Aviad Navon ’17, M.S. ’19, a Ph.D. candidate in the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was always fascinated with science because both his parents were biologists. Now he is focused on clean energy sources with hopes of joining the global efforts to mitigate climate change.
In high school, Aviad volunteered with Magen David Adom as a first aid assistant and taught younger children mathematics. He then served in a special unit of the Israel Defense Forces called ‘Moran,” becoming a combat soldier, commander, and eventually head of a technological department. In 2010, then Israeli President Shimon Peres awarded him the President of Israel Citation of Excellence for his military service.
Passionate about environmental preservation, he took a gap year before entering the Technion to work in the Jewish National Fund’s tree conservation program Keren Kayemet, and then explored nature in South America. After much thought, he concluded he wanted to focus his studies on making the world a more sustainable place. He excelled from the start. As an undergraduate, he learned enough about electrical circuits and writing complex software to develop an environmental monitoring system that received energy from a solar panel and transmitted data via WiFi.
He is currently working under Professor Ariel Orda and Assistant Professor Yoash Levron to explore the challenges of integrating clean energy sources into Israel’s modern power systems. Working with the Israeli Electric Corporation, Aviad uncovered bottlenecks in the electric grid in the peripheral areas of Israel and proposed solutions to mitigate congestion. One of his solutions was adopted by the Israeli Electricity Authority. In other research, Aviad explored the impact of the pandemic on electricity demand. With an eye to the future, he is employing game theory to study how decision-making processes affect the development of modern power systems.
Aviad lived in the U.S. for several years as a child, and his wife is American.