Technology and Policy: Strategic Tools in Global Energy and Environmental Challenges
December 20 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Lawson 1106
R. Simmons, Energy Resources Bureau, US Department of State
The world is increasingly in need of sustainable and scalable solutions to address the growing demand for energy and the pressing challenges of the environment. Both technology and policy must be strategic tools in global efforts to reduce reliance on conventional hydrocarbon energy sources; yet the need to coordinate advanced technologies with robust and practical policies has never been more acute. This has specific implications on transportation, as well R&D and commercial deployment efforts by leading U.S.-based public and private entities; appropriate policies will be paramount in enabling and accelerating a transition away from liquid fossil fuels. Opportunity and challenge surround efforts to bring the traditionally independent but increasingly cross-cutting fields of agriculture, economics, engineering, energy and policy together to develop sustainable solutions. Linkages of appropriate scope and scale, thorough assessments of risk and benefit, and effective means of optimizing collaboration among stakeholders are additional considerations that can help multiply the impact in the pursuit of improved efficiencies, alternative fuels such as advanced biofuels and natural gas, as well as alternative vehicle technologies for transport.
Richard A. Simmons, P.E. has served the U.S. Department of State in a technical/policy role since 2009. Having completed a two-year AAAS science and technology (S&T) policy fellowship this August, Richard continues to support the State Department’s New Energy Resources Bureau by applying technical expertise to international policy issues related to energy. His specific efforts are focused on strategic cooperation with foreign governments and domestic agencies on renewable energy, biofuels and low carbon alternatives to petroleum fuels for transportation. Richard is a licensed professional engineer (PE) whose career has spanned sixteen years and concentrated in the automotive industry, advanced materials, alternative fuels and energy policy. Richard holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, where he specialized in mechanical systems design, vibrations and acoustics under Professors W. Soedel, J.S. Bolton and J. Starkey. Rich has multiple patents, is fluent in French and is a board member and technical advisor of companies based in Atlanta, GA and Brussels, Belgium.