Energy & Environment


Actively inform and engage MIT alumni and their colleagues in Northern California in a broad area of highly important topics relating to the replacement of fossil fuels for energy generation and transportation and other aspects of protecting the environment and sustaining our critical natural resources.  Our programs are OPEN TO ALL. 

Primary Topics We feature topics of greatest demonstrated alumni interest.  In most cases, we will explore both science & technology as well as policy & economics in order to maintain a pragmatic viewpoint.
  • Electric Power Generation, both distributed and utility-class
  • Storage - both grid-level and distributed, for renewable energy sources
  • The Electric Grid - challenges & opportunities
  • Transportation - Electric Vehicles & Biofuels
  • Climate Change
  • Clean Tech Investing

Panel Discussions & Guest Speakers

We feature high profile, experienced and knowledgeable participants in our panel discussions in the same topical areas as MITEI on the Road, so as to provide both a research and a commercial perspective.  These discussions are intended to be informative and thought-provoking and should provide many attendees with important new contacts in their areas of interest.  Most panel discussions include executives from relatively new companies in order to maintain our entrepreneurial orientation.

We also feature prominent speakers from the energy industry, typically CEOs or founders of important companies, to comment on a wide range of issues and provide a glimpse of things to come. 

MITEI* on the Road

This program features visiting MIT professors who are experts in their fields and will describe their most innovative and promising energy research, much of which may be commercializable within a few years.   Note: *MITEI stands for “MIT Energy initiative”, which now encompasses 25% of the MIT faculty.


We are now arranging tours of facilities that relate to our major topics, such as the California Independent Service Operator (ISO), National Ignition Facility, Natural Gas Power Plants and more.  The tours are organized so that the tour directors understand the audience and speak to our issues.  These tours sell out in just a day or two, so be on the lookout for the next one.

Past Events 

  •  Wednesday, May 10, 2017: Autonomous Vehicles - What Will It Take to Go Mainstream?   Alex Padilla & John Krafcik   (video)
  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017: Reinventing America's Electricity System - Frank O'Sullivan  (video
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017: Funding Your Clean Energy Company in the Trump Era (video) 
  • Thursday, January 24, 2017: The Impending Revolution in Transportation - Stephan Heck (video) 
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016: Time to Choose, a movie on climate change - Director Charles Ferguson (no video) 
  • Thursday, October 13, 2016: The Great Energy Debate (video)   
  • Thursday, June 9, 2016: China's Energy Future: How Clean, How Fast? - MIT Sloan Professor Valerie Karplus (video) 
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2016: Energy Access in Developing Countries  (video) 
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2016: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion? (video) 
  • Thursday, October 29, 2015: Novel Ways to Fund Your Cleantech Startup 2 (video) 
  • Thursday, October 1, 2015: Does Solar + Storage = Grid 2.0?  (video)
  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015: The Making of SunEdison - Ahmad Chatila (video) 
  • Thursday, May 7, 2015: California Water 2015 - Felicia Marcus (video) 
  • Thursday, April 9, 2015: MIT.nano - A Nanotechnology Innovation Factory - MIT Dean Vladimir Bulovic (video) 
  • Wednesday, January 21, 2015: The Oceans in a Warming World - MIT Professor John Marshall (video)
  • Thursday, December 4, 2014: Novel Ways to Fund Your Cleantech Start-up  (video)
  • Thursday, November 6, 2014: Nuclear Innovation for the 21st Century - MIT Professor Richard Lester   (video)
  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014: How the Atmosphere Affects Climate Change - MIT Professor Dan Cziczo   (video)
  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014: What We KNOW About Climate Change (video)
  • Wednesday, March 5, 2014: Marc Tarpenning - Co-founder of Tesla Motors (Santa Clara)  (video) 
  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014: Marc Tarpenning - Co-founder of Tesla Motors (San Francisco)
  • Wednesday, January 22, 2014: Hydraulic Fracturing: Boon or Bane?   (video)    (presentation)
  • Thursday, December 5, 2013: Clean Tech Investing: Emerging Trends - New Strategies (video)
  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013: MIT Professor Gerbrand Ceder - The Materials Genome Initiative (video)
  • Thursday, September 26, 2013: Residential Solar: Is the Market Ready to Explode? - Panel Discussion (video)
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2013: Ultra-low Power Circuits & Systems - MIT EECS Department Head Anantha Chandrakasan  
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2013: Innovating for a Sustainable World - MIT Lecturer Jason Jay
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013: Solar Impulse Airplane (Popular Science article)
  • Wednesday, April 3, 2013: MIT Professor Angela Belcher (video)
  • Thursday, January 31, 2013: Desmond King - President of Chevron Technology Ventures (sorry, no video)
  • Tuesday, December 4, 2012: Clean Tech Investing in 2013 (video) 
  • Thursday, October 25, 2012: Smart Grid - Opportunities for Innovation (video) 
  • September 27, 2012: The Future of U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Technology - MIT Prof Tonio Buonassisi (video)
  • May 8, 2012: Biofuels: How Biotechnology is Changing the Energy Industry (video)
  • April 25, 2012: Tony Earley, CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric - (sorry, no video)
  • March 22, 2012: The Future of the Electric Grid - MIT Profs John Kassakian & Richard Schmalensee  (video) 
  • February 9, 2012: Distributed Energy Generation - Future or Fantasy? (video)   
  • January 11, 2012: Kevin Surace, CEO of Serious Energy   (video)
  • December 7, 2011: Clean Tech Investing in 2012 - What's Hot & What's Not?  (video)
  • November 3, 2011: Does Nuclear Energy Have a Future? – MIT Department Head Richard Lester  (video)
  • September 27, 2011: Nano-technologies for an Energy Efficient Future – MIT Professor Vladimir Bulovic  (video)
  • June 1, 2011: Will Solar Technologies Meet Utility-Scale Demand?  (video)

Questions about programs or volunteering?  Please contact Doug Spreng at