A preview to Energy Week, March 27 to 31

Credit: Isabelle Vincent/ Credit: Isabelle Vincent/

Hosted by the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, and featuring over 130 energy experts, Carnegie Mellon’s annual Energy Week will take place from March 27 to 31. Each day of Energy Week will focus on a theme: The Future of Energy, Innovation, Research, Policy, and Education.

Monday: Future of Energy Day

Monday will include multiple Energy, Environment, and Equity (E3) Technology Innovator Conference discussions as well as an Energy Science, Technology and Policy Energy Symposium (EST&P) student competition and panel.

Sponsored by the Energy Innovation Center and Carnegie Mellon’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, E3 panels will focus on networking, the future of clean technology, and the future of grid modernization.

EST&P’s student competition will allow students to present novel ideas in low-carbon energy innovation, which includes advancements in both renewable and conventional energy. Finalists will eventually have to present their ideas to a panel of judges. There will also be a panel in the afternoon where guests and university faculty members will discuss the future of low-carbon energy and the associated career opportunities in energy.

Tuesday: Innovation Day

Tuesday will include two keynote speeches. Paul Browning, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, will start off the day by delivering a talk titled “The Next Gigawatt.” Later on, JB Straubel, Chief Technology Officer of Tesla Motors, will discuss opportunities for students in building a sustainable future.

Collegiate teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland will also be delivering pitches for the Allegheny Cleantech Collegiate University Prize Competition, sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Winners will receive cash prizes, mentoring, and services to advance their technology and company.

Wednesday: Research Day

Wednesday will include multiple 20-minute “Andy Talks” on innovative research by Carnegie Mellon faculty members. Topics include understanding the social and economic costs of transporting crude oil, how our job, energy, and national security depend on who makes what, and a multi-stakeholder approach to sustainable behavior change.

There will also be an energy-themed dramatic monologue competition performed by Carnegie Mellon drama students. The three pieces are: “Power to the Potato,” written by Annie Pulsipher and performed by Amanda Fallon Smith; “In the Dark,” written by Daniel Hirsch and performed by Aubyn Heglie; and “Mother Nature has Gas,” written by Seanan Palmero and performed by Lea DiMarchi. The audience will vote on which performances they like best.

Thursday: Policy Day

Thursday will include a roundtable on regional energy workforce and development. The roundtable’s purpose is to “better understand the current and potential future status of the region’s energy workforce, looking broadly at energy efficiency, renewables, shale and coal, and what workforce and development analysis and policies would enhance its development,” as stated on the official Carnegie Mellon Energy Week website.

In an additional panel, film scholars and historians will consider the local, global, and racial implications of the emergence of Pittsburgh as an “Energy Capital.” This conversation will be framed through the films Gasland, a documentary that follows director Josh Fox as he investigates the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing, and Promised Land, a story of two corporate salespeople who visit a rural town in an attempt to buy drilling rights from the local residents.

Friday: Education Day

Friday will include a keynote address titled “The Outlook for Electricity Supply and Demand, Transportation Energy Use, and Hydrocarbon Production in the United States,” presented by Howard Gruenspecht, the deputy administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Friday will also include several contesting energy panels which will focus on topics such as the promise and peril of petroleum work in America, understanding the risks of energy production, and the temporality of energy landscapes.

“Making energy more efficient, affordable, and sustainable is one of the biggest challenges of this century, and the Scott Institute and Carnegie Mellon have a lot to contribute. We’re looking forward to the conversations and interactions during Energy Week,” said Jared L. Cohon, president emeritus and director of the Scott Institute in a university press release. .

A full list of events can be found at