Sunday, March 2, 2008

Texas Students Must Increase Energy Awareness Efforts

As I was looking for student initiatives at other universities that focus on creating awareness about energy issues, I came across the MIT Energy Club at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A management student at MIT wrote an article about the club's focus and recent efforts (Cambridge Brain Trust-MIT Energy Club, Jason Roeder).

What is now the Energy Club was started by a doctoral student David Danielson in 2004 to "build a strong energy community and
connect the sometimes disparate technology, policy, and business elements of MIT.” In fact, this student initiative preceded the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) which was instituted in 2006. Since its inception, the membership of the Energy Club has doubled every six months to reach a current total of 650 members. In the 2006–2007 school year, the club put on 68 events.

I believe that UT Engineering, LBJ, Jackson School and Business students can and should collaborate on similar initiative to demonstrate our knowledge and expertise in addressing energy issues. On Saturday, March 1, 2008 ExploreUT brought an estimated 40,000 people to campus. Many of them found their way over to the engineering area and learnt about different energy technologies and applications. The presenters and organizers were mostly students. Therefore, we already demonstrate a proficiency in creating public awareness about engineering and technology. With help from our friends in business, policy and geo-sciences we can broaden our reach and impact on the community.

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