Meet Panagiotis Mitsopoulos

Panagiotis Mitsopoulos is a second-year Ph.D. student in Environmental Engineering and a new member of the 2022-2023 John Lof cohort. His research focuses on building wind measurement models to optimize New England’s offshore renewable energy farms. 

He said that in the future, climate change will most likely change wind variables in New England, like temperature, speed, and direction. Researchers in tandem with developers need to be able to build wind turbines in the best way possible to not let resources go to waste. 

Mitsopoulos’s fascinating area of study is informed by his equally interesting multidisciplinary background. He has a Bachelor’s in physics and a Master’s in oceanography from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. 

His love for the sciences came from his academic excellence in physics classes in high school. Fast forward to his Master’s degree and Mitsopoulos is working on offshore wind energy research in Brazil and New England.

He also developed his leadership skills on an NGO-sponsored education outreach trip.

“We were to present some basic oceanography lessons to school kids in remote Greek islands. They don’t have access to this information. We wanted to educate them with a creative approach to this interdisciplinary science, like using some simple experiments,” Mitsopoulos said.

These experiences would also follow his first publications, which were similarly about gathering data about wind through buoy measurements to identify potential development regions for offshore wind in Brazil. At UConn, he would come to present his findings on his main research document at the School of Engineering Poster competition. He would also take up a position in the Eversource Energy Center. 

At this conference, he said that it provided him with the opportunity to communicate clearly with other students and professionals about their work.

“To me, these conferences are one of the most important events for a student to represent leadership skills, because you have to communicate your work with other leaders in your academic field. And you have to know how to receive their feedback. This was one of the things that inspired me to apply to John Lof,” Mitsopoulos said.

Now that his first semester at John Lof has passed, Motsopoulos stated that his definition of leadership is this: “How can I connect, communicate or inspire them to be more engaged with our projects, and help us and help them to reach our goals?”