Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy

 

"Meeting the Renewable Energy Challenge" Series of Events

Various Dates, Times and Venues - see schedule of events
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 7:00 PM to Thursday, October 16th, 2014 9:00 PM
Solar Panel and Wind Turbines

This symposium takes a broad look at the scientific challenges and policy issues surrounding renewable energy, with special reference to Iowa and the Midwest.  Should the government support a shift from nonrenewable to renewable sources of energy?  Will shifting toward renewables decrease the pace of climate change or make us more energy secure? What are the technical barriers to rapidly increasing our reliance on renewable energy?  What policy changes are necessary or desirable in order to promote renewable energy growth?  Topics covered will include infrastructure development (e.g. wind farms; transmission lines), biofuels, emerging environmental problems, and distributed energy policy.

 

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

October 8, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Shambaugh Auditorium, UI Main Library
Dirty Business: "Clean Coal" and the Battle for Our Energy Future 

A screening of the documentary, Dirty Business: "Clean Coal" and the Battle for Our Energy Future will be held at Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library as a kickoff to the following week's activities.

October 15, 2:00 - 5:00 pm, and 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Main Lounge, Iowa Memorial Union
Student Energy Expo and Free Public Debate

A Student Energy Expo (October 15), will offer opportunities for students to learn and share information about their own research related to renewable energy and related topics.  That evening, Mark Jacobson, Robert Bryce, and members of the UI Student Debate Team will debate the possibility of 100% renewable energy by 2030. (More details on 'Program' tab below)

October 16, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, and 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Main Lounge, Iowa Memorial Union
Meeting the Renewable Energy Challenge Symposium and Free Public Lecture

This symposium takes a broad look at the scientific challenges and policy issues surrounding renewable energy, with special reference to Iowa and the Midwest.  That evening, James Hansen will present a public lecture on global climate policies.  (More details on 'Program' tab below)

See full program details below, and please check back for more information as plans develop and speakers are confirmed.

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Session Details Speakers
7:00 PM Dirty Business: "Clean Coal" and the Battle for Our Energy Future
  1. Jeff Biggers (Moderator)
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Session Details Speakers
2:00 PM Student Energy Expo
2:00 PM Student Poster Session
7:00 PM Renewable Energy Debate
  1. Mark Jacobson
  2. Robert Bryce
  3. Liam Hancock
  4. Jeffrey Ding
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Session Details Speakers
8:00 AM Coffee & Registration
8:00 AM Meeting the Renewable Energy Challenge Symposium
8:45 AM Welcome Remarks
  1. Peter Damiano
  2. P. Barry Butler
9:00 AM Morning Keynote
  1. Mark Jacobson
9:30 AM Panel 1: What is the Likely Future of Renewable Energy?
  1. Dean A. Crist
  2. Todd Foley
  3. Peter Grossman
  4. Ronald McMullen
11:00 AM Morning Break
11:15 AM Panel 2: Biofuels
  1. Jerald L. Schnoor, PhD, PE, BCEE
  2. Daniel J. Oh
  3. Grant Menke
  4. Robert C. Brown
  1. Ted Heindel (Moderator)
12:45 PM Lunch (provided) and Keynote Presentation
  1. Robert Bryce
1:30 PM Panel 3: Infrastructure Challenges
  1. Ramteen Sioshansi
  2. Joseph J. Gardner
  3. Manisha Patel
  4. Raghuraman Mudumbai
  5. Ben York
  1. Chuck Connerly (Moderator)
3:00 PM Keynote - Climate Change & Energy: A Global Perspective
  1. James Hansen
3:30 PM Afternoon Break
3:45 PM Panel 4: Distributed Generation
  1. Barry Shear
  2. Scott Spak
  3. Libby Jacobs
  4. Scott Blankman
  1. Craig Just (Moderator)
7:00 PM James Hansen Lecture - Speaking Truth to Power: Lessons from Iowa and Relevance to Global Climate Policies
  1. James Hansen
  • Scott Blankman

    Alliant Energy

    Scott Blankman is the Director of Environmental Affairs and Energy Markets at Alliant Energy.  He is responsible for environmenta compliance of the generation and energy delivery operations and energy market trading, energy risk management, fossil fuel procurement, and support of customer-owned generation and energy market operation activities of the company.  He facilitates the development of strategic planning in support of strategic initiatives.

     

    Scott has been with Alliant since 2005, first as Assistant Controller of Utility Operations, then as Director of Business and Financial Performance in Generation, and then as Director of Energy Markets, before moving to his current role earlier this year.  He holds a BA in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

  • Robert C. Brown

    Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State University

    Dr. Brown is Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU).  He also holds courtesy academic appointments in the Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering.  He is the founding director of the Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State University. His research focuses on the thermochemical processing of biomass and fossil fuels into energy, fuels, and chemicals.

     

    Dr. Brown helped establish the first graduate program in the United States to offer graduate degrees in biorenewable resources and technology.  He has recently published a second edition of his textbook, “Biorenewable Resources.” Dr. Brown is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and Distinguished Iowa Scientist of the Iowa Academy of Science.  He has been recognized by Biofuels Digest as one of the “Top 100 People” in bioenergy for four consecutive years since 2010.
     

  • Robert Bryce

    The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

    Robert Bryce is one of America’s most prominent journalists. A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, his articles on energy, innovation, and other topics have appeared in a myriad of publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to National Review and Counterpunch.

     

    Bryce has given over 200 invited and keynote lectures to groups of all kinds, ranging from the Marine Corps War College to the University of Calgary. He has also appeared on dozens of television and radio programs ranging from PBS and NPR to Fox and CNN.

     

    He’s the author of five books on energy covering everything from Enron’s bankruptcy to the digitization of drilling technology and the future of batteries. In 2010, he published Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future. In May 2014, he published Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong.

     

    He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Lorin, and their three children.
     

  • Robert Bryce

    The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

    Robert Bryce is one of America’s most prominent journalists. A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, his articles on energy, innovation, and other topics have appeared in a myriad of publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to National Review and Counterpunch.

     

    Bryce has given over 200 invited and keynote lectures to groups of all kinds, ranging from the Marine Corps War College to the University of Calgary. He has also appeared on dozens of television and radio programs ranging from PBS and NPR to Fox and CNN.

     

    He’s the author of five books on energy covering everything from Enron’s bankruptcy to the digitization of drilling technology and the future of batteries. In 2010, he published Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future. In May 2014, he published Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong.

     

    He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Lorin, and their three children.
     

  • P. Barry Butler

    Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Iowa

    P. Barry Butler was appointed provost of The University of Iowa in May of 2011, after serving as interim provost since October 2010. Prior to his appointment, Butler was dean of the UI College of Engineering, where he holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.  He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979 and 1981, respectively.  He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1984, also from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1984.

     

    Butler has worked as a visiting research fellow for the U.S. Navy and Sandia National Laboratories and as a visiting faculty member at Université de Provence in Marseille, France.  He is active in a number of aerospace-related instructional and research activities at UI.  He currently serves on the boards of several state and national technology-based organizations committed to economic growth and the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, including the American Wind Energy Association, for which he also serves as research committee co-chair.  He serves as the Governor's delegate to the Aerospace States Association.  Butler is an active participant in Iowa’s STEM Initiative, and has been a strong advocate for working with industry, community colleges, and Iowa’s K-12 educators to promote STEM education. 

  • Dean A. Crist

    Vice President of Regulation, MidAmerican Energy Company

    Dean Crist is Vice President of Regulation at MidAmerican Energy Company. Mr. Crist has been with MidAmerican for more than 20 years. His responsibilities include oversight of the regulation and legislative affairs group, input on regulatory and legislative strategies and coordination of ratemaking efforts for the company. Prior to his current position, Mr. Crist was responsible for the financial and operating performance of MidAmerican's generating and transmission assets. He also managed the gas and electric wholesale trading organizations for MidAmerican. Additionally, Mr. Crist serves as a member of the board of managers, Electric Transmission Texas, LLC and vice president of MEHC Texas Transco, LLC. MidAmerican Energy Company provides regulated electric and natural gas service to nearly 1.4 million customers in Iowa and surrounding states. Mr. Crist holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and is a registered professional engineer in Iowa.

  • Peter Damiano

    Director, Public Policy Center

    Peter Damiano is the Director of the Public Policy Center (PPC) and Professor, Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry at the University of Iowa. He started the health policy research program at the PPC in 1990 and has been Director of the Center since July 2007. He is a health services researcher who investigates issues relating to access to care, quality, cost and outcomes of care. Dr. Damiano has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and research monographs and has been the principal investigator on over 50 research studies funded by federal, state and Foundation sources. He is a former staff intern in the US Senate, a Robert Wood Johnson Dental Health Services Research Scholar and HRSA Primary Care Policy Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry (DDS) and UCLA School of Public Health (MPH).

  • Jeffrey Ding

    University of Iowa Debate Club

    Jeffrey Ding is a junior majoring in political science, economics, and Chinese. He has participated in policy debate for the past nine years and achieved both individual and team success on the national level. With his debate partner Liam Hancock, he won both high school national championship tournaments, the Tournament of Champions and the National Forensics League National Tournament, in his senior year of high school. In college, he represented the A. Craig Baird Forum at a public debate on Rebalancing Health Care in the Heartland Forum and won the District 4 National Debate Tournament qualifying tournament. He also currently serves as the Vice President of University of Iowa Student Government. 

  • Todd Foley

    American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)

    Todd Foley, ACORE’s Senior Vice President, Policy & Government Relations, leads strategic integration of policy development, research, external communications and interaction with Federal and state government and regulatory officials.  He has over 25 years experience in Federal and state policy, renewable energy market design, business development and sales.  Prior to joining ACORE, he directed global and US policy, communications and business development and profile sales for BP Solar.  Prior to moving into BP’s renewables business, he directed US environmental, government and regulatory affairs for BP America.  He also served in several US government positions, including the White House, US Senate, US EPA and OSHA.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Solar Alliance, Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Associations (TREIA). He received his B.S. from Boston College and law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University. 

  • Joseph J. Gardner

    Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO)

    Mr. Gardner is responsible for MISO’s forward markets and operational processes, overseeing the administration of MISO’s Financial Transmission Rights Market, the Day-Ahead Energy and Ancillary Services Market, Transmission and Markets Settlements, outage coordination, seams administration, and tariff administration and scheduling.  In addition, his responsibilities include leadership of MISO’s market engineering and modeling services.  Previously, Mr. Gardner played a key role in the development and launch of MISO’s market and reliability functions.  Mr. Gardner joined MISO in 2000.  Prior to joining MISO, Mr. Gardner spent 16 years at Central and South West Services (CSWS) in Dallas, Texas, where he earned positions of increasing responsibility, including Director of System Operations.  Mr. Gardner earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.

  • Peter Grossman

    Butler University

    Peter Z. Grossman is the Clarence Efroymson Professor of Economics at Butler University.  It is a position he has held since 1994.


    Dr. Grossman received his BA degree in philosophy from Columbia University and his MA and Ph.D. in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a student of Nobel Laureate Douglass North.

     
    Grossman has published extensively on energy-related issues.  Last year, Cambridge University Press issued his analytic history of American energy policy, titled U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure, which was endorsed by Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling and was called “The Energy Book of the Year” on a popular blog. He is also co-author of a primer on energy and public policy (Introduction to Energy, Cambridge University Press 1990, 1998), and co-editor and principal author of The End of a Natural Monopoly: Deregulation and Competition in the Electric Power Industry, (Taylor & Francis). His scholarly articles on energy have appeared in such journals as Energy Policy, the Cato Journal, and the Journal of Public Policy.


    Dr. Grossman has published more than 200 works in all, including seven books and articles for both scholarly and general publications. From 2000 through 2007 he wrote a monthly column on economic issues for the Indianapolis Star, and he has contributed numerous commentaries to such publications as the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor.

  • Liam Hancock

    University of Iowa Debate Club

    Liam graduated from West High School in Iowa City in 2012.  He participated in policy debate throughout high school and won two national championships, the Tournament of Champions and the National Forensics League National Tournament with Jeffrey Ding as his partner.  He currently serves at West High as an assistant debate coach.  

     

    Liam is a Junior at the University of Iowa, with a double major in Political Science (B.A.) with a focus on political communication, and Economics (B.S.) with a focus on public policy.  He continues to participate in collegiate debate. Last year he and his debate partner finished in the top 16 in the country at the collegiate National Debate Tournament.

  • James Hansen

    Columbia University

    Dr. James Hansen, formerly Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is Adjunct Professor and at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where he directs a program in Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions. He was trained in physics and astronomy in the space science program of Dr. James Van Allen at the University of Iowa, receiving a bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in physics and mathematics, master’s degree in astronomy, and Ph. D. in physics in 1967. Dr.Hansen was a visiting student, at the Institute of Astrophysics, University of Kyoto and Dept. of Astronomy, Tokyo University, Japan from 1965-1966. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Iowa in 1967. Except for 1969, when he was an NSF post-doctoral scientist at Leiden Observatory under Prof. H.C. van de Hulst, he has spent his post-doctoral career at NASA GISS.In his early research Dr. Hansen used telescopic observations of Venus to extract detailed information on the physical properties of the cloud and haze particles that veil Venus. Since the mid-1970s, Dr. Hansen has focused on studies and computer simulations of the Earth's climate, for the purpose of understanding the human impact on global climate. He is best known for his testimony on climate change to Congress in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue.

     

    In recent years Dr. Hansen has drawn attention to the danger of passing climate tipping points, producing irreversible climate impacts that would yield a different planet from the one on which civilization developed. Dr. Hansen disputes the contention, of fossil fuel interests and governments that support them, that it is an almost god-given fact that all fossil fuels must be burned with their combustion products discharged into the atmosphere. Instead Dr. Hansen has outlined steps that areneeded to stabilize climate, with a cleaner atmosphere and ocean, and he emphasizes the need for the public to influence government and industry policies.

     

    Dr. Hansen was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1995 and, in 2001, received the Heinz Award for environment and the American Geophysical Union's Roger Revelle Medal. Dr. Hansen received the World Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Medal from the Duke of Edinburgh in 2006 and was designated by Time Magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2006. In 2007 Dr. Hansen won the Dan David Prize in the field of Quest for Energy, the Leo Szilard Award of the American Physical Society for Use of Physics for the Benefit of Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility. In 2008, he won the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Science and was also awarded both the Ohio State University’s Bownocker Medal and the Desert Research Institute’s Nevada Medal. In 2009, Dr. Hansen receivedthe American Meteorological Society’s Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal.In 2010 he received the Sophie Prize and the Blue Planet Prize.

  • James Hansen

    Columbia University

    Dr. James Hansen, formerly Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is Adjunct Professor and at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where he directs a program in Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions. He was trained in physics and astronomy in the space science program of Dr. James Van Allen at the University of Iowa, receiving a bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in physics and mathematics, master’s degree in astronomy, and Ph. D. in physics in 1967. Dr.Hansen was a visiting student, at the Institute of Astrophysics, University of Kyoto and Dept. of Astronomy, Tokyo University, Japan from 1965-1966. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Iowa in 1967. Except for 1969, when he was an NSF post-doctoral scientist at Leiden Observatory under Prof. H.C. van de Hulst, he has spent his post-doctoral career at NASA GISS.In his early research Dr. Hansen used telescopic observations of Venus to extract detailed information on the physical properties of the cloud and haze particles that veil Venus. Since the mid-1970s, Dr. Hansen has focused on studies and computer simulations of the Earth's climate, for the purpose of understanding the human impact on global climate. He is best known for his testimony on climate change to Congress in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue.

     

    In recent years Dr. Hansen has drawn attention to the danger of passing climate tipping points, producing irreversible climate impacts that would yield a different planet from the one on which civilization developed. Dr. Hansen disputes the contention, of fossil fuel interests and governments that support them, that it is an almost god-given fact that all fossil fuels must be burned with their combustion products discharged into the atmosphere. Instead Dr. Hansen has outlined steps that areneeded to stabilize climate, with a cleaner atmosphere and ocean, and he emphasizes the need for the public to influence government and industry policies.

     

    Dr. Hansen was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1995 and, in 2001, received the Heinz Award for environment and the American Geophysical Union's Roger Revelle Medal. Dr. Hansen received the World Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Medal from the Duke of Edinburgh in 2006 and was designated by Time Magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2006. In 2007 Dr. Hansen won the Dan David Prize in the field of Quest for Energy, the Leo Szilard Award of the American Physical Society for Use of Physics for the Benefit of Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility. In 2008, he won the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Science and was also awarded both the Ohio State University’s Bownocker Medal and the Desert Research Institute’s Nevada Medal. In 2009, Dr. Hansen receivedthe American Meteorological Society’s Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal.In 2010 he received the Sophie Prize and the Blue Planet Prize.

  • Libby Jacobs

    Iowa Utilities Board

    Libby Jacobs began serving on the Iowa Utilities Board on May 1, 2011. She was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to fill a term that runs through April 30, 2017. Additionally, Governor Branstad appointed Jacobs Chair of the Board. She serves in that capacity from May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2015.

     

    Jacobs is a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) member and has been appointed to serve as Co-Vice Chair of NARUC’s Committee on Electricity. Jacobs is also a member of the Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal and the Task Force on Environmental Regulation and Generation. Jacobs serves as Vice-President of the Organization of MISO States (OMS) and is a member of the OMS Executive Committee. She is also a member of the MISO Advisory Committee. She is a voting member on the Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council (EISPC). Jacobs serves on the advisory council of the Center for Public Utilities (CPU) at New Mexico State University as well as the advisory board of the Financial Research Institute (FRI). She is also a member of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC).

     

    Prior to joining the Iowa Utilities Board, Jacobs was president of The Jacobs Group, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, board development, community outreach, and fund development.  Previously, she was Director of Community Relations for the Principal Financial Group.  In addition, Jacobs’ career includes professional and management-level positions in the telecommunications and non-profit industries.

     

    Jacobs served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1994 to 2008. She was elected by her peers to serve as Majority Whip for seven years. Jacobs also sat on the Commerce, State Government, and Appropriations Committees.

     

    Jacobs has been recognized with several honors, including the 2008 West Des Moines Citizen of the Year, 2008 Drake University Outstanding Master of Public Administration Alumnus Award, 2008 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Business Leadership Award, 2005 Iowa Grocers Association Legislative Leadership Award, and the 2001 Des Moines Business Record Woman of Influence.

     

    Jacobs earned her Bachelor of Arts degree “With Distinction” in political science from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and a Master’s of Public Administration degree from Drake University. She and her husband, Steve, reside in West Des Moines and have two adult daughters.

  • Mark Jacobson

    Stanford University

    Mark Z. Jacobson is Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment and of the Precourt Institute for Energy.  He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering, an A.B. in Economics, and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford in 1988.  He received an M.S. and PhD in Atmospheric Sciences in 1991 and 1994, respectively, from UCLA and started on the faculty at Stanford in 1994. He develops and applies computer models to understand air pollution, global warming, and renewable energy resources.  He has published two textbooks of two editions each and 140 peer-reviewed journal articles. He received the 2005 American Meteorological Society Henry G. Houghton Award and the 2013 American Geophysical Union
    Ascent Award for his work on black carbon climate impacts and the Global Green Policy Design Award for developing state and country energy plans. He has served on an advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, appeared in a TED talk, appeared on the David Letterman Show to discuss converting the world to clean energy, and cofounded The Solutions Project.

  • Mark Jacobson

    Stanford University

    Mark Z. Jacobson is Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment and of the Precourt Institute for Energy.  He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering, an A.B. in Economics, and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford in 1988.  He received an M.S. and PhD in Atmospheric Sciences in 1991 and 1994, respectively, from UCLA and started on the faculty at Stanford in 1994. He develops and applies computer models to understand air pollution, global warming, and renewable energy resources.  He has published two textbooks of two editions each and 140 peer-reviewed journal articles. He received the 2005 American Meteorological Society Henry G. Houghton Award and the 2013 American Geophysical Union
    Ascent Award for his work on black carbon climate impacts and the Global Green Policy Design Award for developing state and country energy plans. He has served on an advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, appeared in a TED talk, appeared on the David Letterman Show to discuss converting the world to clean energy, and cofounded The Solutions Project.

  • Ronald McMullen

    University of Iowa Department of Political Science

    Ron McMullen, currently the University of Iowa’s Ambassador in Residence, served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Eritrea.  Ron has over 30 years of diplomatic experience and has lived, worked, or traveled in 96 countries.  In Burma he worked closely with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy groups. While posted in Fiji he helped prevent civil conflict after an armed takeover of parliament.  He was shot at during a riot in Sri Lanka and helped train mongooses to detect heroin.  He survived a voodoo curse in the Dominican Republic and took Hillary Clinton on a tour of South Africa’s Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.  Between foreign assignments, Ron served for three years as Visiting Professor at the Military Academy at West Point, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Politics.  He was Diplomat-In-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin 2010-2012.  He has authored many scholarly works and is a three-time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.  A native of Northwood, Iowa, he earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa.

  • Grant Menke

    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

    Mr. Menke joined the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) in the position of Biofuels Manager in 2009, transitioning to Policy Director in 2012.  Mr. Menke is responsible for federal and state policy development and advocacy, the oversight of regulatory activities, and many other duties at IRFA. 

     

    Prior to the IRFA, Mr. Menke served as the research assistant for Senator Chuck Grassley on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in Washington, DC, and umpired professionally for Minor League Baseball. 

     

    Mr. Menke was raised on a corn and soybean farm just outside of the northwest Iowa town of Calumet.  He received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Humanities from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  He currently resides in Ankeny, Iowa with his wife, Susie, and sons, J.J., Luke and Winn.

  • Raghuraman Mudumbai

    University of Iowa College of Engineering

    Raghu Mudumbai joined the Electrical & Computer Engineering department at the University of Iowa in August 2009 as Assistant Professor. He obtained his B.Tech in EE from the Indian Institute of technology, Madras, India in 1998; MSEE from the Polytechnic University, Brooklyn in 2000 and Ph.D in ECE from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2007. He also worked as a Systems Engineer at LM Ericsson Telephone Co between 2001 and 2003. His research interests are in wireless communications and power systems.

  • Daniel J. Oh

    Renewable Energy Group

    For more than 25 years, Daniel Oh has led a diverse range of business and management organizations. Currently, Mr. Oh serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Renewable Energy Group, Inc.


    Prior to Renewable Energy Group (REG), Mr. Oh served as Vice President and as a member of senior management at ABG, Inc., an agribusiness consulting and services firm, responsible for management consulting and market research practices. Prior to ABG, Mr. Oh was a leader in the Corporate Finance and Investment Banking area of Corporate Strategy and Business Development Group at Eli Lilly and Company, a global pharmaceutical company, where Mr. Oh focused on structured financing, all aspects of M&A including integration activities and corporate strategy. Mr. Oh has also served as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. For 11 years, Mr. Oh served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, including Operation Desert Storm and held the rank of Major.


    Mr. Oh is a graduate of the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science in economics and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago with concentrations in finance, accounting and strategic management.


    Mr. Oh currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Fuel Institute (NEFI), Central Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor, Ames Economic Development Commission, Mary Greeley Medical Center Foundation, a member of the Executive Advisory Council for MBA Programs, Iowa State University, College of Business and previously served as a Chairman for the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

  • Manisha Patel

    Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President

    Manisha D. Patel serves as the Deputy General Counsel for the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) within the Executive Office of the President. Prior to serving in her current capacity, Ms. Patel served as the Deputy Associate Director for Regulatory Policy at CEQ. At CEQ, Ms. Patel works closely with Federal agencies, state and local governments, stakeholders, and other White House offices to develop policies and initiatives that advance the President’s environmental, natural resources, and energy agenda. She coordinates interagency efforts to modernize the federal infrastructure permitting process. Ms. Patel is part of the team that is implementing the Administration’s commitment to building safe, reliable, and resilient infrastructure in a manner that safeguards our communities and the environment.


    Since beginning her career in federal environmental law two decades ago, Ms. Patel has steadfastly and successfully advocated for innovative solutions to intractable problems. Prior to joining CEQ, Ms. Patel served in various capacities at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She had held leadership positions within EPA’s Office of General Counsel and in EPA’s Office of Regional Counsel in Dallas, Texas. Ms. Patel is a recognized expert on Federal regulatory issues. Ms. Patel has been repeatedly recognized for her dedication and leadership in finding comprehensive and sustainable approaches to tackle the environmental issues and challenges we face as a country. Her commendations include agency awards for counseling the development and implementation of proactive voluntary approaches to control air pollution and for the development of novel legal approaches for Clean Water Act permits.

     

    Ms. Patel is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Georgetown University Law Center. She is an alumnus of the Executive Energy Leadership Academy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar.

  • Jerald L. Schnoor, PhD, PE, BCEE

    Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering, Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health, Co-Director, Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research; The University of Iowa

    Jerry Schnoor is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (elected in 1999) for his pioneering work using mathematical models in science policy decisions.  He testified several times before Congress on environmental protection including the importance of passing the 1990 Clean Air Act.  Since 2003, he has served as the Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Science and Technology, a leading journal in environmental science and engineering.  Appointed by Iowa Governor Chester Culver, he chaired the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council from 2007-2009.  He also chaired the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development from 2000-2004; and recently served on the EPA Science Advisory Board and the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council for NIEHS (2007-2011).  In 2010, Schnoor received the Simon W. Freese Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for his research and international leadership on water sustainability.  In 2013, he was honored as an Einstein Professor by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and lectured throughout China.  Jerry’s research interests include water quality modeling, sustainability, phytoremediation, and climate change. 

     

  • Barry Shear

    Eagle Point Solar

    PPresident, Barry Shear, is committed to the wide spread implementation of solar power and the legislative policies that promote the growth of renewable energy systems. Barry founded Eagle Point Solar and built it into one of the larger solar developers in the State.  Barry was a business turnaround specialist for 17 years and prior to founding EPS, he was part owner and CEO of Help At Home, Inc., a large homecare provider with operations in 13 states and 140 operating units, providing over 13 million hours of care the last year of his ownership.  

     

    Barry graduated from the University of Iowa in 1976 with a Bachelor in Business Administration (B.B.A.) and has earned a wide reputation as a vigorous advocate for solar energy.  He feels that energy from renewable resources is the Industrial Revolution of the 21st century.


    Barry recently concluded a two-year legal struggle to provide third-party power in Iowa.  His case went all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court and was hailed nationwide as an important and pivotal moment for the future of solar energy.  On July 11, 2014, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of Eagle Point Solar, allowing the Dubuque-based company to sell solar energy “output” to the City of Dubuque from a panel array located on the municipal building.  This ruling allows Eagle Point Solar and other providers of alternative energy to sell “output” from solar arrays placed on the user’s property.
    "This ruling now makes other solar projects like this viable.  We can go to any municipality, any university, any waste water treatment plant, churches, any non-taxable entity and we can put solar on their roof or on their property -- and they have to come up with zero dollars to do this. All they have to do is agree to buy the energy produced by the solar array.  It’s energy they're paying for anyway, but this will give them access to clean, renewable energy” said Shear.


    He also became the first recipient of the Bill Yerkes Award.  The award was presented to Barry on August 19, 2014, during the annual Solar World Solar Summit held in Portland, Oregon.  The award recognizes those who embody the passion, vision and pioneering spirit of the award’s namesake. Yerkes is remembered as one of the vanguards of the solar energy revolution

  • Ramteen Sioshansi

    The Ohio State University

    Ramteen Sioshansi is an associate professor in the Integrated Systems Engineering Department and an associate fellow in the Center for Automotive Research at The Ohio State University. He earned a B.A. in economics and applied mathematics, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds an M.Sc. in econometrics and mathematical economics from The London School of Economics and Political Science.

     

    His research focuses on techno-economic analyses of the impacts of integrating novel technologies (including renewables, energy storage, and electric vehicles) into electric power systems. He also has interests in the design and analysis of restructured electricity markets and energy policy. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles on these and other topics and is an editor of a volume on energy storage technologies, which is part of the forthcoming Handbook of Clean Energy Systems.

     

    He received the Campbell Watkins Energy Journal Best Paper prize, awarded by the IAEE for the best paper published in The Energy Journal. He is a senior member of the IEEE, member of the INFORMS and IAEE, and on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems and the Journal of Energy Engineering. He currently serves as a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Electricity Advisory Committee.

  • Scott Spak

    UI Public Policy Center and Schools of Urban & Regional Planning and Civil & Environmental Engineering

    Scott Spak is an Assistant Professor holding joint appointments with Urban and Regional Planning, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Environmental Policy Program at the Public Policy Center. He teaches courses on U.S. and international environmental policy, dynamic systems modeling, and urban growth. Spak develops and applies numerical models to study the intersection between human activities and environmental change. His research informs decision-making by:

     

    1. identifying tipping points in linked Earth systems, including atmospheric aerosols, chemical pollution, and regional climate

    2. understanding the roles of technology, policy, and societal change in projecting future human impacts on the environment

    3. developing new ways to embed Earth System modeling in environmental policies and urban planning

  • Ben York

    Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    Ben York is a Senior Project Engineer in EPRI’s Distributed Energy Resource program area, and is a technical coordinator for EPRI’s Integrated Grid concept. Ben’s primary research area is distributed resource integration, focusing on both technical and economic issues. Ben currently contributes to several focus areas, including power electronics, photovoltaic balance-of-systems, and microgrid technologies. He is a published author in multiple industry journals on power electronics design and control.


    Before joining EPRI in 2013, Ben was a Research Assistant at Virginia Tech’s Future Energy Electronics Center. Ben was responsible for research, development, and demonstration of several products directly related to photovoltaic energy conversion, including the development of a new distributed power electronic interface for PV as part of a multi-year Department of Energy award.


    Ben received a B.S. (2008) degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama, as well as M.S. (2010) and Ph.D. (2013) degrees in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Gannon at (319) 335-6817 or leslie-gannon@uiowa.edu.