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Joint WVU-Virginia Tech symposium to explore energy issues


Shanshank Priya Shashank Priya developed these piezoelectric windmills to power a bridge monitoring sensor network.

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 11, 2012 – April 16 Editor's note: The collaborative research event planned jointly by Virginia Tech and West Virginia University for April 25 at Pipestem Resort has been cancelled. Event organizers regret any inconvenience this has caused, and those who have registered are being notified by email of the cancellation.

Since the 19th century, public land-grant universities have been leaders in meeting the agricultural and engineering challenges facing the nation and the world. Today's modern land-grants have taken on other significant challenges, including energy education and efficiency, to meet the demands of the 21st century.

"Energy and the Environment: A Morrill Act Sesquicentennial Symposium" at Pipestem State Park on April 25 will explore how two leading land-grant universities – West Virginia University and Virginia Tech – can further collaborate on energy issues ranging from production and consumption to efficiencies and environmental impacts.

Offering keynote remarks from the U.S. Department of Energy will be Henry Kelly, acting assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Energy, and Michelle Fox, chief strategist for education and workforce development for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Kelly oversees a broad portfolio focused on the transition to a clean-energy economy. Fox focuses on providing strategic direction for education and workforce development programs, especially through the integration of advanced learning technologies.

Following these remarks, Kelly and Fox are expected to introduce an education initiative that the two universities will be asked to lead.     

The presidents of both institutions, WVU's James P. Clements and Virginia Tech's Charles W. Steger, will offer remarks. 

Faculty from both universities will also be on hand to respond to the keynote speakers and, later in the day, explore opportunities for further research collaborations.  

West Virginia University participants

  • Dick Bajura, director, National Research Center for Coal and Energy
  • Steve Bonanno, interim director, WVU Extension Service
  • Wesley Burnett, professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
  • Jerry Fletcher, professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Davis College of Agricultural, Natural Resources and Design, and director of the U.S.-China Energy Center
  • Carl Irwin, division director, Energy Efficiency Division, National Research Center for Coal and Energy
  • Fred King, interim vice president for research
  • Clement Solomon, director of sustainability
  • James Van Nostrand, professor, College of Law

Virginia Tech participants

  • Chad Bolding, professor, College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • John Craynon, project director for the Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science, Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research
  • Michael Ellis, professor, College of Engineering
  • George Hagerman, marine renewable energy researcher, Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute (Arlington)
  • Jody Jellison, associate director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Satish Kulkarni, director of energy initiatives
  • Saied Mostaghimi, associate dean for research and graduate studies, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Georg Reichard, professor, College of Architecture and Urban Studies
  • Scott Renneckar, professor, College of  Natural Resources and EnvironmentRoe-Hoan Yoon, professor, College of Engineering

The day gets under way at 9 a.m. with registration and an exhibit/poster session followed by welcoming remarks at 10 a.m. by Steger and Clements.

Kelly and Fox will speak from 10:30 to11:15 a.m., followed by responses from a faculty panel. Remarks from the governors’ representatives are expected at the noon luncheon.

Educators, community leaders, lawmakers, Extension leaders and other stakeholders are encouraged to attend. Register and find more information online.