Chancellor's Lecture & Event Series

The Sustainable Energy Challenge

George CrabtreeGeorge Crabtree
UIC Distinguished Professor of Physics & Special Advisor on Energy
Senior Scientist & Distinguished Fellow, Argonne National Laboratory

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Illinois Room, Student Center East
750 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Please RSVP to as light snacks will be provided

Dr. Crabtree's Presentation (PDF file 1.95MB)

The global dependence on fossil fuels is among the greatest challenges facing our economic, social and political future. The uncertainty in the cost and supply of oil threatens the global economy and energy security, the pollution of fossil combustion threatens human health, and the emission of greenhouse gases threatens global climate. Meeting the demand for double the current global energy use in the next 50 years without damaging our economy, security, environment or climate requires finding alternative sources of energy that are clean, abundant, accessible and sustainable. The transition to greater sustainability involves tapping unused energy flows such as sunlight and wind, producing electricity without carbon emissions from clean coal and high efficiency nuclear power plants, and using energy more efficiently. Achieving these goals requires creating new materials of increasing complexity and functionality to control the transformation of energy between light, electrons and chemical bonds. Challenges and opportunities for developing the complex materials and controlling the chemical changes that enable greater sustainability will be presented.

To learn more about this topic, here are some suggested readings:

George Crabtree and John Sarrao, The Road to Sustainability, Physics World 22(10), 24, Dec 2009 [PDF version]

George Crabtree and Nathan Lewis, Solar Energy Conversion, Physics Today 60(3), 37 (2007)

What You Should Know About Energy, The National Academies

New Science for a Secure and Sustainable Energy Future, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Department of Energy, 2008, and other BES reports

David J.C. McKay, Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air (UITCambridge, Ltd) 2009; $35 from Amazon or free from website.