MEM Program Development Committee

Energy Club Lunch Series

 

Lunch Series

The Duke MEMP Energy Club began its fortnightly Energy Lunch with Faculty/Industry series in the Fall 2016 semester to provide a platform for students interested in the Energy sector to connect with leading Faculty and Industry professionals affiliated with the Duke Energy Initiative. The objective is to provide students across the Pratt, Nicholas, Fuqua and Sanford schools the opportunity to learn about some of the cutting edge work being done in research and business by our Faculty and alumni in the Energy sector. Students also gain first-hand information on career opportunities in a plethora of fields and concentrations within the Energy & Environment space.

 

Spring 2017

Speaker: Dr. Kyle Bradbury

Date: March 30th, 2017

Description:

The Duke MEMP Energy Club hosted the sixth of its Faculty/Industry lunch series on Mar 30, 2017. The presiding guest Faculty was Dr. Kyle Bradbury, Lecturing Fellow and Managing Director, Energy Data Analytics Lab at Duke.

The students in attendance were grad students from the Nicholas and Pratt Schools, with an avid interest in Energy Data Analytics. Dr. Bradbury gave a detailed presentation on the structure of the Energy Data Analytics Lab at Duke, the areas of focus within Energy Analytics, and the major projects currently underway at the Lab. He gave an overview of the plethora of sectors within the Energy industry, and explained how Data Analytics is critical to identifying trends and patterns in each sector, that are used to make business decisions as well as drive policies in energy. He also gave a brief report of one of the major projects that uses analytics with satellite imaging to identify the presence and potential for solar energy infrastructure at the street and neighborhood levels, and determine their potential for micro and macro grid integration and energy sharing. He finally listed out avenues through which students interested in this field could engage with the Lab for any specific project interests. The students had a plethora of questions from tools and methods used in these projects, to the career prospects that students interested in Data Science had in the Energy industry.

The lunch session overall provided an ideal platform for students interested in Data Analytics & Machine Learning to learn relevant applications in the Energy industry from an experienced Faculty member. The overall experience was thus, a truly rewarding one for all those who attended. Going forward, we aim to continue this successful lunch series with many more lunch sessions with similar experts from Faculty and Industry.

 

Speaker: Dr. Jesko Von Windheim

Date: February 23rd, 2017

Description:

The Duke MEMP Energy Club hosted the fifth of its Faculty/Industry lunch series on Feb 23, 2017. The presiding guest Faculty was Dr. Jesko Von Windheim, Professor of the Practice of Environmental Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Nicholas School. He has also been affiliated with the Energy Initiative as a Faculty Network Member and as the Associate Dean of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The students in attendance were a diverse mix, including both graduate and undergraduate students from the Pratt, Nicholas and Sanford Schools. Dr. Windheim gave a detailed presentation on the stages involved in the Entrepreneurial life cycle, and spoke about various challenges faced by entrepreneurs in launching the product and securing funding from venture capitalists and angel investors, in different sectors. He also specifically spoke about the trends and challenges faced by entrepreneurs starting new businesses in the Energy & Environment sectors, and discussed crucial factors whose interplay could determine the success or failure of such ventures.

The lunch session overall provided an ideal platform for students interested in the energy sector to interact and learn firsthand from an experienced Faculty member. Dr. Windheim’s insights helped provoke incisive thoughts and questions among the students in attendance, boosting their interest in the entrepreneurial space. The overall experience was thus, a truly rewarding one for all those who attended. Going forward, we aim to continue this successful lunch series with many more lunch sessions with similar experts from Faculty and Industry.

 

Speaker: Dr. Neal Simmons

Date: February 7th, 2017

Description:

The MEMP Energy Club hosted Professor Neal Simmons at the MEMP Energy Lunch on February 7th. In addition to his role as an Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University, Simmons is the Vice President of R&D and Optimization at Cube Hydro. Professor Simmons first told the story of how he acquired his first hydroelectric power plant, and then taught attendees about the basics of hydroelectric power. Simmons used pictures and specifications from multiple plants Cube Hydro owns and operates as an instructional tool. We were very fortunate to have an electrifying discussion with a highly-respected member of both the Duke and energy community.

 

Fall 2016

Speaker: Mr. Benjamin Gibson

Date: Oct 27, 2016

Description:

The Duke MEMP Energy Club hosted the third of its weekly Faculty / Industry lunch series on Oct 27, 2016. The presiding guest Faculty was Mr. Benjamin Gibson, former Assistant Director of Research and Development with the Energy Initiative at Duke University, who coordinated interdisciplinary research efforts on energy technology, markets, and policy.

Mr. Gibson gave a 20-minute detailed presentation on “Why Energy Matters”, the scope of which was to give a broad perspective of the Energy crisis and challenges confronting this sector globally, as well as to outline opportunities for cutting edge research and business that play a crucial role in promoting environmental sustainability. The students in attendance had a plethora of questions ranging from the general trends in policy development to specific questions about particular cases concerning fossil fuel energy generation practices, to career opportunities going forward.

 

Speaker: Dr. Dan Vermeer

Date: Oct 20th , 2016

Description:

The Duke MEMP Energy Club hosted its second Faculty lunch session on October 20th, 2016 with Dr. Dan Vermeer, Associate Professor of the Practice of Business Administration. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Energy, Development & the Global Environment (EDGE) and a faculty network member of the Energy Initiative (EI). Dr. Vermeer is B.A Psychology, M.A Anthropology and Ph.D., in Learning Sciences from North western University.  

 

Learning about his amazing experiences living in the Nepal and the Himalayan mountains in India, learning to speak the local languages during his time there, really left us awestruck and made us curious as to how he ended up in his current career. He then spoke about his career trajectory on his role as director of Water Management & Sustainable Value Chain at The Coca-Cola Company following which he chose to share his knowledge and experience as a professor here at Duke. The students had many questions for him ranging from his experiences to the feasibility of solar and batter storage, possible energy generation mix in the future and the latest trends in the energy industry. We also had an interesting discussion on sustainability and its impact on how corporations operate. He explained how companies are being forced to address sustainability issues as it would be the crux of keeping costs low in the future due to limited resources being available in the future.  

 

Dr. Vermeer also gave students excellent feedback and was delighted with their engagement and inquisitiveness during the lunch. Looking ahead, MEMP Energy Club wish to continue this lunch series which would allow other students to experience a similar rewarding interaction with our distinguished faculty.

 

Speaker: Dr. Josiah Knight

Date: October 13, 2016

Description:

The Duke MEMP Energy Club hosted the first of its weekly Faculty / Industry lunch series on Oct 13, 2016. The presiding guest Faculty was Dr. Josiah Knight, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. He is also Co-Director of the Energy and Environment Certificate and a Faculty Network Member of the Energy Initiative at Duke.

The students in attendance were a diverse mix, including both graduate and undergraduate students from the Pratt, Nicholas and Fuqua Schools. Dr. Knight discussed at length with them on his current research areas of Solar Thermal Energy and alternate methods for ground transportation. The students were riveted by this detailed narrative, and came up with a host of questions ranging from the cost effectiveness and efficiency of energy generation through Solar Thermal, as opposed to regular solar and other means of energy generation, its potential for large scale commercialization and its adaptability to mass transit systems such as railways. The technical feasibility of scaling down solar energy generation and coupling it with battery storage to drive LDVs and other forms of urban transportation such as auto rickshaws in India were also explored.

 

The overall experience was thus, a truly rewarding one for all those who attended. Going forward, we aim to continue this successful lunch series with many more lunch sessions with similar experts from Faculty and Industry.