Obama to visit University Park

January 31, 2011

University Park, Pa. — President Barack Obama will visit Penn State's University Park campus on Thursday (Feb. 3), touring labs and speaking with researchers focused on energy-efficient building solutions before speaking in Rec Hall.

As part of the administration’s strategy to win the future through new investments in research and development, the Department of Energy (DOE) has launched Energy Innovation Hubs across the nation. Penn State will provide overall leadership for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for energy-efficient buildings that will be located at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. Hank Foley, Penn State vice president for research, is the principal investigator for that project, which involves 11 academic institutions, two DOE laboratories, five high-profile global industry partners, regional economic development agencies and community colleges. During his visit, Obama will focus on the importance of work being done at the Energy Innovation Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Obama will speak at 12:15 p.m. at Rec Hall. Public attendance for the president's remarks is by invitation only. His remarks are expected to focus on the importance of investing in innovation and clean energy for the nation's future and to create jobs and grow the economy.

"Penn State is one of the places in the country focusing on energy efficiency," White House Deputy Director of Communications Jen Psaki said in announcing the reason for the visit.

Steven Chu, secretary of the Department of Energy, explained that the work being done at the Energy Innovation Hub is precisely what Obama was referencing when he spoke of the nation's "Sputnik Moment" in his State of the Union Address earlier this week. "It's all about gearing up America's intellectual force so we can develop these clean energy sources," Chu said.

"This effort is highly interdisciplinary and so is as intellectually exciting to us as it is practical for the nation," said Foley. "This is the start of a new era in this nation and we at Penn State are just so pleased to have been chosen to help lead it."

The mid-day visit may cause delays in traffic patterns and pedestrian flow at certain times of the day, as well as possible rerouting and building closures on campus. For more details, visit http://live.psu.edu/story/51070.

For more information on the Energy Innovation Hub, visit http://live.psu.edu/story/48016.

  • President Barack Obama last visited Penn State while campaigning for the 2008 election.

    IMAGE: Andy Colwell
Last Updated March 21, 2011