2022 Keynote Speaker & Final Competition Judges

Trina Bilal, Keynote Speaker

Trina Bilal is a Program Manager within the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity’s Minority Educational Institution office.

As Program Manager, Mrs. Bilal is responsible for collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to develop, implement and manage nation-wide initiatives to advocate for the engagement of Minority Serving Institutions and historically underrepresented communities in Departmental programs and the national energy sector.  Additionally, she serves as Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ (HBCUs) Federal Funding Opportunities Cluster leading the development and implementation of collaborative, sustainable, interagency strategies to improve the conditions under which HBCUs compete for the full range of Federal opportunities.

Clair Behar, Judge - Hy Stor Energy

Claire Behar is Chief Commercial Officer at Hy Stor Energy a renewable hydrogen and hydrogen storage company headquartered in Jackson, MS.  Before Hy Stor Energy, Ms. Behar ran fundamentals and trading strategy for the global gas team at Freepoint Commodities. She holds a B.S. in Geological Engineering from Cornell University.

Dr. Lauren Cooper, Judge - Western Colorado University

Dr. Lauren Cooper is an Associate Teaching Professor in Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder, teaching full-time in Gunnison as part of the Western Colorado University – CU Boulder partnership program. She holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Building Systems Engineering from CU Boulder. Dr. Cooper hopes to strengthen the connection between NREL and Western Colorado University by participating in programs like JUMP into STEM and the Visiting Faculty Program.

Dr. Odessa Gomez, Judge - University of Colorado

Dr. Odessa Gomez has been trained as both a Chemical Engineer and an Environmental Engineer with over years of 17 years of experience in engineering design and research. Her background has spanned the energy sector, air quality impacts on indoor environmental health in underserved communities, as well as advancing aerosol characterization and control technologies. As a Research Associate with the University of Colorado Boulder, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gomez is currently focused on the design and implementation of bioaerosol mitigation and disinfection methods for the built environment.

Damon House, Judge - Microsoft

Damon House manages solutions and strategy for Healthcare and Education for Microsoft Industry Services. He is an experienced management professional with over twenty-five years of project and program management experience. Mr. House has managed the strategic planning and governance for U.S. Government agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Agriculture.  In the private sector, Mr. House created and managed Project Management Offices (PMOs) and Project Management Centers of Excellence (PMCoEs) to support projects and products domestically and internationally. Mr. House is a champion for diversity and inclusivity, both within Microsoft and beyond.