Energy Institute hosts first student-led Texas A&M Conference on Energy

October 5, 2016
| By: Aubrey Bloom

The Texas A&M Energy Research Society, an organization of doctoral students and postdoctoral associates, along with the Texas A&M Energy Institute and the Texas A&M Energy Club, an undergraduate student organization, hosted the inaugural Texas A&M Conference on Energy last week on the Texas A&M University campus. The Energy Institute is a joint center of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Texas A&M University.

Dr. Stratos Pistikopoulos, interim co-director of the Energy Institute, said the conference was the “brainchild” of the late Dr. Christodoulos A. Floudas, the institute's former director who passed away in August. Floudas’ wife and daughter attended the conference’s opening proceedings and many presentations over the entire three-day event.

“He passionately believed that what has been lacking is an [organization] where the Ph.D. students and the post-doc students could interact together across the university and across the width and breadth of the energy research that shapes the energy landscape within this university,” Pistikopoulos said.

Floudas envisioned a conference on energy organized exclusively by students that would bring together Texas A&M students and faculty members working on energy-related research and scholarship.

“He would be extremely proud of the Texas A&M Energy Research Society if he were with us today with us,” Pistikopoulos added. “There are over 450 members already, and this is the first event.”

The conference, which was organized by students in the Energy Research Society and Energy Club, featured industry speakers, 89 student posters and 94 student presentations in a wide range of breakout session focus areas. Dr. Karan L. Watson, provost and executive vice president of Texas A&M said in her opening remarks that sharing of information is crucial to the future.

“This is a very important conference because we’re going to talk about what’s going to make the world a better place or not, and that is energy,” she said. “We like to talk about a whole lot of other things that are important to the world, but when you get down to it, energy is crucial. How we find it, how we process it, how we utilize it, how we regulate it, how we share it and how we hoard it determines what kind of world we live in.”

“In sharing this information, we show that we care for each other,” Watson said.

Texas A&M is leading the way in energy research on a number of fronts. The Texas A&M Energy Institute pursues and supports new approaches for multi-disciplinary energy research, education and external partnerships. These approaches cross departmental and college boundaries and address all facets of the energy landscape that naturally connect engineering, sciences, technologies, economics, law and policy decisions. Dr. Narasimha Reddy, TEES associate agency director for strategic initiatives and centers, said the institute continues Texas A&M’s leadership in the energy field.

“Energy is a pillar by which Texas A&M is recognized,” he said. “The Energy Institute is a focus point now and I’m hoping that this conference will not only increase our visibility even more, but build on the strength that we already have.”

Photo: Jose Eduardo explains his research on the "Effect of Contact Hysteresis on Droplet Shedding on Induced Acoustic Vibrations"

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