Innovative Ideas on Sustainable and Affordable Energy – from the Symposium

Innovative Ideas on Sustainable and Affordable Energy discussed at Symposium sponsored by IITBHF, IITBAA-GNY and Columbia University.

Recognizing IIT Bombay as one of the best engineering and technology universities in the world, award winning economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University asked IIT Bombay alumni to use their engineering skills and knowledge to come up with the solutions to reduce world-wide carbon emissions to make the energy transition to Climate Safety.

Prof. Sachs gave the keynote address at the May 8th symposium on “Sustainable and Affordable Energy Challenge for the World” sponsored by Columbia University Sustainable Engineering Lab; IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation and IIT Bombay Alumni Association Greater New York Chapter. Nearly 100 persons attended the all day symposium on “Mother Earth Day”.

From left to right : Ruyintan Mehta, IITB HF President; Nathan Blair, World Bank; Audrey Zibelman, Chair NYS Public Service Commission; Silvia Romero, World Bank ; Prof. Deepak Divan, Georgia Tech; Dr. Pramod Khargonekar, Assistant Director, National Science Foundation; Prof. Vijay Modi, Columbia University; DC Agrawal, IITBAA-GNY Chapter President
From left to right : Ruyintan Mehta, IITB HF President; Nathan Blair, World Bank; Audrey Zibelman, Chair NYS Public Service Commission; Silvia Romero, World Bank ; Prof. Deepak Divan, Georgia Tech;
Dr. Pramod Khargonekar, Assistant Director, National Science Foundation; Prof. Vijay Modi, Columbia University; DC Agrawal, IITBAA-GNY Chapter President

In his remarks, Prof Sachs stated that now that world leaders have agreed on the lower carbon emission targets at the Paris COP 21 meeting, it is now up to the engineers to come up with the required solutions to meet the de-carbonization goals while meeting the energy needs of the poor as well as the rich in India and the world.

Dr. Vijay Modi of Columbia University’s Earth Institute & Director of Sustainable Engineering Lab with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a 1978 IIT Bombay graduate and an acknowledged expert in the field of sustainable and affordable energy presented his work on the new technologies now being developed to make renewable and affordable energy available to those who are off the energy grid in poor and emerging markets in Africa and India.

Dr. Pramod Khargonekar, Assistant Director of Engineering at US National Science Foundation and a 1977 IIT Bombay graduate gave his perspectives on the evolution of electric energy systems in both the developed and developing economies. Other speakers including Prof. Himadri Pakrasi of Washington University, Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno of MIT, and Prof. Deepak Divan of Georgia Tech talked about the latest developments in the fields of engineering bio-energy, nuclear energy, and integrating renewables into the power grid.

Ms. Audrey Zibelman, Chair of NY State Public Service Commission responsible for regulating the New York State electric utility industry talked about the potential regulatory changes required to better incorporate renewable energy in the commercial power systems.  Several speakers from the World Bank and Columbia University spoke about their ongoing work in this area.

From left to right : Dr Khargonekar, IITB ’77 Electrical Engg; Attendee at symposium;  Dr. Vijay Modi , IITB ’78 Mechanical Engg; Ron Mehta, IITB ’70 Chemical  Engg.
From left to right : Dr Khargonekar, IITB ’77 Electrical Engg; Attendee at symposium;
Dr. Vijay Modi , IITB ’78 Mechanical Engg;
Ron Mehta, IITB ’70 Chemical Engg.

In his remarks, Mr. Ruyintan Mehta, President IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation talked about this IITBHF initiative to highlight the work being done by IIT Bombay graduates and alumni in critical and important engineering, technology and policy areas.  Mr. D C Agrawal President IIT Bombay AA GNY Chapter thanked the speakers for enlightening us all on this important and potentially life changing subject and the many volunteers for making this symposium such a success.

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