Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

The Future of Energy

Date and Time
Monday, September 14, 2020 - 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Virtual Event
The Future of Energy


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What are some key trends shaping the future of energy, and how is Duke University research accelerating progress in these areas? Get insights from Duke experts on topics like energy access, electrification and automation of transportation, diversification of energy sources and technologies, and pursuit of decarbonization policy goals.

This virtual event organized by the Duke University Energy Initiative will feature quick talks, Q&A, and a networking reception. Open to Duke students, faculty, staff, and alumni only.


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Lori Bennear – Juli Plant Grainger Associate Professor of Energy Economics and Policy and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives, Nicholas School of the Environment

Dr. Lori Bennear’s research focuses on evaluating environmental policies and improving methods and techniques for incorporating evaluation into the regulatory process. Bennear received her Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University in 2004, a master’s degree in economics from Yale in 1996, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental studies from Occidental College in 1995. Learn more.

Nico Hotz – Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Pratt School of Engineering

Dr. Nico Hotz specializes in interfacial transport phenomena and thermodynamics in energy technology. His research focuses on heat, mass, and charge transfer on nano-scale surfaces for solar thermal applications, catalytic fuel reforming, hydrogen generation, fuel cells, and electrolysis. Hotz received his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland. Learn more.

Kate Konschnik – Director of the Climate and Energy Program, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke Law

Kate Konschnik's work focuses on options for public electric utility regulation and electricity market reforms given emerging technologies and decarbonization goals. Konschnik has also worked extensively on effective governance of unconventional oil and gas production and transport. Konschnik joined Duke from Harvard Law School, where she founded and directed the Harvard Environmental Policy Initiative and taught as a Lecturer on Law. Konschnik holds a law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and a bachelor's degree in political science from Tufts University. Learn more.

Jonathan Phillips – Director, Energy Access Project at Duke

Jonathan Phillips’s work focuses on policy, regulatory, and economic issues related to rural electrification, grid de-carbonization, off-grid energy systems, and energy for productivity. He is the former senior advisor to the president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, led private sector engagement and programming with Power Africa at USAID, and has held a variety of congressional staff roles. He received a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Learn more.


Brian Murray – Director, Duke University Energy Initiative and Research Professor, Nicholas School of the Environment and Sanford School of Public Policy

Dr. Brian Murray is widely recognized for his work on the economics of energy policy, particularly as it relates to efforts to mitigate climate change risk. This includes the design and assessment of market-based instruments such as carbon tax, cap-and-trade, and tradable performance standards, as well as policies affecting the markets for bioenergy and other renewables. Murray holds a PhD and a master’s degree in resource economics and policy from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Delaware. Learn more.