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Energy Week to raise awareness

by MEGAN DOYLE | Monday, September 27, 2010

Students can grab free handouts and tips on energy awareness as they move through South Quad on the way to class Monday as part of Energy Week 2010.

Energy Center student advisory board chair Jonathan Conway said the schedule for Energy Week will include lectures, movie screenings and tours of different campus buildings.

“Honestly, the goal is just to make students aware about energy issues and sustainability on campus,” Conway said. “We try to have different events for different groups of students.”

Barbara Villarosa, programs and research specialist at the University Energy Center, said the week of student-sponsored energy awareness will educate students on energy challenges.

“What we like to do is plan a variety of events that will be attractive to all students,” Villarosa said. “Some students much prefer learning by lectures but others would rather enjoy a film.”

The diverse range of events will center on a common theme of education.

“We have kept the same mission [for Energy Week] each year,” Villarosa said. “We want to increase awareness across campus to provide educational opportunities to learn about current energy issues and topics that are facing our nation today.”

Energy Week 2010 began Friday on Irish Green with “Green is Gold” T-shirt sales and games to create awareness, Villarosa said. The Energy Expo on Saturday drew many science and engineering students despite the campus festivities for the football game day.

Energy companies and organizations including General Electric (GE), Midwest ISO, Indiana Department of

Environmental Management, Notre Dame’s Office of Sustainability and student environmental groups will display their latest innovations on the quad Monday, according to the Energy Center website.

“The quad display is probably the most well attended because it is the most visible,” Villarosa said. “Last year over a thousand students stopped and talked to the different people outside.”

Students can learn about making a different in the energy field after graduation during the energy career lecture Tuesday with a representative from GE, Conway said.

“The career lecture has always drawn quite a bit of interest,” Villarosa said. “The upperclassmen are interested to know what it takes to get out there in the energy field in their careers.”

Wednesday night will feature a lecture titled “The Future of Alternative Energy,” showcasing Notre Dame professors and their research conducted on campus, Villarosa said.

“I think the lecture on Wednesday will be the most exciting event,” Conway said. “Notre Dame professors will be speaking about the future of energy.”

Five professors from the College of Engineering and the College of Science will speak during the lecture on possible forms of alternative energy and their research here at Notre Dame.

“We are providing opportunities to learn about energy awareness and highlighting the current energy research going on here at Notre Dame that is usually conducted behind-the-scenes,” Villarosa said. “Not everyone is aware of the outstanding developments and innovations going on in this field.”

The Energy Center will also screen “The 11th Hour” and “No Impact Man: The Documentary” during the week and sponsor tours of the campus power plant and Geddes Hall.

“There are important problems in the energy field that we need to work to find solutions for,” Conway said.

“There are little things we can do every day in our dorm rooms and bigger things we can do as we move into the real world.”

The week will close with Mass at 5 p.m. on Thursday in Holy Cross Chapel in Stinson-Remick Hall and a trivia night to test energy knowledge at Legend’s on Thursday evening, Conway said.

A full schedule of events is available online at the Notre Dame Energy Center’s website.

“This is a student-sponsored event,” Villarosa said. “It is planned and organized and really executed by the Notre Dame Energy Center student advisory board with the support and help of all the students in GreeND.”