~ Stephen R. Connors, 1958 - 2016 ~
Read Steve's obituary here:
Steve is a senior energy researcher at MIT who has always been fascinated by alternative energy technologies and finding the best energy solution for each situation. Steve often says in a "one size fits all world everyone dresses funny." His early work with the Peace Corps in Republic Populaire de Benin taught Steve the importance of adapting the technology for each community and each geographic setting. Steve believes that there is no single silver bullet solution for a sustainable energy future. Instead Steve works to optimize a portfolio of solutions and within each technology to move from "best practice" to "next practice." In the case of wind power, for example, wind maps allow researchers to spot where and when the wind favorable locations are. Steve's interest in moving from "best practice" to "next practice" is to create a constant learning loop around demand management, energy efficiency, and the latest in renewable energy technologies.
Steve has a deep love of nature, hiking, and exploration. Steve's travels and work took him to Switzerland, France, England, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, China, India, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Republic de Benin, Togo, Niger, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia, among other places. Steve believes in leaving every room he enters better off when he leaves and he manages to do this in more rooms than one can count. Steve picks up liter in rivers, roadways, sidewalks and along trails and travels with the appropriate gear in his car for not just basic litter retrieval but a grabber that can pull a Class 7 truck tire out of the riverbank where it has wedged. Steve functions as an IT help desk for extended family members, many on the MIT faculty, and countless neighbors. Steve's belief is that it is "easier to be nice" and his winning smile, good nature, and great wit spread warmth wherever he goes.
Steve was one of the early scientists to note that "climate change" should really be called "climate changed" and Steve has long believed that we all need to right size our lifestyles to ensure the future of our planet. Steve's time in Benin taught him to live simply. These passions brought Steve to co-found AltWheels which has become one of the larger alternative transportation festivals in New England for fleets and to serve as conservation committee co-chair for the Appalachian Mountain Club.