The Duke University Energy Initiative announces a half-day interdisciplinary research workshop for graduate students and new PhDs to tackle the pressing challenge of “Envisioning Energy Solutions.” The workshop will be held in the The Generator (Gross 100 C) on April 13, 2018 from noon to 5:30 pm and will be followed by a happy hour reception. All Duke graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty are all invited to attend. PLEASE RSVP BY APRIL 11 IF POSSIBLE. 

The workshop will include short presentations (approximately 10-minutes each in length) of research-in-progress by a select group of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows across a variety of disciplines. (These individuals submitted proposals, which were due March 9.) Cash prizes ranging from $100-500 will be awarded to the presenters who best “translate” their research to a general audience of scholars from many disciplines and demonstrate a contribution to advancing an accessible, affordable, reliable, and clean energy system. The workshop will also feature a brainstorming session around potential themes and opportunities for collaboration, with the aim of identifying potential future student-led interdisciplinary projects. Such projects may include novel research destined for peer-reviewed journals or syntheses of the current state of knowledge intended for an audience beyond academic scholars. Students and post-doctoral fellows will be encouraged to build upon their idea generation after the workshop, with the invitation to compete for a financial award to fund promising projects.

Here's the full agenda (download as PDF): 

12:00 p.m. -  Welcome (Brian Murray, Director of the Energy Initiative)

12:15 p.m. -  An Energy Modeler's Perspective on Future Energy Systems (Joseph DeCarolis, Associate Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University)

1:00 p.m. - Select Research Presentations

  • Welfare Effects of Energy Storage (Justin Kirkpatrick, University Program in Environmental Policy)
  • Electricity Supply Solutions for Remote Areas in Oil-Rich Country: Opportunity for Renewable Energy (Bandar Alqahtani, Nicholas School of the Environment)
  • Development of an Inexpensive Solar Soiling System to Analyze Global Influence of Dust and Particulate Matter on Photovoltaic Efficiency (Michael Valerino, Pratt School of Engineering)
  • Impact of Solar Tariff Change on Households' Decision: Evidence from Arizona's Unbundled Solar Rates (Qingran Li, University Program in Environmental Policy)

2:00 p.m. - Break

2:15 p.m. - Select Research Presentations

  • Evaluating Global Industrial Black Carbon Emissions: Insights from Income-emission Trajectory (Muye Ru, Nicholas School of the Environment)
  • US Energy-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Absence of Federal Climate Policy (Hadi Eshraghi, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, NC State)
  • Lessons from the World’s Longest Oil Pipeline Network (Tom J. Cinq-Mars, History Department
  • Energy-efficient Sampled-based Motion Planning for Underwater Robots (Yuankai Zhu, Mechanical Engineering and Material Science)
  • Photocathodes for Solar Water Splitting (Yihao Zhao, Mechanical Engineering and Material Science) 

3:15 p.m. - Break 

3:30 p.m. - Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research at Duke (Edward J. Balleisen, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Research)

3:45 p.m. - Opportunities for Cross-Discipline Energy Research (brainstorming session)

4:45 p.m. - Recapitulation

5:00 p.m. - Happy Hour

Questions about the workshop  may be directed to Professors Robyn Meeks ( and Steven Sexton (

The Generator (100C), Gross Hall
Date & Time
Friday, Apr 13, 2018 - 12:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Location: Selected attendees will be notified via email several days in advance of the dinner with details regarding meeting location. All dinners will be within reasonable driving distance to Duke campus.
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Meet at Gross Hall atrium
Time: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: French Family Science Center 4233
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm