A program developed by a local college student could revolutionize the way energy is used around the world. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Oral Roberts University a student has not yet graduated, but companies are already taking interest in his research, which combines math and meteorology.

While the math may be hard to understand, the results are not; and the research has already garnered interest from local companies, and even the U.S. government.

Michael Buonaiuto is a senior at ORU majoring in math. He’s back on campus after spending the summer in a prestigious internship at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. “It ended up they needed someone to do similar research like I’d done with Dr. Lang,” he said. The research was predicting energy usage based on weather conditions.

“ They could just input the weather forecast for the next 84 hours and this would just shoot out the energy predictions,” Buonaiuto said. And the math is pretty spot on. Buonaiuto’s original experiment was done at the ORU Hamill Student Center, where energy use is plenty and varied. “ This is a great way to save energy without really any extra work, except for implementing these models,” he said.

His research is already getting interest; THG, an Austin-based energy company, has already started using Buonaiuto’s math models to see how it could help them.
Buonaiuto said, “They had a use for this kind of information on how they can predict energy and relay that to their customers and help them utilize their energy more efficiently”. He said the algorithm could also help with the development of “smart appliances” that save energy while they run.

While the college senior isn’t sure what his next move will be after graduation, this is an indication, that there are bright things ahead. Buonaiuto said he’ll most likely look into some Ph.D. programs, but, at this point, he’s not ruling anything out.

Ogie Omelegie
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