Nicola Cabibbo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, to
anchor the university’s first solar symposium
MERCED - Amid concerns
about rising gas prices and the growing need for environmentally
friendly alternatives to fossil fuels, the University of
California, Merced, will host a solar symposium, “Solar Energy:
Today and Tomorrow,” at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26.
The symposium, jointly sponsored by the UC Merced Energy
Research Institute (UCMERI) and the Dan David Foundation, was
designed to promote public knowledge regarding present and future
solar energy technologies, and to examine the current state of the
solar energy industry.
Nicola Cabibbo, Italian physicist, professor at La Sapienza
University of Rome, and president of the Pontifical Academy of
Sciences, will present the keynote address. He will provide insight
into how solar technology is being implemented in Europe and
describe how advances in solar technology can help to shape the
global energy discussion.
The symposium will include expert presenters:
* Sarah Kurtz, principal scientist, National Renewable Energy
* Martha Krebs, deputy director for Energy Research and
Development for the California Energy Commission
* Arno A. Penzias, venture partner, New Enterprise
Associates, and Nobel laureate
* Jeff Wright, dean of UC Merced’s School of Engineering and
director of UCMERI
* Roland Winston, professor in UC Merced’s schools of Natural
Sciences and Engineering and Presidential Chair holder
* David Kelley, professor for UC Merced’s School of Natural Sciences
The symposium will culminate with a dinner honoring Sarah Kurtz
and Jerry Olson of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
In March 2007, Kurtz and Olson were honored with the prestigious
Dan David Prize Laureate for their work toward the development of
concentration solar power systems using multi-junction solar cells.
Kurtz donated her portion of the prize, $225,000, to establish the
Dan David Solar Endowment Fund at UC Merced. The gift is set up as
an endowed fellowship to provide financial support for graduate
students interested in studying solar energy.
The Dan David Prize was founded in 2001 by businessman and
philanthropist Dan David and is headquartered at Tel Aviv
University. Three prizes of $1 million each are awarded annually
for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological,
cultural or social impact on our world. Each year fields are chosen
within the three Time Dimensions - Past, Present and Future. The
laureates for a given year are chosen from these fields.
The symposium is free and open to the public. For more
information and to register online, visit