Conference Speakers

Additional speaker information will be available soon.

Terance Barry

Terence Barry is a co-founder and the chief scientific officer of AquaMost, Incorporated. AquaMost is a Madison-based start-up company that has invented a novel water purification device that can destroy both pathogenic microorganisms and a variety of chemical contaminants in water, including petroleum constituents (e.g., benzene, MTBE), pharmaceuticals, and endocrine disruptors. Prior to founding AquaMost, Dr. Barry worked for over 20 years as a research scientist in the Department of Animal Sciences at the UW-Madison (UW). His laboratory is located in the Water Sciences and Engineering Building. Most of his published work is in the fields of fish physiology and aquaculture. Dr. Barry was a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa. He managed a large aquaculture R&D project in the Philippines, and previously owned and managed one of the largest private fish hatcheries in Wisconsin. Dr. Barry is a former East-West Center Scholar (Honolulu, Hi), and Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow (University of Tokyo, Japan). He has a PhD in Endocrinology-Reproductive Physiology from the UW. (website)

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Craig Benson

Craig Benson, PhD, PE, DGE is Wisconsin Distinguished Professor and Chair of Geological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also serves as Director of the Recycled Materials Resource Center, a federally funded research center focused on sustainable construction of transportation infrastructure, and the Bioreactor Partnership, a industry-academic partnership on sustainable solid waste management. Dr. Benson has a BS from Lehigh University and MSE and PhD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Benson has been conducting experimental and analytical research in geoenvironmental engineering for 27 yr, with the primary focus in environmental containment, beneficial use of industrial byproducts, and sustainable infrastructure. His research has included laboratory studies, large-scale field experiments, and computer modeling. Dr. Benson has received several awards for his work, including the Huber Research Prize, the Alfred Nobel Prize, and the Croes (twice), Middlebrooks, Collingwood, and Casagrande Awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Dr. Benson is a member of the ASCE Geo-Institute (GI) and is former Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE/GI Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. He currently serves as Treasurer for the ASCE/GI Board of Governors and is a member of the Executive Committee of ASTM Committee D18 on Soil and Rock. Dr. Benson is a member of the University of Texas Academy of Distinguished Alumni. (website)

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Karen Crossley

Karen Crossley was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, received her BA from Colby College in Maine majoring in Environmental Studies, MS in Botany from the University of Washington in Seattle, and landed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeking a PhD in Botany, but chose not to complete her degree. Karen worked for The Nature Conservancy for nearly ten years in Washington, Maine and Wisconsin. She received her Executive MBA from UW-Madison's School of Business and worked for the University of Wisconsin Foundation for nearly seventeen years, first as lead development officer for the Business School and then for six years as vice president serving on the Foundation's Senior Leadership Team, overseeing development efforts for the Business School, Law School, College of Engineering, Division of International Studies, and cluster of environmental units at UW, and helping grow major gift activity outside of U.S. focusing in Europe. In May 2007, Karen became Director of the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission. This career change elevated Karen's lifelong enjoyment and appreciation of arts and culture into primary focus within her professional life, and allows her to grow and share this passion with fellow residents of Dane County. Karen participated in the 2nd class of Leadership Greater Madison and her volunteer community involvements mostly relate to education, youth, and the environment. Karen and her husband have three early 20s-aged children, live in Madison, WI, and enjoy athletic pursuits, outdoor adventures, and traveling together.(website)

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Mark Daugherty

Dr. Mark Daugherty currently serves as the CEO of Solrayo. SolRayo is developing ways to use nanotechnology developed at UW Madison to improve energy storage materials. Previously Mark has served as the CEO of Virent Energy Systems, Chief Scientist at DCH Technology, Director of Product Development at Tormach, Principal Investigator at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Manager of R&D at Superconductivity Inc. Mark has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Mechanical Engineering and a J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California-Berkeley. (website)

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Dickson Despommier

Dickson Despommier is a professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University and the director of the Vertical Farm Project, which addresses issues related to urban agriculture, environmental disturbance, and the restoration of damaged ecosystems. The project was started in 1999 as a classroom activity in Despommier's Medical Ecology course. Numerous articles in the popular press and interviews on radio and television shows have featured his concept of farming in buildings situated inside the city limits. More than 82 graduate students have participated in generating a wealth of supportive studies. (website)

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Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the Chief Executive Officer of Green For All. Under her leadership, Green For All has become one of the country's leading advocates for a clean-energy economy, and one of its most important voices on the intersection of economics and environment.

Phaedra has led Green For All to several groundbreaking policy victories at the federal, state, and local levels. At the federal level, she led a successful effort to include two key provisions in the House's climate and energy bill: securing funding for job training, and guaranteeing broad access to clean-energy jobs.

Under Phaedra, Green For All has helped states like Washington and New Mexico pioneer state-level green jobs and energy-efficiency programs. And the organization is helping cities like Portland and Seattle craft groundbreaking energy-efficiency home retrofit programs that use innovative financing mechanisms and community agreements about job standards to cut energy bills, create green jobs, reduce pollution, and expand business opportunities. (website)

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Bill Ford

Bill Ford is a recent transplant to Wisconsin from Athens, Georgia, where he has worked as a chef, business manager, teacher, and farmer since 1997. As Director of Operations for Discovery Culinary Collaborative, a Food Fight venture, he oversees the restaurants and catering at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and lives in Madison with his wife, Mary Lynn, and son, Bray.

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Lewis Gilbert

Lewis Gilbert began a transition from field-based physical sciences research to institution-based program building focused on sustainability after receiving his PhD in tectonophysics from Columbia University in 1993. That transition included an intensive apprenticeship in public policy and administration under the tutelage of leaders of public policy community at Columbia. Functioning as a liaison between the social and physical sciences, Gilbert joined the Office of the Provost at Columbia as a designer and builder of the Earth Institute and manager of a wide range of other strategic initiatives. Those programs were venture funded with discretionary resources gleaned from Columbia's patents and license stream. He eventually became Executive Director in the Office of the Executive Vice Provost with responsibilities that included oversight and analysis of the venture investment portfolio and management of the Earth Institute.

In May of 2005, Gilbert joined the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies as Associate Director. In the Nelson Institute he is a member of the senior leadership team with responsibility for oversight of the research program, strategic planning, and daily operations. He continues to develop and speak on ideas related to Earth Management.

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Tad Gloeckler is an award winning artist/architect/designer whose work inhabits the overlap between art and design, first engaging people in subtle ways through its surface harmlessness followed by gentle cues that reveal a darker underside in both the work and our selves. He incorporates elements of sculpture, industrial design, performance, furniture design, ritual, graphic design, landscape, non-static forms and jewelry/metals into complex assemblages, using a range of techniques from hand carving to industrial computerized milling.

Tad Gloeckler has been recognized as a leader in creative scholarship within the Interior Design Educators' Council (IDEC), receiving four major awards in the last five years for his multilayered critical art objects during their annual blind peer reviewed international Creative Scholarship competition. During that same time period he also received a First Award in the annual Florida International Competition at Florida State University. In addition to the awards, Tad has helped shape the way art is valued as an alternative to client oriented design work as creative scholarship within IDEC, consistently presenting his work and its implications for creative scholarship to the larger body of interior design educators at both international and regional conferences as well as through publication in academic journals. Tad also has a string of awards and publications for his architecture and interior design work that stretches back twenty years; while exhibition and publication are standard annual activities for artists, architects consider themselves fortunate to have even a few exhibitions or publications over their entire careers. He also consistently shows his work in national juried art venues as well as invited gallery exhibits.

Tad's current work is about encouraging people to look at the world around them in new ways, questioning assumptions that are often buried so deep they appear to be truths. His output has ranged from delicate finger scale jewelry to city scale master plans. Throughout it all Tad seldom deviates from an emphasis on developing multilayered narrative concepts, writing about those concepts, executing meticulous craft and detailing, involving the human body and pushing absurdity so far that it almost resembles truth before dissolving back into absurdity. The major recurring theme in Tad's work is an examination of our need to mediate experiences with nature through objects, and the way those objects demand so much attention that the purported use of the object becomes secondary or even irrelevant.

Tad's multidisciplinary creative approach is informed by diverse life experiences and education, spending significant periods focused on specialized areas that include landscape and natural resources, furniture and woodworking, architecture and planning, art, graphic design and interior design.

Tad Gloeckler's work resembles furniture, jewelry or architecture in the same way that Lewis Carroll's "Hunting of the Snark" resembles children's literature; it can be appreciated as a light hearted diversion at first, but with successive readings it reveals a dark and critical underside that makes us stop and wonder which other of our diversions might not be so lighthearted as well. Each time we look again, there is another layer just beneath the surface whispering in our ear. (website)

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Rob Gottschalk

With more than 15 years of experience, Rob Gottschalk is a leading expert in regional economic positioning, asset and opportunity identification, graphic communication, and strategic implementation. Rob focuses his skills on exposing economic development strategies and sustainable development opportunities for regions, cities, and urban centers. His unique approach uncovers opportunities and strategic directions that are truly rooted in a region's place-based assets.

Recent regional projects include leading an economic positioning and Global Growth Initiative for the Quad Cities Region in Iowa and Illinois funded by Deere & Company and Alcoa Inc.; asset and opportunity analysis for a 50+ County Region located in eastern Iowa, western Illinois, and southern Wisconsin, and also the seven-county Milwaukee 7 Region and the 8-county Thrive Region in Wisconsin; staffing the University of Wisconsin System International Economic Development Task Force; and developing an economic positioning framework for Jefferson County, Wisconsin. Current local work includes managing the Nolen Centennial Project, assisting the Madison Gas & Electric Economic Development Team on catalytic projects, BioAg Gateway, and working with the City of Madison to reposition and rebuild the Capitol East District.

Rob's expertise also includes land-based economies and land stewardship. He has served on the Wisconsin Land Council, the State of Wisconsin's Working Lands Steering Committee, and the Natural Heritage Land Trust Board of Directors. (website)

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Asli Göçmen's primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of urban environmental sustainability, the role of planners in promoting environmental stewardship, and the application of spatial analysis and geographic information science and systems in urban, environmental and regional planning. She holds a joint appointment at URPL and UW Extension Community, Natural Resources, and Economic Development Program as a GIS Specialist.

Asli teaches a course on environmental planning and another on GIS for Planners. Her current research involves an investigation of barriers to the effective use of GIS in planning among local and regional governments in Wisconsin and an investigation about environmental merits of open space conservation subdivisions in Southeast Wisconsin. She is also involved in several collaborative research efforts in the general area of environmental sustainability, which include an investigation of factors that influence farmers' land management practices in the Midwest.

Professor Asli (pronounced as: äsla) Göçmen received a Ph.D degree in Urban, Technological, and Environmental Planning at the University Of Michigan in 2006. She holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in planning from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and the University of Cincinnati respectively. She has practiced professionally as a planner and GIS specialist in local and regional planning offices in the metropolitan Cincinnati area. (website)

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Claudio Gratton

Claudio Gratton has been on the faculty of the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin since 2003. His research group works broadly in the field of landscape ecology in both agricultural and natural systems. In Wisconsin agriculture, he has been interested in understanding how beneficial insects, such as pollinators and lady beetles, utilize the landscape and carry out important functions such as pollination of crops and suppression of insect pests. His work in agroecology has included studying insect landscape ecology and conservation in potatoes (as part of the Healthy Grown Eco Potato project), rotational grazing, soybeans, cranberries and now apples. He has worked with growers to understand how to best manage non-crop "natural" areas in the landscape in order to enhance and conserve beneficial insects. He is also an active member of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center as part of the team looking at developing sustainable bioenergy crops. He teaches courses in Insect Biological Control, Multivariate Analysis and Coastal Field Ecology. He received his BS in Biology from the University of Illinois (1991) and a PhD in Entomology from the University of California, Berkeley (1997). (website)

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John Greenler

John Greenler is the Director of Education and Outreach for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), which focuses on the national development of next-generation sustainable biofuels. Previous to joining GLBRC, Dr Greenler was faculty at Beloit College and served as a director for the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium. He earned his PhD from UW-Madison, and his research has ranged from plant molecular biology to restoration ecology. He has taught in multiple capacities and has been involved in education programs based in East Africa. (website)

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Gary Hirshberg

Gary Hirshberg is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Stonyfield Farm, the world's leading organic yogurt producer and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Gary is a frequent speaker on topics including sustainability, climate change, the profitability of green and socially responsible business, organic agriculture, and sustainable economic development.

Since 1983, Gary has overseen Stonyfield's phenomenal growth, from its infancy as a seven-cow organic farming school to its current $360 million in annual sales. Previously, he directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned. Before that, Gary had served as executive director of The New Alchemy Institute—a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture, and renewable energy. Prior positions include serving as a water-pumping windmill specialist and an environmental education director with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He also authored books on wind-power and organic gardening. (website)

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Lynn Hobbie

Lynn Hobbie is a Senior Vice President at Madison Gas and Electric Company. MGE is an investor-owned utility in Wisconsin that serves the Madison and Dane County communities. Her responsibilities include marketing, energy efficiency and conservation programs, renewable energy programs, new products and services, corporate communications, and economic development. Lynn has worked at MGE for over 20 years. She has a Bachelor's degree in History and a Master's degree in Land Resources, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also earned a certificate in the Nelson Institute's Energy Analysis and Policy program. (website)

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Aaron Imrie

Aaron Imrie has 15 years of technology and business development experience, primarily in the downstream petroleum industry. He has been at Virent Energy Systems for 4 years and is currently the Commercial Manager within the Business Development Group where he is involved with the commercialization of the BioForming® process for the production of liquid fuels and chemicals. In addition, he held positions in research and development, engineering, and technical services while serving 10 years at UOP where he was involved in a broad range of activities including process design and optimization, catalyst development, technology transfer, and commissioning activities. Mr. Imrie earned a BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. (website)

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Photo: Carl Korz

Carl Korz has been in the hospitality business since a young age, having been inspired by his Swiss relatives, for whom hospitality with food and drink was simply part of the culture. He has earned an associates degree in the culinary arts from Baltimore International College and a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from the University of Delaware.

His professional career has spanned private clubs, hotels, restaurants, and gourmet retail. All of these were in preparation for his current job as Dining Services Director at the Wisconsin Unions. He is passionate about improving college dining and bringing it to a level that matches or exceeds successful concepts in the private sector. Areas of special interest are customer service, student development, sustainability and high integrity food. Carl feels fortunate to have coordinated a very talented team of food professionals during the launch of the new Union South, and the soon-to-come renovation of the cherished Memorial Union.

During his spare time, Carl enjoys anything culinary, biking and spending time with his wife and two daughters, 3 and 1.

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Photo: Chris Kucharik

Chris Kucharik is an Assistant Professor in Agronomy and at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his graduate studies, Chris participated in the BOReal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS), an international field experiment that took place in the Canadian boreal forest. He helped design a high-resolution, two-band, ground-based remote-sensing instrument, called a Multiband Vegetation Imager - which allowed for advanced studies of forest canopy architecture and enabled for more accurate predictions of carbon cycling in high latitude ecosystems.

Currently, his research focuses on integrating field observations and numerical models of natural and managed ecosystems to better understand the influence of changing climate and land management on ecosystem services. Chris' interests include carbon cycling and sequestration in wetlands, prairie ecosystems, and agricultural landscapes, water quality, biofuels, and how crop yields are affected by climate change and farmer management. This work has been supported by a NASA Interdisciplinary Science (IDS) grant, through the DOE National Institute for Climate Change Research (NICCR), Madison Gas and Electric, S. C. Johnson, and a Wisconsin Focus on Energy grant.

Chris works closely with both undergraduate and graduate students on a variety of field research projects, with the goal of exposing students to field-based ecological research while integrating policy, land management, and natural sciences. (website)

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Photo: Jason Lanka

Jason Lanka is an assistant professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Born and raised in Wyoming, he received a MFA at the University of Connecticut in 2006. Before joining the UW-EC Department of Art and Design in 2009, Jason taught at Hartford Art School, Springfield College, the University of Connecticut, and the College of William and Mary.

The space at which our culture comes in contact with the environment inspires Jason's creative work. Much can be understood about the nature of how our society defines its role and place within the natural world by the observation of this boundary.

He has recently exhibited at The Visual Arts Center of Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, VA, Gallery 5 in Richmond, VA, The University of Hawaii Art Gallery, Honolulu, HI, Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY, The Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA, and Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY. Jason's work is included in collections at the University of Wyoming President's Collection, The Wolf Law Library Collection at the College of William and Mary and the President's Collection at the College of William and Mary. More information about his work can be found at

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Photo: Christopher D. Maloney

Christopher Maloney is the Chairman & CEO of Alliance Federated Energy and has over 27 years of global corporate management and operations experience in the energy, environmental and financial services sectors.

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1983 with a degree in engineering, Mr. Maloney spent close to a decade with Asea Brown Boveri in a number of engineering and management roles in the nuclear, coal and pulp and paper industries. After leaving ABB, he was recruited by Southern California Edison's Mission Energy Group, where he was involved in the development of a number of gas fired independent power projects and the acquisition of coal fired generation assets. Following his tenure at Mission Energy, he joined Unicom, (now Exelon) the parent company of Commonwealth Edison as Managing Director of Unicom Resources. After the departure of Unicom's Chairman, Mr. Maloney left Unicom and founded Amandla International in South Africa, an energy development company focused primarily on distributed power and waste to energy projects in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. After 9/11, Mr. Maloney returned to the United States where he joined Thomson Financial as President of Thomson Beta Systems, the industries leading brokerage back-office Services Company which he ran for 4 years. When Thomson merged with Reuters, he left to join Alliance Federated Energy as Chairman & CEO. AFE is a developer of plasma gasification based renewable energy projects. AFE has a geographically diverse portfolio of projects under development and/or evaluation in the U.S., U.K., Africa and the Caribbean representing more than 10,000 tons of waste per day, 30 million MMBtu's/yr. of syngas or approximately 450 MW. Their flagship "Project Apollo', a $225 million project in Milwaukee Wisconsin is scheduled for start up in early 2014.

Mr. Maloney also serves as Chairman of Alliance Capital and is also a board member of Prime Quoin Inc. in Chicago. (website)

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Photo: Carol Menassa

Carol Menassa is an Assistant Professor of Construction Engineering and Management in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Carol also has affiliations with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the UW Energy Institute. Prior to joining UW in 2009, Carol obtained her PhD in Civil Engineering and MS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds and Bachelor and Masters in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut.

Currently, Carol's research focuses on sustainable development of infrastructure systems with particular focus on buildings. Carol's research team uses different simulation tools (i.e., system dynamics and agent based modeling) to understand and model the impact of occupants on energy use in commercial buildings. Her research team is exploring methods to collect occupant energy use data to develop occupancy energy use profiles that will allow for better energy performance prediction of buildings during the design phase. This data will also be modeled using agent based modeling to study the effect of occupant energy conservation incentives in buildings. Carol is also interested in using financial engineering and life cycle analysis methods to develop decision support framework to sustainably retrofit existing buildings. Her research is supported by grants from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and UW Graduate College.

Carol currently teaches three classes at UW, including: Sustainability Principles and Practices, Construction Engineering and Management, and Construction Systems. She advises five graduate students and one undergraduate student. (website)

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Photo: Gregg Mitman

Gregg Mitman is Interim Director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He is also the William Coleman Professor of History of Science and Professor of Medical History and Science & Technology Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research and teaching interests span the history of ecology, nature, and health in twentieth-century America across scientific and popular culture. His most recent book is Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes, published by Yale University Press. (website)

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Photo: John Nelson

John Nelson is a consultant to the design and construction industry, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His consultancy focuses on organizational strategy and critical analysis, marketplace strategy, senior personnel mentoring and intervention, and specific project participation. Examples of recent assignments include:

  • Advising a Major Healthcare System on Capital Strategies
  • Supporting WARF on the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery
  • Advising a National A/E on Engineering Strategies
  • Advising an Environmental Consultancy on Business Strategies

During his tenure in industry, he served as Project Engineer, Department Head, Project Manager, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer at Affiliated Engineers. His background includes design, applications and research experience with dynamic building systems, along with business and project management. (website)

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Photo: Greg Nemet

Greg Nemet is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and in the La Follette School of Public Affairs. He is also a member of the university's Energy Sources and Policy Cluster. His research and teaching focus on improving understanding of the environmental, social, economic, and technical dynamics of the global energy system. He teaches courses in international environmental policy and energy systems analysis. A central focus of his research involves empirical analysis of the process of innovation and technological change. He is particularly interested in how the outcomes of this line of research can inform public policy related to improvements in low-carbon energy technologies. His work is motivated by a more general interest in issues related to energy and the environment, including how government actions can expand access to energy services while reducing their environmental impacts.

He holds a master's degree and doctorate in energy and resources, both from the University of California, Berkeley. His undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College is in geography and economics. (website)

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Photo: Daniel Okoli

Daniel Okoli is the University Architect and Director of Capital Planning & Development at UW-Madison. He is responsible for guiding the development of the campus to achieve greater architectural coherence, and building bridges with many stakeholders to ensure more effective project delivery.

Prior to his current position, he served as University Architect and Director of Campus and Space Planning for Pace University's New York City Downtown campus and three campuses in Westchester, New York from 2001 to 2005.

Dan began his architectural and planning career more than 20 years ago in Columbus, Ohio where he held various positions including college teaching and private practice. At the Ohio State University, he served as a senior architect with extensive leadership and review responsibilities for major projects implementation and strategic planning.

Dan believes that the spaces between buildings are as important as the buildings that help to define them; he is passionate about developing campus places that help to build community and promote intellectual and social exchange. (website)

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Photo: Olver

Aaron Olver is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Madison. Olver previously spearheaded Wisconsin's economic development efforts serving as the Secretary of Commerce under Governor Jim Doyle. Prior that appointment, Olver was Deputy Secretary of Commerce where he was responsible for the management of internal operations and Executive Assistant for the Department of Commerce where he managed policy and external relations. He led numerous economic development initiatives for Governor Doyle including the development of the Governor's plan, Grow Wisconsin, and the creation of Wisconsin's Angel and Venture Capital tax credits (Act 255).

Prior to joining the Doyle administration in 2003, Olver was management consultant with McKinsey & Company in Chicago, IL where his practice focused on business development and growth strategy. Olver speaks regularly on economic development, manufacturing, technology, entrepreneurship, and management in the public sector.

Olver earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a graduate degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University, Oxford, UK, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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Ted Petith

Ted Petith brings a decidedly German focus to issues surrounding renewable energy, sustainable neighborhoods, green city planning and other related areas. He has travelled extensively in Germany and has many sustainability-related connections, especially to Madison's Sister City of Freiburg. As a leader in the implementation of Green technologies and planning, an analysis of policies and projects in Freiburg offers valuable insight into methods for the growth of sustainable infrastructure.

Ted's exposure to German sustainability practices dates back to his early days as a child living in Freiburg and Heidelberg and he has used these life-long connections to help build bridges with individuals and groups in the United States. He has planned and taken part in several trade and political delegations, including a fact-finding trip to Germany for Mayor Dave Cieslewicz of Madison, WI in 2008. Ted offers a broad-based knowledge of renewable technologies and is currently working on strengthening sustainability-related educational and business connections between the State of Wisconsin and Germany.

Ted is the owner of GreenLink Projects LLC and is currently a consultant for the USDOE Solar America Cities MadiSUN Program. (website)

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Kevin P. Reilly

Kevin Reilly is president of the University of Wisconsin System. Reilly began his tenure as the sixth president of the University of Wisconsin System on September 1, 2004. His vision for the state's public university system is that it should be Wisconsin's premier developer of advanced human potential, of the jobs that employ that potential, and of the flourishing communities that sustain it.

The UW System's two doctoral universities, 11 comprehensive universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges, and statewide UW-Extension annually serve almost 182,000 students, and reach more than one million Wisconsin citizens through outreach, public broadcasting, and continuing education programs. President Reilly leads a UW System workforce of some 40,000 faculty, academic and classified staff, and graduate assistants. He is also responsible for the UW System's $5.6 billion annual budget, made up of state support, federal funding, tuition and fees, and private gifts.

In collaboration with the campus Chancellors in the System, he developed the "Growth Agenda for Wisconsin," a long-term vision and strategic plan for what the university needs to do to help make Wisconsin and the nation competitive in the global knowledge economy. Under his leadership, enrollment has grown to an all-time high, and sponsored research has continued to expand. At the same time, the UW System was ranked by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems among the five "most productive state systems and public sectors of higher education relative to their resources." (website)

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John W. Rowe

Rolf Reitz is a Wisonsin Distinguished Professor at UW-Madison in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Engine Research Center. His research interests include internal combustion engines and sprays. He is currently developing advanced computer models for fuel injected engines, including diesel and spark-ignited engines.

Reitz also performs engine experiments using two fully instrumented single-cylinder research diesel engines equipped with programmable high-pressure electronic fuel injection systems. The experimental results are used to study the effect of fuel injection characteristics (including variable rate and multiple injections) on diesel engine soot and NOx emissions, as well as to provide validation data for the computer models.

Reitz also conducts spray experiments in a high-pressure spray facility to study the mechanisms of spray breakup. His current interests are in air-assist atomization (which is used in modern direct-injected two-stroke engines) and other applications, such as paint spraying, and dispersing industrial and household products.

Before joining the university in 1989, Reitz spent six years at the General Motors Research Laboratories, three years as a research staff member at Princeton University, and two years as a research scientist at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University.

He is a consultant to many industries and is a member of the Combustion Institute and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He has served on the executive board of the Institute of Liquid Atomization and Spraying Systems--North and South America. (website)

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David Rothamer

David Rothamer is an assistant professor in the Mechanical engineering department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a principal investigator in the Engine Research Center (ERC), an internationally renowned center focusing on the study of combustion in internal combustion (IC) engines with the goals of increasing engine efficiency while simultaneously reducing pollutant formation. Prof. Rothamer's research is focused on application of advanced biofuels in IC engines, understanding the fundamental mechanisms of soot formation in engines, and designing and applying advanced laser-based imaging diagnostics to study practical combustion systems. He received his PhD from Stanford University in 2008. Prior to his work at Stanford, he received his BS and MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). He received the Arch T. Cowell Merit award from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in 2005. More recently he was selected as a winner of the Masao Horiba award given by Horiba Ltd. to young scientists who are devoting themselves to research and development of innovative technologies in analysis and measurement. (website)

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John W. Rowe

John Rowe is is the chairman and chief executive officer of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, one of the nation's largest electric utilities. Its retail affiliates serve 5.4 million customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania, and its generation affiliate operates the largest fleet of nuclear power plants in the nation.

Rowe is the senior chief executive in the utility industry, having served in such positions since 1984. In both 2008 and 2009, Institutional Investor named Rowe the best electric utility CEO in America.

Rowe is committed to a wide variety of civic and charitable activities, with a focus on education and diversity. (website)

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Majid Sarmadi

Majid Sarmadi is a Rothermel Bascom Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and a consultant to textile industry and judicial system. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech in 1986 in Textile Science. He directs graduate students in the Materials Science Graduate Program and the Textile Science specialization of the School of Human Ecology. He is also a member of the faculty of Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. His teaching and research incorporate the topic of sustainability. He is author and co author of more than 70 publications and four patents.

Professor Sarmadi has received numerous awards. His Sustainable Carpet Project has been named "The Best Practices" by professional magazines such as College Planning & Management and some news papers. His sustainable carpet specifications received 16 awards including:

  • California's Governor's Award for Energy and Environmental Leadership
  • Awards from US Senate and US Congress
  • Many Awards from California's Senate and Assembly
  • Award from the Mayor of Los Angeles


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Sara Tedeschi

Sara Tedeschi is the Wisconsin Farm to School Program director. She is on staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, where she previously coordinated the Great Lakes Regional Farm to School Network, one of eight regions comprising the National Farm to School Network. (website)

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Jan van den Kieboom

Jan van den Kieboom, AIA, is an architect and founding principal of Workshop Architects in Milwaukee, WI. Jan's practice focuses on crafting environments that support complex social ecologies.

Through planning, design and research, Jan explores how physical environments impact behavior. He is noted for the development of participatory design methodologies that increase the accessibility and transparency of planning and design processes. Jan has led projects for over 20 colleges and universities nationwide. Jan was the lead designer of UW Madison's new Union South. Other current clients include the University of Michigan, Oklahoma State University, University of Minnesota, and Roosevelt University. His projects have won many awards for design excellence and environmental sustainability.

In fall of 2011, Jan is co-convening a national trans-disciplinary gathering entitled "Physical Place On-Campus: A Summit on Building Community" at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The summit, with seed funding by the Association of College Unions International Education Research Foundation, will establish a research agenda that continues to explore how physical space can strengthen the effectiveness of collegiate experience.

Jan received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where he is currently co-teaching the graduate level Workshop Studio, selected for the 2011 NCARB Award for Integration of Practice and the Academy.

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Rob Weise

Rob Weise is helping transform the Madison skyline with the construction of buildings that have, and will continue to, shape the community for many years to come. Currently, Rob is the Construction Executive for Mortenson Construction overseeing the construction of the Fitchburg Public Library, which will be opening in July 2011 and the Wisconsin Energy Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. The 107,000-square-foot Wisconsin Energy Institute will bring together leading researchers from the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, and those across the UW-Madison campus. Rob most recently managed the construction of the public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the private Morgridge Institute for Research. He was a critical member of the project team responsible for the successful delivery of this state-of-the-art facility to the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the State. The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (WID) serves as a hub for interdisciplinary research bringing scientists together from a broad spectrum of disciplines while involving faculty and staff in the arts and humanities, education and outreach, as well as scholars of the interdisciplinary research process itself. Other notable projects Rob has contributed his talents to include: the $70 million Saint Mary's Hospital vertical expansion project in Madison, the $130 million St. Luke's Hospital Cardiac Center and Patient Tower in Milwaukee, and the $43.5 million American Transmission Company Corporate Headquarters and Operations Center in Pewaukee.

In addition to his role on the Wisconsin Energy Institute, Rob is a member of Mortenson's Leadership Team for the Wisconsin Operations. He provides strategic oversight and guidance for future opportunities in the Madison community. Rob holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, WI, is a LEED Accredited Professional, and is a Member of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.


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