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EF Poster_2

Press Release of Energy Frontiers 2013

April 4, 2013 | University of Colorado Boulder | UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom

10:00 am – 12:30 pm: Poster Session

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: FREE Lunch

12:30 – 1:00 pm: Keynote address by David Gardiner

1:00 – 1:30 pm: Keynote address by Michael Potts

1:30 – 2:30 pm: Panel discussion on “Competition and Cooperation Between the U.S. and China in Energy Policy”

  • Mark Safty, Holland & Hart LLP | Partner [Moderator]
  • Clay Stranger, Rocky Mountain Institute | Manager
  • Ted James, NREL | Strategic Energy Analyst
  • Adam Reed, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute | Research Faculty

2:30 – 3:30 pm: Panel discussion on “The Future of Energy Storage and Implications for the Electric Grid”

  • Paul Komor, University of Colorado | Professor [Moderator]
  • Paul Denholm, NREL | Strategic Energy Analyst
  • Peter Lilienthal, HOMER Energy | CEO
  • Cody Hill, Xtreme Power | Power Systems and Control Engineer
  • Sam Jaffe, Navigant | Energy Analyst

3:30 – 5:00 pm: Career Fair


The third annual Energy Frontiers was held on Thursday April 5th.  The event looked to build upon past events, and moved to the larger and more central location of the University Memorial Center.  Over the course of the day, the conference was attended by several hundred students, faculty, alumni, and Boulder community members.  The day consisted of a poster research session, a panel on how a natural gas boom will affect renewables, and a career fair.

The event kicked off at 11 am with a poster session, showcasing the energy focused research of 27 students.  The presenters were separated into 6 categories, and judged by CU professors, and researchers from NREL.  RASEI, a cu energy club and Energy Frontiers sponsor, provided $2,000 in prize money to the best posters to reward their work.  After the judging had commenced, conference attendees were able to chat with researchers about their posters while an informal lunch was served.


Following the poster session, the panel discussion, “The Changing Landscape of our Energy Future: What does a Natural Gas Boom Mean for Renewables” began.  This high level panel included:

  • Mike Ming, the Secretary of Energy from Oklahoma who had over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry
  • Neal Lurie, the executive director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, who heads efforts to expand solar markets and advance solar policy
  • Jeff Logan A researcher in NREL’s Market and Policy Impact Analysis group, who had authored several papers about the effect Natural Gas would have on Renewables
  • Seth McIntosh the VP of Corporate Strategy and Transactions for Renewable Energy Solutions-Americas (A wind development firm)
  • Professor William Boyd A Professor in the Law school who teaches on energy law and regulation, climate change law & policy, and environmental law. 

The panel provided valuable insight into our energy future


The final portion of the day included a career fair attended by roughly 20 local and regional energy companies.  This was a big success and provided a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with representatives from local companies in a more personal manner then normal career fairs, due to the topical nature of the event.

The event began to attract the attention of several local media outlets.  University communications wrote a press release on the event, and News team boulder did a story on the event which can be seen below.


For the second annual Energy Frontiers, held on April 14th in the Fleming building of the CU Campus, the CU Energy Club partnered with our sponsor, RASEI, to host a great event. The event featured a town hall session, a poster competition, a keynote address and panel discussion, and an energy focused career fair.

The event kicked off with a RASEI town hall session.  The town hall was highlighted by speeches from Mike Knotek, RASEI Director, Russ Moore, CU-Boulder Provost, Kent Rochford, Acting Director of NIST and Ray Stults, Associate Laboratory Director at NREL, all discussing the future of RASEI and how they hoped to connect the energy research being done at CU with NREL, NIST, NOAA and other national labs.  Incoming and outgoing CU Energy Presidents Jeremy Halperin and Scot Woolley also gave updates on the Energy Club’s history and future.

Following the town hall session, the poster session began with 24 students presenting their energy focused research and business plans.  The posters were judged by researchers from NREL, and $1000 in prize money was awarded to the winners.  Lunch followed the poster session, giving attendees the chance to network and mingle amongst themselves and with the poster presenters.

Following lunch, Jae Edmonds, the Chief Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Labs gave a keynote addressing the challenges of scale and complexity.  He was followed up by several high level panelists including:

  • Michael Knotek, RASEI Director
  • The Honorable Gale Norton, Former Secretary of the Interior
  • Stephen Brand, Former VP of Technology for Conoco Phillips
  • Ray Stults, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences at NREL
  • Chuck Kutscher, Principal Engineer and Group Manager of the Thermal Systems Group, NREL


This gave students a chance to hear a broad perspective on energy from scientists, former politicians, and business leaders.

The day wrapped up with an energy Career fair with attendance from 20 local energy companies.  This gave students the tremendous opportunity to network with energy professionals from the full spectrum of energy companies.

By partnering with RASEI, there was a much greater level of participation with representatives from NREL and other local national labs, as well as with CU faculty.  Overall, the event was attended by over hundreds of students, NREL fellows and CU Faculty.



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!