TIAS Eminent Scholar Lecture Series: How do we build an economy powered by the sun?

R. AgrawalA nationally acclaimed researcher in solar energy, Distinguished Professor Rakesh Agrawal of Purdue University, will describe the technological challenges for creating a sustainable solar-powered economy during his Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) Eminent Scholars Lecture on Friday, Dec. 12.

The Institute presents one Eminent Scholar lecture each semester. Agrawal’s lecture begins at 7 p.m. in Rudder Tower, Room 301, on Texas A&M University’s main campus in College Station. Admission is free and open to the public, and parking is available in the University Center Garage. A reception will follow in the J. Wayne Stark Gallery in the Memorial Student Center.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M. As a TIAS Faculty Fellow for 2014-15, Agrawal will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the Look College’s Department of Chemical Engineering.

The challenge for transitioning from a fossil-fuel economy to a solar economy, Agrawal says, is learning to harness, transform and store solar energy in ways that meet the needs of consumers. In a presentation titled “Toward a Solar Economy,” Agrawal will explore these challenges as well as an interdisciplinary approach for finding potential solutions. These include sustainable options for transportation, the production of fuels and chemicals, large-scale storage of solar energy and around-the-clock power generation.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Agrawal is the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in Purdue’s School of Chemical Engineering. He has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, which is the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the president of the United States.

Agrawal conducts research in energy-related areas that involve the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels, processes related to low-cost solar cells, energy systems analysis and high-efficiency separations processes needed for industry and research.

For more information about the TIAS Eminent Scholar Lecture, contact Lisa Jordan at l-jordan@tamu.edu or (979) 458-4989.

About the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study: TIAS provides a catalyst to enrich the intellectual climate and educational experiences at Texas A&M. The Institute was established in December 2010 by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents to build on the growing academic reputation of Texas A&M and to provide a framework to attract top scholars from throughout the nation and abroad for appointments of up to a year. To learn more, visit the website: tias.tamu.edu.

About the Dwight Look College of Engineering: With more than 500 faculty members and more than 14,000 students, the Look College is one of the largest engineering schools in the country. The college is ranked seventh in engineering graduate programs and eighth in undergraduate engineering programs among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report.

About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents annual expenditures of more than $820 million. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit research.tamu.edu.