A 2010 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy here was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to study sustainable energy engineering in Norway during academic year 2012-2013.
Lt. j.g. Joe DiRenzo IV of Suffolk, Virginia, was granted the scholarship and will pursue a master’s degree in innovative and sustainable energy engineering from the Norwegian Technical University (NTNU) with a concentration in renewable energy generation and utilization. DiRenzo is currently serving as the first lieutenant aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant, a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida.
DiRenzo selected the ISEE program because of its research-oriented curriculum with real-world applications, which he hopes will enhance renewable energy initiatives within the Coast Guard. During his time at NTNU, DiRenzo will also study at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden where he will focus on using sustainable energy systems for shipboard components as well as studying the feasibility of implementing sustainable energy into the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet.
Norway and Sweden have integrated modern forms of renewable energy into many aspects of industry and daily living. Sweden is attempting to become the first oil-free economy by replacing fossil fuel with bio fuel. Like the United States, Norway and Sweden are maritime nations and have developed renewable energy science for application in the maritime environment. DiRenzo believes the Coast Guard can benefit from research coming out of these academic institutions, particularly in the field of carbon capture and environmentally-friendly energy production.
Upon completing his Fulbright Scholarship, DiRenzo intends to resume his operational career and return to the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. He plans to merge his renewable energy technical expertise with his maritime operational experience, enabling him to serve the Coast Guard in engineering positions as a mid-grade officer.
DiRenzo graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2010 with a degree in mechanical engineering with high honors. This is DiRenzo's second Fulbright Scholarship since graduating from the Academy.