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U416·SUNDAY WORKSHOP: The Changing Role of Universities and Colleges in Accelerating Community Sustainability
Workshop Energy Conversion, Conservation and Nuclear Engineering Division (ECCNE)
Sun. June 23, 2024 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
F150, Oregon Convention Center
Session Description

Free ticketed event
This workshop will focus on case studies of successful and rapid decarbonization of energy use in large, complex colleges, including challenges, opportunities, and results. The ability of the structured and integrated process to be effectively extended to host communities and the potential for academic curricula development will also be discussed. The workshop will be presented in sections, followed by a discussion shaped by some guiding questions.

3.1 Global Energy Transition
The opening section will present an overview of the current status of the world’s energy systems’ transition to near-zero carbon emissions. The driving factors for this transition, including global, federal, local, and institutional, will be discussed.

3.2 Decarbonizing Colleges and Universities
Today, most colleges and universities have some form of net-zero GHG goal for their operations, often accompanied by goals to expand related educational programs. Using the experience of a cohort of three US and Canadian colleges, this section will explore approaches that can successfully deliver on these goals and the residual economic benefits. It will also consider the crossover role of the transformed campus as a “Living Classroom” to support academic curricula. The discussion will focus on the decision-making and process steps that have proven highly successful and, equally importantly, approaches that are unlikely to succeed.

3.3 Colleges and Universities Accelerating Community Sustainability
This section will summarize the new interdisciplinary skills, processes, and structures needed for large, complex organizations, such as entire cities, to successfully plan and deliver their transformative net-zero goals. The academic opportunities these will create for colleges and universities will be substantial yet will be significantly different from currently recognized courses and degree programs, and will extend well beyond traditional engineering emphasis. They will also impact the institution’s relationships with P-12 programs, host communities, local employers, and national and international stakeholders. The discussion will focus on the practical steps colleges and universities can take to meet the urgent reskilling needs of the wider community, and how these can be rapidly proliferated across multiple institutions.

Peter Garforth, Principal of Garforth International
Herb Sinnock, Director of Sustainability at Sheridan College
Michael Nealon, VP of Academic Affairs at Henry Ford College
Reuben Brukley, Director of Facilities at Henry Ford College
Nicholas Paseiro, IEMP Coordinator at Henry Ford College

Moderated by
  1. Peter John Garforth
  1. Peter John Garforth

    Peter Garforth leads a specialist consultancy based in Toledo, Ohio. He advises major colleges, communities, cities, companies, property developers and policy makers on developing competitive, long-term breakthrough energy and climate plans that reduce the economic and environmental impact of energy use. He strives to ensure that any recommended investment has a sound business basis and reflects the larger movements in the energy market. Peter is well connected in the energy productivity business and regulatory community around the world. Peter is often approached to provide inputs as an expert advisor on the topic.
    Peter has long been interested in energy and climate productivity as a business opportunity and has a considerable track record with successful programs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia and elsewhere. He has held senior management roles around the world at Honeywell in both the USA and Europe, Landis & Gyr (now Siemens) in Switzerland, and, most recently was Vice-President of Strategy

  2. Michael A. Nealon
    Henry Ford College

    Dr. Michael A. Nealon serves as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at Henry Ford College (Dearborn, MI). Dr. Nealon brings nearly 30 years of college-level teaching and administrative experience to the post, having previously taught at Lansing Community College, DePaul University (Chicago, IL), Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), and North Park College and Seminary (Chicago, IL). Nealon earned a PhD in Musicology from Northwestern University in 1997. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Michael’s College (Colchester, VT). Before joining the Academic team at HFC, Nealon served as Vice President for Instruction at Washtenaw Community College and in various leadership roles at Lansing Community College – including Vice President for Engaged Student Learning, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Chair of the Humanities & Performing Arts Department, and Lead Faculty of the Music Program. Dr. Nealon has published and shared his scholarship at both national and international conferences, including: The National Leadership Academy, The Higher Learning Commission, The League for Innovation in the Community College, The American Musicological Society, The College Music Society, The Nineteenth Century Association, and The Humanities and Education Research Association. He remains active as a composer, with premieres of original musical works in Chicago, New York, Boston, the Vatican, Rome, Florence, and the north of France. As a college instructor, Michael has taught courses in World Music, Music History, Music Theory, Art History, and Interdisciplinary Humanities. His work in college administration has centered on providing the environment and resources necessary to promote and support exceptional teaching and learning opportunities, with commitments to student success, goal completion and continuous quality improvement.

  3. Reuben Brukley
    Henry Ford College

    Reuben Brukley is the Facilities Director at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. He is responsible for overseeing construction, sustainability, custodial, trades, and landscaping services, and mechanical operations. Since assuming the Director’s role in 2019, he has overseen sustainability efforts with tangible results across all areas of the College for which he is responsible. Reuben has 25+ years of progressive facilities experience.

  4. Nicholas Paseiro
    Henry Ford College

    Nicholas Paseiro is the Sustainability Coordinator at Henry Ford College overseeing the implementation of the campus-wide Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP). During his career, he has worked in both the private sector and state and federal government in the fields of energy management, environmental policy, sustainable design, and code enforcement.

  5. Herbert Sinnock
    Sheridan College

    As Director Sustainability at Sheridan College, Herb Sinnock is responsible for implementation of Mission Zero, the institution’s ambitious plan to reduce energy consumption, waste to landfill and greenhouse gas emissions. Prior to joining Sheridan College, he was Manager of the Centennial Energy Institute at Centennial College in Scarborough, Ontario. With nearly 25 years of experience in the energy sector, Herb has worked in project management, technology research and product development for projects funded by Ontario Centres of Excellence, Ontario Power Authority, US Department of Energy, US Air Force, City of Lowell Massachusetts, and Yankee Atomic Electric Company. His technical specialties are energy management, advanced control systems, neural networks, system integration, heat transfer, mathematical modelling and distributed power systems. Herb holds a MSc Energy Engineering – University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts.

  6. Spencer Wood
    Humber College

    Spencer Wood has been in Facilities Management at Humber for 24 years. As the Director of Facilities Management, he oversees all operations and maintenance activities as well as leading Humber’s sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives. Notable recent successes of those initiatives include Canada’s Greenest Employer award 8 years in a row, the development of Humber’s Integrated Energy Master Plan, the first institutional Canadian Passive House retrofit, and the development of the cutting edge “Switch” project to reduce natural gas use on campus by 70%. Spencer is passionate about creating a culture of sustainability at Humber. He holds a BSc in Environmental Science from McMaster University and is a Certified Energy Manager.

  7. Peter John Garforth

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