2012 Business Advocate of the Year: Dean Martin Abraham

This October, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber named Martin Abraham, STEM dean, the 2012 Business Advocate of the Year. Abraham is responsible for increasing the number of students in the STEM College, as well as promoting research initiatives. He also serves on the Board of the TechBelt Energy Innovation Center, which promotes public and private investment, research, and manufacturing.

Watch below as Dean Abraham accepts his award!

Youngstown Urban Agriculture Roundtable

If you have taken a look around the city of Youngstown lately, there have been some noticeable changes. With revitalization as a main focus, various nonprofits, residents, and businesses are increasing their efforts to bring green initiatives to the city.
Panelists addressed these changes occurring in the area at the Youngstown Urban Agricultural Roundtable panel for the 2012 Sustainable Energy Forum, held at Youngstown State University on June 4 and 5.

Hailing from Southern California, Walker Wells, director for the green urbanism program at Global Green USA, noted how a partnership began here in the valley, when Wells was invited to the Forum three years ago.  Wells assisted with needs such as agriculture, redevelopment codes, and zoning issues.

Wells, who moderated the discussion, introduced other speakers including Youngstown City Council President Tito Brown, who noted that.  “Youngstown is embracing being a greener community.”  His sentiment appears to be true. Community gardens, as he pointed out the location on Glenwood Avenue in the Idora Park neighborhood as an example of what is becoming more of a norm as citizens are utilizing empty land for green space.

Another organization bringing the issues of sustainability to the forefront is Goodness Grows of North Lima, Ohio. Steve Fortenberry, president and founder, said that his group has worked with GM Lordstown by operating gardens in empty land around the plant. Fortenberry said GM has incorporated these gardens into their employee wellness program.

Attendees also heard from Joy Johnson, grants management director at Burten, Bell, Carr, Development Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio. Johnson shared how Cleveland is becoming an agricultural hub as citizens continue to create partnerships as well as innovate new gardens and farms in urban areas.

Along with the other presentations, an important part of the agriculture panel was the group discussions. Creating dialogue is a vital way to encourage and educate others on the significance of sustainability and community.

A crowd gathered in the Chestnut Room listens to a speaker.

Sustainable Energy Forum, Delphi

In today’s society, companies are finding new ways to bring energy efficient products to consumers.

Attendees at the June 4 and 5 Sustainable Energy Forum at Youngstown State University were able to see first-hand some of the new technologies that are driving sustainability efforts in the automotive sector. Presenters from the hydraulics division of Delphi, in Champion, Ohio, hosted a panel to discuss how the company is introducing innovative technologies into the hybrid market.

Delphi is a global manufacturer that develops parts for the growing demand of greener vehicles. Randy Sumner, director of global hybrid electric vehicle business and technology development, said that in a standard car, there is more computing than a space shuttle.

In one innovation critical to the success of the electric vehicle, Delphi is developing a wireless charging system. The system would be placed on a garage floor, or paved parking spot, and consumers would not have to worry about plugs or cords.
Currently, the company has 12,400 customers, and 120,000 employees. Sumner noted that Delphi has a 95 percent flawless launch rate, and invests substantially in research and development.

A car Delphi brought to showcase at the forum.

Dominion Transmission

Ask David Mordan, director of natural gas operations at Dominion Transmission about the company, and he’ll tell you where it all began and where it’s heading. In 1913 in Hastings, Ohio, Dominion was the first company to have an oil absorption processing plant in the United States. Today, Dominion is the nation’s leading energy supplier.

Marcellus shale, which runs through Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio, is one of the driving forces for Dominion’s growth and expansion. As part of the 2012 Sustainable Energy Forum held at Youngstown State University on June 4 and 5, Mordan spoke to a crowd of over 200 about the Dominion’s gas processing facilities, specifically the development of the Hasting’s location the new $500 million plant being built in Natrium, West Virginia.

Texas based Chicago Bridge and Iron was hired to build the plant, which is expected to be completed by December 2012. This isn’t the first time Dominion has made such large investments. In 2002, the Hastings location saw a $90 million renovation to modernize and expand, Mordan said.

Interested people listen intently to the talk.

Fourth Annual Sustainable Energy Forum

It has been said that creating a sustainable energy supply is the number one challenge for society today. On June 4th and 5th, the fourth annual Sustainable Energy Forum was held in Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University to describe opportunities to meet that challenge. The event served as an opportunity for industry leaders, academicians, students, and members of the community to learn more about ideas and innovations in this growing field.

Honorable Bill Johnsn speaks at podium.

Over 200 attendees heard from a variety of guest speakers, including the Honorable Bill Johnson, Congressman of the 6th District Ohio, and Jason Walsh, senior advisor for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, at the U.S. Department of Energy. Attendees also had the opportunity to attend an exhibition of companies engaged in the sustainable energy supply chain, and participate in multiple panel discussions on an array of topics. Representatives from Delphi, Dominion Transmission, General Motors, Global Green USA, and V&M Star, were all present to describe their role in this emerging industry.

Marc Gerken speaks at podium.

Marc Gerken, president of American Municipal Power (AMP) in Columbus, Ohio, delivered the keynote address. AMP is a major force in wholesale supply for municipal electrical systems, serving areas from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and a joint action agency in Delaware.

The focus of Gerken’s talk was on transformational technologies. He said for AMP, sustainability means to focus on maximizing opportunities and minimizing risks for their members. This involves “a balance between economic, environmental, and social considerations.” Since 2000, the nonprofit has seen membership grow from 82 in 2000 to now 129. Gerken assigns the reason for the growth to a business model that incorporates flexibility, financial growth, and future projects.

Jason Walsh speaks at podium.

With sustainability being a world-wide concern, new technologies and research opportunities are emerging and Jason Walsh, Department of Energy, noted that government has invested $260 billion in global clean energy. This has provided opportunities for job growth, energy security, and an increase in the use of domestic oil sources, Walsh added.

The Government, corporations, and other populations are taking notice that sustainability in our nation is not an issue to take lightly; it’s a necessity. As Congressman Bill Johnson said, “Energy is the next great frontier for America.”

Fourth Annual Sustainable Energy Forum

Here in the United States, as well as internationally, sustainable energy is an area that has gained massive attention in more recent years. On June 4th and 5th, the fourth annual Sustainable Energy Forum held in Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University, served as an opportunity for businesses, students, and the community alike to learn more about ideas and innovations in this growing field. Attendees heard from a variety of guest speakers, such as representatives from Delphi, Dominion Transmission, General Motors, and Global Green USA. Marc Gerken, president of American Municipal Power (AMP) in Columbus, Ohio, delivered the keynote address to the crowd of over 200. Mr. Gerken, and the entire forum as a whole, had one ongoing theme: moving forward. With sustainability being a world -wide concern, new technologies are emerging. These efforts are what will change the future.

A piece of tech brought to be put on display.
Participants at the forum having a discussion.

Sustainable Energy Forum, June 4-5, 2012

Tim Ryan speaks at the podium in the Chestnut Room.

The Youngstown State University Sustainable Energy Forum will be held on June 4-5, 2012 in Kilcawley Center on the YSU Campus. Details are available at www.ysu.edu/sef

The fourth annual Forum will host more than 200 academicians, energy industry leaders, government officials, and entrepreneurs. The Forum focus is on technology that is imminently ready for commercialization, especially those technologies which will have a near-term positive impact on commercial, industrial and residential energy savings.

The YSU Sustainable Energy Forum places a particular focus on sustainable and other clean energy technologies that are being successfully implemented within the region. The planned Tuesday conference technical sessions include such topics as renewables, waste-to-energy, natural gas applications, water technology resources, vehicle electrification, energy management, and small modular nuclear energy.

A key objective of the YSU Sustainable Energy Forum is collaboration building amongst attendees. In past years, entrepreneurs have teamed up with students/faculty to successfully pursue sponsored research funding. Researchers have also engaged large energy companies for insights and opportunities. All attendees gain a clearer picture of national and state energy priorities, as well as the strategic direction of the energy industry.

Monday, June 4 will feature plenary presentations by a series of national and regional keynote speakers.

Relevant technical abstracts are invited for our planned technology focus sessions on Tuesday, June 5, in which technical and industry experts will engage in discussion with entrepreneurs and researchers.

The YSU Sustainable Energy Forum also features an “Energy Expo”, in which participating organizations and companies display products and technologies. Expo participants receive program billing, conference registration, and a two-day display space in Kilcawley Center.

Please go to www.ysu.edu/sef for additional conference details, a list of speakers and agenda, abstract submission, and for individual and Energy Expo registration.

Youngstown State University holds third annual Sustainable Energy Forum

Youngstown State University hosted its third annual Sustainable Energy Forum on June 5, 6 & 7, 2011. This conference brought together more than 200 attendees from academia, government and industry in far-reaching discussions on various aspects of sustainable energy, including wind, solar, bio-fuels, energy efficiency, liquid fuels, landfill gas and fuel cells.

While the primary objective of the conference was to highten awareness of the imminent environmental challenges and to propose commercially and scientifically viable solutions to resolve problems, other conference objectives included:

  1. Guiding regional economic development through the commercialization of energy technologies.
  2. Promoting collaborative green energy technology ventures, linking the government, businesses and the university.
  3. Discussing information on technologies involving renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  4. Identifying specific areas of essential research and topics for forthcoming discussions.
  5. Pinpointing opportunities to pursue joint research in technology development for sustainable energy.

A key theme for the 2011 Conference was ‘Driving Down the Commercialization Cost of Energy Technologies’. The conference format included several presentations by regional, national, and international researchers, engineers and government figures who all share a keen interest in Sustainable Energy solutions.

Participants at the Sustainable Energy ForumKeynote Speakers included Mr. Eric Spiegel, President of Siemens North America, Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy Dr. Henry Kelly, Mr. Jack Ihle, National energy Policy Expert, and Congressman Tim Ryan.

Over a dozen regional agencies and manufacturers displayed product innovations and collaboration opportunities in an Energy Expo that ran concurrent with the conference. Event sponsorship was provided by V&M Star, NorTech, the Dominion Foundation, Johnson Controls, Roth Brothers, the Regional Chamber, Applied Systems and Technology Transfer, and the Youngstown Business Incubator.