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Lectures and discussions focus on critical policy and technological challenges

The Policy Studies program, in collaboration with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Power Engineering Society (IEEE/PES), will host an energy conference on campus Oct. 11-12. The “Visions of the Energy Future” conference will feature lectures and discussions regarding current energy use and ways to shape the future of energy.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, go to the conference web site.

As part of the conference, there will be a car exhibit and environmental demonstration from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Oct. 11 on the Quad. On display will be cleaner fuel vehicles produced by Intergalactic Hydrogen, the mechanical engineering department’s formula one car, a Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid from Dick Milham Toyota, Ford, Scion of Easton, and a British roadster owned by Dan Bauer, professor of anthropology and sociology.

Various groups will have booths set up including: the Alliance for Sustainable Communities, Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection (LEAP), the TREEhouse (True Environmental Experience) Floor, Lafayette Solar Committee, Policy In Action Club, and the student branch of IEEE/PES. The events on the Quad are co-sponsored by Lafayette College Radio WJRH 104.9 FM.

The conference speakers include leaders from industry and academia who will discuss various energy sources, scenarios for the future, and major challenges that need to be addressed.

Mark Crain, William E. Simon Professor of Political Economy and chair of Policy Studies, hopes that the conference will focus attention on the important issues surrounding energy use. “How are the U.S. and other countries going to meet the tremendous need for power while facing environmental challenges and issues of national security? Solving these energy problems requires an interdisciplinary perspective.” By pooling the talents of those in the political process, the private sector, and academia, Crain believes that solutions can be found.

Crain described the conference as having “a healthy mix of business professionals and academics.” Speakers include James Sweeney of Stanford University, Stephen Pryor ’71 of ExxonMobil, David Taylor of Air Products, Ian Hutchinson of MIT, Frank Clemente of Penn State, and Edwin Guiles of Sempra Energy. Moderators are William Rutledge ’63; Dru Germanoski, VanArtsdalen Professor and head of geology and environmental geosciences; J. Peter Simon ’75 of William E. Simon & Sons LLC; Michael Stark, assistant professor of physics; William Jemison ’85, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Alexandra Sippin ’08 (Fairfield, Conn.), an electrical and computer engineering major. Kurt Zwerko ’75 of PPL Corporation will also participate as a commentator.

Topics to be discussed include conservation, developments in clean coal and coal conversion technologies, the potential role of hydrogen in transportation, innovations in the petroleum sector, the renaissance of nuclear energy, and the viability of various renewable energy sources.

Rutledge, a retired chairman and CEO of Teledyne, Inc., has played a significant role during the planning stages of the energy conference. An emeritus member of the Board of Trustees, Rutledge feels that the conference presents numerous opportunities. “The conference is an opportunity for the College and community to look at issues that face all of us. It is an opportunity to look at where we are going and what the future holds.” He hopes that the conference will be a place to become informed as well as a place to begin dialogue.

“The energy conference illustrates the broad principle behind the policy studies program. Good policy choices must involve people who understand the science and the technology. Integrating scientific knowledge with an understanding of the policy process provides the best hope for long run solutions to a host of issues related to energy,” says Crain.

Conference Program

  • 7:30 – 8:40 p.m. Oct. 11, Williams Center for the Arts – Opening Lecture “Energy Problems, Energy Policies, Energy Efficiencies”

    • Moderator: Mark Crain, William E. Simon Professor of Political Economy and Chair, Policy Studies Program
    • Speaker: James L. Sweeney, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, and Director, Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency, Stanford University
  • 8:30 – 9:40 a.m. Oct. 12, Marlo Room, Farinon College Center – “Coal: Conversion and Clean Technologies Open New Doors”

    • Moderator: William Rutledge `63, Retired Chairman and CEO, Teledyne, Inc.
    • Speaker: Frank Clemente, Professor of Sociology, Penn State University
  • 9:50 – 11 a.m. Oct. 12, Marlo Room – “The Outlook for Energy”

    • Moderator: Dru Germanoski, Dr. Ervin R. VanArtsdalen Professor of Geology and Department Head, Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences
    • Speaker: Stephen D. Pryor ’71, President, ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company
    • Commentator: Frank Clemente

  • 11:10 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Oct. 12, Marlo Room – “Transportation: The Role, Current Realities and Future of Hydrogen”

    • Moderator: J. Peter Simon ’75, Co-Chairman, William E. Simon & Sons LLC
    • Speaker: David J. Taylor, Vice President of Energy Systems, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    • Commentator: Tai Robinson, President, Intergalactic Hydrogen
  • 1:40 – 2:50 p.m. Oct. 12, Marlo Room – “The Renaissance of Nuclear Energy”
    • Moderator: Michael Stark, assistant professor of physics
    • Speaker: Ian H. Hutchinson, Professor and Head, Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
  • 3 – 4:10 p.m. Oct. 12, Marlo Room – “Renewable Energy Sources: California as a Policy Laboratory”
    • Moderators: William Jemison ’85, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and Alexandra Sippin ’08, president of the Lafayette College Student Branch of the IEEE
    • Speaker: Edwin A. Guiles, Executive Vice-President, Sempra Energy
    • Commentator: Kurt Zwerko ’75, Vice President― Distributed Energy, PPL Corporation

  • 4:10 – 4:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Marlo Room – Summation and Closing Remarks
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