Duke Energy chairman to speak on U.S. energy future at Purdue's Discovery Lecture Series

October 8, 2013  


Jim Rogers, vivien Lie

Duke Energy Corp. Chairman Jim Rogers, far right, talks to Vivien Lie, a Purdue undergraduate student in biology, about her wind energy research project during the opening reception of the 2013 Energy Academy at Purdue last June. Purdue Energy Center managing director Pankaj Sharma listens on. (Purdue University file photo/Phillip Fiorini)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Duke Energy Corp. Chairman Jim Rogers, regarded as one of the most dynamic executives in the utility industry the past two decades, will return to Purdue University this fall for a talk as part of the Discovery Lecture Series.

Rogers, who spoke to a group of high school students and teachers during the Purdue Energy Academy this summer, will give the keynote at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The talk, titled Shedding Light on America's Energy Future, is free and open to the general public.

"Chairman Rogers' message combines the forward thinking of a longtime electric utility industry leader with the passion that inspires our current and future generation of leaders about how to have a lasting impact on our world," said Alan Rebar, director of Discovery Park and senior associate vice president for research at Purdue. "Purdue is honored that he will join the growing list of impressive speakers who have been a part of our Discovery Lecture Series."

While at Purdue, Rogers will tour Discovery Park and the new Ray W. Herrick Laboratories and learn about the university's cutting-edge research programs in electricity systems and smart buildings as well as energy research efforts grounded in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Purdue Energy Center and the Lilly Endowment are primary sponsors for the Discovery Lecture. Through a $1 million gift to Discovery Park from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Purdue launched the Discovery Lecture Series in 2006 to bring prominent speakers to campus.

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers 
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Rogers served as Duke Energy's president and chief executive officer from April 2006 until stepping down from those roles on July 1. He has been chairman of Duke Energy since January 2007 and will remain in that position until he retires in December.

During Rogers' tenure as CEO, Duke Energy was recognized as a leader in sustainability, balancing the "triple bottom line of people, planet and profits." Earlier this month, Rogers received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) for his 25 years of service as an electric utility chief executive officer.

"As a trailblazer for the utility industry, Jim Rogers has made it a priority during his years at Duke Energy to develop solutions for sustainable energy future by bringing together government, electric utility, environmental leaders and university researchers," said Maureen McCann, a professor of biological sciences and director of the Purdue Energy Center. "He understands that a solution to our major energy challenges will come from every stakeholder at the table."

Among his accomplishments, Rogers helped forge the largest electric power holding company in the United States in 2012 with the merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy. Before the merger between Duke Energy and Cinergy in 2006, Rogers served as Cinergy's chairman and CEO for more than 11 years. Prior to the formation of Cinergy, Rogers led PSI Energy as its chairman, president and CEO, beginning in 1988.

Rogers, who also is an attorney, served as EEI chairman in 2006 and 2007 and is currently on EEI's executive committee. He was the founding chairman of IEE, an institute of the Edison Foundation that focuses on advancing the adoption of innovative and efficient technologies among electric utilities and their technology partners. He also is former co-chair and current board member of the Alliance to Save Energy and past co-chair of the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency.

He serves on the boards of the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institute and Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Rogers is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. During his career, Rogers has served on the boards of directors of eight Fortune 500 companies, and is currently a director of Cigna Corp. and Applied Materials Inc.

Rogers received his bachelor of business administration and his jurisdoctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of the Kentucky Law Journal and Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy, a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, controls utilities that serve more than 7 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Duke Energy expanded significantly last year with its $26 billion acquisition of Progress Energy, and its commercial power and international businesses operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing renewable energy portfolio.

Faculty, staff, and students from nine colleges and schools and Purdue Physical Facilities are working with the Energy Center in advancing interdisciplinary research in areas such as bioenergy, clean-coal technologies, and batteries and advanced electrochemical systems to hydrogen, nuclear, solar, nanotechnology, wind and water.

The Purdue Energy Center is partnering with Duke Energy again next summer for the Energy Academy at Purdue, an activity for middle school and high school teachers and students focused on the STEM disciplines - science, technology, mathematics and engineering. The program, led by Energy Center managing director Pankaj Sharma, also provides hands-on activities and laboratories for research and innovations, entrepreneurship opportunities and careers in energy.

Discovery Park, which is located on the southwestern edge of Purdue's West Lafayette campus, is a $965 million hub for interdisciplinary research and home to major centers focusing on everything from biosciences, nanotechnology and entrepreneurship to oncological sciences, homeland and cybersecurity and health-care engineering.  

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu 

Sources: Alan Rebar, 765-496-6625, rebar@purdue.edu 

Maureen McCann, 765-496-1779, mmccann@purdue.edu

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