Energy Studies Minor undergraduate Claire Halloran was one of five MIT students selected for the 2020 cohort of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship program. All will begin postgraduate studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom in fall 2020.
Hailing from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Halloran is a senior majoring in materials science and engineering with minors in energy studies and public policy. At Oxford, Halloran will pursue an MSc in energy systems and a Master of Public Policy. She aspires to become a policy leader who will advocate for legislation that is both technically sound and appropriate for wider social contexts.
Halloran is dedicated to creating clean-energy technologies, advocating for strong climate policy, and disseminating knowledge about climate change. Her research has focused on solar energy technologies, including a project on solar-to-fuel conversion reactors for concentrated solar systems with the Electrochemical Materials Laboratory in the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and an independent research project on silicon and perovskite photovoltaics. During a spring 2019 study abroad semester at Oxford, Halloran worked on high-energy-density battery design with the Faraday Institution SOLBAT Project, and in summer 2019 she interned at Form Energy, a startup focused on creating low-cost, long-lasting batteries.
Halloran has interned with the Environmental Defense Fund and held climate policy fellowships with Our Climate and the Better Future Project. On campus, she founded and directs the MIT Climate Action Team, which works to organize the MIT community in support of policies to mitigate climate change. Halloran also holds an executive position and serves as a peer educator with the MIT Violence Prevention and Response team, facilitating peer conversations about sexual violence and healthy relationships.