From lectures by leaders in energy industry and government, to casual lunchtime discussions between energy students and professionals, to seminars and workshops where researchers present their latest work on a wide range of energy topics, the Energy Initiative presents numerous opportunities for the Duke community and the wider energy community to network, learn and explore.

All upcoming energy events are listed below. Visit our Energy Research Seminars page and our Energy Student Events page for more details on those activities.


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If you'd like to submit an event to be listed on this page and in the bulletin, please email Margaret Lillard.
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Upcoming Events:

Latest update 2014-10-27. All events are on the Duke campus unless otherwise noted.


Wednesday, Oct. 29: Power Trip: Charlotte Energy Tour
Co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke MBA Energy Club
This day-long Power Trip will include visits to the facilities of three of the world's leading companies in energy innovation. Open to current Duke students only.
7:15 a.m. Meet at Gross Hall. Additional details will be provided to registered participants.
Registration required.

Thursday, Oct. 30: Validating causal inference using high-frequency data: An energy experiment
Part of the Duke Energy Economics and Policy Seminars and Triangle Resource and Environmental Economics Seminars
Dave Rapson of UC-Davis presents his research.
3:15-4:45 p.m.
Building O9, CR 137
RTI International (map)

Friday, Oct. 31: Tackling Temporal Tradeoffs in Energy Efficiency
Part of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the University Program in Environmental Policy seminar series
Energy efficient upgrades often cost more up front, but save money and the help the environment in the long run. Unfortunately, consumers are often short-sighted and make inefficient choices. David Hardisty of the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business will introduce an adaptive, iterative framework to tackle this problem, combining the insights of economics, psychology, and anthropology.
10-11:30 a.m.
Field Auditorium
Environment Hall

Wednesday, Nov. 5: Unconventional Oil and Gas Exploration and Production: A Paradigm Shift in the Supply of Oil and Natural Gas
Duke alum Simon "Cy" Rich, chairman and co-founder of RKI Exploration and Production, will lead this noncredit class, which will survey the operational practices, macroeconomics, and environmental and social issues attendant to the discovery and production of "unconventional" oil and natural gas. Open to current Duke students only.
3-4:30 p.m.
Environment Hall 1105
Registration is required.

Wednesday, Nov. 5: Broken Landscape: Confronting India's Water-Energy Chokepoint
The Bass Connections in Energy team "Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film" hosts a screening of a film produced by Sean Peoples, program associate in the Environmental Change and Security Program of the Wilson Center. "Broken Landscape" explores how the demand for coal is transforming the local environment in the resource-rich Indian state of Meghalaya. Screening followed by Q&A with Peoples.
6-7 p.m.
Field Auditorium
Environment Hall

Friday, Nov. 7: Power Lunch with Amory Lovins
Amory Lovins, co-founder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, will present a brief talk on "Building a Secure Energy Future Together, Here and Abroad," with discussion to follow. Lunch will be provided. Open to current Duke students only.
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Gross Hall 100A
Registration is required.

Friday, Nov. 7: Amory Lovins on "Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era"
Built on Rocky Mountain Institute’s 30 years of research and work in the field, Reinventing Fire maps pathways for running a U.S. economy that will have grown 260 percent by 2050 without oil, coal or nuclear energy and using one-third less natural gas. RMI co-founder and chief scientist Amory Lovins will map business-led pathways to unlocking $5 trillion in savings and reducing carbon emissions across the buildings, industry and electricity sectors by more than 80 percent.
3-4 p.m.
107 Gross Hall

Tuesday, Nov. 11: Energy Mix
Our monthly social and networking reception for students, businesspeople, faculty and other members of the local energy community. This month’s Mix will welcome guests from the Duke University Energy Conference and the Energy Thought Summit to be held the following day. Parking will be provided in the Chem Lot on Circuit Drive.
5-7 p.m.
Energy Hub, Gross Hall

Wednesday, Nov. 12: Duke University Energy Conference
Business leaders, policy-makers, researchers and other professionals gather in a free, daylong conference to discuss current topics in energy. Speakers include Jim Rogers, chairman of the board of Duke Energy, and Stephen Greenlee (T'79), president of ExxonMobil Exploration Co. and vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp. Registration, schedule and other details at
8:45 a.m.-5 p.m.
Fuqua School of Business
Registration is required.

Wednesday, Nov. 12: ETS@Research Triangle
Energy thought leaders discuss and debate topics related to the state and future of energy. The Energy Thought Summit at Research Triangle is an opportunity to network with hundreds of energy executives and learn about the convergence of hardware and software and its implications for utilities, businesses and consumers.
9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh
Registration is required.

Thursday, Nov. 13: Power Lunch with Rebecca Ranich
Rebecca Ranich, former director of Deloitte Consulting's Federal Government Energy Advisory and Sustainability group, will present a talk on "Natural Gas as a Foundation Fuel," with discussion to follow. Lunch will be provided. Open to current Duke students only.
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Gross Hall 100A
Registration is required.

Thursday, Nov. 13: Paul Scott of Toulouse School of Economics
Part of the Duke Energy Economics and Policy Seminars and Duke Economics Department's Public/IO Seminars
Details TBA.
3:30-5 p.m.
111 Social Sciences

Friday-Sunday, Nov. 14-16: DISCon 2014: Energy Security and Reshaping the International Order
The Duke International Relations Association presents the Duke International Security Conference, a collegiate international relations conference designed to explore how competing strategic interests of existing and emerging powers create conflict, and how policy can be constructed to mitigate these tensions. This year’s DISCon will tackle the question of energy security in a time of global power shift. Visit for more details.
6:30 p.m. Friday to 1:30 p.m. Sunday
Sanford School of Public Policy
Registration is required.

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 15-16: HackDuke '14
Code for Good/HackDuke allows students to work on projects involving energy and environment, inequality, education, and health and wellness with engineers flown in from Google, Facebook, Coursera, Palantir and many more. For more information, visit
10 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday
Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium, CIEMAS
Registration is required.

Friday, Nov. 21: Power Trip: Raleigh
Co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Our fourth Power Trip of the semester will include visits to the Triangle-area facilities of the Environmental Protection Agency and SAS. Open to current Duke students only.
8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Registration is required.


Previous Events:


Friday, Oct. 24: Power Lunch with Tim Hertel
Co-sponsored by the Duke Energy Club
Toyota energy engineer Tim Hertel presented a brief talk on "Engineering & Energy: How You Can Make a Difference," followed by discussion.

Thursday, Oct. 23: Power Trip: Environment Hall
Co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
This tour highlighted the state-of-the-art features that have made the Nicholas School of the Environment's new building a showpiece of sustainable architecture on campus.

Thursday, Oct. 16: Energy Mix
Our monthly social and networking reception for students, businesspeople, faculty and other members of the local energy community. This month’s Mix focused on Duke's campus energy clubs and how students and the wider energy community can connect through their activities.

Thursday, Oct. 2: How Much do Building Energy Codes Really Save? Evidence from California
Part of the Duke Energy Economics and Policy Seminars and Triangle Resource and Environmental Economics Seminars
Arik Levinson of the Economics Department at Georgetown University presented his research.

Thursday, Sept. 25: Energy Engineering Minor Information Session
The Pratt School of Engineering offered a drop-in information session for students interested or currently enrolled in the Energy Engineering minor.

Friday, Sept. 19: Duke Start-Up Challenge: Grand Finale
The Duke Start-Up Challenge is a year-long entrepreneurship competition with an entry pool of over 100 Duke student teams. After elimination rounds through the year and participation in the Summer Innovation Program, six teams -- including 501Carbon, winner of the $10,000 Clean Energy Track prize -- remained in the fifth annual competition and gave their final pitch to win the $50,000 Grand Prize. The evening also featured keynote speaker Max Hodak E’12, founder of Transcriptic. This event is part of Entrepreneurship Week at Duke.

Friday, Sept. 19: Panel discussion on Emerging Environmental Policy Issues in China
Sponsored by Nicholas School of the Environment and Sanford School of Public Policy through a grant from the Education and Research in China Program at Duke University
Leading scholars on the environment shared their research and expertise on environmental policy in China. Energy Initiative Director Richard Newell, Gendell Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at the Nicholas School, and Brian Murray, Nicholas School research professor and Director for Economic Analysis at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, provided commentary and led discussion after the presentations.

Friday, Sept. 12: Cleaning up Cookstoves in India: Impacts, Opportunities and Challenges
The TISS/NCSU Energy and Security Initiative continues its Energy and Security Luncheon Series as Andrew Grieshop, an assistant professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at N.C. State, the environmental and energy impacts of cookstove use in less-developed countries. For more information, visit

Friday, Sept. 12: The Jevons Paradox: Why increasing the energy efficiency of the economy is accelerating global climate change
Presented by the Division of Earth & Ocean Sciences
Presentation by Tim Garrett, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Utah.

Thursday, Sept. 11: Shale Gas Development and Infant Health
Part of the Duke Energy Economics and Policy Seminars and Triangle Resource and Environmental Economics Seminars
Elaine Hill, University of Rochester, discussed her most recent research, which utilizes quasi-experimental methods to study the impacts of shale gas development on infant health in Pennsylvania. Download her paper.

Wednesday, Sept. 10: Power Lunch with Jim Rogers
Jim Rogers, retired chairman and CEO of Duke Energy, presented a lunchtime talk on "New Regulatory and Business Models for Utilities in the 21st Century."

Wednesday, Sept. 3: Power Trip: Duke University Chilled Water Plant
Co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
With the summer heat still in full effect, it’s an ideal time to check out Duke's chilled water plant, which provides cooling services to West Campus. This guided tour provided an in-depth look at one of Duke’s most innovative energy facilities.

Tuesday, Sept. 2: How Do Electricity Shortages Affect Productivity? Evidence from India
Part of the Duke Energy Economics and Policy Seminars/Department of Economics' Public/IO Seminars
Hunt Allcott, assistant professor of economics at New York University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, presented his research on electricity shortages and productivity.
Download his paper.

Thursday, Aug. 28: Energy Industry Fundamentals
The Energy Industry Fundamentals Conference brings academics and practitioners from across the energy industry to provide Duke students with an overview of the industry, its challenges and opportunities, and where it is headed. A few of the many topics covered include oil and gas, the electric power sector, renewable energy, project finance, and career opportunities. This one-day intensive is designed to provide a broad introduction to the major themes and current issues of the global energy industry.

Thursday, Aug. 28: Energy Mix
The Energy Initiative and our co-host, the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, welcomed the Duke energy community back to campus with our monthly social and networking reception for students, businesspeople, policymakers, faculty and other colleagues. Matt Zafuto, vice president of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Sensus and vice-chairman of the RTCC board of directors, and RTCC secretary/treasurer Tim Fairchild, director of the Global Utilities practice at SAS, told us about the RTCC and the Grand Challenges for Engineering. Guests at this Energy Mix included RTCC members, students attending the Energy Industry Fundamentals course, and members of this year’s Bass Connections in Energy teams.


Highlights of Energy Initiative events in past semesters