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UTSA energy institute launches speaker series

By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist

(April 21, 2009)--The UTSA Institute for Conventional, Alternative and Renewable Energy (ICARE) will host the Innovations in Energy Forum from 3 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 22 in the Institute of Texan Cultures Connally Conference Room on the UTSA HemisFair Plaza Campus. Free and open to the public, the event is the inaugural seminar in a series.

Energy experts Les Shephard and Carol Tombari will keynote the inaugural event. The ICARE series will explore various energy topics in alignment with UTSA's strategic plan, "A Shared Vision: UTSA 2016."

The institute was established last year to provide a forum for industry, government and academic leaders to collaborate on solutions to the energy crisis. Nearly a year ago, the inaugural forum, North American Energy Summit, brought together more than 100 energy leaders to discuss fossil fuels, renewable energy, nuclear energy and green business practices.

"UTSA recognizes the need for a collaborative energy forum in South Texas," said Robert Gracy, UTSA vice president for research. "ICARE allows UTSA researchers to join with others in industry and government to explore and address global energy trends, best practices and new policies to address the energy challenges we collectively face."

Les Shephard will speak on "Securing America's Energy Future: A Role for Science and Technology." He is vice president of the Energy, Security and Defense Technologies Division at Sandia National Laboratories, a multi-program, science-based engineering laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M.

Shephard is engaged in pursuing technology solutions that address 21st century energy, water, security and environmental challenges that contribute to U.S. economic prosperity and global stability in regions of high strategic importance. His division at Sandia Labs is pursuing fundamental and applied research leading to breakthroughs that contribute to better understanding of the energy-water nexus, characterization of the geosphere, development of alternative transportation fuels, responsible environmental stewardship and advancing renewable energy options. The organization is working with groups in more than 100 nations to help create a peaceful and free world through technology.

Carol Tombari has specialized in energy and environmental policy and programs for more than 25 years. She is manager of stakeholder relations at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where she works on electric utility and economic development issues. At UTSA's April 22 lecture, she will speak on "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: Jump Starting America's New Energy Economy."

Tombari's career includes directing for a decade the State of Texas energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, working for two Texas governors and serving as an electric utility regulator and natural resources adviser to the lieutenant governor.

Reservations for the ICARE Innovations in Energy Forum are not required, however seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact Yvette Rivas at (210) 458-6817.

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