|April 5, 2010|
Smart Grid focus of third alumni symposium
Rep. Paul D. Tonko, a nationally recognized expert on energy issues, will be the keynote speaker at a symposium, “The Smart Grid: Who Should Control Our Energy Future?” at Union College April 9-11.
Tonko will speak at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the Nott Memorial to about 40 invited guests from a variety of backgrounds as part of the College’s third Alumni and Friends Symposium. The idea is to help graduates re-engage in the intellectual life they enjoyed at Union. Tonko’s speech is free and open to the public.
Congressman Tonko is a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and serves on the subcommittees for Higher Education and Healthy Families and Communities. He is also a member of the Committee on Science and Technology. As a member of the New York State Assembly from 1983 to 2007, Tonko served as chairman of a standing committee on energy; after leaving the Assembly, he was president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Throughout the weekend, guests will participate in a series of workshops to examine major issues surrounding America’s development and implementation of a smart electrical grid and propose solutions.
A panel discussion Saturday morning, “Implementing the Smart Grid,” will feature David Pacyna `83, senior vice president and general manager of Siemens Energy Inc.; Kannan Tinnium of General Electric Global Research; Martin Insogna, of the New York State Department of Public Service; Randy A. Bowers, New York Independent System Operator, Inc.; Mary E. Reidy, Smart Technology Center, National Grid; and Ron Ambrosio, IBM Global Research leader, Energy and Utilities Industry.
Also on Saturday, Richard H.K. Vietor ’67 will present a case study, “Cape Wind: Offshore Wind Energy in the U.S.A.” Vietor is the Paul Whiton Cherington Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and senior associate dean for the Asian Initiative.
The symposium opens Friday with “Smart Grid Opportunities and Challenges” led by Gary Cohen ’78, IBM general manager, Global Communications Sector.
Last year’s symposium on health care reform featured Ezekiel Emanuel as keynote speaker. Now serving as a health care expert for the White House, he is the brother of Rahm, President Obama’s chief of staff.
The first Alumni and Friends Symposium, held in June 2007, was modeled after the “Moral Dilemmas of Governing” class led for many years by Byron Nichols. Twenty former students of Nichols, a popular political science professor from 1968 to 2008, returned to Union for a spirited discussion on the moral and political issues surrounding illegal immigration.
For more information on this year’s symposium, including a schedule of events, click here.