June 24, 2013
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Rensselaer at Hartford Presents a Discussion Series on Energy, Environment, and Economics

HARTFORD, CONN Rensselaer at Hartford launched its Energy, Environment, and Economics Discussion Series on June 18, 2013, at its Hartford campus. More than 25 participants engaged in a lively dialogue about to how to create solutions to the energy challenges facing humankind. Dr. David L. Rainey, Acting Dean of Rensselaer at Hartford, hosted the evening program. The inaugural event was titled “The American Agenda: Focusing on Cost-effective Energy Solutions.” The purpose of the program was to obtain broader insights and perspectives about the energy challenges, especially input from users.

While the energy picture on a global basis is dominated by energy companies like BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil; electric utilities; and technology providers; the intent of the discussions is to expand the possible solutions to include improving energy efficiencies of the technologies and applications, enhancing the potential for energy conservation, and reducing the negative impacts. According to Dr. Rainey, “The overall objective is to dramatically increase the number of contributors to creating energy solutions and to shift the thinking from finding more petroleum and conventional energy approaches to creating new possibilities that embrace all of the social, economic, political, ethical, technological, and environmental considerations.” The event was also a prelude to Rensselaer at Hartford’s participation in the 22nd World Energy Congress 2013 to be held October 13 - 17, 2013, in Daegu, Korea.

Dr. Rainey welcomed the participants to the discussion series by highlighting the challenges and opportunities pertaining to developing innovative ways to produce the required energy solutions that are in harmony with the markets, the business environment, the social world, and the natural environment. Dr. Sudhangshu Bose, Professor of Practice at Rensselaer at Hartford, presented perspectives on how to improve the energy efficiency of existing technologies and systems and how to assess the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy technologies. Robert J. Araujo, Manager of Sustainable Development and EWH&S programs at Sikorsky Aircraft, discussed the positive outcomes realized by Sikorsky from its investments in its cogeneration facility that produced 10MW and its photovoltaic array.

The next public forum in the Energy, Environment, and Economics Discussion Series is scheduled for September 18, 2013. The working paper and a summary report of the group presentations from the first discussion of the series are available at: www.ewp.rpi.edu.

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