provide to families in remote areas of East Africa. For example, she and her co-workers once drove hours to a village to provide people with small PV systems that would power their lights, television and cell phones. Although these families are too far away from the closest urban area, the solar energy allows them to stay better connected to the outside world.

After finishing her six month internship with Sikubora, Sanae realized the reason she became an engineer. “There is a responsibility that engineers have: To design for manufacturing, safety and comfort, as well as, and most importantly, to design for sustainability,” Said Sanae. “I want to work toward preserving mother Earth as an engineer.”

Zapotec is excited to be working with Sanae to promote a sustainable way of life here in New England. She will be working closely this summer with Zapotec’s other design engineers to better understand the design, permitting, interconnection and installation processes for commercial scale solar PV systems.

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