Carnegie Mellon University

ESTP students at lecture

October 12, 2022

EST&P Students Attended a Distinguished Lecture featuring Sally Benson

By Prathit Dave

The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation organzied a distinguished lecture on Tuesday, September 20th, featuring Dr. Sally Benson. Dr. Benson is an internationally recognized energy expert, and currently serves as Deputy Director for Energy & Chief Strategist for the Energy Transition at Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She joined OSTP from Stanford University, where she is the Precourt Family Professor of Energy Resources Engineering, in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences.

She gave a brief lecture about her work at OSTP on climate actions in the upcoming decade. Dr. Benson discussed the landscape of technology advancements and policy support for clean energy innovation during her speech. Sally touched upon her work with the historic legislation and executive actions taken over the past year. She detailed many of the provisions under the inflation reduction act and how the investments in such legislation could accelerate energy transition process.

Specifically, various emerging technologies, commercialization of those technologies, and potential bottlenecks in their deployment at national level were discussed. She also discussed futuristic technologies, such as nuclear energy by fusion process, which is a heavily anticipated technology that could accelerate net zero targets. Dr. Benson talked about the scale of these actions that will launch a transformational decade of climate action that will make these targets into a reality.

Post lecture, she spoke with Energy Science, Technology and Policy (EST&P) students about her work and their interests in the energy field. She gave valuable insights to the students about various aspects of energy field, geopolitical aspects of globally emerging energy trends and markets as well as her role at OSTP in energy transition processes. She shared optimism on the development of many new technologies for decarbonization, including renewable energy technologies and carbon capture and storage technologies.

Watch the full lecture here