Energy is a critical part of the 21st century economy
Addressing energy and climate change issues is central to our economy in 21st century. Institutes of higher education have responded to this need by designing new curricula to educate budding scientists/engineers, titans of industry, and policy makers in energy topics. We are still getting our feet set on the best ways to tackle the issues of energy security, meeting growing global demand, and climate change. However, there is little doubt in the minds of students today that energy issues will define their generation.
University campuses are training the energy leaders of tomorrow
In Februrary of 2012 I had the opportunity to attend the annual ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy) Innovation Summit in Washington D.C. For those familiar with the energy landscape, recall that ARPA-E is the small powerhouse of the Department of Energy tasked with investing in and providing support for research projects and small companies which could revolutionize America’s energy future.
Aside from witnessing the development of game-changing energy technologies and being inspired by visionaries and leaders (Bill Gates, President Clinton, Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate Steve Chu), we also had a chance to meet with graduate student leaders (PhDs, JDs and MBAs) who are shaping the conversation around energy on their campuses. Most were presidents of their campus energy clubs and everyone shared a common vision of playing a part in securing American energy independence, understanding and deploying cutting edge technology to modernize our energy infrastructure, and doing so in a way that is environmentally sustainable. The atmosphere was electric. It was clear to us that the energy movement was gaining traction across the country and far beyond the established energy organizations at campuses like Stanford, Berkeley, and MIT.
From a modest survey sampling active energy clubs, it is evident there has been tremendous growth in student interest in energy across university campuses.
Energyfolks provides tools for energy employers to access the best new graduates and young professionals in energy
Energyfolks (an ARPA-E grant recipient) was present at the summit to demonstrate our mission for connecting and empowering energy communities through our custom IT tool which currently reaches nearly 5000 users. We showcased our robust events digest, platform for energy discussions, and more importantly our targeted jobs board which provides energy interested graduates access to jobs around the country and the world.
We are excited to partner with SmartRecruiters to help businesses reach top graduates and young professionals in the energy field. Our user base is growing as we expand access to many more of the country’s top universities. We hope you will support our efforts to address the energy challenges of our center and post your energy-related jobs to Energyfolks.
Amit Desai is pursuing his PhD in Materials Science Engineering at Stanford University. He was a founding member of the Stanford Energy Club and is a co-founder of energyfolks (alongside Brentan Alexander and Anthony Suen). The energyfolks team is passionate about connecting and empowering local energy communities to build interest in critical energy issues, identify and inspire future leaders and innovators, and foster a fruitful conversations so we can take incremental steps towards securing our energy future.