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Energy council launches series

MIT's Energy Research Council is initiating a series of energy colloquia starting Thursday, Sept. 22, with a lecture by Steve Koonin, chief scientist of BP, one of the world's largest energy companies. 

Koonin, who spent three decades serving on the faculty and as provost at Caltech before joining BP, will discuss the major forces shaping the world's energy future and the technologies required to respond to them in his talk, "Energy for the Coming Decades: Trends and Technologies."

MIT President Susan Hockfield established the Energy Research Council in June to spearhead efforts to address the world's mounting energy problems. The council is co-chaired by Chevron Professor Robert C. Armstrong, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Ernest J. Moniz, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and co-director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment (LFEE).

Moniz was undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Energy from 1997 to 2001 during the Clinton administration.

Koonin earned his undergraduate degree at Caltech and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from MIT in 1975. His research interests have included global environmental science, nuclear astrophysics and theoretical nuclear, many-body and computational physics. He is engaged in a program of systematic observations of earthshine reflected from the lunar surface to determine variations in the global albedo, or reflectivity, an important parameter of the climate system. In 1998, he received the E.O. Lawrence Award in Physics from the Department of Energy.

The lecture, co-hosted by LFEE and the Energy Research Council, will take place in the Stata Center, Kirsch Hall 32-123, at 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

A reception will follow in the Student Street outside Kirsch Hall.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 21, 2005 (download PDF).

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