Getting cooler and greener with Renewable Energy, Smarter Products and a recycled bike
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smarter planet. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I spent Friday collaborating with colleagues from Academia and IBM at the IBM University Day focused on Smarter Planet. One of the many, very exciting topics covered was called FREEDM. As I learned FREEDM is the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center and is headquartered on North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus just a few miles from where I live and on the same grounds where my oldest daughter Juliana attended middle school. This center is one of the latest Gen-III Engineering Research Centers (ERC) and was established by the National Science Foundation in 2008. The FREEDM Systems Center partners with universities, industry, and national laboratories in 28 states and nine countries to develop technology to revolutionize the nation's power grid and speed renewable electric-energy technologies into every home and business. The center is supported by an initial five-year, $20 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. A large number of utility companies, electrical equipment manufacturers, alternative energy start-ups, and other established and emerging firms are part of this global partnership.
Although I have to admit, some of the deep technical discussion of FREEDM was a little over my head, I was really intrigued by the aggressive steps being taken to build the future talent pool that will be needed to make renewable electric energy delivery and management a reality. Here are a few highlights.
FREEDM Education Program
The overall objective of the Gen-III Engineering Research Center (ERC) is to develop a diverse group of adaptive, creative, globally connected and innovative students for the workforce. For the FREEDM Systems Center, there are two specific goals:
1. Pipeline of future engineers for green energy economy and graying power systems workforce:
2. Pipeline of future leaders, innovators, and creators for green energy economy:
I would say the FREEDM team has a great plan for building smart energy leaders for the future. For more information on the very cool FREEDM project, visit their web site.
Here at IBM, my friends in Rational Software announced a number of new smarter product offerings today that not only address smarter energy but also attack a number of other smarter business needs. Here are just a few of the Smarter Products for a Smarter Planet resources:
Finally a quick personal update....I had my own green encounter over the weekend. As you may know by now, one of my life long passions has been running and more specifically running marathons. However, thanks to my old arthritic knees, I finally had to give up running last year and have since been searching to fill this big hole with no running and no running group colleagues to fill my passions. I am very pleased to say I think I've found the answer to my endurance sports passion in road cycling and my new biking/drinking group. In order to prove my commitment to my new cycling comrades, I went out and purchased a Scattante Elite road bike yesterday. Fortunately for me, it turns out my local Performance bike shop knows a thing or two about GOING GREEN with their "recycled" bike line. Doesn't "recycled" sound so much better than USED? In order to take this green biking experience to the next level, I plan to take the "bike to work" clinic on May 21st. So if you see an old uncool dude weaving his way to IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina on a bike this summer please remember to share the road and let's GO GREEN together.