Clean Energy Conversations

Clean Energy Conversations

Clean Energy Conversation

This event series for faculty and researchers aims to tie together decarbonization research and initiatives across campus by providing organized opportunities for networking and collaboration among and between the U-M research community and external partners.

Deep decarbonization will affect all people and aspects of society, and requires action across all sectors of the economy. U-M has top-tier research expertise in many of the areas critical to solving the decarbonizing challenge.

Researchers from different disciplines, who otherwise would rarely come together, will find in Clean Energy Conversations a space to connect and collaborate on the highly interdisciplinary work of deep decarbonization. Through these networking and working sessions, we seek to catalyze future activities by identifying both gaps in knowledge and areas of cross-campus expertise ripe for proposals, applied research, and learning opportunities.

Clean Energy Conversations are open to U-M faculty and research staff across all three campuses. Some sessions include leaders from energy and environmental corporations and non-profit organizations in Michigan, as well as some national NGOs.

Past Events and Research Themes

The following topics have been addressed at past Clean Energy Conversations. 

  • Solar Testing Facilities 
    Featured speaker: Jeremy Moghtader (U-M Campus Farm) | March 7, 2022

  • Decarbonizing Buildings 
    Featured speakers: Lars Junghans (Architecture) and Carol Menassa (Civil & Environmental Engineering) | November 2, 2021

  • Siting Decarbonization Technologies in Michigan
    Featured speakers: Armond Cohen (Clean Air Task Force), Shanna Daly (Mechanical Engineering), and Sam Stolper (School for the Environment & Sustainability) | October 28, 2021

  • Nuclear Energy in a Zero-Carbon World 
    Featured speakers: Sola Talabi (Pittsburgh Technical/Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences) and Aditi Verma (Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences) | September 28, 2021

  • Frontline Energy Communities 
    Featured speakers: Dan Cooper (Mechanical Engineering), Daniel Raimi (Ford School), Carmen Wells Quigg (Economic Growth Institute), and Andrew Place (Clean Air Task Force) | June 22, 2021

  • Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage
    Featured speakers: Brian Ellis (Civil & Environmental Engineering), David Kwabi (Mechanical Engineering), Kaitlin Raimi (Ford School), Volker Sick (Mechanical Engineering), and Erin Burns (Carbon180) | June 10, 2021

  • Transformation in the Transportation Sector
    Featured speakers: Andre Boehman (Engineering), Shelie Miller (SEAS) | May 4, 2021

  • Decarbonizing the Electricity Sector
    Featured speakers: Catie Hausman (Ford School), Johanna Mathieu (Electrical Engineering) | March 22, 2021

  • Infrastructure Transformation and Equity
    Featured speakers: Daniel Raimi (Ford School), Parth Vaishnav (SEAS), Margaret Wooldridge (Mechanical Engineering) | February 23, 2021

  • External Partnerships, Practitioner Research Needs
    Featured speakers: Marco Bruzzano (DTE Energy), Robert Jackson (Michigan Energy Office, EGLE), Laura Sherman (Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council) | January 26, 2021

  • Clean Energy: Resilience, Public Perception, Justice
    Featured speakers: Seth Guikema (Industrial & Operations Engineering), Kaitlin Raimi (Ford School), Tony Reames (SEAS) | December 7, 2020

The themes listed here reflect input from U-M faculty, researchers, and staff regarding future directions for Clean Energy Conversations.

  • Incorporating new technologies with current infrastructure
  • Equity impacts of decarbonization
  • Identifying policy challenges/gaps/opportunities
  • Public acceptance of technology/decarbonization
  • Connections/links to other systems (health, ecosystem, transportation, etc.)
  • Consideration of localized infrastructure in energy transition
  • Challenges of/importance of scaling up
  • Considering circular economy in decarbonization
  • Comparison of U.S. to other countries

Read more about the themes, including examples of research gaps and interdisciplinary questions. We welcome additional input. Contact cleanenergyconversations@umich.edu with ideas or questions.

In addition to Clean Energy Conversations, multiple efforts are underway across the University of Michigan to advance the global transition to a zero-carbon energy future. Some of the ambitious initiatives currently taking place include the following.