Sustainability with Francis Vanek


Sustainable Energy as a Tool for Advancing Sustainable Development

Francis Vanek

Transforming the energy supply is one of the key steps for creating a sustainable planet.  In this talk, I will focus on sustainable energy, based on my teaching, research, and writing at Cornell.  First, since the topic of sustainability is very broad, I will situate sustainable energy within the broader array of sustainability goals.  From there, I will introduce the "electrify everything" strategy as a way to obtain low- and zero-carbon energy from many sources and deliver it to meet the needs of society.  Many of those needs fall into the three categories of buildings, transportation, and manufacturing, so I will next discuss examples of electrification in each of these sectors.  I will round out the talk by discussing career opportunities arising from the ongoing energy transition.

Francis Vanek holds undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Asian Studies (Japanese language concentration) from Cornell University, and a doctorate in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Vanek serves as the Senior Lecturer and Research Associate in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. He specializes in sustainable energy, transportation, green building systems, sustainable transportation, renewable energy, and engineering economics.