Event highlights energy technologies

Sep 15, 2006

Kettering University hosted a showcase event Friday-Saturday, Sept. 15-16, from 2-4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday that focused on sustainable energy technologies and served as a precursor to the 2007 Flint area science fair season.

Kettering University's Sustainable Energy and Hybrid Technology Showcase on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16, provided invaluable insight into how our world can establish energy security and create a greener environment for future generations. Additionally, this event served as a precursor to the Flint area science fair season while offering a glimpse of the University's high school science and math teacher energy education program under development for January 2007 and currently supported by the Department of Labor.

The showcase featured prominent industry experts who shared their insights regarding alternative and sustainable energy concepts that hold promise today and for the near future. A specific theme of their talks dealt with the role of sustainable energy in lowering the cost of energy for mobility and distribution today and in the near future. Experts who participating in this showcase included

  • Jonas (Jon) Bereisa, director of the Automotive Competitive Fuel Cell Program for General Motors Corp. Bereisa's work concentrates on the commercialization of fuel cell technology for vehicle propulsion. Previously, he served in the company's Advanced Technology Vehicles organization as chief engineering of Electric Propulsion Systems. His team was responsible for taking the GM EV1 electric vehicle and Chevrolet S-10 electric pickup to production.
  • James A. Croce, chief executive office, NextEnergy Center. Croce managed business strategy, leadership initiatives and government relations for NextEnergy Center, a non-profit corporation that enables the commercialization of energy technologies that contribute to the nation's economic competitiveness, energy security and the environment. Croce previously worked at DTE energy Technologies from 2001-2003, where he served as vice president of Business Development with responsibility for new business development activities in renewable energy and distributed power generation.
  • Al McFadden, senior sales executive of Detroit Diesel Corporation, has more than 33 years of experience with one of the world's major manufacturers of heavy duty diesel engines for trucks, buses, construction, industrial, automotive, military, power generation and marine applications. As head of Detroit Diesel Corporation's North American Regional Organization, the team achieved identification by "Power Selling Magazine" as one of the top sales organizations in the U.S. following an in-depth customer survey across most product and market sectors of the U.S. economy.

Organizations participating in this event included Ford, Ovonics ECD, DTE Energy, Flint Metro Transportation Authority, Toyota, Lansing Community College, Hydrogenics, Adaptive Materials and the Fuel Cell Store.

Events held during this showcase included

  • Media interviews with industry experts on Friday, 12:30-1:30.
  • Town Hall meeting with experts that provided audience members an opportunity to hear from each speaker and participate in an open discussion about sustainable energy and future issues about this topic.
  • Static exhibits, including those highlighting sustainable power technologies such as the MTA hybrid bus, Kettering Fuel Cell GEM vehicle, Ford's fuel cell car, a TACOM fuel cell attack vehicle, ECD's fuel cell car, and a portable fuel cell power generator among others.
  • Hands-on exhibits and activities for high school students and teachers. These activities and exhibits focused on sustainable energy education and served as idea-generators for the 2007 science fair season.
    These displays of advanced technology hardware and other exhibits included
    - hydrogen production;
    - how a fuel cell works-building your own fuel cell;
    - hydrogen safety;
    - building a fuel cell car;
    - DTE movie on hydrogen fuel cell power distribution;
    - racing cell radio controlled car-the economy on a fuel cell;
    - how solar power works; and
    - careers in sustainable energy. 

The expected learning outcomes for students who participated in this event include the ability to discuss the need for sustainable energy, explain how hydrogen is produced, explain how a fuel cell operates and describe the use of fuel cells in powering cars and homes.

For more information about this and other similar events, contact the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at (810) 762-9791.

Written by Gary J. Erwin
(810) 762-9538