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Conference will seek balance between energy and environment

Lehigh faculty and experts from around the U.S. will investigate means of providing sustainable sources of energy while protecting the environment during a conference held in Iacocca Hall on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

“Balancing Energy and the Environment: An Exploration of Future Research Needs,” sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science (RCEAS), will begin at 8 a.m. and last until 5:30 p.m. on both days.

Those wishing to attend the conference should register by Oct. 19 on the conference Web site, by calling (610) 758-5308 or via email.

Conference speakers will discuss technology as well as policy issues. Topics will include energy supplies, electric power generation, clean liquid and gaseous fuels, research opportunities, energy efficiency, global security and energy, and global economic development.

Keynote speakers include:

• John Weyant, founder of the Energy Modeling Forum at Stanford University and an expert in global climate change, energy security, corporate strategy analysis, and Japanese energy policy. Weyant will discuss “Energy for the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities.”

• William Hecht, retired president and CEO of PPL Corp. (formerly Pennsylvania Power & Light), who will discuss “The Economics of Future Power Generation Options.”

• Kathleen McGinty, director of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, who will discuss “Alternative Fuels: Pennsylvania as a Proving Ground.”

• Ann Murtlow, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Power & Light Co., who will discuss “Going Green – Can We Turn the Policy Push into Consumer Pull?” Murtlow ’82, earned a B.S. in chemical engineering.

Other speakers will address clean coal technologies, magnetic fusion, photovoltaics, the conversion of coal to hydrogen and to liquid fuels, biomass-derived fuels, electrocatalysis, fuel cells and Persian Gulf security.

Other organizations represented at the conference include the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Coal Utilization Research Council, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the Lehigh Valley Greenbuilders Forum, General Motors Corp., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Iowa State University and Northeastern University.

Ed Levy, director of Lehigh’s Energy Research Center (ERC), said the goal of the conference is to explore potential research projects and partnerships.

“We’re hoping to exchange information and ideas and find out where the research opportunities are,” said Levy.

Six Lehigh faculty members will address the conference. Levy will talk on “Clean Coal Technologies with Carbon Capture and Sequestration,” and Arnold Kritz, professor of physics, will discuss “Magnetic Fusion Energy Research.” Albert Wurth, associate professor of political science, will give an address titled “Organizational Structures—Time-of-Day Pricing: Flexible Work Schedules, Transportation Fees and Taxes.”

John DuPont, professor of materials science and engineering, will talk about “Research Needs in Materials for Energy Applications.” Henri Barkey, department chair of international relations, will discuss “Persian Gulf Security and the Global Energy Equation,” while Dork Sahagian, director of Lehigh’s Environmental Initiative (EI) program, will talk about “Environmental Impacts of Global Economic Development.”

The ERC, which was founded in 1973, joined with the EI, Lehigh’s Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (CAMN), and several departments in the CAS and RCEAS to organize the conference.

--Kurt Pfitzer


Posted on Monday, October 29, 2007

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