The Missouri University of Science and Technology Laufer Energy Symposium, along with the Missouri Energy Initiative and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, is sponsoring an energy symposium Oct. 4-5 in St. Louis. The Midwest Energy Policy Conference will bring together key business and technical leaders in legacy and renewable energy technologies.
Dr. Joseph D. Smith, the Wayne and Gayle Laufer Chair of Energy and director of the Energy Research and Development Center at Missouri S&T, will talk about energy resilience, with a specific focus on microgrids and hybrid energy systems.
“Engineers want to make energy better — cleaner, more efficient and sustainable,” Smith says. “The way to do this is better integration of renewable and conventional energy resources.”
Integration can take many forms, from combining natural gas and solar power, to combining oil and wind power. With hybrid energy systems, “we’re exploring better ways to use fossil fuels with minimal impact on the environment,” Smith says.
The conference will provide diverse perspectives on today’s most pressing energy issues facing the Midwest.
Alex Epstein, director of the Center for Industrial Progress and author of “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” will speak about the role of fossil fuels in combating energy poverty globally and locally.
Other featured speakers include Erin Meyers, a policy analyst at the University of Missouri-Columbia Truman School of Public Affairs; her topic is local resiliency. Dr. Sidney J. Green, a research professor in mechanical, civil and environmental engineering at the University of Utah who earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1959, will speak on the topic of natural gas fracking.
The Laufer Energy Symposium is named for Wayne and Gale Laufer, who support S&T’s energy research. Wayne Laufer earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1967.
The conference will be held at the Eric P. Newman Education Center at Washington University in St. Louis, and registration is open. Because energy education is a priority for the Missouri Energy Initiative, the conference is offering students and professors a special rate. They can receive a 20 percent discount by entering the code “LAUFER.”