UT Austin Energy Bulletin
A Monthly Update from the Energy Institute of The University of Texas at Austin
|The UT Austin Energy Bulletin is a monthly update on energy-related research, recent and upcoming events, grants, awards and special announcements – a recap of all things energy at The University of Texas at Austin.
Photovoltaic Center augments outreach, member recruitment
Researchers in the Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics at UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering are building momentum toward their goal of making electricity from photovoltaics a major source of energy. The Center, part of the National Science Foundation’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) program, is poised to take a leap forward in the recruitment of new members. Read more.
UT Austin to work with Dutch universities on smart grid research
UT Austin has signed an informal agreement with universities in The Netherlands and Flanders to initiate an international collaboration for research and business innovation. The center’s focus would be on developing collaborative academic research programs, with special focus on smart cities and smart grids. Read more.
Latest from Fukushima: Nuclear Reactor Leaking Radioactive Water
Dr. Dale Klein, an Associate Director of the Energy Institute who leads an external committee advising Tokyo Electric and Power Company on clean-up of the company’s disabled Fukushima nuclear reactors, urged a tightening of water management procedures weeks before it was revealed the reactors are leaking 300 tons of contaminated water into the ocean every day. For more, read comments from Dr. Klein, former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in a Bloomberg News article, and watch a video on LinkTV.
United Nations launches Global Energy Essay Contest
As part of its effort to promote sustainable energy solutions worldwide, the United Nations General Assembly has initiated an essay contest for college students from all disciplines interested in energy and sustainability issues. 1st and 2nd place winners will be invited to the Global Energy Conference at the United Nations on December 11 – 12, 2013, and the 1st place winner will be given a speaking opportunity during the award presentation ceremony. The top 10 finalists will receive certificates from Global Energy Initiative. Go here for more about the essay contest guidelines.
Energy at the Movies
Professor Michael Webber has taken his entertaining and illuminating lectures on energy and the environment from the classroom to the living room. Energy at the Movies, an hour-long educational special broadcast on syndicated public television stations nationwide, illustrates how Hollywood has captured the history of energy through popular films. Click here to view the trailer, here to watch the entire PBS episode, and here to download (PDF) a story in the Austin American-Statesman.
‘Switch’ documentary now available on DVD for educators, school librarians
Dr. Scott Tinker, director of UT Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology who also serves as the State Geologist of Texas, has made his groundbreaking feature-length documentary, Switch, available to teachers, professors and school librarians. The feature-length documentary film examines the profound changes underway in the world of energy. Read reviews of Switch and learn about the producers’ offer of free DVDs.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“(We conduct) … fundamental, pre-competitive research to make photovoltaic electricity a major source of energy.”
The Energy/Water Nexus
Energy and water are precious global resources, and they are interconnected. On August 6, before a packed auditorium on the UT Austin campus, engineering professor Michael Webber shared his unique perspective on the water/energy nexus during a fast-paced presentation that drew from his extensive body of research, course lectures, and congressional testimony. Go here to read an article on the talk in the San Antonio Express-News.
Munich/Austin Energy (Ex)Change Conference | October 1-2
Leaders from Austin, Texas and Munich, Germany will share insights on their status as regional centers of energy innovation and sustainability at this two-day conference on the UT Austin campus. Participants will explore the prospects for future sustainable urban areas and discuss how to translate their successes to other regions. Go here to learn more and register.
SXSW Eco | October 7?9
After just two years, SXSW Eco quickly has established itself as a leading platform for connecting thought leaders and decision makers to solve complex challenges facing society, the economy and the natural world. The three-day event, sponsored in part by the Clean Energy Incubator at UT’s Austin Technology Incubator, offers unique networking opportunities for passionate and pragmatic professionals in the public, private and academic sectors. Register here
Defense Energy Summit | November 11?13
The U.S. Department of Defense will host a two-day conference as part of its robust effort to identify, develop and deploy new energy solutions for the nation’s armed services and its operational facilities worldwide. This unique event will bring together energy providers, project financiers, major contractors and start-ups to explore ways to increase the safety of U.S. troops, lower energy costs, and reduce reliance on foreign energy supplies. UT Austin’s Energy Institute is one of many sponsors of the Summit, at which Associate Director Dr. Fred Beach will moderate a panel. Read more.