(Day 2) Wednesday, May 5, 2021

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Symposium Honorary Chair

Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.

Director, Center for the New Energy Economy
Colorado State University

As one of the co-founders of the energy symposia started in 2011, Governor Bill Ritter is the 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium Honorary Chair.

Governor Bill Ritter was elected Colorado’s 41st governor in 2006 and was the District Attorney of Denver from 1993-2005.  During his four-year term as Governor, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy by building a New Energy Economy. After leaving the Governor’s Office, Ritter founded the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, which works with state and federal policy makers to create clean energy policy throughout the country.  Governor Ritter has authored a book that was published in 2016 entitled, Powering Forward – What Everyone Should Know About America’s Energy Revolution.  Gov. Ritter was formerly the chair of the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation and currently serves on the Regis University Board of Trustees. Gov. Ritter is a member of Blackhorn Venture Capital and serves as an advisor to Green Alpha and Millennium Bridge, among others.  Ritter earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University (1978) and his law degree from the University of Colorado (1981). With his wife Jeannie, he operated a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia. He then served as Denver’s district attorney from 1993 to January 2005.

Symposium Master of Ceremonies

Maury Dobbie

Executive Director, Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory
21st Century Energy Symposium Chair 2011-2021

Maury Dobbie has been the Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory since July 2016.  Since 2007, the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory has been a successful energy research partnership between Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado State University, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  She also splits her time as the External Relations Director for the Energy Institute at Colorado State University.  With the four Collaboratory entities as co-hosts, Maury has headed up the annual 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium event since 2011.  She was the former Assistant Director at the Center for the New Energy Economy founded by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.  Maury began her entrepreneurial career at age 19 founding and operating six diverse companies, holding CEO or principal positions. Before joining CNEE, she was president/CEO of a regional not-for-profit economic development corporation in northern Colorado. In 1994, Maury founded a video production company and expanded it rapidly into an award-winning multimedia enterprise, with a web-development department and live event services. Dobbie served as a board member on the Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster (CCEC) and has been a part of Colorado’s new energy economy initiative since 2006. Maury is currently the chair of the board for the CCEC non-profit under the Colorado C3E initiative focused on driving revolutionary growth of the clean energy economy by educating, mentoring and empowering women and girls.  She worked with industry partners to create Colorado State University’s Systems Engineering Program and the Clean Tech Certification Program at Front Range Community College. For 8 years she served the state in the Colorado Community College System made up of 13 colleges in 42 different locations in the state and served some of the years as chair of the board.  Maury was named Top Women in Energy 2020, received the national award as Top Woman in Business by Office Depot, as well as named Women of Influence by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

9:00-9:05 am MDT:
Welcome and overview of Day 2 by Maury Dobbie, Executive Director, Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, Symposium Chair

9:05 – 10:05 am MDT:
General Session Panel
“The future of combustion in a zero carbon world”

The session will cover what it would look like to electrify everything, what do bans on combustion in progressive areas entail, what are near term trends and policies?  In regard to cities, what are potential distribution systems and emissions from combustion sources?  What are future technologies in hydrogen and renewable methane?


Bryan Willson

Executive Director
Energy Institute
Colorado State University

Dr. Bryan Willson is Executive Director of the Energy Institute at Colorado State University, where he also occupies the Bryan Willson Presidential Chair in Energy Innovation and serves as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. CSU’s Energy Institute comprises over 200 faculty members working in energy and works closely with the Colorado energy startup community to help grow clean energy companies.  The Energy Institute is headquartered at CSU’s Powerhouse Energy Campus, a 100,000 sq ft research facility that also houses over 15 early stage energy companies; it’s work on cleantech commercialization has been honored by the Economist, Scientific American, the Smithsonian Institution, university technology transfer associations, and the governments of Denmark, Spain, and China.  Dr. Willson served as a Program Director at ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, from 2012-2016 and continued as a consultant / advisor to the agency until early 2019.  He has worked for over 30 years to develop and deploy large-scale technology solutions related to energy, air quality, and human health.  As an entrepreneur, Dr. Willson is co-founder of Envirofit International, Solix BioSystems, Factor(e) Ventures and Xpower. His research laboratory, the Engines & Energy Conversion Laboratory, has made important contributions in many areas, including: internal combustion engines, advanced vehicles, oil & gas production technology, advanced electrical grids, advanced biofuels, energy access for the developing world, and advanced building technologies.  Dr. Willson is a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers and has worked in over 40 countries.


Tom Plant

Senior Policy Advisor
Center for the New Energy Economy
Colorado State University

Tom Plant served as director of the Governor’s Energy Office in the Ritter administration, with principal responsibility for developing and implementing the Governor’s policies for a new energy economy. He was a Colorado State Representative from 1998 through 2006, including two years as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and one year as Chairman of the Joint Budget Committee. Plant was named Legislator of the Year by such organizations as the University of Colorado and the Sierra Club of Colorado. He received Green Sense Award for Environmental Leadership from Colorado Conservation Voters, and the Champion of the Family Farmer Award from the Rocky Mountain Farmers’ Union. While serving in the legislature, Plant was executive director of the nonprofit Center for ReSource Conservation in Boulder, Colorado. After graduating from Colorado State University, Plant worked as an exploration geologist. Then he joined the Union of Concerned Scientists in its Climate Change Department. At UCS, he explored the causes of global climate change and examined transportation and energy solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Tom is currently the Director of the annual Clean Energy Legislative Academy run by the Center for the New Energy Economy at CSU.

Steve Hamburg

Chief Scientist
Environmental Defense Fund

Areas of expertise:  Climate change, Methane emissions, Systems ecology, Biogeochemistry, Climate change impacts, Forest ecology, Soils, C cycle.  Steven ensures the scientific integrity of EDF’s positions and programs, and facilitates collaborations with researchers from a diversity of institutions and countries. He also helps identify emerging science relevant to EDF’s mission. Steven plays a leading role in EDF’s research efforts, including work on quantifying methane emissions from the natural gas supply chain and the use of emerging sensor technologies in improving our understanding of air pollution and related impacts on human health. He has been actively involved in biogeochemistry, forest ecology and climate change impacts research for more than 35 years, and has published more than 100 scientific papers.  Prior to joining EDF in 2008, Steven was an environmental science professor at the University of Kansas and Brown University. While at Kansas he directed the Environmental Studies Program and in 1990 started one of the first sustainability programs, serving as KU’s Environmental Ombudsman. At Brown he was the founding director of the Global Environment Program at the Watson Institute for International Studies, which he led for more than a decade. Steven served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was acknowledged as one of the contributing recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was twice awarded an Environmental Merit award by the US EPA Region I for his climate change-related activities. Steven serves on many governmental and university advisory boards, and boards of trustees.

Kristine Wiley

Executive Director
Hydrogen Technology Center
Gas Technology Institute

As the Executive Director of GTI’s Hydrogen Technology Center (HTC) Kristine Wiley works across the organization to synchronize deep industry knowledge and technical expertise as well as large scale labs and test facilities to integrate the use of hydrogen into the energy system. Addressing economy wide decarbonization, the HTC brings together public-private partnerships to facilitate R&D to enable clean hydrogen generation, transport, storage and utilization at scale while leveraging the existing robust energy infrastructure to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon future.  Kristine’s career spans nearly two decades at GTI.  Prior to her current role, she served as an R&D Director responsible for GTI’s Environmental, Risk, and Integrity Management programs.  With a focus on reducing environmental impacts, she led collaborative research directly working with industry to develop solutions for the detection and mitigation of methane emissions from natural gas operations.  At GTI she has held positions of increasing responsibility managing research addressing utility operations and environmental compliance to advancing the use of low-carbon fuels such as renewable natural gas.  Kristine holds a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago as well as an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

10:05 – 10:45am MDT:

BREAK and “Birds of a feather” self-selected breakout sessions with a planned moderator (networking, connecting with attendees and sponsors)

Breakout #1:  Sponsors/Supporting Organizations/Attendees/Speakers:  Talk Now feature used to connect with each other

Breakout #2:  Continuing the conversation in previous session “The future of combustion in a zero carbon world”:  Host is Tom Plant, Senior Policy Advisor, Center for the New Energy Economy, Colorado State University

10:45 – 11:35am MDT:
General Session Panel
“Technology breakthroughs:  Electrification approaches”


Peter Green

Deputy Lab Director, Science and Technology
Chief Research Officer
National Renewable Energy Lab

Dr. Peter F. Green is the deputy laboratory director for Science and Technology, and the Chief Research Officer for National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  Prior to his employment at NREL in 2016, Green spent 20 years in academia and 11 years at Sandia National Laboratories, where he began his career as a postdoctoral researcher, later promoted to department manager in 1990. In 1996 he moved to The University of Texas-Austin, where he became professor of chemical engineering the B.F. Goodrich Endowed Professor of Materials Engineering. Green was recruited to the University of Michigan to become Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 2005. He was also the Vincent T. and Gloria M. Gorguze Endowed Professor of Engineering. Additionally, he served as director of a DOE Energy Frontiers Research Center (EFRC): Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion.  Green’s prior leadership experience includes serving as president of the Materials Research Society. In addition to having served in roles of editor in chief, Associate editor and editorial board member of different scientific Journals, he serves on advisory boards for Universities and non-profit organizations. Dr. Green was elected to position of fellow of a number of societies: Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Hunter College and a master’s and doctorate in materials science and engineering from Cornell University.


Dan Bowermaster

Senior Program Manager
Electric Transportation
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Dan Bowermaster is the Senior Program Manager for Electric Transportation at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent non-profit center for public interest energy and environmental research.  EPRI’s electric transportation program provides research critical to the development of technology, infrastructure, and analytics necessary to support the advancement of electric transportation.  Prior to joining EPRI in 2011, Bowermaster worked at Pacific Gas & Electric Company where he led PG&E’s customer-facing Electric and Natural Gas Vehicles team. He joined PG&E in September 2008 as part of the MBA Leadership Program, working in various departments across PG&E.  Bowermaster completed the Wharton-Lauder dual graduate degree program, earning an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and an MA in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he holds a BS in mechanical engineering and a BA in international relations from the University of California, Davis.  Bowermaster and his wife live in San Francisco with their three young kids. He passions include old cars, big dogs, and hiking.

Sara Baldwin

Director of Electrification Policy
Energy Innovation

Sara is Energy Innovation’s Electrification Policy Director, where she leads the firm’s electrification policy practice area in tandem with the Power Sector Transformation program to develop a roadmap for economy-wide electrification. Sara provides guidance to federal and state policymakers across the U.S. along with other stakeholders on policy pathways to support the electrification and decarbonization of buildings, transportation, and industry.  Prior to joining Energy Innovation, Sara served as Vice President of Regulatory for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), providing strategic direction for the organization’s regulatory program. In this capacity, she led IREC’s engagement on distributed energy resource regulatory policies in states across the country and supported organizational development, planning, and strategy. Sara has worked on dozens of publications and regulatory policy resources, including A Playbook for Modernizing the Distribution GridMaking the Grid Smarter: State Primer on Adopting the IEEE 1547™-2018 Standard for Distributed Energy ResourcesCharging Ahead: An Energy Storage Guide for State Policymakers, and Optimizing the Grid: A Regulator’s Guide to Hosting Capacity Analyses. On behalf of IREC, she served on the Technical Team for the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Solar Market Pathways Initiative and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative Advisory Committee.  From 2004-2014, Sara directed and implemented strategic clean energy policy and regulatory efforts in Utah as a Senior Policy Associate for Utah Clean Energy. She was named an “Innovator and Influencer” by Solar Power World in 2017 and one of “Utah’s Enlightened 50″ by the Community Foundation of Utah in 2012, and is a member of GridLab’s advisory board. Sara hosts Energy Innovation’s Electrify This! podcast and is the former host of the Grid Geeks podcast. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Utah, graduating with honors.

11:35 am – Noon MDT:
25-minute BREAK and NETWORKING

Noon – 1:00 pm MDT:
General Session Panel
“Envisioning the building of the future”

 A large fraction of United States energy supply goes to residential and commercial buildings. Decarbonization activities will need to re-envision energy supply to provide household and workplace services, transform existing buildings, and revolutionize design and policy toward net-zero consumption in new buildings. What will the future building portfolio look like, and how might it promote human well-being in addition to decarbonization?


Rodolfo Valdes Vasquez

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Construction Management
Colorado State University

Dr. Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator in the Dept. of Construction Management at Colorado State University. He holds special appointments with the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) at CSU. Rodolfo’s research, teaching, and engagement align with sustainable design and construction topics. He has taught multiple sustainable courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is well-versed in the scholarship of teaching sustainability. His Sustainable Buildings program was recently recognized with the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design. Rodolfo has collaborated with various research sponsors such as CDOT to develop best practices for rapid debris removal and improvements in emergency escape ramps in Colorado. He has numerous publications related to sustainability. His Social Sustainability Framework is a well-cited ASCE publication. In terms of engagement, Rodolfo is serving as the USGBC student club’s adviser and the ASC Sustainability Team’s faculty coach since 2013. He is a member of the Sustainable Eng. Conference’s organizing committee, which NSF supports. Rodolfo is currently serving as a CSU President’s Sustainability Commission member among multiple other committees. His commitment to the education of the next generation of professionals, researchers, and educators are obvious. He strongly believes that educating current and future generations will play a pivotal role in making sustainability a standard practice in construction projects’ life cycle.


Melissa Baker

Senior Vice President
U.S. Green Building Council

As Senior Vice President for Technical Core at the U.S. Green Building Council, Melissa Baker works across all building sectors to engage, define, deploy, and drive enhanced investment in high-performing real estate assets through the LEED Green Building Ratings System. With a focus on technical integrity and customer-centric strategies and solutions, Melissa brings people together through engaging a diverse group of sector market leaders to identify opportunities and challenges for large-volume leadership stakeholders—ultimately leading to greater market uptake for LEED and its aligned products and increased customer satisfaction and engagement.  Prior to her current executive role, Melissa led efforts on USGBC’s market development team to engage with state and local governments, the federal government and its key departments and agencies (including the U.S. military) on the implementation and scaling of LEED in support of their sustainability and energy conservation and independence goals. Melissa also played a key architectural role in the development of LEED in the healthcare, hospitality, and higher education sectors. Before joining USGBC, Melissa began her career in the highly-selective Presidential Management Fellows program with the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. She holds a M.P.P. in Environmental Policy from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and a B.A. in International Environmental Policy from the University of Connecticut.  Melissa lives in the Petworth neighborhood of Northwest, Washington, DC, with her husband Nate and their daughters, Cecilia and Alexandra.

Ralph DiNola

New Buildings Institute

New Buildings Institute CEO, Ralph DiNola, has dedicated his professional life to bringing sustainability, green building and energy efficiency innovation to scale. For more than 20 years he has served as a consultant to developers, governments and Fortune 500 companies seeking quantum advances in their building practices and projects. He has been invited to provide keynote presentations at corporate meetings and international conferences and serves as an expert facilitator and educator. Ralph served as a technical advisor for the Living Building Challenge™ standard and has consulted on over 130 LEED® projects, including ten precedent-setting LEED Platinum certifications. Ralph was founding Board Chair of the International Living Future Institute, served on the USGBC LEED Retail Committee and was recipient of the Better Bricks Green Building Advocate Award and voted one of the 50 most influential Portlanders by Portland Monthly Magazine. Ralph has a bachelor’s degree in Historic Preservation from Roger Williams University and a Master’s Degree in Architecture from University of Oregon.

Eric Werling

Building America Program Director
U.S. Department of Energy

Eric is a recognized expert in residential energy efficiency, indoor air quality (IAQ), and the building sciences. Since 2011, he has worked with more than 20 Building America partnership teams and four DOE national laboratories to transform building science knowledge and innovations into proven best practices for the housing industry. A 2018 independent analysis estimated that Americans save over $30 for every $1 spent on Building America research. Eric and the Building America program are currently focused on healthy, efficient home technologies, improving construction productivity, bringing deep energy retrofits to scale, and emerging technologies that can make our homes smarter and more resilient.  Prior to his DOE service, Eric served the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he launched the Indoor airPLUS program in 2009. From 1995 to 2004 he was with ICF Consulting, where he helped EPA develop and implement the successful ENERGY STAR for New Homes program.  Eric began his adult life as an E-2C Hawkeye Naval Flight Officer aboard the USS Kitty Hawk and USS Ranger, based in San Diego, California.  Eric holds a master’s degree in architectural engineering and an MBA, both from Penn State University, and a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy. Eric currently serves on the ASHRAE Residential Buildings Committee and the ASHRAE Standard 62.2 Committee, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Residential Buildings.  In his spare time, Eric is an amateur musician with the Red, White, & Blues (Loudoun County, Virginia) and the Building Science Boogie Band (wherever music and building science meet).

1:00 – 1:10 pm MDT:
10-minute BREAK and NETWORKING

1:10 – 2:10 pm MDT:
General Session Panel
“Environmental and Energy Justice”
How can we assure communities their health won’t suffer because of where they are located?  Access to affordable energy, adequate transportation, workforce development for under-represented groups, educational pathways, career pathways, STEM programs, tribal nations and affordable energy access are important discussion topics.  As the U.S. begins to transition away from fossil fuels, policymakers are confronting a host of social, economic, and health burdens caused by the existing energy systemHow can marginalized communities be supported?   How can we balance affordability and transitioning communities in a responsible way?


Shalanda Baker

Deputy Director
Energy Justice
Office of Economic Impact and Diversity
U.S. Department of Energy

Shalanda H. Baker is the Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to her appointment, she was a Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. She has spent over a decade conducting research on the equity dimensions of the global transition away from fossil fuel energy to cleaner energy resources. She is the author of over a dozen articles, book chapters, and essays on renewable energy law, energy justice, energy policy, and renewable energy development. In 2016, she received a Fulbright-Garcia-Robles research fellowship to study climate change, energy policy, and indigenous rights in Mexico. She is the Co-Founder and former Co-Director of the Initiative for Energy Justice (www.iejusa.org), an organization committed to providing technical law and policy support to communities on the frontlines of climate change. Her book, Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Guide to the Energy Transition (Island Press 2021), argues that the technical terrain of energy policy should be the next domain to advance civil rights. She received her BS from the United States Air Force Academy and JD from Northeastern University School of Law. She obtained her LLM while serving as a William H. Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin School of Law.


Hollie Velasquez-Horvath

Senior Director of State Affairs & Community Relations
Xcel Energy

Hollie currently holds the role of Senior Director of State Affairs and Community Relations at Xcel Energy- Colorado. She leads a team who are responsible for managing the state and local government relations, business and community relationships, and local economic development activities for Colorado. She also manages the philanthropic arm of the company to support Colorado non-profit organizations with foundation grants, employee volunteerism and corporate sponsorships.  Hollie has received several community recognitions and awards for her leadership Recently she was honored as a Downtown Denver Partnership Champion. Other recognitions include Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40, Colorado Women’s Chamber Top 25 Most Powerful Women, and Denver Business Journal Top Women in Energy.  She is Chairman of the Board for Great Outdoors Colorado, a statewide organization spending $63 million annually to get kids outdoors. She also sits on the Downtown Denver Partnership Board, The Colorado Latino Community Foundation, and Denver Health Authority.  Hollie is happily married to her husband Bryon and is blessed with 12 year-old twins, Chase and Lillian.

Adam Bad Wound

Vice President of Philanthropy
GRID Alternatives

Adam’s mission is to strengthen people and planet through philanthropy. He brings more than a decade of experience in fund development, specializing in advancing organizations that link humans and habitats, align people and places, and affirm that everyone and everything is interconnected. As Vice President of Philanthropy, Adam leads GRID Alternatives’ organization-wide strategies to advance philanthropic partnerships and promote a culture of philanthropy. In 2018, he founded the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund, a tribal-led initiative that provides new funding to tribes to support their renewable energy goals and GRID’s first grant-making project. Adam is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), a certified naturalist from the University of California, and is currently pursuing an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Harvard University. Adam holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, a master’s degree from Columbia University, and two master’s degrees in education policy and sociology from Stanford University, where he serves on the board of directors of the Stanford Alumni Association.

2:10 – 2:20pm MDT:
10-minute BREAK and NETWORKING

2:20 – 3:20 pm MDT:
General Session Panel
“CO2 Mitigation:   Carbon sequestration/reuse/storage, soils, waste mitigation of plastics”


Jennifer Wilcox

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy
U.S. Department of Energy  

Jennifer Wilcox, the PDAS in the Office of Fossil Energy at DOE, was the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. As a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, she led WRI’s Carbon Removal Program.  Having grown up in rural Maine, Wilcox has a profound respect and appreciation of nature. That appreciation permeates her work; she focuses on minimizing the negative impacts of humankind on our natural environment. Wilcox holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and an M.A. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona and B.A. in Mathematics from Wellesley College.  Wilcox’s research takes aim at the nexus of energy and the environment, developing both mitigation and adaptation strategies to minimize negative climate impacts associated with society’s dependence on fossil fuels. She has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society to assess carbon capture methods and impacts on climate. She is the author of the first textbook on carbon capture, Carbon Capture, published in March 2012. She co-edited the CDR Primer on carbon dioxide removal in 2021.


Michael Köpke

Vice President Synthetic Biology

Dr. Michael Köpke is a pioneer in Synthetic Biology of carbon fixing microbes. Michael led a seminal study that provided a first genetic blueprint of anaerobic gas fermenting microbes and demonstration that these gas fermenting microbes can be reprogrammed for synthesis of fuel and chemicals directly from greenhouse gas emissions and waste resources.  Since 2009, Michael is working for LanzaTech, a company that is revolutionizing the way the world thinks about waste carbon by treating it as an opportunity instead of a liability. In his current role as VP of Synthetic Biology, Michael is leading LanzaTech’s genetic tools and strain development program as well as several R&D collaborations with both industrial and academic partners. Additionally, Michael serves as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University.  Michael holds a Ph.D. from University of Ulm and has over 15 years of biotech experience. He is one of the awardees of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award for Greener Synthetic Pathways and has authored over 100 patents and over 40 peer reviewed articles. Michael co-chaired several international meetings and working groups and serves as scientific advisor or board member to the Engineering Biology Research Council, Joint Genome Institute, Northwestern University Master Biotechnology Program, amongst others.

Wilson Smith

Associate Professor
Senior Scientist at NREL
Fellow, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI)
University of Colorado Boulder


Dr. Wilson A. Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology. He earned his BS in Physics from American University in 2005, and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Georgia in 2010, where he studied the synthesis and applications of nanostructured photocatalysts. From there he moved to Paris, France as a postdoctoral research associate at the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie/Sorbonne where he studied the defect structure of doped semiconductors for solar water purification. In 2012 he began his independent career at TU Delft, where his group focuses on fundamental and applied aspects of photoelectrochemical water splitting, electrochemical CO2 reduction and ammonia synthesis.  Wilson has been the recipient of the prestigious VENI (2013), VIDI (2016), and ERC Starting (2017) personal grants, which have helped his group bridge scales and disciplines to address practical problems in large scale energy conversion and storage.

Kipp Coddington

Center for Energy Regulation & Policy Analysis
School of Energy Resources
University of Wyoming


A chemical engineer and lawyer, Kipp Coddington is a low-carbon technology and climate policy expert with commercial project and academic research leadership experience.  He is the Director of the Center for Energy Regulation & Policy Analysis at the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources. He is a co-Principal Investigator on more than $12M in projects related to carbon capture utilization & storage (CCUS), with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. He separately is funded by private foundations to conduct energy policy assessments.  He is an international expert in CCUS. He has testified before Congress on the topic and has also served on various expert panels. He founded the ISO panel that prepared the world’s first technical standards for carbon dioxide storage via enhanced oil recovery.

3:20 – 3:30pm MDT:
10-minute BREAK and NETWORKING

3:30 – 4:30 pm MDT:
General Session Moderated Discussion by former Colorado Bill Ritter, Symposium Honorary Chair, Director for the Center for the New Energy Economy, Colorado State University
“Meeting the challenges of the climate crisis from policy and technical standpoints”

Discussion will include Colorado U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse, appointed by House Select Committee on Climate Crisis and Dr. Martin Keller, Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.

Director, Center for the New Energy Economy
Colorado State University

As one of the co-founders of the energy symposia started in 2011, Governor Bill Ritter is the 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium Honorary Chair.

Governor Bill Ritter was elected Colorado’s 41st governor in 2006 and was the District Attorney of Denver from 1993-2005.  During his four-year term as Governor, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy by building a New Energy Economy. After leaving the Governor’s Office, Ritter founded the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, which works with state and federal policy makers to create clean energy policy throughout the country.  Governor Ritter has authored a book that was published in 2016 entitled, Powering Forward – What Everyone Should Know About America’s Energy Revolution.  Gov. Ritter was formerly the chair of the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation and currently serves on the Regis University Board of Trustees. Gov. Ritter is a member of Blackhorn Venture Capital and serves as an advisor to Green Alpha and Millennium Bridge, among others.  Ritter earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University (1978) and his law degree from the University of Colorado (1981). With his wife Jeannie, he operated a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia. He then served as Denver’s district attorney from 1993 to January 2005.

Congressman Joe Neguse

U.S. House of Representatives
Colorado’s 2nd District  

Congressman Joe Neguse represents Colorado’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected to his first term in November 2018, becoming the first African-American member of Congress in Colorado history. He serves as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, House Natural Resources Committee and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Rep. Neguse’s public service is rooted in his firm belief that we should be expanding—not restricting—opportunities for all Americans, and he has spent his career doing the same. His priorities in Congress include lowering health care costs and prescription drug prices, raising workers’ wages, ensuring greater accountability in government, protecting our treasured public lands, and fighting the existential threat of climate change.

Martin Keller

National Renewable Energy Laboratory 

Dr. Martin Keller has served as Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and President of the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, the company that operates NREL for the U.S. Department of Energy, since 2015. Under his leadership, the number of full-time employees at NREL has increased by more than 32%. Martin is a visionary leader who is committed to people, teams, and partnerships. He innovatively and pragmatically applies private sector best practices at NREL to achieve game-changing scientific outcomes. Working collaboratively with his leadership team, Martin developed a strategy for NREL focused on three key initiatives: integrated energy pathways, circular economy, and electrons to molecules. This strategy drives advanced scientific research, programs, projects, and partnerships at NREL. For example, NREL’s partnership portfolio—which includes Eaton Corporation, Wells Fargo, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and more than 900 private and public sector organizations—has generated over $1 billion of research and development for the Laboratory.  From 2006 to 2015, Martin led energy, biological, and environmental research programs at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His efforts culminated in his being promoted to serve as the Associate Laboratory Director for the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate during his last six years at ORNL.  Earlier In his career, Martin’s dedicated work in a variety of research management positions at Diversa Corporation enhanced and developed the microbiology expertise of this biotech company.  Currently, Martin is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement Science (AAAS), and he recently retired as chair of the AAAS Industrial Science and Technology Section. In addition, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for Julich Forschungszentrum and serves on numerous other scientific advisory boards.  Martin received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Regensburg, Germany.

4:30 – 4:45 pm MDT:
General Session:  former Colorado Bill Ritter, Symposium Honorary Chair, Director for the Center for the New Energy Economy, Colorado State University and Dr. Bryan Willson, Executive Director, Energy Institute, Colorado State University
Symposium Wrap-up by founders of the 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium (2011-2021)

4:45pm MDT:
Adjourn Day 2