Carnegie Mellon University

Upcoming Virtual Events

Fireside Chat with Emily Reichert, CEO, Greentown Labs | August 18, 1PM ET 

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Greentown Labs, with locations near Boston and recently launched in Houston, believes in the power of entrepreneurs in the climate battle. They are confident that when combined with support and amplification from corporates, politicians, private citizens, and others, climatetech startups will drive progress. Their goal is to be the leading hub where people from all over the world congregate to work toward the shared goal of a sustainable, renewable future. Hear from Greentown Labs CEO Emily Reichert in a Fireside Chat, moderated by Scott Institute’s Anna J. Siefken.

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Distinguished Lecture by EPA's Britney J. McCoy | September 7, 1PM ET 

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Hear from Britney J. McCoy, CMU alumna, in her new role as the Director of the Climate Analysis and Strategies Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality at our upcoming Distinguished Lecture.

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Distinguished Lecture by NREL's Martin Keller | October 26, 1PM ET

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Since 2015, Martin Keller has served as Director of NREL and President of the Alliance for Sustainable Energy. During this webinar, hear how Director Keller works collaboratively with his leadership team, developing a strategy for NREL focused on three key initiatives to ensure a resilient grid: Integrated Energy Pathways, Circular Economy, and Electrons to Molecules. These initiatives are imperative to decarbonizing the economy by 2050.

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Distinguished Lecture by 38 North Solutions' Katherine Hamilton | November 9, 11AM ET

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The lecture and discussion will focus on how public policy intersects with innovation in technology and business models—and how entrepreneurs and leaders can build it into their long term goals.

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Past Events

Accelerating Innovation - From Bench Scale to Pilot & Commercialization: Solving the Hardware Challenge | July 22, 11AM ET

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With the Biden Administration in place and decarbonization and climate change again taking center stage, accelerating the speed of innovation is paramount. What critical factors should early-stage energy entrepreneurs consider while working towards getting the first product into the market? Join the Scott Institute as we talk with four leading innovation experts about how to move to market – with special focus on hardware.

Panelists include:

  • Ryan Dings, EVP - Greentown Labs
  • Janine Elliott, Director, Incubation Programs - Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
  • Rick Stockburger, CEO - BRITE Energy Innovators
  • Jeffrey McDaniel, Executive in Residence - Innovation Works
  • Anna J. Siefken, Executive Director - CMU Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

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Batteries and the Future of Energy Storage | May 6, 11AM ET

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Energy Storage will be key to numerous use cases affecting the complete electricity value chain from power generation to transmission & distribution to the electrification of transportation, buildings, and industrial applications. Long-duration energy storage technologies like hydrogen storage and thermal energy storage are becoming more popular given their potential for supporting grid reliability, and addressing seasonal energy shifting and curtailed renewable energy. We discuss what technology, policy, and economic shifts are needed on the local and national levels to secure a homegrown energy storage industry that competes worldwide, creating jobs and economic vitality here in the U.S.

Panelists include: 

  • Jay WhitacreTrustee Professor in Energy, Engineering and Public Policy; Materials Science and Engineering; Director, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Briggs White, Technology Manager – National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
  • Anouck Champsaur, VC Analyst, Sustainable Biotechnologies – Sofinnova Partners
  • David Althoff, Director, Energy Programs Office – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Anna J. Siefken, Executive Director, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation – Carnegie Mellon University (moderator)

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Optimizing Clean Energy for Cities, Companies, & Campuses with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals – Three Leaders’ Perspectives| April 22, 11AM ET

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You’ve heard about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – the SDGs – but how can you make them actionable for your company or your city? What does it mean for an organization to work towards “affordable and clean energy?” Learn how Covestro, an international industry leader based in Pittsburgh, has leveraged the SDG framework to drive change and climate action, and how CMU is not only breaking new ground with the first Voluntary University Review but how we’ve been quietly and steadily increasing our procurement of sustainable, clean energy as part of our SDG commitment.

Panelists include: 

  • Rebecca Lucore, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility – Covestro 
  • Steven GuentherAssistant Vice President for Facilities Management and Campus Services & University Engineer – Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Alex Hiniker, Executive Fellow for Sustainability Initiatives – Carnegie Mellon University

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Grid at the Edge: Innovation in the Energy Sector| Mar. 4, 11AM EST

The U.S. has historically underinvested in energy infrastructure, and cities are beginning to recognize that they have a role to play in strategically aligning development goals and transportation objectives with infrastructure improvements. At the same time, the way people in cities use energy is changing, too. Utilities, in partnership with city planners and researchers, are in a position to make sweeping upgrades to infrastructure and processes in the next decade. That said, city planners, utilities, and universities will need to work together collaboratively, especially since the utility business model is, in some cases, a barrier. How can we make sure that innovation is happening in a collaborative manner? Most importantly, how can new technology and innovation meet the needs to benefit all?

Panelists include: 

  • Elizabeth Cook, General Manager, Advanced Grid Solutions – Duquesne Light Company 
  • Juan Castaneda, Principal Manager, Technology & Innovation – Southern California Edison
  • Derek Dauphin, Senior Planner – City of Pittsburgh
  • Panayiotis (Panos) Moutis (E, ‘16), Systems Scientist -- Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Anna Siefken, Executive Director, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation – Carnegie Mellon University (moderator)

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Scaling Solar: Industry Insights toward Gaining Ground in 2021| Feb. 25, 11AM EST

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As we hear more from the new administration on their environmental sustainability plans, all sectors are taking a look inward at how they can better understand the new policies and take tactical steps forward. Whether building or purchasing renewable energy, what support system exists to examine supply chain, R&D and utility scale distribution or generation? Who can provide visibility on the incentives and challenges to technology and construction of renewables? We spoke to experts who are outlining these phases for companies, municipalities and educational institutions, and got their suggestions on how to reach your sustainability commitments in this decade.

Panelists include: 

  • Abby Hopper, President & CEO – Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
  • Erin Kunkel, Global Corporate Social Responsibility Manager – Cook Medical
  • Jennifer Mrzlack, President – PSG Energy Group
  • Anna Siefken, Executive Director, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation – Carnegie Mellon University (moderator) 

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Robotics & Manufacturing – The Future of Energy Efficiency, featuring DOE’s E-ROBOT Prize | Feb. 4, 11AM EST

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How can the future of energy efficiency in buildings be driven by cutting edge technology? How is innovation sparking the manufacturing industry in the United States to meet energy goals?  DOE’s Building Technologies Office, the ARM (Advanced Robotics in Manufacturing) Institute, and Catalyst Connection discussed not only how robotics and manufacturing are impacting the built environment, but details about a recently-announced competition to accelerate innovation in this space – the E-ROBOT Prize.

This webinar was a partnership event between the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), David McFeeters-Krone at Intellectual Assets, and the Carnegie Mellon University’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. 

Panelists included: 

  • Jay Douglass, Chief Operating Officer – Advanced Robotics in Manufacturing (ARM)
  • Mary Hubbard, Technology-to-Market Manager, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office
  • Petra Mitchell, President & Chief Executive Officer – Catalyst Connection
  • David McFeeters-Krone, Partnership Expert – Intellectual Assets (moderator)
  • Anna Siefken, Executive Director, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation – Carnegie Mellon University (moderator) 

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City of Pittsburgh's 2020 - 2021 Energy Planning, featuring Mayor Bill Peduto |Dec. 10, 10AM EST

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The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation showcased Mayor Bill Peduto and the City of Pittsburgh’s new and developing strategy for energy infrastructure and performance.

As a city of over 300,000 people at the center of a region of 2.5 million people, Pittsburgh has already begun to experience the effects of climate change with harsher winters, hotter summers, record setting precipitation, flooding, and increased numbers of invasive species. Coordinated, concentrated, and comprehensive carbon mitigation action is needed to reduce the severity of regional impacts and to prepare for a future with a low carbon economy.

To address these challenges, Pittsburgh, in partnership with local universities and utilities, has created a number of plans and initiatives, including a comprehensive Energy Strategy, a Climate Action Plan, and an Energy Master Plan for Publicly-Owned Facilities – all of which aim to moderate the climate crisis through reducing pollution and carbon emissions. These efforts will collectively kick start the green transition and create new green job possibilities in Pittsburgh and the southwestern Pennsylvania region.

The City of Pittsburgh and CMU's Scott Institute for Energy Innovation with other local university and utility partners hosted three panels to highlight energy efforts from 2020 and opportunities for 2021 and beyond.

Speakers included:

  • Mayor Bill Peduto – City of Pittsburgh
  • Scott Bernotas, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities Management – University of Pittsburgh
  • Elizabeth Cook, Senior Manager, System Planning (Transmission and Distribution) – Duquesne Light Company
  • Derek Dauphin, Senior Planner – City of Pittsburgh
  • Rod Dobish, Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer – Duquesne University
  • Steve Guenther, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management and Campus Services & University Engineer – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Jim Lodge, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development – Clearway Energy
  • Flore Marion, Energy Advisor – City of Pittsburgh
  • Sarah Yeager, Climate and Energy Planner, Office of Sustainability – City of Pittsburgh
  • Tony Young, Vice President, Facilities, Planning, and Operations – Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Panels were moderated by Kathrine Monsted of the Danish District Energy Advisory, City of Pittsburgh Chief Resilience Officer, Grant Ervin and CMU Scott Institute for Energy Innovation Executive Director Anna. J. Siefken.

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A Distinguished Lecture by U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy, Rita Baranwal|Dec. 3, 11AM EST

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Dr. Baranwal addressed the promise of advanced nuclear reactors and highlight the opportunities they hold for the future of the electric grid, including the (1) range of issues facing the existing fleet of domestic nuclear power plants; (2) barriers and opportunities for the deployment and construction of advanced reactors, including small modular reactor designs enabled by the DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program; (3) challenges and opportunities in the critical fuel cycle infrastructure; and (4) challenges and opportunities for global competitiveness of U.S. nuclear technology.

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