Distinguished Lectures

Distinguished Lectures 2

This program is designed to bring nationally recognized experts from academia, industry, and government to Notre Dame to discuss best practices, new technologies, and policy developments in energy. Lectures focus on topics most important to faculty and students at Notre Dame. Lectures for the 2017-2018 academic year are currently being planned. 

During the 2016-2017 academic year, the following lectures resulted from a survey that showed the number one energy topic of interest to students was solar energy. Each of these events examined solar from a different angel - policy, technology, history, business, and psychology. 

A Solar Panel: Making Solar Power a Reality brought together three panelists for a discussion about the technological, business, and policy sides of the future of solar power. Dr. Randall Ellingson, professor from The University of Toledo, Nicholas Strevel, senior manager from First Solar, and Joseph Karrasch, manager of asset investments/renewables from American Electric Power (AEP) offered their views of the current and future state of solar energy in the United States.

Got Married, Bought Solar: Which Was the Bad Decision? featured George S. Howard, PhD, professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology. The author of many books and articles that investigate ecological psychology, Howard also has hands-on business experience through his interaction with Inovateus Solar. His presentation explored the complexities of convincing ourselves to invest in solar as individuals and as a society.

Concentrating Solar Power, presented by ND Energy’s associate director Dr. Subhash L. Shinde. He shared his knowledge gained from working at Sandia National Laboratories and addressed the different Concentrating Solar Power technologies and plants currently operating in the United States. He also discussed research and development activities to increase efficiency and reduce cost and risk.

Making Cents Out of Solar was presented by Dr. Prashant Kamat, Rev. John A. Zahm Professor of Science in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Radiation Laboratory, and Concurrent Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He shared the history of his nearly thirty years of research in developing nanomaterials for cleaner and more efficient light energy conversion, as well as his vision for future research in photovoltaics. 

For more information or to get involved, contact Anne Berges Pillai, Education and Outreach Associate Program Director, at 574-631-9106 or apillai@nd.edu.