Rice University’s Executive Vice President for Research Ramamoorthy Ramesh recently presented the Robert Henry Thurston Lecture, “Energy: The True Final Frontier,” at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in New Orleans.
The Robert Henry Thurston Lecture, established in 1925 in honor of the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s first president, provides an opportunity for a leader in pure and/or applied science or engineering to present a lecture on a subject of broad interest to engineers.
Ramesh used energy as an example of where scientists and engineers need to rise up to meet the challenges facing this generation, with energy and water usage being the most pressing. He began with global energy economics and ended with what fundamental materials physics can do to help solve the key problems in energy-efficient electronics.
Ramesh served as the founding director of the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, which was designed to lower the cost of solar energy and make it more competitive with other forms of energy without using government subsidies. More recently, he helped shape the department’s Earthshots Initiative aimed at solving the biggest problems in energy and climate change.