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Kentucky Energy Summit

Thursday, October 11, 2007
(in celebration of CAER's 30th Anniversary)
Lexington Convention Center - Lexington, Kentucky
Scheduled to begin at 8:00 am
Cost: $30.00 (includes lunch)
Open to the public

Nathan Lewis

California Institute of Technology
Professor of Chemistry
Energy Summit Topic: Challenges in Sustainable Energy

Nathan Lewis

Presentation Abstract:
This presentation will describe and evaluate the technical, political, and economic challenges involved with widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies. First, we estimate the available fossil fuel resources and reserves based on data from the World Energy Assessment and World Energy Council. In conjunction with the current and projected global primary power production rates, we then estimate the remaining years of supply of oil, gas, and coal for use in primary power production. We then compare the price per unit of energy of these sources to those of renewable energy technologies (wind, solar thermal, solar electric, biomass, hydroelectric, and geothermal) to evaluate the degree to which supply/demand forces stimulate a transition to renewable energy technologies in the next 20-50 years.

Dr. Nathan Lewis, 2002 George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry, has been on the faculty at the California Institute of Technology since 1988, and has served as Professor since 1991. He has also served as the Principal Investigator of the Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Resource Center at Caltech since 1992. From 1981 to 1986, he was on the faculty at Stanford, as an assistant professor from 1981 to 1985 and a tenured Associate Professor from 1986 to 1988.

Dr. Lewis received his Ph.D in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr Lewis has been an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and a Presidential Young Investigator. He received the Fresenius Award in 1990, the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry in 1991, the Orton Memorial Lecture award in 2003, and the Princeton Environmental Award in 2003. He has published over 200 papers and has supervised approximately 50 graduate students and postdoctoral associates.

His research interests include Light-induced electron transfer reactions, both at surfaces and in transition metal complexes. Surface chemistry: photochemistry of semiconductor/liquid interfaces. Novel uses of conducting organic polymers and polymer/conductor composites. Development of sensor arrays from these polymers that use pattern recognition algorithms to identify odorants, mimicking the mammalian olfaction process.