September 03, 2015

Inaugural Regional Energy Forum set for Sept. 25

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Energy is a major part of everyone’s life, and a group at Southern Illinois University Carbondale plans a series of events to bring interested parties together to explore the issue and solutions for the future. 

The Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center will hold the first of these events, titled the Regional Energy Forum, later this month. The group plans to facilitate discussions on the future of energy, here and around the world. 

The event is set for noon, Sept. 25, at the Dunn Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. with lunch available at that time. To register and for more information go here. The event is free and open to the public, but organizers ask that those planning to attend register for planning purposes. 

ACERC is focused on finding energy solutions and training the workforce of the future to design, build and maintain it. It is the latest incarnation of SIU’s long association and leadership in energy research and technology. 

The Regional Energy Forum will provide inspiration and resources to create energy initiatives and jobs in the region. The event will bring together local businesses, industry and energy companies, along with educators, trainers, students, employees and other facilitators to develop a core working group. 

Organizers aim to develop a regional resource center to help meet the challenges of the energy industry. To do so, they hope to determine the basic skills and knowledge that all employees should have, and develop areas of study and tracks for students in community college or a university. They also hope to identify job placement channels based on feedback. 

The group also wants to determine common and specialized areas of research and collaboration interest and match those to faculty.  They anticipate further tasks emerging as the group evolves. 

Organizers say the forums will provide an ongoing opportunity for industry officials, students and faculty to network and listen to keynote speakers. Tomasz Wiltowski, professor of mechanical engineering and energy processes and ACERC director, is slated to speak on SIU energy research and its local applications at the forum. He will be joined by Peter Schubert, director of the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy, who also will give a presentation. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentations. 

You can join the group SIU Energy Group on LinkedIn for online discussions regarding the forum.