CEI News

Talking Clean Energy, STEM Education at Seattle Chamber Regional Leadership Conference

CEI students and staff: Shaun Taylor, Renee Gastineau, Sarah Vorpahl, Spencer Williams, Matthew Murbach, Michael Taylor, Sanfeng Wu, Jill Aronson Pfaendtner, Dane DeQuilletes, Christian Erickson, Ahlmahz Negash and Connor Birkeland

CEI Students and staff:
Shaun Taylor, Renee Gastineau, Sarah Vorpahl, Spencer Williams, Matthew Murbach, Michael Taylor, Sanfeng Wu, Jill Aronson Pfaendtner, Dane DeQuilletes, Christian Erickson, Ahlmahz Negash and Connor Birkeland

October 15, 2014 – How can the Seattle region become the best mid-sized economy in the world? That is the question that regional leaders are discussing this week at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Regional Leadership Conference.

Among the topics of discussion at this year’s annual conference is Seattle’s ability to double the capacity to deliver higher education focused on STEM degrees. At the opening night reception the audience also heard about macroeconomic forces or “mega trends,” such as climate change, that could have huge potential impacts on the region’s economy and quality of life.

Students from the Clean Energy Institute had the opportunity to demonstrate their clean energy research, ranging from solar and battery materials research to renewable energy integration. In addition, CEI Director Dan Schwartz provided the audience with some perspective about the importance of STEM education and clean energy research when addressing Seattle’s global competitiveness:

  • The University of Washington provides over 180 different Majors, and has increased the production of degrees in the STEM fields by 48% in the last 10 years. It is significant that the chamber recognizes the importance of STEM and higher education to a successful economy.
  • When students graduate from the UW, nearly three-quarters of them stay in our region, which makes a huge impact on our ability to grow our research and technology-based economy.
  • UW students and faculty are among the leaders in the important emerging industry of clean energy. It is an industry that relies on technology and innovation. It is also an industry that we in Seattle have all the pieces in place, from renewable energy to IT,  that can makes us a global leader in addressing energy and climate challenges.

Photos from the opening night reception:

Rep. Gael Tarleton talks about clean energy needs with grad student Sarah  Vorpahl

Rep. Gael Tarleton talks about clean energy needs with grad student Sarah Vorpahl

Student Sangfeng Wu describes exciting developments in 2D semiconductors

Student Sangfeng Wu describes exciting developments in 2D semiconductors

Michael Taylor talks with King County Assessor Lloyd Hara

Michael Taylor talks with King County Assessor Lloyd Hara about solar energy captured from windows

CEI student Dane DeQuilletes talks with Puget Sound Energy executive Phil Bussey

CEI student Dane DeQuilletes talk with Puget Sound Energy executive Phil Bussey

The Washington Research Foundation has provided a six-year gift of $6.74 million to support nine new faculty hires, six postdoctoral researchers and the creation of a new experimental manufacturing facility on campus that will help move discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. This investment in the CEI is truly transformational.”
– Daniel Schwartz, CEI Director
“Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. The University of Washington is to be congratulated for establishing an Institute where faculty and students can work together to tackle the difficult global challenge of energy sustainability.”
– Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Energy competition is opening up in a variety of ways, the push for carbon control will continue, and the rate of technology advancement is exponential. All the things I’ve seen at the CEI are just perfect for the way we see things going in energy. You guys are at the cutting edge. We’re counting on you.”
– Ronald Litzinger, President, Edison Energy
Since its founding the Clean Energy Institute has contributed more than $1.1 million toward the education of 66 STEM scholars and recruitment of 12 students through our fellowship programs.