Sustainable Energy for the 21st Century

Mike Campbell, Director, Energy Systems Division, Logos Technologies

Friday, October 12, 2012, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

Providing sufficient energy, food and water for the world’s growing population (expected to grow to 9-10 billion) while at the same time preserving the fragile biosphere are the defining challenges of the 21st century. The world presently consumes ~500 Exajoules (~135 TW-hrs) annually growing at approximately 2-3%/yr with ~ 80% being provided by burning hydrocarbon fuels. However, the concern over rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere and other negative environmental effects due to the burning of these fuels, their long term sustainability, and the need to insulate the cost of energy from fuel price volatility and political instability continue to motivate the search for replacement sources of energy. These sources must be scalable, sustainable, environmentally acceptable, and ultimately commercially viable. Two of the potential replacement sources are advanced nuclear power (“Generation IV” nuclear fission and fusion) for base load electricity and heat and biofuels for transportation. In this presentation an overview of the approaches, their challenges and opportunities for advanced fission reactors, future fusion reactors, and biofuels for transportation and their potential impact for sustainable and environmentally acceptable energy will be discussed.

About the Speaker

Mike Campbell is the Director of the Energy Division of Logos Technologies headquartered in Fairfax, VA. He is responsible for all of the energy activities within Logos, which include programs to develop cellulosic feedstock into ethanol and bio-jet fuel, to close the nuclear fuel cycle in advanced reactors, and in physics of fusion. His research has included the development and applications of high power solid-state lasers, nuclear energy (fission and fusion), plasma physics, hydrogen production, and energy including biofuels. He is the winner of numerous awards including DOE’s E.O. Lawrence Award, the American Nuclear Society’s Edward Teller Award, and the American Physical Society’s Excellence in Plasma Physics Award, Fusion Power Associate’s Leadership Award, and DOE’s Excellence in Nuclear Weapons Research. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and European Institute of Physics. He has authored over 100 publications in major scientific journals. He has presented numerous plenary, invited, and review talks at major conferences in the US and abroad and founded the leading international conference on Inertial Fusion and High Energy Density Science-IFSA (Inertial Fusion Science and Applications Conference). He has served on numerous National Academy of Sciences studies and has been a member of the Physics Division Advisory Committee (Los Alamos), Visiting Trustees of Laser Laboratory (University of Rochester), and the Program Committee for the Virtual National Laboratory for the Heavy Ion Fusion Program. He is on the Board of Directors of Evans and Southerland and presently consults for companies involved in fusion, fission, and directed energy lasers. Campbell received his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania and advanced degrees at Princeton University and University of Western Sydney where he received the Dr.Sc degree (post Ph.D. degree).