Posted by Bob Simmons
April 3, speaker was Dr Bryan Willson, Professor, Presidential Chair in Energy Innovation and Director of the CSU Energy Institute ( for a full list of his extensive credentials see the Rotogear published last  week).
CSU's Energy Institutes’ mission is to “use science to find solutions and apply them to scale”.  At least 30 faculty members contribute.  Recognition of the Energy Institute contributed  to Fort Collins selection by the Smithsonian as one of six places of innovation (clean energy)  in the US.  Dr Wilson discussed a number of potential definitions of innovation but believes that bringing people together to collaborate is the best way to define innovation.  Colorado is unique in the collaboration of it’s best universities with one another and the private sector. This was on display at a recent symposium on energy held in Denver.
The acquisition of the old downtown power plant by CSU was the first step in establishing a footprint for the institute which has subsequently been expanded to integrate most of the colleges at CSU in energy research and application.
Specific areas of research and application were listed, including development of the natural gas engine.  Access to  simple low pollution energy has been a focus provided to the developing world.  For example, low emission, 2 stroke engines have been developed and made available; cheap and energy efficient non polluting cook stoves have been distributed; microgrids, especially for African communities are being established ; safe methane extraction and use is being addressed and finally, energy ventures are being set up in and for the developing world.
All these contributions for  better life and health far beyond our local community are  reasons to be proud of our university and city.