March 31, 2014

Ambri CEO and former state undersecretary of energy to speak on campus about our energy choices

The WPI experience is singular in its emphasis on not merely training for a career in the workplace, but also on civic duty and responsible participation in community. To this end, the use of energy in our daily lives has been a through-line in various endeavors throughout campus. Phil Giudice of AMBRI will be speaking on the topics of daily energy use when WPI hosts his speech as part of the ongoing seminar series.

“WPI provides a college education that is incredibly appropriate, not just to land a good job, but for a productive life in helping to lead our technological society,” says John Orr, director of WPI’s Energy Sustainability Project Center, who will be hosting the event. “A broad foundation in aspects of energy is an important part of that education.”

Providing context for that foundation, Giudice’s topic is “Perspectives on Creating a Better Energy Future.” The talk will provide a broad overview of our current energy playing field, as well as projections for what the future holds in terms of various energy related concerns.

“I will address all of our energy choices,” Giudice says, “however, my experiences are much more about stationary energy choices than mobility.”

Giudice has had a storied path of expertise in government, as well as the public and private sectors.  His diverse career took him from geologist to senior VP at EnerNOC, a Boston-based demand management company, to undersecretary of energy in the Massachusetts state government, leading the Department of Energy Resources, to CEO of a leading-edge electric energy storage company.

Says Orr, “This range of experience fits perfectly with the goal of this seminar series, which is to speak to the entire campus and beyond, not just to the researchers in specific areas of energy.”

From Eco-Reps, to Recyclemania, to various sustainability-based projects, WPI is at the forefront of a movement.

The responsibility of the individual consumer to make better, more informed decisions about energy use pervades various aspects of WPI life. From Eco-Reps, to Recyclemania, to various sustainability-based projects, WPI is at the forefront of a movement to create awareness for the importance of personal initiative in creating a better future.

Orr draws a link between this campus-wide initiative and the energy-based focus of Giudice’s upcoming presentation. “Every person has a stake in our energy future as a consumer of energy,” he says.  “The impacts of that consumption go beyond the specific purpose of the energy use, such as running an air conditioner, to the social and environmental impacts of the manner in which that energy was produced and transported.”

Giudice will address these impacts on Monday, March 31, at 5 pm in Higgins Labs 116.  Orr believes the speech will illuminate issues such as fracking, natural gas, and solar energy that many struggle to understand amid a changing energy landscape. He says, “I hope that the event will lead to both a deeper understanding of these issues and a stronger interest in personal involvement in shaping our energy future.”

Similarly, Giudice adds, “I would like to see the audience develop an appreciation for the idea that better energy options are valued, possible, and worth all efforts to create them. It is what I am working for day and night.”