Third Annual UT Energy Week Explores New Technologies, Emerging Trends, Research Findings

AUSTIN – Experts representing a broad spectrum of interests and perspectives gathered on the University of Texas at Austin campus Tuesday to kick off UT Energy Week, an annual conference designed to explore vital energy issues facing society.

In addition to providing a platform for experts from academia, industry, government, regulatory agencies and nonprofit organizations, the event, now in its third year, provides a forum for faculty members and student researchers to showcase their work, said Thomas F. Edgar, director of the Energy Institute.

“One of the remarkable things about the world of energy is that it is constantly evolving, and we’ve tried to reflect that in the composition of this conference,” Edgar said.

“We’ve put together a program that examines topical energy issues we think will be of interest to a wide audience,” he added.

UT Energy week is hosted by the Energy Institute, the KBH Center for Energy, Law & Business, and two student-run organizations – the Longhorn Energy Club and the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law – along with support from schools and colleges across the UT Austin campus engaged in energy-related research.

Most of the events during conference will be held in the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center at 2110 San Jacinto Blvd., across the street from the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium.*

Robert Armstrong, director of MIT’s Energy Initiative, will deliver the opening keynote address, “Technology Pathways to a Low Carbon Future,” on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Other topics examined during this year’s UT Energy Week include:

  • Energy security and grid resilience
  • The evolving utility/consumer relationship
  • Trends in global energy supply and demand
  • Advances in smart building technologies
  • President Donald Trump’s views on energy policy

For more, read the full conference program.

UT Energy Week also features two competitions organized by the Longhorn Energy Club. On Monday, Feb. 6, the club held a startup competition that awarded cash and prizes for winning entrants; on Wednesday, Feb. 8, students will showcase their energy research projects in a poster contest competition.

“UT Energy Week is a great opportunity for students to interact with prominent energy experts from industry, government and nonprofit organizations,” said Hector Arreola, president of the Longhorn Energy Club. “It’s also a chance for students to gain valuable feedback on their energy research projects.”

*On Friday, Feb. 10, the KBH Center will hold its Second Annual Symposium, “The Future of the Oil and Gas Industry: Peak Oil or Peak Demand – What’s the Horizon?” The event, held in the Four Seasons Hotel Austin Ballroom, will feature a keynote address by Jack N. Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute.

In addition to the main UT Energy Week sessions held Tuesday through Friday, there are several affiliated events taking place in association with the conference, including tours of the campus’s celebrated power plant system and micro-grid, and research facilities within the School of Architecture and the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering.

UT Energy Week is free for students, faculty members and staffers at UT Austin and other universities.