Atlantic Council Opening Session
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
11:00 AM—12:00 PM
-Notes for delivery-
The vision for Penn State as the Energy University;
- Our aim is to harness the breadth and depth of Penn State to focus on the most enduring and critical issues facing society.
- We can serve students and society, and fulfill our land- grant mission by focusing on energy security that is: abundant, affordable and safe.
Stepping forward as the higher education leader in:
- Research: Generating the knowledge and technology that will drive the next energy revolution
- Education: Preparing a workforce that is both highly trained and highly adaptable, ready for global careers and collaboration
- Service: Partnering with industry to address urgent, real-world needs for energy production and policy
Over the last year, we have developed the vision, and we are moving forward as we build on Penn State’s expertise and rankings.
Penn State ranks among the top five research universities for scholarly output in five sectors. They are:
- Energy Policy, Economics and Law
- Fossil Fuels, Combustion, Turbo, and Carbon Capture
- Renewable Energy
- Distribution Efficiency, Grid, Storage, and Smart Buildings
- Energy and the Environment
We are the only university in the top five of all five categories—and we are in good company—with MIT, University of California Berkley, Stanford, Texas A&M, and a few other select universities.
This expertise is at the core of our new initiatives surrounding The Energy University vision.
Today, I’ll share a bit about the work underway.
To begin, let’s look at what Penn State is doing to advance the work around Energy Policy, Economics and Law with a Center for Energy Policy.
- This is focused on regulations and will be housed in Penn State Law, and will be supported by our departments of economics, finance, political science, business, and related fields.
- Understanding the regulatory environment is critical if you work in energy –think about the difference between PA and NY—it’s primarily the regulatory environment.
Another area of national importance and Penn State’s focus is Communication about Science to Society
- How do you bring the factual information into the world in a way that people can understand it-- so it can be used to create policies and compliance?
- We need to study how people absorb information and make decisions.
- We need to find ways to communicate complex information more simply.
- This initiative involves the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, where we have some of the leading researchers in the nation focusing on the science of science communication.
- It will also draw expertise from education, the social sciences and the hard sciences.
- Another example: Last October, Penn State held Sci-Comm month.
Next let’s look at the segment Fossil Fuels, Combustion, Turbo, and Carbon Capture...
- We’re working with a number of external organizations on the concept called “the Oil and Gas Virtual Asset.”
- Design will have an integrated digital representation of all information related to wells and formations.
- This "virtual asset" system that be the basis for an integrated project-based course taught in partnership with sponsoring organizations.
- Involves faculty from petroleum engineering, geosciences, engineering, computer science, business, social sciences and other disciplines.
- Will lead to new basic research opportunities, and longer-term, we envision similar programs to bring “field operations” into the classroom.
- Monty Alger, Director of the Institute for Natural Gas Research and Professor of Chemical Engineering has been working with deans and energy companies on this virtual asset concept.
Next I’d like to focus on how Penn State is working to advance our ability to produce energy more effectively and efficiently and in an environmentally sound way.
- We’re looking at production fields with environmental sensors
- Drone technology to measure emissions
- Using the most advanced technology to tackle the issues of energy and the environment.
- In addition--I’m pleased to announce that last month, Penn State was designated the lead institution for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)'s international High Performance Buildings initiative.
- This is about energy efficiency, grid connectivity, and building performance with respect to comfort, health, and other functions.
- Builds on our just finished DOE funded hub, the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
- I’m pleased that Scott Foster, director of Sustainable Energy at UNECE, is with us today and speaking at our closing plenary panel. We looking forward to continuing our relationship.
Here’s another example: we’re looking at using the Penn State Physical Plant as an educational resource and testing center.
- This is an opportunity to test the efficiency and effectiveness of different types of energy.
- We could create a solar farm, test wind turbines and electric cars.
- We can apply the rigors of academic research to discover the best ways to apply energy technology and to create smart buildings.
- We have unlimited potential in this area.
Finally, I’d like to talk about a new pilot, the Keystone Institute, and how it can support our work in energy.
- The Keystone Institute is basically a Think Tank that will tackle the tough issues of the day where Penn State can provide leadership—such as energy security.
- Let’s look at that as one example.
- The Keystone Institute would gather together internal and external experts in law, energy economics and engineering, and meteorology;
- Their work could lead to (for instance) white papers that analyze the legal approaches to regulating methane emissions and other air quality impacts nationally and in Pennsylvania;
- Or testimony on the state of the science and engineering of tracking and limiting methane emissions and air quality;
- Or holding a broader conference to disseminate findings.
- We see the Keystone Institute as a great new opportunity for Penn State to impact the world.
- Identify investments that will create even greater excellence in: Faculty leadership, Industry expertise; State-of-the-art infrastructure; State-of-the-art thinking; and the next energy leaders
- Engage partners across Penn State and beyond
- Partner with lead donors and forward-looking companies