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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Car show, panel to exhibit A&M energy resources

Texas A&M’s Energy Club will host the 2014 Evening of Energy throughout the MSC and Rudder Plaza Wednesday.
The event will include an Alternative Fuels Car Show to showcase automotive energy innovation and an expert panel on the topic of energy innovation and commercialization at Texas A&M and elsewhere.
Taylor Morrison Silva, former president of the Energy Club and moderator for the evening panel, said Evening of Energy hopes to bring together people who are interested and invested in the energy industry.
“It’s not just engineering,” Silva said. “It’s really an event to get professors who don’t usually see each other to know about other energy research going on, as well as get faculty and graduate students who all have that common interest of energy all in the same room.”
The theme of this year’s event is clean energy commercialization and innovation, which Omar Urquidez, electrical engineering graduate student, said will emphasize the resources at Texas A&M for the pursuit of innovation available to both faculty and students.
“There’s a view that’s starting to come on campus, of innovation, of startups,” Urquidez said. “You see that a lot in the West Coast, Silicon Valley and those sorts of places. We wanted to see it here at Texas A&M. The university has always been a leader in energy. We have the energy capitol of the world in Houston not too far away. We wanted to allow our students to be a part of the innovation. You can be a part of this revolution.”
Urquidez said the car show will provide something for those interested in the latest in energy innovation, rather than the commercialization of a personal invention. The car show will run from 6-9 p.m.
“Maybe you’re not the type of person who wants to be an inventor,” Urquidez said. “Maybe you just want to see what’s going on in innovation, and how you can be a part of it. We’re going to have a couple of Teslas, as well as natural gas and hybrid vehicles.”
Evening of Energy’s principal event will include an address by Robert Balog, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who will discuss his path from graduate studies to being a part of a startup company, as well as his other energy research experiences.
Following Balog, a group of panelists will discuss the resources available at Texas A&M for energy innovation and commercialization.
The inclusion of multiple auxiliary events, such as the car show and a tutorial on idea commercialization, allows the Energy Club to play to the diverse interests of audience members.
“We’re trying to make this open for audiences,” Urquidez said. “If you look at our auxiliary events like the car show, we want to pull in the casual observer and show them that there are interesting things going on in energy. We also want to look at the research side and try and pull those folks in through the poster contest. We want to find a lot of people from different audiences, from the casual observer to someone who might be interested in commercializing some of their work.”
Urquidez said he enjoyed organizing this year’s Evening of Energy because it has afforded him an opportunity to show people multiple facets in the concept of energy.
“What I’ve enjoyed most in general is allowing people who are interested in energy to think about it much more than, ‘Drill, baby, drill,’ or putting up solar panels everywhere,” Urquidez said. “It’s a lot more complicated than that. It has a global impact. It has economics and policy related to it. It’s not just about the science — the science is what drives it forward.”
While online registration is now closed, registration for the Evening of Energy will be available the day of the event, which is open to all students and faculty. Evening of Energy will take place in MSC ballrooms and Rudder Plaza.

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