ThinkEnergy Fellowship Student Profile: Cooper Reif

Our 2020-2021 ThinkEnergy fellows are outstanding students who are working diligently to advance innovation in the Energy field. This year we have 15 students from various majors and schools working on three amazing entrepreneurial projects. We hope these student profiles will help you to get to know more about these students, their passions, and their amazing work. See all the profiles here.

Cooper Reif, a third-year from Chicago majoring in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Entrepreneurial Studies and Business Management:

1- What is your favorite thing to do at CWRU outside of the classroom?

Build Rube Goldberg machines! To name a few, I've built machines to turn on and off my lights from my bed, open and close my door from my bed, and I'm currently working on a way to get my apartment's trash into the trash bins from the second floor.

2- What is your most treasured memory at CWRU?

My favorite memory thus far has got to be Freshman year when my friends and I all used our special meal swipes at The Den to get only pancakes. The seven of us ended up with about 45 pancakes between us. It was very much a pancake-filled next couple of days.

3- Over your college journey, which class impacted you the most?

Definitely Mechanical Manufacturing (EMAE 160). It was my first foray into the world of SolidWorks and CAD, and I haven't looked back since. It jumpstarted my career in a direction that I'm more excited than ever to continue after college.

4- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life what would it be?

The biryani from Indian Flame!

5- How did you hear about the ThinkEnergy Fellowship and why did you apply?

I heard about ThinkEnergy through a former USG colleague of mine, Prince Ghosh. As a previous member of the ThinkEnergy cohort himself, he could not say enough about what an incredible experience the fellowship was, and just how much he had taken away the knowledge he had gained into the world after graduation. From that point on I knew that I wanted the opportunity to experience this same development.

6- What energy problem is your entrepreneurial team working to solve with a product?

Our team of five fantastic individuals is tackling the commercial rooftop solar installation process. Currently, solar engineers take multiple days to manually plan out solar installation projects in order to optimize the quantity and placement of solar panels, inverters, walkways, etc. Our goal is to automate this project in Revit to save these solar design engineers hours upon hours of work time.

7- What is your role(s) on your entrepreneurial team?

My main role is being the head of finance, but I'm currently also working on customer acquisition with a couple other members of the team.

8- What is your favorite part of the program so far this year?

So far, my favorite part of the program has been the ThinkTanks. We've been able to have some fantastic speakers so far ranging from representatives of national labs to the VP of engineering of Siemens Energy. I can not wait for the great talks to come this upcoming semester.

9- What is one thing you find challenging in the program so far?

The biggest challenge by far is traversing uncharted territory with my entrepreneurial team. There have been many exciting challenges that have surfaced, and I'm very proud of my team for overcoming them as one solid unit. Furthermore, it's great to know that GLEI provides so many great resources for entrepreneurship in the energy industry, so we never feel alone.

10- What is one thing you hope to get out of the experience?

The overarching goal for my time in the ThinkEnergy cohort is to get my feet in the water doing something that really invigorates me. From the weekly talks to working in small groups on an entrepreneurial project, there really is no better way to learn about the energy industry and what the future has in store. I look forward to taking my experiences here and carrying them with me no matter where I end up after my time at CWRU.”