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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Obama to speak on clean energy, visit MIT energy labs today by Matt McGann '00

You can watch the speech live... or wait for the bloggers' account of it!

While bloggers Jess, Paul, and Snively will be listening to President Obama’s speech in person this afternoon in Kresge Auditorium, you can join them virtually via the webcast of President Obama’s speech.

The President is expected to begin his remarks around 12:30pm Eastern time. You can watch a live webcast of the speech here:

MIT President Obama Live Webcast
Here is the White House Press Release:


12:00 PM EDT

The President will tour a research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology an institution that has been developing cutting edge clean energy technology. Dr. Susan Hockfield, MIT President, and Dr. Ernie Moniz, Director of the MIT Energy Initiative, will lead the President on the tour of the laboratories, where he will visit stations displaying solar, battery, and wind technology, and a LED light experiment.

Below is a brief summary of what the President will see on the tour:

Solar Station: Professor Marc Baldo
Professor Baldo will demonstrate his work on luminescent solar concentrators which collects sunlight for solar cells. These concentrators promise to reduce the cost of solar electricity because they use fewer solar cells for the same energy output. They can be mounted on rooftops and other space- and weight-sensitive locations that cannot support conventional solar concentrators.

Professor Baldo is a principal investigator in MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE). Since his arrival at MIT in, 2002, he has worked on fundamental improvements to the efficiency of organic light-emitting devices, and luminescent solar concentrators — a promising technology that could reduce the cost of solar electricity.

Wind Station: Professor Alex Slocum
Professor Slocum will demonstrate an Offshore Renewable Energy Systems (ORES) for which excess power from a wind turbine pumps water out of a storage volume anchored to the seabed. ORES operates by having water flow past a turbine into the storage volume, creating an inverse lake on the bottom of the ocean. This storage system has two purposes: it enables offshore power generation when the wind is not blowing and power is needed; and can also be used for mooring a floating wind turbine. Storage is a key enabling technology for intermittent renewables such as wind.

Professor Alex Slocum is the Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering, a MacVicar Faculty Teaching Fellow, and a Fellow of the ASME. Alex is a self-described “gizmologist” who designs machines ranging from medical instruments to manufacturing equipment to big renewable energy machines.

Battery Station: Professors Angela Belcher and Paula Hammond
Professors Hammond and Belcher will demonstrate a high-power battery that can be grown and assembled at room temperature using biological processes and no toxic materials for synthesis — and one that adds no harmful materials to the environment. These batteries have the same power performance as the very best state-of-the-art batteries. When scaled, these materials — and, more importantly, the next-generation of materials — could be used for computers or plug-in hybrid vehicles. These batteries are also being designed for integration into small, unmanned aerial vehicles, and as a way to lighten soldiers’ loads.

Professor Belcher is a materials chemist with expertise in the fields of biomaterials, bio-molecular materials, organic-inorganic interfaces and solid-state chemistry. Belcher received a BA in creative studies and a PhD in chemistry, both from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Hammond is a professor of chemical engineering, pursuing research in two major areas: the development of new biomaterials via nano- to microscale fabrication and self-assembled materials systems for electrochemical energy devices, including fuel cells, batteries and photovoltaics. Hammond holds an SB and PhD in chemical engineering from MIT, and an MS from Georgia Tech.

LED Light Station: Professor Vladimir Bulovic
Professor Bulovic will demonstrate quantum dot lighting which is a replacement for existing light bulbs or fluorescent lights that combines warm, rich color with the high efficiency of LED technology. The remarkably high white-light efficiency of this device is combined with a life span of more than 20 years, which could change the paradigm of lighting technology. These lights can be fabricated in a simple molding process, enabling manufacturability and large-scale deployment. Artificial lighting consumes 8 percent of all U.S. energy and 22 percent of U.S. electricity. The efficiency of present light sources (which are primarily incandescent, fluorescent, and high-intensity lamps) can be doubled or even tripled with the LED white light sources that Bulovic and colleagues are developing.

Professor Bulovic holds a BSE, MA, and PhD from Princeton University and studies the physical properties of organic and organic/inorganic nanocrystal composite thin films and structures, and the development of novel optoelectronic organic and hybrid nano-scale devices.

12:30 PM EDT

After the tour the President will deliver remarks at MIT challenging Americans to lead the global economy in clean energy and to highlight Recovery Act investments that are creating jobs and making advancements in wind energy. Dr. Hockfield and Dr. Moniz will give remarks prior to the President’s speech.

The audience of approximately 750 will be composed of MIT faculty and staff, business and community leaders, and entrepreneurs. There will also be local political leaders and Members of Congress in attendance.

Expected attendees include the following elected officials:

US Senator John Kerry, D-MA
US Representative Michael Capuano, D-MA
MA Governor Deval Patrick
MA Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray
MA Attorney General Martha Coakley
MA Auditor of the Commonwealth Joe DeNucci
Mayor of Cambridge Denise Simmons
Mayor of Somerville Joe Curtatone
MA Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry
MA Senate President Pro Tem Stanley Rosenberg
Superintendent of Cambridge Public Schools Jeff Young

Susan Hockfield, Ph.D. – President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Susan Hockfield has served as the 16th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since December 2004. A noted neuroscientist focused on the development of the brain, Dr. Hockfield is the first life scientist to lead MIT and holds a faculty appointment as Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Before assuming the presidency of MIT, she was Provost at Yale University, where she had taught since 1985 and had also served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Under Dr. Hockfield’s leadership, MIT has built on its traditional strengths in science, engineering, architecture, management and economics to advance the frontiers of energy research and to pioneer crucial advances at the burgeoning intersection of the life sciences, the physical sciences and engineering.

Ernest J. Moniz – Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative
Ernest J. Moniz is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, Director of the Energy Initiative, and Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has served on the faculty since 1973. Dr. Moniz served as Under Secretary of the Department of Energy from 1997 until January 2001 and, from 1995 to 1997, as Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. At MIT, Dr. Moniz served as Head of the Department of Physics and as Director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center. His principal research contributions have been in theoretical nuclear physics and in energy technology and policy studies. He serves on President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST).

11 responses to “Obama to speak on clean energy, visit MIT energy labs today”

  1. Justin L. says:

    Exciting! The President at the MIT. Too bad I’ll be sleeping, it’ll be past midnight over here in Malaysia. I think. It’s 12.19AM here in my small town Kluang.

  2. Justin L. says:

    I’ll really like to hear the bloggers’ account for Professors Angela Belcher and Paula Hammond’s Battery Station project. Sounds amazing, yet so is nearly everything at MIT. The LED Light Station will be interesting too, I bet.

  3. B'14? says:

    it going on atm

  4. Tommy '13 says:

    According to Obama, MIT is the most prestigious school in Cambridge hehe smile

  5. Anon says:

    “According to Obama, MIT is the most prestigious school in Cambridge hehe smile

    And he attended Harvard Law School

  6. anon e moose says:

    actually he called the tute the most prestigious school in that part of cambridge. he was also fairly condescending about the ubiquitous periodic tables.

  7. shraddha says:

    President did give a wonderful speech… very inspiring!!

  8. Anna says:

    Thanks for the link!

    And also, there’s more broken code at the top of the page. smile Just like Celena’s before. Just so you know.

  9. Anna says:

    *Actually it’s on every blog entry that has a link in the tagline.

  10. Quynh says:

    Hi Matt,
    I have some questions regarding admissions to MIT. I wanted to email you personally but I can’t seem to find it.

    Could you give it to me?