Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas-Austin; Chief Science and Technology Officer, ENGIE (Paris, France)
Thursday, June 3
1:50 - 2:30 PM (ET)
Keynote: “Power Trip: Transforming Past Societies to Address Today’s Looming Crisis”
The worldwide energy sector is going through dramatic shifts in energy demand, end-uses, and sources. Population growth and economic growth are driving up total demand. Industrialization, urbanization, electrification and motorization are changing how we use energy. And a policy push for domestic, low-carbon and renewable fuels is changing our sources of energy. At the same time, we are entering an era where markets, technologies and policies are enabling dramatic increases in production of energy that is affecting global economies, the environment, and our national security posture. In parallel, our energy and information sectors are merging to form smarter energy systems and more energy-intensive information systems. For this talk, Dr. Webber will give a big-picture overview of global energy trends mixed in with anecdotes, historical snippets, and unexpected examples that will give a surprising look into the future of energy.
Dr. Michael E. Webber is based in Paris, France where he serves as the Chief Science and Technology Officer at ENGIE, a global energy & infrastructure services company. Webber is also the Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources at the University of Texas at Austin. Webber’s expertise spans research and education at the convergence of engineering, policy, and commercialization on topics related to innovation, energy, and the environment. His latest book Power Trip: the Story of Energy was published May 7, 2019 by Basic Books with a 6-part companion series that aired on PBS, Amazon Prime and iTunes starting Earth Day 2020. His first book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival, which addresses the connection between earth’s most valuable resources and offers a hopeful approach toward a sustainable future, was published in 2016 by Yale Press and was converted into a documentary by Alpheus Media. He was selected as a Fellow of ASME and as a member of the 4th class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars, which is a leadership training program organized by Presidents George W. Bush and William J. Clinton. Webber has authored more than 400 publications, holds 6 patents, and serves on the advisory board for Scientific American. A successful entrepreneur, Webber was one of three founders in 2015 for an educational technology startup, DISCO Learning Media, which was acquired in 2018. Webber holds a B.S. and B.A. from UT Austin, and M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He was honored as an American Fellow of the German Marshall Fund and an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow on four separate occasions by the University of Texas for exceptional teaching.