Energy Days 2021 Speakers

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Pam Adams

Pam Adams

Pam Adams is the Sustainability Planner at Centre Region Council of Governments.  She prepares, monitors, coordinates and provides direction for the implementation of the Centre Region Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). Working collaboratively with municipalities, other Council of Governments agencies, and other stakeholders, she assists with policies, programs, and initiatives that promote local environmental, energy, economic and social sustainability.

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Jean Paul Allain

Jean Paul Allain

Prof. Allain is Professor and Department Head of the Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering.  Dr. Allain was Professor and Associate Head of Graduate Programs in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) from 2013 until 2019 and was Assistant and Associate Professor in Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University from 2007 to 2013.  Dr. Allain was also a staff scientist at Argonne National Laboratory from 2003 to 2007.  He received a master's and doctorate degree in Nuclear Engineering from UIUC and a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona.  Prof. Allain works in areas of surface science and plasma-material interactions with applications in nuclear fusion, plasma medicine, and advanced nanomaterials. Prof. Allain is the recipient of numerous awards including: Argonne National Lab’s Distinguished Award from 2003 to 2006, Best Teacher Awards in 2008 at Purdue and 2013 at Illinois, Department of Energy Early Career Award in 2010, and the Purdue Research Excellence Award in 2011.

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Charles T. Anderson

Charles T. Anderson

Charles T. Anderson is an Associate Professor of Biology at Penn State. His research program uses advanced microscopy, molecular genetics, and biochemistry to investigate the dynamics of plant cell walls with the goal of informing efforts to sustainably produce energy, food, and biomaterials from plants. His energy-relevant research is supported by the Center for Lignocelluose Structure and Formation, a U.S. DOE-funded Energy Frontiers Research Center, and by the U.S. DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research Bioimaging Research Program. He mentors Drawdown Fellows to explore solutions that leverage plant biology to remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere and is a co-lead of the Penn State Carbon Negative (PSU CaN) group, which seeks to help accelerate the reduction of Penn State’s greenhouse gas emissions. Anderson also chairs the Eberly College of Science Sustainability Council, co-directs the Center for Biorenewables, and serves on the steering committees of the Energy 2100 strategic initiative and the Stewarding Our Planet’s Resources thematic priority at Penn State. 

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Mohamed Rali Badissy

Mohamed Rali Badissy

Mohamed Rali Badissy is a scholar, advisor, and international development advocate in the field of energy and climate finance. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson Law, where his research focuses on the use of contract standardization and sustainable finance to accelerate the development of energy infrastructure in emerging markets to increase access to affordable and abundant energy.

Prof. Badissy previously served as the Senior Attorney for Energy and Finance with the Commercial Law Development Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, advising governments in emerging markets on commercial law reforms intended to catalyze private investment to increase energy access. Over the past decade, Mohamed has led energy sector reforms in dozens of markets in partnership with host governments, multilateral institutions, civil society organizations, and industry leaders, and continues to serve as an advisor to both public institutions and private developers.

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Jennifer Baka

Jennifer Baka

Jennifer Baka is an assistant professor of geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Her research focuses on how material, political and environmental processes interconnect and with what effects in the context of energy development.

Prior to joining Penn State, she was an assistant professor of geography and environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a postdoctoral associate at the Yale Center of Industrial Ecology, Yale School the Environment.

She earned her Ph.D. in environmental studies from Yale School, Master of Public Policy from the University of California Berkeley, and her B.S. in economics from the George Washington University.

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Shalanda H. Baker

Shalanda Baker

Shalanda H. Baker is the Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy. She was most recently a professor of law, public policy, and urban affairs at Northeastern University. She was the co-founder and co-director of the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change. Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge pursuant to the then existing “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. She earned a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from Northeastern University, and L.L.M. from the University of Wisconsin.

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Eric Barron

Eric Barron

Eric J. Barron, former dean at Penn State and former president of Florida State University, began his presidency at Penn State on May 12, 2014. Succeeding former President Rodney Erickson, who had served since 2011, Dr. Barron was named the 18th President of Penn State by the University's Board of Trustees on February 17, 2014.

An accomplished scientist with a long background in atmospheric research, Dr. Barron served as director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) from 2008 to 2010 and as dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin from 2006 to 2008. Early in his career, he was a postdoctoral research fellow and scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, a federal research center focusing on atmospheric and related science issues.

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Tom Bartnik

Tom Bartnik

As Director of Penn State Center Pittsburgh, Tom oversees strategic relationships and the operations of the Center. In connecting Pittsburgh area stakeholders with the rich resources of Penn State, Tom works with leadership from the University Park and local Commonwealth campuses. Tom has expertise in urban planning and sustainable community design and development, as well as a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York Potsdam and a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett is Managing Director of Bennett Tarmacadam, Michael Bennett and Sons Ltd, and a joint Managing Director of Niall Barry Civil Engineering with over 40 years in sales, marketing, and contracts management. Over the past 12 years, Michael Bennett and Sons have constructed private homes, starter homes, and social homes to NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings) compliant with Passive Hause certification at an affordable price. In 2011, the firm won the prestigious ISOVER Energy Efficient Award with its project Grange Lough (Rosslare) being considered the most outstanding energy-efficient Irish Construction project of the year. At a European ceremony in Barcelona, the project was further awarded as one of the most remarkable energy-efficient construction projects in Europe. Since then Michael has been a pioneer of Passive Homes Developments and low energy construction in Ireland. In August 2017, Wexford County Council purchased eight 3-bedroom Semi-Detached NZEB compliant passive-certified social houses from Michael Bennett and Sons, the first social housing constructed by any local authority in Ireland at that time. This is shown in the film introducing Michael's contribution, which is presented by Tomas O'Leary, known as "Mister Passive House."

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Seth Blumsack

Seth Blumsack

Seth Blumsack is Professor of Energy Policy and Economics and International Affairs in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. At Penn State he also directs the Center for Energy Law and Policy; serves as a faculty member in the Operations Research program; and is Co-Director of the Penn State Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy Initiative.  He also holds a position on the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute and is an Adjunct Research Professor with the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center.  Dr. Blumsack’s research centers on the electricity and natural gas industries; environmental management related to energy and infrastructure; regulation and deregulation in network industries; network science; risk analysis; and managing complex infrastructure systems.  He has authored or co-authored more than fifty scientific papers; book chapters; and articles in industry and popular press, with research funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and private industry.

 

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Liz Compitello

Liz Compitello

Liz Compitello, AICP, is the Manager of Local Initiatives at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in Philadelphia. Liz has been at DVRPC since 2009 where her work focuses on developing and managing programs and technical resources to assist county and municipal governments with understanding and implementing best practices for energy management, renewable energy development, and responding to climate change. Liz received her Master’s in Regional Planning from the State University of New York at Albany while interning with NYSERDA and the New York State Climate Office. Liz developed and managed both rounds of the RSLPP.

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Lisa Conway

Lisa Conway

Lisa Conway serves as VP of Sustainability, Americas for Interface – the global flooring manufacturer that is leading industry to love the world. She and her team are responsible for regional activation of the company’s mission: Climate Take Back. She is passionate about bringing awareness to the interconnectedness of environmental sustainability and human health. To drive understanding of the impact of carbon on human health, Lisa and her team provide educational programming around the need for transparency and prioritization of embodied carbon in specifications within the building industry.  She co-founded the materials Carbon Action Network (materialsCAN) in 2018 to mobilize this effort. Lisa also serves on the Sustainable Advisory Board for Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business and is on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Building Transparency.  She was named to “CoreNet’s 36 Under 36” in 2015.

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Rob Cooper

Rob Cooper

Rob Cooper is the Senior Director of Energy and Engineering at Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant. He leads a 200 person workforce that is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the University Park utility systems, and the management of the energy conservation programs and GHG reduction efforts associated with the university’s operations. He also serves on the F&B Sustainable Operations Council, and as an advisor to the Student Sustainability Advisory Council. 

 

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James Delattre

James Delattre

James Delattre serves as Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization where he leads entrepreneurship program development for the Invent Penn State initiative.  He is an alumnus of the Professional Fellows Program of the American Councils for International  Education and serves on the boards of directors for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA and the New Leaf Initiative.  He also serves as co-PI on Penn State’s National Science Foundation I-Corps site grant and is secretary of the Penn State Research Foundation.  Prior to joining Penn State, Dr. Delattre worked in nanomaterials and semiconductor startups in central Pennsylvania and Silicon Valley. Dr. Delattre earned his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS in Chemistry with honors from Penn State.  

 

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Alex Dews

Alex Dews

Alex Dews has spent the past ten years working on green building and urban sustainability in Philadelphia. Alex worked in real estate development prior to leading program implementation and progress reporting for Greenworks Philadelphia, the city's comprehensive sustainability plan. Alex is a LEED AP and holds an MS in Sustainable Design from Jefferson University. He also serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Sustainable Development Fund, the Smart Energy Initiative, and the Jefferson College of Architecture and Built Environment Advisory Board.

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Alyssa Edwards

Alyssa Edwards

Alyssa Edwards is a leader in environmental policy for the renewable energy sector with over 14 years of experience managing environmental and regulatory compliance for grid-scale wind and solar energy projects. Her expert knowledge of wildlife regulations, permitting, and siting issues that impact renewable energy development, construction, and operation have helped advance more than 6GW of executed projects. Alyssa has highly established governmental agency and stakeholder relationships regionally and nationally and has served on a number of advisory councils, committees, and boards. Prior to joining Lightsource bp Alyssa was Environmental Director at EDF Renewables, implementing a portfolio-wide permitting and compliance strategy. Alyssa received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in Environmental Policy, Planning, and Regulation from The London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Melissa Erekson

Melissa Erekson

Melissa Erekson is the inaugural Assistant Vice President for Corporate Engagement at Pennsylvania State University, where she is charged with standing up the Corporate Engagement Center. The Center is a new university-wide office, supported by an internal partnership between the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, and the Office of Career Services. She leads a team of 8 focused on providing a holistic approach to university-industry relations. Prior to her appointment at Penn State, Erekson served for 14 years in the Office of Advancement at Tulane University, most recently as the Executive Director of Corporate, Foundation, and Research Relations. She led a staff of nine that serves all the schools, colleges, and institutes at Tulane – including professional schools of medicine, architecture, law, business and social work, in addition to schools of science and engineering, public health, and liberal arts. Erekson holds a BA in International Relations and Spanish Studies from Tufts University and an MBA in International Marketing from the FW Olin School of Business at Babson College.

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Grant Ervin

Grant Ervin

Grant Ervin serves as the Chief Resilience Officer and Assistant Director for the Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh. Grant oversees the integration of sustainability and resilience into City services, programs, and policy.  He works to make the City of Pittsburgh a smart, sustainable, and resilient city by fostering partnerships, leveraging assets, and finding creative ways to solve problems. Prior to joining the City of Pittsburgh, Grant served as the Regional Director for 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide sustainable development policy organization, and as Public Policy Manager for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG). Grant serves as an integrator of city activities by working across departments, agencies, and sectors. He brings deep experience, intersecting the worlds of environmental, community and economic development, and infrastructure policy to create innovative and sustainable solutions for local governments, community development organizations, and state agencies.

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Scott Foster

Scott Foster

Scott Foster has been Director of UNECE's Sustainable Energy Division since 2011. With more than 35 years' experience in energy, He has worked extensively with governments, industry, and international organizations on energy policy, market design and regulation, and climate change strategies. His particular focus recently has been assisting energy stakeholder’s address the critical challenges of sustainability, technology choice, and investment mobilization. Before founding Nomad Energy Consulting in 2004, he was VP of Global Regulatory Affairs with AES Corporation, Senior Director for Global Power with Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), and Senior Expert on Electricity for the International Energy Agency. He holds a BA from Dartmouth College, an MS in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

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Lara Fowler

Lara Fowler

Lara Fowler is an attorney and mediator who focuses on environmental, energy, and natural resource law, with a specific focus on water-related issues. She has a joint appointment between Penn State Law and the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment where she is working on questions related to water, the Chesapeake Bay, and energy. Prior to joining Penn State, she was an attorney at Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP in Seattle, Washington, where she focused on mediation and dispute resolution of complex natural resource issues, as well as representing clients facing regulatory hurdles in the environmental and energy fields. She has worked on issues such as who is entitled to store groundwater in the greater Los Angeles area, flooding issues in the Chehalis Basin, Washington State’s second-largest river basin, and energy issues in the Pacific Northwest. Before pursuing a legal career, she was a senior water resources coordinator with the Oregon Water Resources Department.

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James Freihaut

James Friehaut

Dr. James Friehaut is a Professor of Architectural Engineering at Penn State and the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Dr. Freihaut’s research includes novel hybrid combined heat and power systems that include renewable energy generation, distributed energy and microgrids, and indoor air quality.

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Christine Gerbode

Christine Gerbode

Christine Gerbode conducts research and analysis related to the intersection of human health and energy use. She supports decision-makers, policy advocates, and other ACEEE researchers in using energy efficiency policies and programs to protect health and promote equity for communities and vulnerable populations. Christine has experience across the boundaries of the natural science, social science, and communication fields. Prior to joining ACEEE in 2019, Christine completed a master’s degree in environmental management at Duke University.

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William (Bill) Goldner

William Goldner

Dr. William (Bill) Goldner joined the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) on September 30, 2019 as USDA’s Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment. Prior to joining OCS Bill served as National Program Leader for Bioenergy, Bioproduct, and Bioeconomy Systems (B3S) for USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA. Bill provided leadership for NIFA’s Bioenergy, Biobased Products and Bioeconomy (B3) portfolio as Team Lead for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), Regional Bioenergy and Bioproduct Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) Program. The CAP Program has invested ~$216 M in 12 regional public-private consortia projects that focus on facilitating the development of sustainable production systems for biofuels, industrial chemicals and polymers, and biobased products. Bill also serves as co-chair of the Biomass Research and Development Board Operation Committee, the Bioeconomy Coordination Committee, and the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Interagency Working Group.

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Lexie Hain

Lexie Hain

A farm owner in New York State since 2005, Lexie started with a small homestead and transitioning to owner & operator of a specialty plant nursery, Motherplants from 2005 to 2015. After selling the business in 2015, she transitioned to solar grazing with sheep. She started a solar grazing business in 2017, bringing on a partner in 2018. An author of the first solar grazing publication, documenting the agri-economics of this emerging industry and the overall success at one Cornell University solar array in 2018. Collaborated with NREL to contribute data for low impact co-location research project. Grazed at 3 Cornell research vineyards, Nexamp, Renovus, Cornell owned DG solar arrays in 2019. New Energy Equity and Solar Farms NY have added sheep in 2020.  She co-founded the American Solar Grazing Association in 2018. Responsible for the management of and coordination with the Boards of Directors & Advisors, all daily activities, ASGA strategy, all outreach, legal & fiscal responsibilities, and direction.  Building a not-for-profit with the goal of promoting best practices in solar grazing. Originator of the solar site mapping tool: connecting farmers with solar companies, launched May 2020.

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Michele Halsell

Michele Halsell

Michele Halsell serves as Assistant Director of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute where she helps to oversee the Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) program. The SCC has worked with numerous community partners to address topics related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining Penn State, she worked on a variety of energy-focused programs including Energy, Jobs and the Economy—a series of workshops for policymakers, sustainable energy scorecards for municipalities, and successful programs to engage residents to conserve energy and water. She is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and bases her community engagement in practices to seek common ground, align stakeholders, and build on community strengths.

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Sara Hayes

Sara Hayes

Sara Hayes leads ACEEE's work related to health and the environment. Her research focuses on the human health impacts of energy efficiency in buildings and on the air quality effects of saving energy. Sara manages the health and environment program and oversees research focused on identifying opportunities to use energy efficiency to reduce pollution and improve human health. She is a licensed attorney in the state of New York and serves on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee. Sara joined ACEEE in 2010.

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Senorpe Hiablie

Senorpe Hiablie

Senorpe Hiablie is an Assistant Research Professor at the Institutes of Energy and Environment (IEE) where she is assessing the Renewable Natural Gas production potential and associated carbon capture and storage in Pennsylvania. She is also a Research Fellow at Project Drawdown working on solutions to avoid methane emissions and leaks.

She was the Drawdown Initiative Lead at Penn State. In this role, she operationalized all aspects of Penn State’s partnership with Project Drawdown. Senorpe was a core member of a research team at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) who evaluated the environmental footprints (primarily, greenhouse gases, energy, and water) of a nationally important and globally relevant food production system. Specifically, they characterized regional management practices of diverse beef production systems and performed a first-of-a-kind comprehensive national benchmarking of beef sustainability. Their results are providing the industry and its stakeholders with data-driven decision tools to help prioritize actions to reduce negative impacts on environmental footprints.

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Meghan Hoskins

Meghan Hoskins

Dr. Meghan Hoskins is working to make connections between Penn State Operations staff and Penn State faculty, staff, and students who want to understand and improve the sustainability of Penn State operations. She is doing this through developing and facilitating Living Lab opportunities on our campuses and Chairing the Sustainability Operations Council (SOC). The SOC serves as a clearinghouse that was established for the purpose of bringing together various operational units to address the University’s environmental footprint through a systemic, holistic, and collaborative effort. Meghan is also building partnerships with external entities to build mutually beneficial projects and relationships in sustainability.

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Xin Jin

Xin Jin

Dr. Xin Jin is a Senior Research Engineer in the Building Technologies and Sciences Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He is also the Sensors and Controls Lead of NREL’s Buildings Research Program. Dr. Jin’s research focuses on building-to-grid integration, building controls, smart homes and smart communities, machine learning with applications in buildings, fault detection and diagnosis. Dr. Jin’s research is mainly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office and Solar Energy Technologies Office. He is a member of ASHRAE, ASME, and IEEE, and is a recipient of the 2018 R&D 100 Award and 2017 NREL President Award. Dr. Jin received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, all from Penn State, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.

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Nick Jones

Nicholas P. Jones

Dr. Nicholas P. Jones is The Pennsylvania State University’s Executive Vice President and Provost. As Executive Vice President, Dr. Jones serves as the chief executive officer in the President’s absence, and he is centrally involved in most University operations. As Provost, Dr. Jones is the University’s chief academic officer, responsible for the administration of all of Penn State’s educational and research programs. He is charged with enabling and driving the success of about 17,000 faculty and nearly 100,000 students at Penn State’s 25 campuses, including 24 throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the online World Campus. He also serves as the University’s chief budget officer.

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Dan Kapostasy

Dan Kapostasy

Dan Kapostasy is the Manager of Technical Services for Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc.  Energy Fuels is the leading producer of uranium and vanadium in the United States.  Energy Fuels also recently entered the rare earth industry through its production of a rare earth carbonate product at its White Mesa Mill in Blanding, UT.

He has a B.S. in Geology from the University of Dayton and a Master’s in Science in Geology from The Ohio State University.  Throughout his career he has worked on several different uranium projects across the United States. His work has focused on the entire lifecycle of uranium mining from permitting and exploration through project development and resource estimation, into production and reclamation.  Recently, he has been involved in Energy Fuels’ transition into rare earth processing.  He is responsible for identifying and evaluating potential rare earth feedstocks and is managing a project sponsored by the DOE on extraction of rare earths from coal-based resources.

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Thanasis Karamalidis

Thanasis Karamalidis

Dr. Thanasis Karamalidis is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering of the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering of the Earth and Minerals Science College at The Pennsylvania State University. He holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Crete and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Science from Democritus University of Thrace. After his Ph.D. training, became a visiting research scholar of Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, an ORISE Post-Doctoral Fellow specialized in geochemistry at the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the US Department of Energy, and an Associate Research Professor of Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Karamalidis brings more than 15 years of combined experience in science, entrepreneurship, applied engineering, research, and development across different disciplines, such as resource recovery for critical materials, geochemistry, water chemistry, and surface complexation modeling. His current academic and entrepreneurial activities focus on research and development of selective separation technologies for critical materials recovery from large volume industrial wastes, contributing to circular economy concepts.

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Phillip Keller

Phillip Keller

Philip Keller is a process engineer for Energy Fuels Resources in Lakewood, Colorado. He is working to develop a rare earth chemical extraction and separation process at Energy Fuels’ White Mesa Ranch outside of Blanding, UT. He received his bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering in 2016 from Virginia Tech. Philip then completed his Ph.D. at the Colorado School of Mines in 2020, studying the performance and flowsheet development for the flotation of bastnäsite ore with novel collectors synthesized by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Critical Materials Institute project.

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Angelos Kokkinos

Angelos Kokkinos

Angelos Kokkinos is Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management Office of Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy responsible for managing and planning of coal R&D. He has over 40 years of experience in fossil fuels, energy generation, and air pollution control equipment design and operation. Prior to joining the DOE, he was Chief Technology Officer for Babcock Power, Inc. a major supplier of steam generation and environmental control equipment for utility and industrial applications. He is the holder of six US Patents and received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell and an MS in Fuel Science from the Pennsylvania State University.

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Heidi Kunka

Heidi Kunka

Heidi Kunka has been employed by the PADEP for twelve years, seven of which have been with the State Energy Office, where she currently serves as an Energy Program Specialist. She currently assists in managing all aspects of the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act, including the PA Climate Impacts Assessment, Climate Action Plan, annual greenhouse gas inventory, and Climate Change Advisory Council. In addition to her climate work at DEP, Heidi also supports the GreenGov Council & DEP in developing sustainability strategies. For 2.5 years, Heidi served as Director of US Green Building Council (USGBC) Central PA, during which she led a highly visual advocacy initiative, Icehouse Demonstration Day: Unfreeze PA Energy Codes, which raised awareness about the need to update our state energy codes and culminated in a press conference in front of the State Capitol. She has served on the Market Leadership Advisory Board for USGBC Central PA, as well as the Board of Directors for the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance. Heidi is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP BD+C), as well as a Certified Climate Change Professional (CC-P). She earned a BS in Environmental Science from Muhlenberg College and a Masters in Environmental Pollution Control from Penn State.

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Joel Landry

Joel Landry

Joel Landry is an assistant professor of environmental and energy economics. His research examines when and why large-scale public policies related to energy and the environment succeed or fail. His research bridges the fields of political economy, public finance, and environmental and energy economics to examine such imperfect public policies that seek to address two of society’s most pressing challenges: addressing anthropogenic climate change and ensuring access to affordable, clean energy for all citizens.

In addition to his research examining the economic impacts of Pennsylvania’s entry into RGGI, Landry’s work on electricity markets has also examined how interactions between RGGI and PJM affect the incentives for states to voluntarily adopt allowance trading under the federal Clean Power Plan, the possibility of replacing distortionary state policies within PJM with a uniform carbon price, and an examination of the political economy forces that led to the Clean Power Plan and Affordable Clean Energy rules. Landry also maintains an active research program that examines how decentralized national and sub-national governments strategically select mitigation policies to address climate change.

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Yan Li

Yan Li

Yan Li is an assistant professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Her research interests include renewable energy integration, cyber-physical power systems, stability analysis, machine learning, cybersecurity, reachability analysis, software-defined networking, etc. She has authored or co-authored more than forty scientific papers, books, and patents on microgrids and active distribution systems. Yan won the IEEE-PES Outstanding Engineer Award, the Connecticut Women of Innovation Award, and the Connecticut Power and Energy Rising Star Award for her contributions to the development of the renewable energy landscape.

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Bruce Logan

Bruce Logan

Bruce Logan is an Evan Pugh University Professor in Engineering and the Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State. His research focuses on developing new renewable energy technologies, such as microbial fuel cells and thermal batteries, for achieving an energy sustainable water infrastructure; wastewater treatment; and bioremediation.

He serves as director of both the Engineering Energy and Environmental Institute and the Hydrogen Energy Center in the College of Engineering. He also is an associate director of Penn State’s Institutes for Energy and the Environment.

He earned his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his M.S. in environmental engineering and B.S. in chemical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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John Liechty

John Liechty

John Liechty is a Professor of Marketing and Statistics at Penn State. Most of his research is divided between developing statistical methods and models and applying these methods to problems in Marketing and Finance. Liechty's recent work has focused on issues related to broader problems in society. Some of this led to establishing better data and analytic capacities for the U.S. Financial regulatory infrastructure. Future work will focus on how society can best organize capital to produce public goods; finding incentive-aligned approaches to both reduce Health Care costs; and model large-scale (distributional) phenomics based on the geometric structure of the biology of life as revealed through high-resolution images.

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Jessica Lovering

Jessica Lovering

Jessica Lovering is the co-founder of the Good Energy Collective, a new organization working on progressive nuclear policy. She recently completed her PhD in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Her dissertation focused on how commercial nuclear trade affects international security standards and how very small nuclear reactors could be deployed at the community level. She is a Fellow with the Energy for Growth Hub, looking at how advanced nuclear can be deployed in sub-Saharan Africa. She was formerly the Director of the Energy Program at the Breakthrough Institute, a pioneering research institute changing how people think about energy and the environment. Her work at Breakthrough sought policies to spur innovation in nuclear power technologies to drive down costs and accelerate deployment as part of a solution to climate change and economic development. She has a bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics from University of California Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Energy Policy from the University of Colorado.

 

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Daniel Mallinson

Dan Mallinson

Dan Mallinson is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs. His research interests include policy process theory, especially policy diffusion, cannabis policy, energy policy, and the science of teaching and learning. His energy-related research has focused largely on Pennsylvania, including the regulation of natural gas extraction through Act 13 and the Commonwealth’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He is also current working on a project examining the relative fragmentation of energy sector regulation across the American states and how that affects energy efficiency and conservation goals.

 

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Anthony Marchese

Anthony Marchese

Anthony Marchese is the non-executive Chairman of Texas Mineral Resources Corporation (OTCQB: TMRC), a publicly traded company involved in heavy rare earth production and mineral reclamation of strategic metals.  Anthony serves as the chairman of TMRC’s Audit Committee and sits on the Compensation and Governance Committees. Anthony Marchese is President of Marchese Management Company, LLC, a strategic advisory firm serving public and soon-to-be public companies in the areas of board direction and policy, corporate governance, investor relations, and crisis management.  Additionally, Mr. Marchese is also the general partner and chief investment officer of Insiders Trend Fund, LP, a limited partnership that invests in small-cap publicly traded securities whose officers and directors have been active acquirers of their stock.

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Scott K Mccall

Scott McCall

Dr. McCall is the Deputy Magnet Thrust Lead for the Critical Materials Institute, Group Leader of the Actinides and Lanthanides Science Group, and Deputy Associate Program Lead for Met. and Mater. Characterization. He is a member of the team that won the establishment of the Critical Materials Institute, a DOE Innovation Hub (2013). He leads the effort to develop exchange spring magnets with advanced manufacturing. Dr. McCall established a physical properties measurement laboratory and developed capabilities for work on small samples of plutonium and other actinides and built a high-temperature synthesis laboratory for work with 4f and 5f (through U) alloys. Since 2010, he has been co-lead of the U.S. delegation (LLNL and LANL) for US–Russian workshops on Fundamentals of Plutonium and program chair for Pu Futures—The Science 2014 (premier international conference on Pu, held in alternate years). He has conducted research into the Ruddlesden-Popper series of ruthenates—(Ca,Sr)n+1RunO3n+1—one of nature’s multilayer systems (n = # of RuO6 layers) that demonstrate emergent behavior, including quantum criticality, superconductivity, ferromagnetism, antiferromagnetism, and exotic magnetic states.

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Tim McDonald

Timothy McDonald

Timothy McDonald is a registered architect and Certified Passive House Consultant, Builder, and founding principal of Onion Flats, an award-winning development/design/build collective centered in Philadelphia. He earned his Masters of Architectural History and Theory from McGill University and his BArch from Penn State and has been teaching, practicing, and lecturing widely for over 20 years.  The firm’s focus on community development, multidisciplinary thinking and making, high-performance building technologies, and alternative construction methodologies has won them many national and international awards including the 2018 and 2016 Green Building United’s Ground Breaker Award, the 2018 ULI Willard Rouse Award for Excellence, the 2015 International Passive House Award, the 2010 ULI Global Award of Excellence, and the Emerging Voices Award by the Architectural League of New York in 2008. Through his research and practice, Tim, along with his partners at Onion Flats, has developed, designed, and built some of the first LEED Gold and Platinum projects in the country and the First Certified Passive House, Net-Zero-Energy-Capable project in Pennsylvania.

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Elia Merzari

Elia Merzari

Elia Merzari received his Ph.D. from the Tokyo Institute of Technology with a thesis on the use of advanced CFD techniques for the simulation of flows in rod bundles. After graduation, he remained in the same institute as a JSPS (Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science) fellow. In 2009 he joined Argonne National Laboratory, first as a postdoctoral fellow and then as a regular staff in 2010. At Argonne, Dr. Merzari served in several roles in the Nuclear Energy Advanced modeling and simulation(NEAMS) program for which he is currently the thermal-fluids lead. In 2019, he joined the faculty at Penn State as an Associate professor. Dr. Merzari’s research relies on predictive large-scale simulations of turbulence to improve our physical understanding of complex flows and ultimately design safer and more efficient nuclear reactors. He has received several awards related to these efforts in the area of high-performance computing (HPC) including ANS Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award, ASME's George Westinghouse Silver Medal, and an R&D100 award.

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Scott Moura

Scott Moura

Scott Moura is the Clare and Hsieh Wen Shen Endowed Distinguished Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Director of the Energy, Controls, & Applications Lab (eCAL) at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a faculty member at the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute. He received the B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2006, 2008, and 2011, respectively, all in mechanical engineering. From 2011 to 2013, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Cymer Center for Control Systems and DynamicsUniversity of California, San Diego. In 2013, he was a Visiting Researcher at the Centre Automatique et SystèmesMINES ParisTech, Paris, France. His research interests include control, optimization, and machine learning for batteries, electrified vehicles, and distributed energy resources.

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Jeff Munk

Jeff Munk

Jeff Munk is a researcher in the Grid-Interactive Controls group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  During his 11 years at the lab, he has worked extensively on development and performance testing of high-efficiency heat pumps for space conditioning and water heating.  In recent years his research has expanded to include modeling, optimization, and controls implementation in grid-interactive efficient buildings.

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Hannah Murnen

Hannah Murnen

Hannah Murnen is the Chief Technical Officer at Compact Membrane Systems, a small advanced materials company using novel fluoropolymers for industrial separations. Hannah directs the research and product development efforts across the organization. She joined CMS in 2015 to lead business development efforts and shifted to the CTO role in 2018. Prior to her role at CMS, Hannah worked at McKinsey and Company as a consultant for industrial, material, and chemical companies in areas encompassing supply chain, growth strategy development, market differentiation, and others. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California Berkeley and a Bachelors in Engineering from Dartmouth College.

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Barbara-Anne Murphy

Barbara-Anne Murphy

 

Barbara-Anne Murphy is an accomplished public representative in County Wexford, Ireland. She is the in-coming Chairperson of Wexford County Council. She is, as well, Chairperson of Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board and the Enniscorthy-based High-Performance Building Alliance, one of a network of International Centers of Excellence formed in conjunction with the United Nations High-Performance Building Initiative. She will Chair the network secretariat now being established.

The second youngest child of the late Rory and Nancy Murphy, Barbara-Anne was co-opted onto Wexford Co. Council in January 2004 following the death of her father. She was educated at Our Lady of Lourdes National School and St. Mary’s FCJ Convent Secondary School, Bunclody. Barbara-Anne holds a BSc in Politics and Human Geography. Her interest in people and community is long-standing and she has served on many local community, sporting, and voluntary committees.

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Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy, Director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR). Tom has 36 years of experience working with public officials, researchers, industry, government agencies, and landowners during his tenure with the Extension/Outreach branch of the University. His current work is centered on educational consultation in energy transitions, specifically at the convergence of shale gas and renewables, with a more recent emphasis on  utility-scale solar. In his role with MCOR, Tom provides leadership to a range of Penn State’s related energy outreach events and research activities.

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Jacqueline O’Connor

Jacqueline O’Connor

Jacqueline O'Connor is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and director for Gas Turbine Research, Education, and Outreach in the College of Engineering. Her research focuses on unsteady combustion phenomena in power and propulsion technologies, including power generation gas turbines, aircraft engines, and diesel engines, using high-speed laser diagnostics.

Prior to joining Penn State, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California in the Engine Combustion Department.

She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech and her B.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT.

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Esther Obonyo

Esther Obonyo

Dr. Esther Obonyo is the founding Director of the Global Building Network, a partnership between the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and Penn State. The consortium that is in place comprises 40 globally distributed institutions that are collectively working on all aspects of building performance. One of the thrust research areas for the consortium focuses on the frontier challenges in areas such as building components and materials that can promote health, safety, and wellbeing. Dr. Obonyo is also an Associate Professor of Engineering Design and Architectural Engineering. Her primary research is in the areas of construction safety, sustainable structural materials for building envelope systems, data-driven decision support systems, science policy, and building performances for vulnerable populations. Dr. Obonyo is a 2015/ 2016 Jefferson Science Fellow placed with the USAID Global Development Lab in DC where she served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Data and Research Team. She also supported some of the evidence generation work for Digital Development. Dr. Obonyo has extensive industry experience, having worked as a Construction Engineer, Project Manager, and Innovations Analyst in several engineering and construction companies in Kenya, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

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Greg Pavlak

Greg Pavlak

Dr. Greg Pavlak is an Assistant Professor of Architectural Engineering at Penn State and is also a faculty member of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment. He has ten years of experience in predictive modeling and optimal control of building heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems. His current work focuses on developing intelligent control technologies for buildings to lower their operational carbon emissions and increase their utilization of renewable energy. Prior to joining Penn State, he served as lead scientists for a start-up company commercializing model predictive building controls. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from Hope College in Holland, MI, and a PhD. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder

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Wei Peng

Wei Peng

Wei Peng is an assistant professor of international affairs and civil and environmental engineering with a joint appointment with the School of International Affairs and the College of Engineering. Peng’s research focuses on the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of energy policies in both emerging markets and advanced economies.

Prior to her arrival at Penn State, Peng was a Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

She earned her Ph.D. in science, technology, and environmental policy from Princeton University and her B.S. in environmental science from Peking University.

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Sarma Pisupati

Sarma Pisupati

Sarma Pisupati is a professor of energy and mineral engineering and Director of the Center for Critical Minerals at Penn State.

His main areas of research are the extraction of critical minerals from clays and waste coal and coal by-products. Advanced combustion methods such as oxy-fuel combustion and chemical looping combustion for CO2 capture and sequestration; slagging and fouling in gasification; coal and biomass co gasification and energy conservation methods. He has published over 200 technical papers and organized over 30 technical symposia related to energy and the environment.

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Chris Rahn

Chris Rahn

Chris Rahn has been a faculty member at Penn State for over twenty years. He is the J. 'Lee' Everett Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Dean for Innovation in the College of Engineering, Director of the Mechatronics Research Laboratory, and Co-Director of the Battery and Energy Storage Technology Center.  Dr. Rahn's research work on the modeling, analysis, design, and control of mechatronic systems has resulted in three books (including Battery Systems Engineering), almost three hundred peer-reviewed publications, and several patents.  As a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Dr. Rahn serves as the Technical Editor of an ASME journal and chaired the executive committee of the ASME Design Engineering Division.

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Tom Richard

Tom Richard

Tom Richard is a professor of agricultural and biological engineering in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the director of the Penn State Institutes for Energy and the Environment. His research focuses on the application of fundamental engineering science to microbial ecosystems, developing innovative strategies for a more sustainable agriculture and the emerging bio-based economy.

He currently directs the Northeast Regional Sun Grant Center for the USDA, serves on the Agricultural Science Committee of the U.S. EPA's Science Advisory Board, and is the deputy technical director for the DOE's National Risk Assessment Partnership for geologic carbon sequestration.

He received his Ph.D. in biological engineering and M.S. in agricultural engineering from Cornell and his B.S. in political economy of natural resources from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Rudi Roeslein

Rudi Roeslein

Rudi Roeslein is the founder of Roeslein & Associates, a global engineering, modular fabrication, and construction firm with over 680 employees spread across seven locations in North America, Europe, and Asia. Rudi and his employees have designed, built, and shipped entire modular systems to over 60 countries across 6 continents.

Led by his true passion for wildlife and prairie restoration, Rudi founded Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) in 2012. RAE is an operator and developer of renewable energy production facilities. These facilities convert agricultural and industrial wastes, along with renewable biomass feedstocks to renewable natural gas and sustainable co-products.

RAE is developing a $120 million project that converts the manure from two million hogs on nine farms into renewable natural gas. Its primary focus is to provide sustainable solutions for livestock production and renewable energy generation.

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Kristin Roy

Kristin Roy

Kristin Roy is an architecture student attending Penn State University, minoring in residential construction. From Prince George’s County, Maryland, Kristin is an advocate for design equity and sustainability, striving to create an impact in every endeavor she is involved in. She is currently a Certified Passive House Consultant in training. She is also an intern architect at Sultan Campbell Britt & Associates and a curriculum developer at ANX Reality, a STEAM-based education non-profit located in Baltimore, Maryland.  

Kristin enjoys learning and hopes to continue her voyage of knowledge in 2022 after graduating undergraduate, to soon obtain her second degree in building science. Kristin hopes to one day become a professor of architecture and a licensed professional, all while inspiring and encouraging young girls who look like her to join the field. 

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Pete Rozelle

Pete Rozelle

Pete Rozelle serves as an advisor on mineral resources to the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, from which he holds a Ph.D. He is also a retired Headquarters Program Manager for the Department of Energy. In that role, he managed the Rare Earths, Gasification, and Turbines programs for the Office of Fossil Energy. Prior to that, he worked in the mining, metallurgical, and power industries.

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Eric Sauder

Eric Sauder

Eric Sauder helps people implement meaningful climate action. The climate challenge is vast but solutions abound for households, farms, businesses, and communities to reduce their impact and even restore ecosystems. At RegenAll, he works to expand the urban-centric response to climate change to a regional scale. The company's analysis of carbon sources and sinks highlights opportunities for drawdown in both rural and urban communities and deepen regional collaboration through local carbon offset marketplaces.  At TeamAg, he is developing holistic management toolkits for farmers to grow more regenerative operations; restoring their soils, producing higher-value crops, and generating ecosystem services.

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Emily Schapira

Emily Schapira

Emily Schapira is President and CEO of the Philadelphia Energy Authority, a municipal government entity building a robust, equitable clean energy economy for Philadelphia. Emily joined PEA as Executive Director in 2016 and launched the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a $1 billion, 10-year initiative to invest in energy efficiency and clean energy projects to create 10,000 jobs. Emily has been a PEA board member since 2010. Prior to joining PEA, Emily was Director of Global Accounts for Lighting at WESCO Distribution, and Chief Operating Officer for Aelux, a lighting and controls retrofitter. Emily previously worked on sustainability for Fortune 500 firms and started the Wharton School's Sustainability Program. She spent her early career running a consumer heating oil co-op in Philadelphia and advocating for low-income energy assistance at the federal, state, and local levels. Emily holds an MBA from Wharton and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She was recognized in 2020 as one of the Philadelphia Business Journal's 40 under 40 honorees.

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William Sapon

William Sapon

William Sapon has dedicated his career in the energy sector to ensuring our U.S. energy delivery systems are reliable, resilient, secure, and sustainable through efforts to modernize and strengthen our energy grids. Currently, William serves as Senior Advisor, Clean Energy & Transportation at Peoples Natural Gas, Essential Utilities’ natural gas division, the largest natural gas distribution company in Pennsylvania, specializing in the area of corporate Environment, Social and Governance (ESG), grid-edge innovation and net zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) solution development and implementation.

William holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University. William is an influential sustainability advocate and steward of the environment. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, the designated regional organization for all U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities program initiatives. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Alumni Association for the University of Pittsburgh.

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Lisa Schulte Moore

Lisa Schulte Moore

Lisa Schulte Moore is a professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management and associate director of the Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State University. She conducts research and teaches in the areas of agriculture, ecology, forestry and human-landscape interactions. Her current research addresses the strategic integration of perennials into agricultural landscapes to support new agricultural markets and to meet societal goals for clean water, healthy soils, abundant wildlife and inspiring recreational opportunities. Dr. Schulte Moore is co-founder of the Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) project, which pioneered the prairie strips conservation practice. She is also the lead developer of People in Ecosystems/ Watershed Integration (PEWI), a simple web-based educational game designed to help people understand human impacts on the environment and improve the management of natural resources. She directs C-CHANGE, an Iowa State University Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Initiative, and USDA-NIFA Sustainable Agricultural Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project.

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Christian Shaffer

Christian Shaffer

Christian Shaffer is a product development engineer at Ford Motor Company. As a member of the Electrified Systems organization that designs high voltage batteries for Ford's electrified vehicles, he has helped engineer the energy storage solutions for iconic products such as the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid. Prior to coming to Ford, Christian led the AutoLion battery modeling software design team at EC Power. Christian studied under Prof. Chao-Yang Wang at the Penn State Electrochemical Engine Center, and received his Ph.D. in 2010.

 

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Luca Sirugo

Luca Sirugo

Luca Sirugo is a seasoned manager with strong experience in local and national infrastructure, green technology, and mergers and acquisitions. He has played a key role in a wide range of projects throughout Italy and Romania, including facilitating energy plant acquisitions, raising capital for wind turbine projects, developing photovoltaic plants, and engaging in multi-faceted development projects designed to boost sustainability. Many of his past projects have been valued at $300 million or more. He holds a Master in Artificial Intelligence from MIT, a Master of Business Administration degree from Venice International University, and a Construction Engineering Degree from Milan Polytechnic University. He has completed numerous training and certification courses, including seismic assessment and industrial health and safety.
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Kandler Smith

Kandler Smith

Dr. Kandler Smith leads the Energy Storage Computational Modeling Team in the Center for Integrated Mobility Systems at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.  Research projects include Li-ion battery lifetime prediction & extension, application of machine learning for model identification, fast charging, and battery computational modeling of electrochemical/thermal/mechanical-coupled phenomena in Li-ion batteries. Kandler recently co-authored a textbook on the design and analysis of large Li-ion battery systems He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in electrochemical modeling and control of Li-ion batteries.

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Erica Smithwick

Erica Smithwick

Erica Smithwick, Distinguished Professor of Geography, is a landscape and ecosystem ecologist. She is the Director of the Ecology Institute, and an Associate Director of the Institutes of Energy and Environment, both of which foster interdisciplinary environmental research.  Her laboratory group (LEAPS:  Landscape Ecology at Penn State) is actively involved in understanding how a wide range of disturbances, especially fire, affect ecosystem function at landscape scales. Current research is focused on the influence of these changes on socio-ecological resilience and sustainability, with special attention to protected area management in Africa and the U.S. She has received numerous research awards from the NSF, NASA, DOE, NPS, the USGS, and beyond. This work is increasingly focused on problems that require inter- and trans-disciplinary teamwork to address complex environmental challenges. One of these projects, called Visualizing Forest Futures, seeks to address how indigenous and western knowledge systems can be best used to address forest sustainability under climate variability, in partnership with the Menominee tribal nation in northern Wisconsin.  Another is focused on transdisciplinary graduate training at the Food-Energy-Water nexus.

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Jake Spinelli

Jake Spinelli

Jake Spinelli is a mechanical engineering student at Penn State University with an intended minor in residential construction. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jake is a proponent of sustainability. He is a rising junior and recently finished a co-op semester at Moog Aerospace. 

Jake has broad interests that include sustainable housing and transportation, among other things. In the future, he hopes to be a part of the normalization and increased affordability of zero-energy homes. 

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Susan Stewart

Susan Stewart

Dr. Susan Stewart is an Associate Teaching Professor in Aerospace Engineering at Penn State. She directs Penn State's online Graduate Certificate in Wind Energy as well as the Pennsylvania Wind for Schools program.  Dr. Stewart is also the advisor for the Penn State Wind Energy Club and has recently led teams of students in the DOE Collegiate Wind Competition, coming away with victories in four out of seven competitions. She is active on AWEA’s Wind Technical Standards Committee as well as NAWEA’s Education Committee. She has received several awards for her teaching and mentoring in renewable energy, including PennFuture’s 2019 Woman of Climate and Renewable Energy, Penn State’s 2017 Commission for Women Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award, and the 2015 DOE WindExchange Outstanding Wind Leadership in Education Award. She received her Ph.D. and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a BSME from Penn State.

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Doug True

Doug True

Doug True is NEI’s chief nuclear officer and senior vice president of generation and suppliers. He is a veteran of the nuclear industry with more than 30 years of experience in nuclear regulatory policy and implementation, playing a substantial role in U.S. policies and regulatory activities ranging from the industry response to challenges like Fukushima and 9/11 to major contributions to the formation and implementation of risk-informed regulation.

Prior to joining NEI, he served as executive vice president of the power services group at Jensen Hughes Inc.  In this position, he was responsible for one of largest specialty engineering organizations in the nuclear industry covering a broad range of analysis, testing, design and research consulting services. True has served on the NEI board of directors since 2016, and has been a contributor to NEI, Electric Power Research Institute, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and federal government guidance on a broad spectrum of technical and regulatory issues.

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Geanie Umberger

Geanie Umberger

Gloria (Geanie) Umberger, Ph.D., MSPH, RPh, is the Associate Vice President for Research and Director of Industry Research Collaborations. She is responsible for developing and nurturing corporate relationships with potential and existing partners to further industrial research growth at Penn State. Before coming to Penn State, Umberger spent 10 years at Purdue University, where she has been engaging industry partners in economic development activities, including attracting companies to Indiana, development of IoT and cybersecurity technology park, and other initiatives around student educational offerings, projects, and opportunities.  She also established collaborations between Purdue faculty with industry for the purposes of sponsoring research and supporting large-scale projects and centers.  In addition, Umberger has had significant industry experience performing successful regulatory compliance, large-scale project management, technology-based business development, and building innovative university-industry relations. 

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Adam Walters

Adam Walters

As a William Penn Fellow with the Department of Community and Economic Development, Adam works to support the agency’s goals of developing investment and recruitment strategies for the Commonwealth.  He works collaboratively with private companies, across state agencies, and non-governmental organizations to further the agency’s strategic agenda in and around the energy sector.

Previously, Adam was Project Administrator with Downtown Inc where he worked to improve the economic health of the City of York’s business improvement district through strategic enhancements to public spaces and safety. Adam completed his Master of Public Administration with a certificate in Policy Analysis and Evaluation at Penn State University Harrisburg in 2016.

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Daniel Walters

Daniel Walters

Daniel E. Walters is an assistant professor of law at Penn State Law, as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Political Science and an affiliated researcher in the Institutes of Energy & the Environment at the Pennsylvania State University. He brings an empirical approach to the study of public law and regulatory policy, with work appearing or forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, the Emory Law Journal, Ecology Law Quarterly, the Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and the Administrative Law Review, among others. His current research focuses on empirically testing claims undergirding proposed reforms to the regulatory state and administrative law, as well as examining political and legal approaches to promote a transition to a cleaner energy economy. Professor Walters serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Administrative & Regulatory Law News, the newsletter of the American Bar Association's Section on Administrative Law & Regulatory Policy.

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Donghai Wang

Donghai Wang

Dr. Donghai Wang is a Professor at Penn State serving in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, Intercollege Materials Science and Engineering Program. He is an ardent researcher responsible for the execution of a multitude of grants, oversight of numerous doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, and over 100 published peer-reviewed journal articles. He has been invited to contribute to a number of books on nanotechnology and give over 100 invited talks at professional conferences and universities. He had been identified as a Highly Cited Researcher in 2018-2020 according to Web of Science. He has served principal investigator roles for numerous grants and in support of a multitude of private corporations. He has previously served as a scientist and researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory before joining Penn State. Dr. Wang is a prolific inventor with over 20 applications filed in the fields of nanomaterials and related applications to energy storage techniques.

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Xiaoxing Wang

Xiaoxing Wang

Xiaoxing Wang is an associate research professor in the EMS Energy Institute. His research focuses on the catalytic conversion of energy resources, including petroleum, natural gas, and biomass, and the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of porous functional materials, such as microporous and mesoporous materials for energy-related applications.

He is the recipient of the Outstanding Young Researcher Award at the Fifteenth International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization.

Wang received his Ph.D. in catalysis, physical chemistry from Xiamen University in China and his B.S. in chemistry from Zhejiang Normal University in China.

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Lora Weiss

Lora Weiss

Lora G. Weiss, Ph.D., was appointed senior vice president for research at The Pennsylvania State University in September 2019. In her role, she is the principal academic and administrative officer for Penn State’s Office of Research. Penn State consistently ranks among the nation’s top 25 public research universities, with fiscal year 2020 annual research expenditures exceeding $1 billion.

Weiss oversees the research work of eleven academic colleges, seven university-wide interdisciplinary research institutes, a university-affiliated research laboratory for the Department of Defense, and offices for sponsored programs, research protections, industry partnerships, technology transfer, innovation, and commercialization.

Weiss is an accomplished scientist and educator with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. With a background in robotics and unmanned systems, Weiss has centered her research on advancing the capabilities of unmanned air, ground, sea surface, and undersea vehicles.

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Sophia Welch

Sophia Welch

Sophia Welch is a candidate for a Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering with a focus on structures at Penn State University. Her interests lie at the intersection of ultra-high performance, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation. During her undergrad at James Madison University as a Second Century Scholar, she worked with the local community leaders as they ventured into the process of transforming one of the few remaining original structures from a historically African American neighborhood into a headquarters where the community can lead outreach and educational programs. Her aim was to optimize historic preservation, intended usage, and energy efficiency within the 1880's structure. Now, as a GAANN Fellow, Sophia continues her work at Penn State where she balances teaching experiences with research on Passive House retrofits of existing historic structures.

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Tim White

Tim White

Tim White is a Research Professor in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, and Sustainability Officer of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. He specializes in field sedimentary geology and has a passion for environmental sustainability. Prior to joining Penn State, he spent four years working in the environmental-hydrogeologic consulting industry and 3.5 years with the U.S. Geological Survey in Anchorage, Alaska. His research responsibilities at Penn State have led to travels all over the globe, including western Europe, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as two ocean drilling cruises. His recent research has focused on reconstructing the past climate during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum nearly 56 million years ago. White has served as the national office director of the NSF-funded Critical Zone Observatories Program and has co-led an annual summer course in Piedmont, Italy, for international researchers interested in studying critical zone science. He earned an M.S. in Geology and Ph.D. in Geosciences from Penn State.

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Dennis Whyte

Dennis Whyte

Dennis Whyte is a recognized leader in the field of fusion research using the magnetic confinement of plasmas for energy production on a faster, smaller, and more innovative path. Dennis is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, has over 300 publications, and is heavily involved as an educator. He is widely recognized for his themes of innovation and the need for speed and economic viability in fusion. He has served on panels for the National Academies, the U.S. government, and the Royal Society. As director of Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) he presents the Center’s vision to peer institutions and recruits faculty and scientists to the team. The core of the SPARC project was formed over eight years ago during a design course led by Dennis to challenge assumptions in fusion. Many of the ideas underpinning the high-field approach — including the use of HTS for high-field, demountable magnets, liquid blankets, and ARC — have been conceived of or significantly advanced in these courses. Dennis’ leadership as director of PSFC has been a key enabler for the SPARC project, providing the stature necessary to bring the institutional and outside support to the project.

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Kevin Wright

Kevin Wright

Kevin Wright brings deep experience in distributed generation systems and an established reputation for reliably delivering excellence. Kevin’s 25 years in the energy industry include 22 years focused on renewables. Kevin became a Master Electrician in 2001 and a licensed electrical inspector in 2007. He was the lead program inspector and training specialist for the New Jersey Clean Energy Program. Kevin founded Wright Electrical Contracting and was the founder and managing partner of United Management & Consultants. He is an industry thought leader who is heavily involved with PA energy policy, labor, education, and community engagement.