John A. Swanson Returns to W&J to Open Energy Lecture Series

Created: September 5, 2015  |  Last Updated: October 19, 2021  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

WASHINGTON, PA (Sept. 7, 2015) — The Center for Energy Policy and Management (CEPM) at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) will open the fourth season of its Energy Lecture Series with a focus on one of the most challenging energy issues facing our society – the modernization of the electricity grid.

The first session, Today’s Grid: A System Under Pressure, will feature John A. Swanson, Ph.D., founder and retired chief technologist at ANSYS, Inc., and member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as Gregory Reed, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Energy and of the Electric Power Initiative, and Professor at the Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. Swanson and Reed will discuss how the grid evolved, its current status and the challenges posed by a changing mix of fuel sources.

The lecture is Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in Yost Auditorium of the Howard J. Burnett Center, and is free and open to the public. Registration is not required but is recommended. See the CEPM website to register.

The College has partnered with the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering’s Science & Engineering Ambassadors Program to present the Grid Academy, a four-session program beginning with Swanson and Reed’s lecture that explores the risks, challenges, and opportunities facing the electric power sector. All sessions are free and open to the public.

The Grid Academy was created by the Science & Engineering Ambassadors in partnership with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

“The goal of the Science & Engineering Ambassador Program and its programming dovetails well with the overall goal of the W&J Center for Energy Policy and Management and its Energy Lecture Series, which is to provide a forum for the exchange of objective information about energy that can support sound policy decisions,” said CEPM Director Diana Stares. “We are very pleased that the Ambassador Program has agreed to present the Grid Academy here at W&J.”

Topics to be addressed in the series include historical development of the grid, smart grid technology, the changing economics of the grid, and the challenge of preventing cyber and physical attacks to the grid.

All sessions have been organized by a leadership team from the National Academies of Science and Engineering Ambassadors Program, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and will feature researchers and industry professionals from the universities, the power industry, and NETL.

Remaining sessions are:

  • The Smart Grid: Innovating for Efficiency and Reliability – Oct. 14, 2015 at 7 p.m.
  • Managing Uncertainty: The New Economics of the Power Industry – February 2016 (Date TBA)
  • Threats: Protecting the Grid – March 2016 (Date TBA)

For more information, visit the W&J Center for Energy Policy and Management website.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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