June 6, 2016

Purdue, Discovery Park to host Midwest Clean Energy Innovation Forum

Franklin Orr Franklin Orr
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University will host a Clean Energy Innovation Forum for the Midwest on Thursday and Friday (June 9-10), featuring a keynote lecture on Mission Innovation and regional energy partnerships by Dr. Franklin (Lynn) Orr, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary for Science and Energy.

The invitation-only forum is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 9 in Ross-Ade Stadium's Buchanan Suite, followed by a research poster session at 6 p.m. Representatives from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri and Indiana will participate in the two-day event.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels will speak, and Indiana Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb is scheduled to appear. Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, chief scientist and executive director of Purdue's Discovery Park, will provide opening remarks, and Orr's keynote lecture is expected to begin about 8:45 a.m.

"The story of humanity's dramatic progress in the last two centuries is more than anything the story of innovation in energy, and no factor is more crucial to the future of rich and poor countries alike,” Daniels said. “It's exciting for Purdue and Discovery Park Energy Center to host this event and to have the opportunity to play a role in continued national progress in energy research.”

Breakout sessions from 8:30 a.m. to noon June 10, to be held at the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research in Discovery Park, will focus on key attributes of a regional partnership and its application to the Midwest.

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, chief scientist and executive director of Discovery Park, said additional sessions will include four panel discussions on future directions for energy storage, bioeconomy/synthetic biology, wind and energy grid integration, and critical materials and sustainable manufacturing.

The panels will focus on current status, future opportunities, technology innovation as a driver for regional energy, and economic development. Each panel will include time for group discussion and questions, Díaz de la Rubia said.

"This Innovation Forum will bring together leaders from federal, state and local governments, industry, national labs, academia, and non-governmental organizations to discuss paths forward to accelerate innovation in the region," Díaz de la Rubia said.

As the inaugural Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Orr works closely with DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz to integrate the agency's basic science, applied research, technology development and deployment efforts. Orr is the principal adviser to the Secretary on clean energy technologies and science and energy research initiatives.

He oversees the DOE's offices of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy, Indian Energy Policy and Programs, Nuclear Energy and Science. In total, these programs steward 13 of 17 DOE national laboratories.

Before his DOE appointment, Orr had served as a faculty member at Stanford University since 1985, most recently as the Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor Emeritus in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering. He also was dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford from 1994-2002, founding director of the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project from 2002-08, and founding director of its Precourt Institute for Energy from 2009-13.

Orr received his doctorate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree in that same discipline from Stanford. 

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

Sources: Mitch Daniels, president@purdue.edu

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, 765-496-6625, tddlr@purdue.edu

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