University of Rochester

EVENT: Sustainable Energy Symposium at the University of Rochester

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 3 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 4; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5, in Hubbell Auditorium of Hutchison Hall on the University of Rochester's River Campus.

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public

April 2, 2008

The symposium's Friday program is focused on New York State and its funding for renewable energy. Paul D. Tonko, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, will speak from 3 to 3:40 p.m., followed by a panel discussing state energy issues and economic development.

Saturday's keynote address will be delivered at 9 a.m. by Joseph Tainter, an anthropologist and historian who has studied ancient civilizations and their collapse. He is chair of the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. After a question-and-answer period with Tainter, a panel of experts will focus on global energy challenges and solutions. Among the group will be biofuels expert David Pimentel, professor emeritus of ecology and agriculture at Cornell University, and Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology. Pimentel is the author of more than 600 scientific papers and two dozen books on such subjects as soil, water, energy, and biodiversity.

For Saturday's afternoon session starting at 1:15 p.m., scientists from the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colden, Colo., and the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, will discuss a variety of technical solutions to the energy challenge.

The symposium was organized by University of Rochester undergraduates working on a Kauffman Foundation-funded year of entrepreneurial thinking and activities. Mario Dal Col of Heidelberg, Germany; Kenneth Lotito of Bayside, N.Y.; and Patrick McLaughlin of Lodi, Calif., also developed URVIE (University of Rochester Virtual Institute for Energy) to encourage research in renewable energy at the University. Symposium sponsors include URVIE, the Center for Entrepreneurship, the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.