Energy Symposium

UT Energy Symposium

A weekly guest lecture series that is both free and open to the public and available for course credit.

In an effort to provide a multi-disciplinary platform for UT faculty and students to interact on the most pressing energy issues facing our world, the Energy Institute sponsors the UT Energy Symposium (UTES), which will enter its fourteenth semester in spring 2018.

The UTES serves as a “convener” for the campus community, uniting students interested in energy issues with faculty and others working on sustainable energy security.

Students who register for the symposium receive one credit hour for the 15-week seminar course, which is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Ongoing themes for UTES include climate change policy, innovation and diffusion of energy technologies, low-carbon technology options and status, and behavioral aspects of energy consumption.

The symposium will be held in the Avaya Auditorium (POB 2.302) from 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Refreshments will be served in the POB Connector Lobby at 4:45 p.m., followed by a 45-minute presentation and a 15-minute Q&A session.

Each UTES talk will be video recorded and posted on this page.

Instructors: Fred Beach and Carey King
Unique Number (Fall 2018): 60925 (graduate students) / 60505 (undergraduates)
Day & Time: Thursday 5:15 – 6:15 pm
Room: Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302

If you need an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Christa Hopkins, who can be reached at 512-475-8447 or, no later than five (5) business days prior to the event.

UT Energy Symposium Talks

April 26, 2018

video link coming soon

Planet Texas 2050: A UT Austin Grand Challenge

Jay Banner, ESI | Richard Corsi, CAEE | Michael Young, BEG | Heather Houser, English

April 19, 2018

Title slide from Bill Cannon's presentation at UT Energy Symposium, showing a collage of power generation plants, including wind, solar and gas

Adapting from grid to cloud

Bill Cannon, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Environment & Infrastructure Group Sumitomo Corporation of Americas

April 12, 2018

Rober King speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Will the internet of things change the electric business?

Robert J. King, President, Good Company Associates

April 05, 2018

Fred Beach speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Global Energy Impact of a Developing China; and India?

Fred Beach, Assistant Director for Policy Studies, Energy Institute, The University of Texas at Austin

March 29, 2018

Todd Davidson speaks at UT Energy Symposium

To Uber or Not to Uber: Economic and Energetic Tradeoffs

Todd Davidson, Research Associate, Energy Institute and Webber Energy Group, The University of Texas at Austin

March 22, 2018

Garvin Boyle speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Biophysical Economics, Agent-based modeling

Garvin Boyle, principal designer and programmer, Orrery Software

March 08, 2018

Alan Lloyd speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Personal Reflections on California’s Leadership in Environmental Policy

Alan Lloyd, Research Fellow, Energy Institute, UT Austin; Former Secretary, California EPA; Former Chair, California Air Resources Board

March 01, 2018

Gurcan Gulen speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Global gas demand and US LNG exports

Gürcan Gülen, Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences

February 22, 2018

Rohit Chandra speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Coal in India: History and Persistence

Rohit Chandra, PhD Student, Kennedy School at Harvard

February 15, 2018

Title slide from Richard Morgan's presentation at UT Energy Symposium

The Evolution of Building Energy Code Adoption and Compliance in Texas 2001-2018: How Outreach, Education and Collaboration Changed the Texas Building Industry

Richard Morgan, Sr. Energy Codes Manager, South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER)

February 08, 2018

David Kulgen speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Aramco and Saudi Arabia – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

David Kultgen,  General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Arabian American Oil Company (retired)

January 25, 2018

Title slide from John Schramski's presentation at UT Energy Symposium

Food Security: Thermodynamics, Ecology, and Economics

John R Schramski, Associate Professor, College of Engineering, University of Georgia

November 30, 2017

Jessika Trancik speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Drivers of technological improvement in clean energy

Jessika Trancik, Professor in Energy Studies, Institute for Data, Systems and Society at MIT

November 16, 2017

Neil McAndrews speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Notes on 100% Renewable Cities in Texas

Neil McAndrews, Economist with Austin Chapter of US Association for Energy Economics

November 02, 2017

headshot of Barbara Burger

Lessons and Insights from a Career in Energy

Barbara Burger, President of Technology Ventures at Chevron

Note: this talk will not be recorded.

October 26, 2017

Juan Torres speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Grid Technology Trends and the Integration of Renewables

Juan Torres, Associate Laboratory Director, Energy Systems Integration, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

October 19, 2017

Maria Gallucci speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Cutting Carbon in Maritime Cargo Shipping

Maria Gallucci, 2017-2018 UT Energy Journalism Fellow

October 12, 2017

Charles Forsberg speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Coupling Heat Storage to Nuclear Reactors For Variable Electricity Output with Base-Load Reactor Operations

Charles Forsberg, Director and a Principle Investigator of the DOE Integrated Research Project on Fluoride-salt-cooled High-Temperature Reactors (FHRs), MIT

October 05, 2017

Kevan Weaver speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems

Kevan Weaver, Director of Technology Integration, TerraPower

September 28, 2017

September 21, 2017

John Goodenough speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

Electrolyte Choices for Rechargeable Batteries

John Goodenough, Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

September 14, 2017

David Adelman speaks at UT Energy Symposium

U.S. Climate Policy: The Importance of Thinking and Acting Regionally

Dave Adelman, Professor, School of Law, The University of Texas at Austin

September 07, 2017

Gene Preston speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Keeping The Lights On As We Transition To Renewables

Gene Preston, CEO, Transmission Adequacy Consulting

April 27, 2017

Matt Grocoff speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

Redesigning Civilization: And Other Small Things

Matt Grocoff, Principal, THRIVE Collaborative

April 20, 2017

Rob Gardner speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

ExxonMobil 2017 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040

Robert Gardner, Manager, Economics and Energy Division, Corporate Strategic Planning at ExxonMobil

April 13, 2017

figure from Peter Muhuro's talk at UT Energy Symposium

The Evolving Utility Business Models – The Electric Cooperative Story

Peter Muhoro, Director of Energy Research and Strategies, Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC)

April 06, 2017

Lorne Matalon speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

Mexican Energy Reform in a time of Insecurity

Lorne Matalon, UT Energy Journalism Fellow and reporter for National Public Radio in West Texas

March 30, 2017

figure from David Biello's talk at UT Energy Symposium

Energy and the Anthropocene

David Biello, Science Curator at TED Conferences

March 23, 2017

Dale Klein speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

U.S. & World Nuclear Energy

Dale Klein, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research for the UT System and Professor of Mechanical Engineering

March 09, 2017

Jorge Pinon speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

The Geopolitics of Oil: Western Hemisphere Scenarios

Jorge Piñon, Director of UT Austin’s Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program

March 02, 2017

Varun Rai speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

The Art of Doing Good Science: Experiences in Interdisciplinary Energy Research

Varun Rai, Associate Professor at the UT Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs

February 23, 2017

February 16, 2017

Eric Kemp-Benedict speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

Decoupling energy consumption from GDP under induced technological change

Eric Kemp-Benedict, Senior Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

February 02, 2017

figure from Daniel Zavala's talk at UT Energy Symposium

Climate Change, Methane, and the Global Oil and Gas system

Daniel Zavala, post-doctoral-scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund

January 26, 2017

Jon Wellinghoff speaks at the UT Energy Symposium

Beyond the Texas Restructured Electric Markets Giving Power and Value to Consumer Energy Resources

Jon Wellinghoff, Chief Policy Officer at SolarCity and former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (2009 – 2013)

November 17, 2016

George Schaefer speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Dust to Dust, with a stop at the Stars: The NRG Story

George Schaefer, retired senior financial executive with over 30 years’ experience in the independent power industry

November 10, 2016

Barbara Tyran speaks at UT Energy Symposium

EPRI’s Integrated Grid

Barbara Tyran, Executive Director, Government & External Relations, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

November 03, 2016

Colin Meehan speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Power Markets, Regulation, and Utility Scale Solar in the U.S.

Colin Meehan, Director, Regulatory & Public Affairs, First Solar

October 27, 2016

Elizabeth Stein speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Reforming the Energy Vision: An Electric System for Stormy Times

Elizabeth Stein, Senior Manager – New York Clean Energy Law & Policy, Environmental Defense Fund

October 20, 2016

October 13, 2016

Daniel Matisoff speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Cash is King! The Comparative Effectiveness of Solar Incentives

Dan Matisoff, Associate Professor, The School of Public Policy, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, Georgia Tech

October 06, 2016

Virginia Lacy speaks at UT Energy Symposium

New Utility Business Models for an Evolving Industry

Virginia Lacy, Principal, RMI Electricity Practice

September 29, 2016

Paul Wattles speaks at UT Energy Symposium

ERCOT and the Evolving Grid: 2016 Perspectives

Paul Wattles, Senior Analyst, Market Design, ERCOT

September 22, 2016

Marilu Hastings speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Who is that Man Behind the Curtain? Philanthropy’s Role in the Transition to Clean Energy

Marilu Hastings, Vice President, Sustainability Program, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

September 15, 2016

Yaneer Bar-Yam's presentation at UT Energy Symposium

What is the World Coming To: From Energy Systems to Global Crisis Analysis and Response

Yaneer Bar-Yam, President, New England Complex Systems Institute

September 08, 2016

Bert Haskell speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Distributed Energy Resources – Driving Multi-Disciplined Innovation

Bert Haskell, Chief Technology Officer, Pecan Street Inc.

September 01, 2016

Susan Hovorka speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Global progress in Carbon Capture and Storage – field demonstrations with emphasis on the storage component

Dr. Susan Hovorka, Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin

April 28, 2016

Joshua Busby speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Addressing Climate Change Among the Major Economies: The Case of India

Joshua Busby, Associate Professor, LBJ School, UT Austin and Sarang Shidore, Visiting Scholar at LBJ School, UT Austin

April 21, 2016

Mason Inman speaks at UT Energy Symposium

A century of peak oil predictions

Mason Inman, Author of The Oracle of Oil

March 31, 2016

Raiford Smith speaks at UT Energy Symposium

IoT, Analytics, Batteries, and PV: How Utilities Are Transforming Into the Utility of the Future

Raiford Smith, Vice President, Corporate Development and Planning, CPS Energy

March 24, 2016

Nikit Abhyankar speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Political Economy of Energy Policy in India

Nikit Abhyankar, Senior Scientific Engineering Associate, International Energy Studies Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

March 10, 2016

February 11, 2016

Mitch Jacobson speaks at UT Energy Symposium

The Building of a $2.5b Cleantech Community in Central Texas

Mitch Jacobson, Co-Director, ATI Clean Energy Incubator

February 04, 2016

January 28, 2016

Tim Fitzgerald speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Economic Perspectives on Oil and Gas Royalties

Tim Fitzgerald, Professor, Texas Tech

November 19, 2015

Sebastian Souyris speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Student Research Showcase

Sebastian Souyris, PhD candidate in UT’s McCombs School of Business: Peer Effects in the Diffusion of Solar panels – A Dynamic Discrete Choice Approach

Sean Wood, Chemical Engineering PhD student: Looking Towards Higher-Capacity Anode Materials for Lithium-ion Batteries.

November 12, 2015

October 29, 2015

Francis O’Sullivan speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Solar Energy in the United States – Its Growth and the Challenges Ahead

Francis O’Sullivan, Director, Research and Analysis, MIT

October 15, 2015

Zin Smati speaks at UT Energy Symposium

ENGIE and the Energy Transition

Zin Smati, President & CEO, GDF Suez Energy North America

October 08, 2015

Jonathan Silver speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Financing the Clean Economy

Jonathan Silver, President & CEO, Greenbanc Global

September 24, 2015

September 17, 2015

Shahzeen Attari speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Perceptions of Energy and Water Use

Shahzeen Attari, Assistant Professor, Indiana University

September 10, 2015

Ariane Beck speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Energy Games: Gamification for Decision-Making and Behavior Change in Solar Adoption

Ariane Beck, Research Fellow, the University of Texas at Austin

September 03, 2015

David Popp speaks at UT Energy Symposium

An Economist’s Perspective on Public Energy R&D

David Popp, Professor, Syracuse University

April 30, 2015

Nihar Patel speaks at UT Energy Symposium

The Future of Vehicle Transportation — The Better Battery

Nihar Patel, Former Vice President, North American Business Strategy Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

April 23, 2015

Doug Arent speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Rethinking Our Energy Future: Grand Challenges and Opportunities

Doug Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

April 16, 2015

Dave Tuttle speaks at UT Energy Symposium

2015 State of Electric Vehicles

Dave Tuttle, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

April 09, 2015

Margaret Cook speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Student Research Showcase

  • Margaret Cook (CAEE)
  • Donna Chen (CAEE)
  • Alex Headley (ME)

April 02, 2015

a panel of civil engineers participates in a Q&A session at the UT Energy Symposium

Energy Infrastructure with Architectural and Civil Engineers

CAEE team presentation by Richard Corsi, Lance Manuel, Atila Novoselac, Kara Kockelman, Charles Werth, Kevin Folliard

March 26, 2015

Jay Banner speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Past, Present, and Future Climate Change Impacts on Texas Water: Science and Policy

Jay Banner, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin

March 12, 2015

David Livingston speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Oil-Climate Index: GHG Emissions Along the Oil Production Supply Chain

David Livingston, Associate, Energy and Climate Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

March 05, 2015

Richie Ahuja speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Energy and Development in Asia

Richie Ahuja, Regional Director for Asia, Environmental Defense Fund

February 26, 2015

Kelly Klima speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Ten Strategies to Systematically Exploit All Options to Cope with Anthropogenic Climate Change

Kelly Klima, Research Scientist, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

February 19, 2015

Benjamin Sovacool speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Energy and Climate Goals in Nordic Countries and Implications for the U.S.

Benjamin Sovacool, Director, Danish Center for Energy Technology at AU-Herning and Professor of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark

February 05, 2015

Brian Korgel speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Next Generation Photovoltaic Technologies

Brian Korgel, Edward S. Hyman Endowed Chair in Engineering & T. Brockett Hudson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Director, Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics, The University of Texas at Austin

January 29, 2015

Lori Bennear speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Comparative Analysis of Regulations for Offshore Oil Drilling in U.S., U.K. and Norway

Lori Bennear, Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy, Duke University

January 22, 2015

Mehrdad Ehsani speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Engineering and Socio-economic Aspects of Sustainable Energy

Mehrdad Ehsani, Robert M. Kennedy Endowed Professor, Director, Sustainable Energy & Vehicle Engineering Program, Power Electronics & Motor Drives Laboratory, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University

November 20, 2014

Gus Lott speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Cybersecurity in the Electricity Grid

Gus Lott, Senior Engineer, YarCom Inc.

November 13, 2014

David Allen speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Methane Emissions in the Natural Gas Supply Chain

David Allen, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

November 06, 2014

Charlie Upshaw and Erik Funkhouser speak at UT Energy Symposium

Technological and Commercial Innovations in Distributed Energy Generation:

  • Charlie Upshaw, PhD student with the Webber Energy Group: “Modeling Peak Load Reduction and Energy Consumption Enabled by an Integrated Thermal Energy and Water Storage System for Residential Air Conditioning Systems in Austin, Texas”
  • Erik Funkhouser, researcher with the Energy Systems Transformation group at UT: “Commercial Innovations in Community-scale Distributed Generation”

October 30, 2014

October 23, 2014

Paul Hudson speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Disrupting the Power Sector: Overpowering Inertia and Incrementalism

Paul Hudson, Managing Partner, Stratus Energy Group, LLC

October 09, 2014

Kiran Lakkaraju speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Energy Research at the Intersection of Computer Science, Decision Sciences, and Complex Systems

Kiran Lakkaraju, Senior Member of Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories

October 02, 2014

Joanna Lewis speaks at UT Energy Symposium

China’s Role in Global Clean Energy Technology Development

Joanna Lewis, Associate Professor, Georgetown University

September 25, 2014

Fred Beach speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Feeding the Dragon: Energy in China

Fred Beach, Assistant Director, Energy Institute

September 18, 2014

Clay Butler, Colin Meehan, and Spivey Paup speak at UT Energy Symposium

Renewables in Texas: Costs, Project Development, and Policy Issues

Panel discussion with Clay Butler (The Butler Firm), Colin Meehan (First Solar), and Spivey Paup (E.ON Renewables)

September 11, 2014

Steve Puller speaks at UT Energy Symposium

Impacts of Adoption of a More Fuel Efficient Vehicle Fleet

Steve Puller, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University

September 04, 2014

Cris Eugster speaks at UT Energy Symposium

The Importance of Fuel Diversity in the Energy Generation Mix

Cris Eugster, Executive Vice President, Chief Generation and Strategy Officer, CPS Energy

April 28, 2014

Energy and Urbanization

Arnulf Grubler, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Yale University

Video Part 1 Video Part 2

April 24, 2014

Student Research Showcase

  • Brent Bennett, PhD student, Materials Science and Engineering: “Redox Flow Batteries: How Cutting-Edge Chemistry Will Transform the Electric Grid”
  • Sean Wood, PhD student, Chemical Engineering: “Improved Lithium-ion Batteries using Lead Telluride (PbTe)”

April 17, 2014

March 27, 2014

Carbon Neutral Design: An Architectural Primer

James Wasley, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

March 20, 2014

Electricity Scarcity Pricing and Resource Adequacy

William Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, Harvard University

March 06, 2014

Stanford’s ARPA-E Sensors and Energy Behavior Initiative

Carrie Armel, Research Associate, Stanford University

February 13, 2014

Emerging Legal and Political Issues in Shale Gas Production

David Spence, Associate Professor, McCombs School of Business, UT Austin

February 06, 2014

A Status Report on the U.S. Nuclear Energy Program

William C. Ostendorff, Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner

January 30, 2014

January 23, 2014

Transforming America’s Grid through Technology, Competition & Green Power

J. Calvin Crowder, President, Electric Transmission Texas

September 12, 2013

Student Research Showcase

  • Craig Andrew Milroy, PhD student, Chemical Engineering: “Lithium-sulfur batteries”
  • Daniel Urieli, PhD student, Computer Science: “A Learning Agent for Heat-Pump Thermostat Control”
  • Krystian Perez, PhD student, Chemical Engineering: “Smart Use of Smart Meters: Disaggregation of A/C Loads from Residential Homes”

September 05, 2013

Framing Energy Innovation Policy: Why We Fail to Learn from Experience

Jeffrey Alexander, Associate Director for Research & Analytics, SRI International

September 06, 2012

Student Research Showcase

  • Ashlynn Stillwell, Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering: “Energy-Water Nexus: Water Impacts on Thermoelectric Power Generation”
  • Yezhou Wang, Electrical Engineering: “Power Grid Safety and Security: How to Keep Your Lights On”
  • Scott Robinson, Energy and Earth Resources and LBJ School of Public Affairs: “Behavioral Pathways in the Diffusion of Residential Solar PV”
  • Steve Bryant, Petroleum Engineering: “Refracturing: Getting More out of Unconventional Resources”

August 30, 2012

Sustainable Architecture: Form, Function, and Energy

Matt Fajkus, Assistant Professor, University of Texas School of Architecture, Principal Architect of Matt Fajkus Architecture, LLC