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Don’t Stop the Music

Among his hobbies, Kyle Bradbury picks strings of his acoustic guitar

Photo courtesy of Kyle Bradbury.

Name: Kyle BradburyPosition: Postdoctoral Energy Fellow, Duke University Energy InitiativeYears at Duke: 7

What I do at Duke: I have something of a non-traditional position. I spend half my time as an administrator for Bass Connections, which puts together interdisciplinary, problem-focused project teams for students. Additionally, I spend time as a postdoc doing research about leveraging energy data for increasing building energy efficiency. I'm finding ways to understand power usage from a meter to break it down to the appliance level. It's info people can use to improve energy efficiency for a home or any other building.

If I had $5 million, I would: I'd want to give a lot of it to charities close to my heart like the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and my alma mater, Tufts University. I'd make a few wishes come true for members of my family. They've always wanted to go to Europe and travel.

My first ever job: In high school I spent summers mowing lawns in my neighborhood in Somerset, Massachusetts. I lived in a neighborhood with a number of older folks that were happy to help a local kid. They'd give me a little money to take care of their lawns for them, so I walked up and down the street with my push mower and did what I could.

If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: Guitar playing or British culture. I began playing guitar last summer and I love chatting about new songs I'm playing and hearing about experiences from others. I've also always had a fascination with British culture, especially the history. I've always enjoyed their comedy and when I was a kid, I loved learning about architecture like castles and cathedrals.

What I love about Duke: I've done my master's and Ph.D programs here before working at Duke and the graduate student community became my family here. People come in-and-out with other programs, but these are people I still spend Thanksgiving with. It's a real sense of belonging with this group.

When I'm not at work, I like to: Learning the guitar is the top of the list right now. I love folk, folk-rock and bluegrass music. I bought my guitar when I started writing my dissertation and needed something to clear my mind. I found it provided an escape and helping me meet people in the community to get together for impromptu jam sessions. I also love hiking and biking around the area.

Something most people don't know about me: I spent a couple Christmas breaks during my undergrad years making stop-motion movies for the hell of it with LEGOs. They were typically storylines built around songs I really liked. I did one to Aerosmith and another to "Come on Eileen." I probably spent 80 to 100 hours to put each one together. They were five to 10 minutes long.