Last week Ferris hosted the annual Michigan Energy Conference that, this year, followed the theme “Conserve and Convert, Together Brings Solutions!”
The Energy Center, which falls within the College of Engineering Technology, looks to develop Ferris’ resources and activities in energy-related issues and is one of the driving forces behind the two-day conference.
Tom Crandell, the Director of Corporate and Professional Development for Ferris, said the point of the conference is to educate everyone, students, faculty, community, businesses, and industries, on what’s going on in the world of energy and how it’s going to help bring a new and diversified economy to Michigan and help to bring jobs back to the state.
This is the third year of the Michigan Energy Conference.
“The program’s been growing every year,” said Crandell. “We’re glad to see that and look to continue growing this for the good of students, faculty, and the community.”
The first day consisted of various workshops focused on several different areas including residential and commercial building performance, energy conservation and efficiency, and legislative issues relating to energy use.
The second day consisted of several keynote speakers and 16 breakout sessions that focused on building performance, governmental issues and legislation, transportation issues relating to electric cars and biofuels, and finally the transmission of power.
Individuals who presented not only represented Ferris, but also Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, and Northwestern Michigan College.
“We’re not just trying to make this a Ferris event,” said Crandell. “There’s a lot of education out there from other schools.”
The conference first came around through the College of Engineering Technology when a group within the college began examining the different programs and strengths at Ferris that dealt with efficiency and energy management.
Now the conference looks to incorporate pieces of business programming from the College of Business and areas of the College of Arts and Sciences that deal with the biological and chemical aspects of energy.
Crandell said the conference is not strictly a College of Technology thing, but that the Energy Center is really bringing all these groups together to work with each other for the betterment of the state and the nation as well. n