Duke Energy executive to give keynote talk at student-teacher event on power generation and the electricity grid

June 19, 2015  

Caren Anders

Caren Anders 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - To inspire students to join the STEM disciplines, Duke Energy Corp. executive Caren Anders will deliver next week's keynote speech, Future of Power Generation and the Electricity Grid, as a part of the Duke Energy Academy at Purdue.

Anders, vice president for emerging technology and transmission affairs at Duke in Charlotte, North Carolina, will give her talk at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday (June 24) in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park.

Her talk is in conjunction with the Duke Energy Academy at Purdue, a weeklong immersive program for high school students and teachers designed to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, particularly in energy-related fields.

"As the demand for energy exponentially increases, we are trying to improve the number and quality of STEM students who can lead the world in the energy sector," said Maureen McCann, director of the Purdue Energy Center and a professor of biological sciences. "These exciting guest speakers from Purdue, industry and government will address current energy-related topics and actively engage the students in open discussions to spark their interest in STEM careers."

Anders will focus her talk on ecosystem of energy generation, distribution, and consumption. She will speak to how generation sources are going from being strictly centralized, large plants to a balance of centralized and distributed resources but will also share how the consumer patterns for electricity is changing and how our industry and practices continue to evolve in response.

Anders was named to her current role at Duke after spending nearly three years as the corporation's chief transmission officer. She serves on the board for SERC Reliability Corp., Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas and PT Holding Co.

She received her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Drexel University. Anders is a graduate of the Columbia University Advanced Management Program, Leadership Philadelphia and Leadership North Carolina.

Speaking at this year's opening of the Duke Energy Academy at Purdue on Sunday (June 21) are Rakesh Agrawal, Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue, and Brian Wolff, executive vice president of public policy and external affairs for the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, D.C.

Dave Hopping, president of Siemens Building Technologies of Americas, will give a talk titled "Building of the Future" at 8:20 a.m. Tuesday (June 23). Ron Holcomb, CEO of Tipmont REMC, will speak on "A Dialogue on Future of Energy Industry" at noon Wednesday (June 24).

The closing celebration on June 27 will feature Daniel Hirleman, chief corporate and global partnerships officer at Purdue; Doug Esamann, executive vice president and president of Duke's Midwest and Florida regions; Indiana state Rep. Sheila Klinker, D-District 27; and Suresh Garimella, Purdue executive vice president for research and partnership.

"A key feature of this year program is to introduce a concept called ' Internet of Things' using Raspberry Pi by conducting a hands-on session by the Duke Energy employees," said Pankaj Sharma, managing director of the Purdue Energy Center and a courtesy professor of technology leadership and innovation. "Participants will learn how to control devices to create efficiencies and finally understand dynamic nature of supply and demand of electric grid."

The Energy Academy at Purdue is made possible through primary funding provided by the Duke Energy Foundation and corporate sponsorships that allow participants to attend the academy free of charge. In addition, teachers are given $400 stipend. External co-sponsors and supporters in the past and this year have included Bowen Engineering, General Electric, Goldwind, Green Tech America, Horizon Educational, Kidwind Project, National Energy Education Development Project, Nokero, RPiWare, Siemens Energy, Tipmont REMC and WindStream Technologies Inc.

The academy is organized by the Energy Center, a Discovery Park research center focused on advancing energy sciences and engineering for sustainable energy solutions. The Energy Center is part of the university's Global Sustainability Institute, which was launched in Discovery Park to coordinate Purdue's research efforts in sustainability challenges such as climate change, energy, food security, the environment and water. 

Media Contacts:

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

Mallory Bilski, 219-805-2601, mbilski@purdue.edu 

Sources: Maureen McCann, 765-494-1610, mmccann@purdue.edu

Pankaj Sharma, 765-496-7452, sharma@purdue.edu 

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