Forum to focus on natural disasters and energy security

September 15, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 2014 GEMS Industry Forum, “Natural Disasters: The Power of Nature and its Challenge to Energy Security,” will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, in 113 IST Building (Cybertorium), on Penn State's University Park campus. The event is free and open to the public.

This year's event will focus on natural disasters and how those events affect the energy sector as well as their customers and the public in general.

The event will be moderated by Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology and acting director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and the introduction will be by William Easterling, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

The three featured speakers are:

-- Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Hoffman will discuss her perspective on vulnerabilities of the nation’s energy delivery system to severe natural hazards, efforts to improve reliability and resiliency to these hazards, and the role of smart grid technologies in these efforts.

-- Jeffrey Mock, meteorologist, Dominion Virginia Power. Mock will discuss Dominion Virginia Power’s planning, response and restoration process for severe natural events, the role of the Dominion Weather Center in that process and examples of notable Dominion system events.

-- Gregory J. Sosson, P.E.P.E., senior project manager, Fukushima Improvement Project, PSEG Nuclear LLC. Sosson will discuss the impact of natural hazards on commercial nuclear energy and include the analysis being conducted and actions that industry is taking based on the earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima and other postulated events.

The event is sponsored by GEMS (Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences), the alumni society for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

For more information please online or contact Colleen Swetland at

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Last Updated January 09, 2015