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ECOnference at ODU Will Focus on Issues Surrounding Fuel and Energy Conservation

A one-day symposium, called the ECOnference, will bring many leading experts to Old Dominion University on April 10 to speak about issues such as fuel and energy conservation.

Hosted by the ODU Business Gateway and Inside Business, the conference will be held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

The keynote speakers for the event are former Virginia gubernatorial candidate and green entrepreneur Terry McAuliffe; Jay Kimball, founder of technology consulting firm 8020 Vision; and Capt. (Sel.) James Goudreau, director of the Navy Energy Coordination Office.

The ECOnference is expected to attract approximately 400 participants who will come together to share ideas and information. Attending the event will be regional decision makers; leaders from military commands and the marine and shipping industry; government contractors; representatives from the nascent wind energy industry; ODU students and faculty; and interested citizens.

The three symposium strands will focus on:

  • Wind Energy - The marine assets of Hampton Roads make it the ideal and logical port on the East Coast to become the staging point for construction of offshore wind turbines. This could spur economic growth and sustainability for the area. Supply chain companies that already exist in the region are eager to know how to prepare.
  • Fossil Fuel Reduction - A Department of Defense mandate, an economic necessity to the private sector in light of today's cost of fuel and political unrest in oil-producing nations, and the environmentally right thing to do, this track will address new technologies for marine and/or military application.
  • Alternative/"Green" Energy Technologies - In order to reduce U.S. dependence on fossil fuels, there must be an alternative. At this point, there is no one technology to take the place of oil. This track will explore new and promising energy technologies.

Larry Atkinson, Slover Professor of Oceanography at ODU and director of the university's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative, will headline a series of talks on wind energy, speaking about the potential of offshore wind energy development. An afternoon panel discussion will look at the readiness of workforce development for the offshore wind industry

Other ODU faculty researchers who will speak at the ECOnference include biofuels expert Pat Hatcher, executive director of the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium; photovoltaic energy expert Sylvain Marsillac, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Erika Marsillac, assistant professor of decision sciences and a green supply chain management expert.

For more information, visit http://www.econferenceva.com/.

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