Sunday, April 18, 2010

Energy (and Other) Events - April 18, 2010


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Clean coal and low-carbon roadmap of China Huaneng Group
Speaker: Mr. JIANG Minhua, Assistant President of China Huaneng Group, Senior Research Fellow

Time: 3:00p–4:30p

Location: 6-120

MIT CEER and MIT China Forum are proud to announce a distinguished lecture by Mr. JIANG Minhua, the assistant president of China Huaneng Group (CHNG), with the CHNG management team delegation. What is the clean energy roadmap of the largest power generation company in China and the second largest in the world? Mr. Jiang will share his ideas about the technology challenges and solutions of low-carbon energy in China power generation industry.

BIO: Mr. JIANG Minhua, Assistant President of China Huaneng Group (CHNG). Since his graduation from Zhejiang University in 1982, Mr. Jiang has worked for technology development and management in Thermal Power Research Institute (TPRI). He was the president of TPRI for 8 years prior to the present position as assistant president of CHNG, director of Science and Technology Department and director of R&D Center of CHNG.
He has engaged in R&D and its management on circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler, low NOx combustion and Supervisory Information System (SIS) for power plant for over 20 years and obtained many achievements and awards including the National Technology Progress Award.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT China Energy and Envrionment Research Group, MIT China Forum

For more information, contact:
Lei Chen

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Misha Chertkov-Talk: Optimization and Control Theory for Smart (Power) Grids

Speaker: Misha Chertkov

Time: 11:00a–12:00p

Location: 32-144

Abstract: Research project with this name has been started at LANL in Oct of
2009. In this talk I will report on the first results derived under the auspices
of the project. In particular, I will discuss algorithms and phase
transition analysis for switching over a distribution power grid, optimization
of reactive flow in a feeder line, analysis of distance to failure in the space
of fluctuating loads, and if time permits, queuing scheme for scheduling of
plug-in-electric vehicle charging.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): LIDS Events Calendar

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Donovan

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ecological Urbanism

Time: 12:30p–2:00p

Location: 9-450

DUSP Speaker Series
Weekly Lecture Series of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Light lunch served.

Weekly Lecture Series of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Department of Urban Studies and Planning

For more information, contact:
Ezra Glenn

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Atmosphere and the Blogosphere: Bringing Science to Bear on Climate Policy in a Distracted Age

Speaker: Dr. Peter C. Frumhoff, Ph.D, Director of Science and Policy and Chief Scientist of the Climate Campaign at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Time: 2:00p–3:30p

Location: Whitehead-1st Floor, Whitehead Institute Auditorium (1st floor)

Lecture by Dr. Peter C. Frumhoff, Ph.D, Director of Science and Policy and Chief Scientist of the Climate Campaign at the Union of Concerned Scientists. This talk will address the new interaction between climate science and policy in the age of distributed media and a distracted public.

Open to: the general public

Cost: 0

Tickets: 0

Sponsor(s): EAPS Graduate Student Advisory Council, Program on Atmospheres Oceans and Climate

For more information, contact:
Chavas, Daniel R

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fast and Slow Components of Global Warming

Speaker: Professor Isaac M. Held, Senior Research Scientist and Lecturer, GFDL, NOAA

Time: 4:00p–5:00p

Location: 54-915

EAPS Department Lecture Series

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: 0.00

Tickets: N/A

Sponsor(s): Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

For more information, contact:
Jacqui Taylor

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy -- Free Screening/Q&A with filmmaker Randy Olson followed by book signing
Time: 5:00p–7:00p

Location: 32-123

Randy Olson, University of New Hampshire marine biology professor-turned Hollywood filmmaker and author, will be on hand for a free screening of his latest science-oriented mockumentary "Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy." This film, in which Randy also stars, has a lot of fun taking an irreverent look at the very real and important problem of communicating about climate science.

Randy's first film was the notorious "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus," and he is the author of the recently released book "Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style"....making it pretty clear where he's coming from. So, whether you love him, hate him, or have no idea who he is but are curious, come to MIT's Kirsch Auditorium to enjoy the show and just maybe learn something about communication.

Randy will introduce the film and field audience questions afterward. He will also sign copies of his book "Don't Be Such a Scientist," available for purchase on-site at a steep discount courtesy of the MIT Press Bookstore.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Tickets: first-come, first-seated

Sponsor(s): Earth System Initiative, Sloan School Sustainability Initiative, MIT Press Bookstore, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences

For more information, contact:
Kurt Sternlof

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

D-lab's Innovators Night

Speaker: Fatuma Acan, Suprio Das, Harish Hande, Ralf Hotckiss, Benard Kiwia

Time: 7:00p–9:00p

Location: 6-120

International. Innovation. Invention. Ingenuity. Inspiration. Are you IN?

Hear the amazing stories of 5 innovators who are blazing trails on the ground in India, Tanzania and Uganda. Get their insights on how to take action on societal issues in creative and effective ways. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet 5 unique leaders and change agents in one room!

• Fatuma Acan ~ Uganda ~ Director of MADE (Mobility Appliances for Disabled Women Entrepreneurs) and the Pan-African Wheelchair Association, wheelchair rider from childhood polio and the first woman in Africa to train as a wheelchair technologist
• Suprio Das ~ India ~ Senior Adviser to Aqua Welfare Society and an independent inventor of water treatment and power generation devices
• Harish Hande ~ India ~ Co-Founder and Director of SELCO Solar, a social enterprise that provides sustainable energy solutions and services to under-served households and businesses
• Ralf Hotchkiss ~ US ~ Co-Founder of Whirlwind Wheelchair International and a wheelchair rider who has over 35 years experience working in 42 countries teaching people who need wheelchairs how to build and maintain them for themselves
• Bernard Kiwia ~ Tanzania ~ Head of Technology for Global Cycle Solutions and a prolific inventor of pedal-powered devices, including a pedal-power hacksaw and mobile phone charger
The panel will be moderated by MIT leader and entrepreneur Joost Bonsen, Co-Founder of Howtoons and MIT Instructor of Development Ventures who has also advised several start-ups and sits on the Board of Directors of the MIT $100K Competition

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): International Development Initiative

For more information, contact:
Laura Sampath

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Fair

Speaker: Various workshops during the fair

Time: 11:30a–1:30p

Location: Lobby-10, Bush Room and Student Center

Earth Day Fair
40 Years of Earth Day at MIT: 40 Ways to be Green. Learn how to help the planet on a daily basis

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free to the public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Initiative

For more information, contact:
Rebecca Marshall-Howarth

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Integrated Urban Ecosystem Research: Strategy and Insights from Baltimore, Maryland
Speaker: Steward Pickett, MIT Martin Luther King Visiting Scholar

Time: 4:00p–5:00p

Location: 48-316

Dr. Pickett heads one of the two pioneering urban long-term research projects established in 1997 by the National Science Foundation. This project, the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), builds on earlier research on ecology of forest patches he co-led in the New York metropolitan region. Based on patch dynamics and watershed ecology approach, BES links physical, social, and biological approaches to generate new understanding of the function of urban socio-ecological systems.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Civil and Environmental Engineering, Parsons Lab

For more information, contact:
Long, James M

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Legatum Lecture featuring A.E. Abdul Muhaimen
Speaker: A.E. Abdul Muhaimen

Time: 4:00p–5:00p

Location: 32-155

"New Frontier in SME Banking: A Model with a Difference"

Mr. Muhaimen will speak on banking for small and medium enterprises, drawing from his current experience as managing director and CEO of Brac Bank, Bangladesh's fasted growing bank, and his 25 years of working experience in the banking sector in Asia.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: free

Sponsor(s): Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship

For more information, contact:
Anna Omura

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From Cradle to Cradle: A Strategy of Hope

Speaker: Bill McDonough, Founding Principal, William McDonough + Partners

Time: 4:00p–5:30p

Location: Wong Auditorium

MIT Energy Initiative Colloquium

Abstract: The current design of human industry and the products and systems that result from its "cradle to grave" characteristics puts humans on a collision course with nature.

If all the detrimental defects of our current system were actually planned; climate destabilization, acidified oceans, toxic landscapes and rivers, etc. -- one might say the human species has become strategically tragic as it creates a world of limited resources and destitution for billions of people.

Mr. McDonough will present an alternative design which he calls a strategy of hope based on the concept of cradle to cradle, co-developed with chemist Dr. Michael Braungart from Germany.

He will examine a positive agenda which can manifest the opportunity to provide for a population of nine billion souls expected to inhabit the planet this century in a celebration of human innovation and creativity aligned with the laws of nature.

He will articulate strategies which will help lead us to a simply stated goal; a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world, with clean air, soil, water and power -- ecologically, economically, equitably and elegantly enjoyed.

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Initiative, United Technologies Corporation

For more information, contact:
Rebecca Marshall-Howarth

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tesla Motor's Powertrain Technology and Manufacturing Strategy

Speaker: Jim Dunlay, VP of Powertrain Hardware Engineering and Milo Werner, New Product Planning

Time: 5:00p–6:30p

Location: 66-110

Tesla Motors produces the world?s only highway-capable electric vehicle. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than nearly any other supercar and is twice as energy efficient as a hybrid. The Roadster's Powertrain technology developed in under three years is unlike any other in the automotive industry. Jim Dunlay and Milo Werner both MIT alums will talk on taking the propulsion system from prototype to production.

As for the agenda, we plan to spend Thursday on campus meeting with a variety of student groups and professors. Friday, we will be available for interviewing and hosting a lunch/dinner for students we have already extended offers to.

Kate Randall, who heads our college recruitment is also accompanying us. She will be reaching out to the career office, MIT corporate relations and in general helping to get the word out we will be on campus. Any guidance or direction you can give her would be greatly appreciated.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club

For more information, contact:
MIT Energy Club

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Energy Discussions: Renewables in China
Speaker: Prof. Ed Steinfeld

Time: 6:00p–7:00p

Location: 26-204

China has recently taken the lead in investment in clean power, spending $34.6 billion on alternative energy infrastructure in 2009. This is up from just $2.5 billion five years ago, an much more than the $18.6 billion invested here in the United States last year. Join members of the MIT Energy Club to learn more about China's goals and accomplishments in the renewable energy sector.

Please prepare for the discussion with the readings given on the Energy Club website.

A light dinner will be served.

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Campus Events

For more information, contact:
Rebecca Dell

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Talking Science in an Age of Sound Bites

Time: 6:30p–8:00p

Location: 32-123

A Special Earth Day Panel Discussion:


In the face of ever more complex and pressing global environmental issues, broad scientific literacy has never been more vital. Yet in this polarized, populist world of IT overload--this Age of Sound Bites--communicating science to the public and policymakers alike has never been more challenging. Who's responsible and what's to be done? Our distinguished and lively panel will dive in and dig for answers:

BETH DALEY--Environmental Reporter for the Boston Globe.

JOHN STERMAN--MIT Professor of Management at the Sloan School.

EVAN HADINGHAM--Senior Science Editor for NOVA.

JUDITH LAYZER--MIT Associate Professor of Environmental Policy in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

RANDY OLSON--Biology professor turned Hollywood filmmaker.

JOHN HAGAN--President of the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.


Web site:

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Tickets: email to register

Sponsor(s): Earth System Initiative, Sloan School Sustainability Initiative, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

For more information, contact:
Kurt Sternlof

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seminar on Enviromental and Agricultural History

Speaker: Donna Haraway, University of California at Santa Cruz

Time: 2:30p–4:30p

Location: E51-095

"Reintroducing the US West's Creatures of Empire with Navaho Churro Sheep and California Tamspot Pigs: Gleaning Pasts and Futures in Thickened Presents"

Web site:

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): History Office, STS

For more information, contact:
Margot Collet

Earth Week: Detroit agriculture film screenings

Friday, April 23rd.

6-8 pm. MIT. EG&G Education Center, Room 101, Cambridge.
The Tufts Food System Planning Coalition and Planners Network Boston Chapter presents a special screening of Grown in Detroit and Detroit:green + a panel discussion about the role of agriculture and justice in community development and urban revitalization.

Panelists include:
Julian Agyeman, moderator (Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Department
Matt Kochka (reVision House Urban Farm)
Alice Leung (Top Sprouts)
Betsy Johnson (Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, South End/Lower Roxbury Open
Space Land Trust)

More information at


Biodiversity, Ecology, and Global Change Series
Thu., Apr. 22, 2010, 5 p.m.
Biolabs Lecture Hall, 16 Divinity Ave.
Harvard University Center for the Environment
Mary Power, University of California, Berkeley
Free and open to the public
Reception to follow.


Tuesday, April 20, 7-9 pm

Central Square Library, 45 Pearl St.

GreenPort Forum
Another Economy is Possible: Introduction to the Solidarity Economy

Can we solve the current environmental crisis in an economy driven by profit and dependent on growth? Or must we rethink and transform economic institutions and their underlying values? In fact, we are already surrounded by a rich diversity of economic practices and institutions rooted in values of sharing, cooperation, sustainability, equality, subsidiarity/local-first, democracy, and justice. This “solidarity economy” is growing in every continent, often in response to the crises created by the dominant system.

In this interactive workshop, presenter Julie Matthaei, Professor of Economics at Wellesley College and co-founder of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network ( will introduce the solidarity economy framework, and related practices and institutions, with special focus on the emergence of sustainable technologies and lifestyles.

For more information, contact Steve Morr-Wineman at

April 22, 6:30 - 8:45pm
Cambridge Public Library's Main Auditorium
Is Solar Right for My House?

Please join us on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day to learn how solar can suit your home’s needs. A panel of experts will be available to answer your questions and walk you through their solar installation experiences in Cambridge.

Speakers will include:
• Paul Lyons President of Zapotec Energy, an energy consulting and contracting practice based in Cambridge
• Garrett Avery Architect and owner of 2-family home in Somerville with a particular interest in home energy efficiency and green design

Please RSVP at

Sponsored by:
Cambridge Renewable Energy Action Team Effort, the Office of the Mayor and Vice Mayor, Cambridge/Green Decade, MA Green Jobs Coalition, Sierra Club, Friends of the Fresh Pond Reservation, and Cambridge Energy Alliance

April 24 - May 2

Cambridge Science Festival


The Spring 2010 Mid-Cambridge PLANT SWAP
will be on
Saturday May 1
NOON to 2 pm

Rain date—in case of DOWNPOUR—is Sunday, May 2, 12-2

at Fayette Park
(near the corner of Broadway and Fayette St., across from former Longfellow School)

Bring anything that's growing in too much abundance in your garden. Elegant packaging not required, but please do write down the names of plants. We expect to have perennials, biennial seedlings, seeds, indoor plants, catalogs, pots, and lots of "whatever." Feel free to just come and talk gardening.

MID-CAMBRIDGE GARDENERS’ LISTSERV now has about 75 people on it. We swap plants, advice, resources. I’d be happy to add you.

GARDEN SHARING. You’ve noticed: gardening is IN and everyone wants to do it. But not everyone has space. One interesting response is yard sharing. Do you have (or know someone who has) a few untended square yards where someone else could put a few tomato plants, or containers with lettuce, or whatever? Or do you know someone who’d like to help a neighbor garden? I’m keeping a list of people who’d like to match up—so let me know. And I’m gathering other options for those who don’t have land: public weeding/planting projects, projects with kids, other community gardens, etc. Happy to share the list.

That’s it… Feel free to pass this on, and let me know if you want me to take you off the list, change an email address, etc. Helen

Editorial Comment: I will be away next week-end and that means those of you interested in these kinds of events are on your own. You can find links to the public lecture information from over 30 Boston area colleges and universities right here at

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