Live Speakers

Priya Donti

Priya Donti is a PhD student in Computer Science and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research lies at the intersection of machine learning, electric power systems, and climate change mitigation. Specifically, she is interested in creating novel machine learning techniques that incorporate domain knowledge (such as power system physics) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. She is a DOE Computational Science Fellow, and also chairs Climate Change AI, an initiative to support work at the intersection of climate change and machine learning.

Live presentation - 9:00 AM 

This talk aims to provide an overview of where machine learning (ML) can be applied with high impact to address climate change, through either effective engineering or innovative research. It looks at strategies for both mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation (preparing for unavoidable consequences). It will introduce several overarching ways in which ML can be helpful, including gathering data through remote sensing, accelerating scientific discovery, optimizing systems to improve efficiency, and speeding up physical simulations. 

Amanda Richardson

Amanda Richardson was the lead brewer and sustainability coordinator at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, NC for four years. She currently works at Impact Earth as an educator in their zero waste schools program and is the development director at Flower City Pickers, a nonprofit food rescue in Rochester, NY.  Her work focuses on sustainability and environmental justice through education, partnerships, and community organizing.

Live presentation - 10:30 AM 

Food Waste: Rethinking Recovery

A look at the U.S. food system and the complex conditions that have led to food recovery agencies. What motivates different stakeholders in the food production, retail, and recovery processes? How does looking at the root causes of an unsustainable, inequitable system change how we design a solution?

Dr. Carey King

Dr. Carey King is Research Scientist at The University of Texas at Austin and Assistant Director at the Energy Institute. He has both a B.S. with high honors and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Carey performs interdisciplinary research related to how energy systems interact within the economy and environment as well as how our policy and social systems can make decisions and tradeoffs among these often competing factors. Carey’s research goals center on rigorous interpretations of the past to determine the most probable future energy pathways. He has published technical articles in the academic journals Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Research Letters, Nature Geoscience, Energy Policy, Sustainability, and Ecology and Society. He has also written commentary for American Scientist and Earth magazines as well as major newspapers such as The Hill, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, and Austin American-Statesman.

Live presentation - 1:00 PM

A Journey to Understand Relationships between Energy and the Economy

To understand sustainability in a fundamental way, we must think of the physical, economic, and social aspects of human activity. This presentation presents data and ideas that link observed macro-scale patterns in biology and ecology to those in human systems (energy and economy). In this way, we have a framework to understand how individual or micro-scale behavior and engineering design (e.g., more energy-efficient cars and buildings, etc.) relate to macro-scale observations in an unintuitive manner.

Kyle Gracey

Kyle Gracey is the Chair of the Board of Directors at Engineers for a Sustainable World. He co-founded the chapter at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has held engineering, scientific and non-technical positions in private sector consulting, the federal government, military, nonprofits and academia. Connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kylegracey/ or on Twitter @gracey_kyle

Live panel - 5:00 PM

Sustainable Employment

Interested in working in a sustainable field? What about maintaining a sustainable lifestyle without an environmental career path? Are you passionate about entrepreneurship and have questions about how to get started? Come hear from four experts, moderated by Kyle Gracey, and their experiences. Questions will be taken from Slack, text and Zoom chat. 

Dr. Alexander Dale

Dr. Alexander Dale is the Sustainability Lead at MIT Solve, where he supports social entrepreneurs and a community of cross-sector organizations passionate about tackling food, energy, water, and climate challenges. He has an academic background in the life-cycle impacts of energy and water infrastructure, and a professional background in environmental policy, engineering education, and nonprofit management. He is a relentless pragmatic optimist - sees the world as it is, and believes that the future can be better if we roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Alex was Executive Director of ESW from 2013 until 2015, and a Board Member through 2017. From 2015 to 2017, he was a AAAS Policy Fellow hosted by the US EPA’s Transportation and Climate Division. He is involved in transit advocacy through TransitMatters, has taught courses in social entrepreneurship, energy & science communication, and technical sustainability, will happily recommend science fiction to anyone who asks, and is a recent father of an adorable daughter. 

Alex was born in Massachusetts and raised in Pennsylvania. He has a Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and a B.S.E. in Engineering Physics, both from the University of Pittsburgh.

Live panel - 5:00 PM

Sustainable Employment

Interested in working in a sustainable field? What about maintaining a sustainable lifestyle without an environmental career path? Are you passionate about entrepreneurship and have questions about how to get started? Come hear from four experts, moderated by Kyle Gracey, and their experiences. Questions will be taken from Slack, text and Zoom chat. 

Mike Alcazaren

Mike Alcazaren is originally from Buffalo, NY and loves talking Buffalo sports, cleantech, cool ideas, and entrepreneurship. Mike graduated from the University at Buffalo with a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering in 2012. At UB, Mike was heavily involved with ESW in various roles from the original solar smoothie cart team in 2009 (SO cool to see chapters with their own carts) to chapter president in 2011. 

 

Mike started his career in Boston as an engineer with Raytheon, modernizing US radar systems. After 2.5 years as an engineer, Mike joined Autodesk as a Program Manager on their education team. While at Autodesk, Mike worked on integrating mechanical engineering software into curriculums at universities throughout the US. In 2016, Mike co-founded a cleantech company, Canary Drones with co-ESWer, Derek Chung. Canary Drones worked on developing aerial solutions for the agriculture industry, specifically providing vineyards with early disease detection.  This entrepreneurship experience inspired Mike to pursue his MBA at Simon where he concentrated in Entrepreneurship and Finance. He refers to the finance concentration as ‘eating my vegetables’. 

 

After graduating from Simon, Mike joined Amazon as a Senior Product Manager in Seattle. Mike works on the Smart Home Go-To-Market team, where he crafts product strategy for both software and hardware products. Mike’s latest project was launching the go-to-market plan for Project Connected Home Over IP. Outside of work, Mike loves cheering on the Buffalo Bills, hiking and biking the great outdoors, catching some live music, & travelling and eating with his fiancee, Adrian.

Live panel - 5:00 PM

Sustainable Employment

Interested in working in a sustainable field? What about maintaining a sustainable lifestyle without an environmental career path? Are you passionate about entrepreneurship and have questions about how to get started? Come hear from four experts, moderated by Kyle Gracey, and their experiences. Questions will be taken from Slack, text and Zoom chat. 

Sophie Hopps-Weber

Sophie Hopps-Weber always dreamed of pursuing a career in renewable energy so that she could help make her world a more sustainable place. After graduating from Rochester Insititue of Technology and spending several years in aerospace and defense, Sophie stepped into an Assistant Project Manager position with Labella Associates' hydropower group. In this role she helps manage hydropower infrastructure projects all over New York State. Sophie knows that it is not always easy to find your dream job and is excited to talk about ways to make the search easier. 

 

When she is not at work or volunteering as the Chapter Relations Director for ESW HQ, Sophie loves playing board games and spending time with her cats Miso and Mochi.

Live panel - 5:00 PM

Sustainable Employment

Interested in working in a sustainable field? What about maintaining a sustainable lifestyle without an environmental career path? Are you passionate about entrepreneurship and have questions about how to get started? Come hear from four experts, moderated by Kyle Gracey, and their experiences. Questions will be taken from Slack, text and Zoom chat. 

Derek Chung

Derek Chung is a Senior Proposal Engineer at Wartsila.  His job entails designing utility scale energy storage systems.  He has spent 4 years in the energy storage industry in various roles including operations, project management, project finance, and business development.  On the side, he is working on a climate change technology start up called Frost Methane Labs that is targeting various natural methane seeps.  These days, you can find him indoors pacing around in circles.

Live panel - 5:00 PM

Sustainable Employment

Interested in working in a sustainable field? What about maintaining a sustainable lifestyle without an environmental career path? Are you passionate about entrepreneurship and have questions about how to get started? Come hear from four experts, moderated by Kyle Gracey, and their experiences. Questions will be taken from Slack, text and Zoom chat. 

Pre-Recorded Speakers

Chris Kratzer

Chris Kratzer is a recent graduate of RIT. She currently works as a Process Engineer at Corning Environmental Technologies. She is an accomplished Entomologist and the acting Technology Coordinator for ESW-HQ.

Presentation released at 10 AM 

Why Citizen Science Has Never Been More Important

As the world becomes more and more connected, opportunities to participate in scientific discovery are becoming more and more accessible – regardless of your background and geographic location. The bar has never been lower to contribute to the fields that interest you. So why wait? Explore the world of Citizen Science today!

Luann Meyer

Ms. Meyer has over eighteen years of experience with environmental projects. In 2017, Ms. Meyer joined Monroe County as their Solid Waste Administrator. In this role she manages the contractors that operate and maintain the County's landfill, transfer station, and recycling center. She also oversees the management of the County's leaf compost facilities and education and outreach program. Luann often says there is never a dull moment in the solid waste and recycling! Additionally, Luann is the Vice Chair for the NY Federation of Solid Waste and Recycling Annual Conference and is the President of the New York Chapter of SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America).

Presentation released at 6 PM

Recycling – The Long and Winding Road

The recycling industry has evolved over the past 30 years with new sorting and processing technology, making recycling more convenient than ever for residents. At the same time, new types of packaging, mixed messaging, and the phenomenon of “wish-cycling”, have contributed to the increasing trend of contamination at the recycling plant.  Coupled with a global recycling market crisis, this has propelled recycling into a crossroads. Find out what this means for recycling in New York State.

Dr. Ron Wagler

Dr. Ron Wagler is an Associate Professor of Science Education at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He is also the founder and Director of the Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory and a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the UTEP Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Presentation released at 10 AM

The Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory

Take a look at some of the amazing captive bred living arthropods in the Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory! To learn more about the Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory and the work we do visit us at http://volt.utep.edu/ronwagler/laeel and https://www.facebook.com/LivingArthropodEducationLaboratory/.

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