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Dartmouth Engineering at CERAWeek '23

Mar 30, 2023   |   Irving Institute

In early March, Dartmouth Engineering Dean Alexis Abramson and Hodgson Family Assistant Professor of Engineering Erin Mayfield, as well as both students and alumni, were among the more than 8,000 people gathered in Houston, TX for CERAWeek '23 to explore and learn about the technological, financial, and political strategies and solutions that are shaping the global energy transition.

Hodgson Family Assistant Professor of Engineering Erin Mayfield participated on two CERAWeek '23 panels: "Building Equity and Fairness in Climate Solutions" and "The Current State of Climate Change."

CERAWeek, one of the world's most significant climate and energy conferences for industry and government leaders, was not only the largest CERAWeek gathering so far, but it also saw the largest delegation of Dartmouth representatives to date. The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society led a group of Dartmouth faculty, students, and staff to help foreground the College's expertise on energy and climate and connect and reconnect with alumni and friends across the energy and climate sector. The delegation also gathered new insights into the energy and climate challenges and solutions on the horizon to help feed back into research, teaching, and entrepreneurship happening on campus.

The week-long event was packed with opportunities to hear from Dartmouth experts in the energy and climate space. For Dean Abramson, who participated in a panel titled, "Energy Efficiency and Making the Built Environment More Energy Efficient," the conference offered an inspiring opportunity "to be among a community of energy-minded thought leaders, working across the technology, policy, or business arenas with a collective aim to address the energy and climate issues facing humanity."

The Irving Institute was also delighted to help support the participation of three Dartmouth student delegates. Master of Engineering Management (MEM) student Filip Nowicki, was heartened by what he saw as a general consensus among academics, government officials, industry giants, start-ups, and innovators at the conference, on a path toward achieving a sustainable energy future. "According to the speakers," noted Filip, "the path comprises a basket of technologies and applications feasible at scale, including hydrogen for power and heat generation, sustainable fuels for transportation, carbon capture for heavy industry, AI-powered emission leak monitoring, and more. While developing and transitioning to these technologies will be a process, the fact that there is a relatively clear roadmap that industry stakeholders agree on is encouraging about the future."

For Prutha Atria, a student in the MEM program and licensing intern for Dartmouth's Technology Transfer Office, a big takeaway from her time at the conference was the need to accelerate global collaboration to address climate change. "Technology transfer, financing, and equitable policy are necessary to foster the right collaboration between countries to tackle climate change," she said.

Vanessa Pinney '22 Th'23, who recently finished the MEM program, noted an emphasis at the conference on new and emerging technologies to address oil and gas emissions. "Most of the large players in the oil and gas industry are significant investors in novel technology to green their operations and supply chains. Several companies with presences at CERAWeek Agora sponsored 'houses' to demonstrate some of these novel technologies. Hydrogen production and distribution, high-precision pipeline monitoring, and direct-air carbon capture are all particularly popular targets for investment."

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