University community invited to participate in energy forum

November 25, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A series of energy forums will be held to discuss how Penn State can continue to strengthen its position as an energy leader. The first forum will take place 9–10:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 11. The virtual event is titled “Energy University: Concept and Current Activities.” Penn State faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in the forum. Registration is required. The second and third events will occur in the spring.

The forum will feature an Energy University overview from Penn State President Eric Barron. He will discuss the current status of Energy University and introduce areas that the University will focus on for growth and investment.

"Universities have an obligation to the people and the communities they serve to create a better tomorrow,” Barron said. “In the case of energy, we need solutions that will provide sources that are clean, abundant, safe and affordable. At Penn State, we take this challenge very seriously, from the solar energy that will provide more than 25% of Penn State’s purchased electricity over the next 25 years, to the education and support that the University provides through Penn State Extension and beyond. The demand for energy is only increasing, and it’s imperative that universities lead the way through education, research and implementation to show that it is not just reasonable, it is achievable."

Each of the focal areas will have short presentations.

  • "Energy Transitions" will be delivered by Seth Blumsack, director of the Center for Energy Law and Policy, who will be introduced by Hari Osofsky, dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs.
  • "Developing Solutions" will be delivered by Bruce Logan, director of the Consortium for Integrated Energy Systems, who will be introduced by Lee Kump, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
  • "Strengthening Communities" will be delivered by Esther Obonyo, director of the Global Building Network, who will be introduced by Marie Hardin, dean of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.
  • "Advancing Literacy and Leadership" will be delivered by Rachel Brennan, director of the Drawdown Scholars Program, who will be introduced by Justin Schwartz, dean of the College of Engineering.

Lora Weiss, senior vice president for Research, will moderate a panel that will focus on big ideas for Energy University. The panel discussion will explore opportunities and impacts that Penn State can have in energy.

“For Penn State to bolster its impact as an energy leader, we must use the resources, talent, and creativity within our research enterprise,” Weiss said. “The University’s extensive knowledge in all aspects related to energy is found within our world-renowned energy researchers and facilities that house some of the most advanced research equipment in the world; we have a responsibility to explore and advance research directions that can be translated into real-world improvements.”

Finally, Tom Richard, director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, will moderate an open discussion where attendees can share their feedback and input on Energy University.

“Energy is central to nearly every aspect of our lives, from housing and transportation to food, manufacturing, education and health,” said Richard. “The full depth and breadth of disciplines from across Penn State are critical in this era of rapid energy transitions. I look forward to this dialogue about how we can work together to achieve our Energy University ambition.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 25, 2020