The inaugural Annual Energy Frontiers Event of the CU Energy Club was held April 1st 2010 and consisted of Student Research Symposium Poster Presentations, and talks of four high profile speakers of today’s Energy Economy.

In the morning the well attended student research symposium showcased a wide variety of Renewable and Sustainable Energy research topics varying from Milking Algae to Smart Grids – all presented by enthusiastic University of Colorado student researchers. This led to many animated discussions and three talented presenters being picked as category winners by a panel of RASEI and Industry Energy Experts.

After these presentations our high profile speakers gave their talks:

Dan Arvizu, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Dr. Arvizu gave an intruiging presentation on the extensive and broad type of energy research performed at NREL. He presented on current hurdles and the many opportunities in the current energy world and the renewable energy space specifically.

Doug Cameron, Chief Science Officer and Managing Director of Piper Jaffray, and former Chief Science Officer of Khosla Ventures. Dr. Cameron talked about entrepeneurship in renewable energy  science and technology in general and painted a broad space of many current emerging ventures. Amongst others he presented on an ongoing development which will likely lead to a sort of cambrian explosion of new renewably produced chemicals as the basis of the chemical   manufacturing and biofuels industries.

Jay Herrmann, Vice President of Customer and Community Services, Xcel Energy. Mr. Hermmann gave a very insightful talk about a utility company’s perspective on the energy economy, specifically on a company that actively pursues expansion of renewable energy generation within regulatory and financial limitations.

Michael Dorenfeld, Vice President of North America Power Group, CITI. As CITI Groups’ renewable generation expert, Mr. Dorenfeld presented an insider’s view into the financial realities and opportunities of renewable energy generation. This included the current situation and future financial potential of various renewable generation sources, including some  limitations under current market  conditions (e.g. without a carbon tax).


In between talks there was an industry networking forum with a broad number of companies working in the energy space (from law firms to biofuel producers and energy efficiency consultants). Company representatives and their materials resulted in lively exchanges with many of CU’s energy focused students.

All in all the inaugural CU Energy’s Energy Frontiers was a great succes, made possible by the relentless effort of the 2009/2010 officers and many engaged volunteers; a great start of a very worthy series of annual events!


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