Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will host its fourth annual Energy Symposium.
Titled "Building the Talent Pipeline for the Energy Industry," the meeting will address the conflicting need for reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly energy—which increases every day—with the daunting fact that few engineers have the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill this worldwide demand. A large attrition rate is also anticipated among power engineers over the next five to 10 years, compounding a shortage of skills when energy innovation is most needed.
Cheryl LaFleur, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will deliver the keynote address. This symposium also brings together representatives from electric and gas utilities, independent electric system operators, manufacturers, contract firms, educational organizations, and interested students to learn about the educational implications of current developments in electric energy policy, grid modernization, and cybersecurity; to share progress in building a pipeline of a well-qualified, diverse workforce to lead the industry in the future; and to stimulate students to consider careers in the energy industry.
Areas of focus for each year's symposium are chosen by the Energy Strategy Board, composed of industry leaders interested in specialized graduate education.
Oct. 8, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
9 a.m. - Keynote by Chairman LaFleur: "The New Energy Economy: Challenges and Opportunities"
Rubin Campus Center, Odeum
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass 01609
National Grid chose WPI to host these symposiums to identify education and training needs of the power industry over the next five years and beyond. "WPI is the top power engineering educator in the region and one of the top educators in the nation," said Mike Ahern, director of power systems within WPI's Corporate and Professional Education division. "Right now, we have over 160 students taking our graduate power engineering courses. Over the last three years, we have educated students from 31 states and six other countries. Our undergraduate courses are surging with strong student enrollment. At the same time, we're performing important research, especially in the area of adding battery energy storage to power grids."