November 19, 2021 10:30am – 11:50am PST
Michael Webber, Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
The need to decarbonize is urgent and important. While electrification is an obvious part of the set of solutions, what is the role of gases like methane? This talk will discuss the overall problem of decarbonizing society while meeting our needs for accessible, affordable and reliable energy.
Dr. Michael E. Webber is the Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources at the University of Texas at Austin and CTO of Energy Impact Partners, a $1.5 billion cleantech venture fund. From September 2018 to August 2021, Webber was based in Paris, France where he served as the Chief Science and Technology Officer at ENGIE, a global energy & infrastructure services company. Webber’s expertise spans research and education at the convergence of engineering, policy, and commercialization on topics related to innovation, energy, and the environment. His latest book Power Trip: the Story of Energy was published in 2019 by Basic Books with an award-winning 6-part companion series that aired on PBS, Amazon Prime and iTunes starting Earth Day 2020. His first book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival, which addresses the connection between earth’s most valuable resources and offers a hopeful approach toward a sustainable future, was published in 2016 by Yale Press and was converted into an hourlong documentary. He was selected as a Fellow of ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and as a member of the 4th class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars, which is a leadership training program organized by Presidents George W. Bush and William J. Clinton. Webber has authored more than 400 publications, holds 6 patents, and serves on the advisory board for Scientific American. A successful entrepreneur, Webber was one of three founders in 2015 for an educational technology startup, DISCO Learning Media, which was acquired in 2018. Webber holds a B.S. and B.A. from UT Austin, and M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He was honored as an American Fellow of the German Marshall Fund and an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow on four separate occasions by the University of Texas for exceptional teaching.