ASME Congress 2011Keynote Event: ExploringThe Energy-Water Nexus

Oct 7, 2011

by Jean Thilmany Associate Editor, Mechanical Engineering Magazine

NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2011 – "Energy and Water: Two Vital Commodities" is the theme of the keynote session at the 2011 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition next month in Denver, Colo.

In the special session to be held Nov. 14, three panelists will examine the critical interconnection of energy and water and the challenges of the United States and other countries to ensure future supplies of both commodities. Set to begin at 8:15 a.m. at the Colorado Convention Center, the keynote event will bring together the three experts to explore the energy-water nexus, a part of the ASME Energy Grand Challenge roadmap.

The panelists – John G. Voeller of Black & Veatch, Mike Hightower of Sandia National Laboratories, and Michael E. Webber of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy – are expected to cover a broad range of subjects pertaining to the energy-water theme, including energy requirements for water treatment, life-cycle management, and global energy and water resources.

The speakers also will analyze the role of public policy in providing access to clean water and energy in coming years.

The energy-water focus will continue in the technical program of the 2011 ASME Congress, with presentations scheduled on power plant cooling, electricity-water modeling, desalination, and "smart water," among other topics. The 2011 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition runs through Nov. 17.

For event information, visit 2011 ASME Congress.

About the Panelists John G. Voeller serves as senior vice president of the Federal Services Division of Black & Veatch, a global engineering, consulting and construction firm. A member of the corporate management team at Black & Veatch, Voeller is responsible for the company's strategic technology directions. He is the principal architect of Powrtrak, the automated engineering system of Black & Veatch that was used to build more than 500 power facilities worldwide. He is active in the ASME Innovation Technology Institute.

Mike Hightower is a member of the technical staff in the Energy Security Center at Sandia National Laboratories, where he works on research programs involving the security and protection of critical water and energy infrastructures. A civil and environmental engineer with more than 30 years of experience, Hightower currently leads a project at the U.S. Department of Energy on energy-water research and development. He is a member of the board of directors of Citizens for Responsible Energy and chair of the ASME Environmental Engineering Division.

Michael Webber is the associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, and also serves as co-director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator. Webber is the author of more than 150 scientific articles, columns, books and book chapters. He has given more than 175 speeches and invited talks, and is one of the originators of the Pecan Street Project – a $30 million program for smart grid innovation and deployment. Webber is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas-Austin.

About ASME ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.