It is a thrill to experience the energy, creativity, and enthusiasm of young people from around the world as they apply their curiosity and talents to address significant global challenges. There are budding scientists and innovators all around us and I have been fortunate to recently visit with some of the best.
On an October Saturday in Datong City, China, one hundred students from 35 universities melded into five integrated, multi-lingual teams and immediately found their unique competitive spirit. The teams eagerly answered trivia questions, celebrated correct answers, and were awarded materials allowing them to build a traditional Chinese structure – an Ancient Chinese Bucket Arch which is created by locking beams and requires no nails or cement to stand for hundreds of years. Amazing!
Thunder storms and muggy weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Solar Decathletes in Washington, DC last week. The teams representing 19 universities from around the world competed to build the most energy efficient, affordable and attractive solar-powered home – not easy given the conditions!
Proudly sporting their university colors, 19 teams opened the front doors of their solar-powered homes to the public for the first time last week at the official launch of Solar Decathlon 2011 – a biannual competition managed by the U.S. Department of Energy.
After two years of planning, many sleepless nights, and crash courses in construction, the university teams competing in this year’s Department of Energy Solar Decathlon are ready to build!
The Team Meeting to kick off the competition brought all the students together for the first time for final instructions, a good meal, and pep talks on Tuesday evening. I was pleased to represent Applied Materials, a sponsor of the Solar Decathlon, at the event to share our company’s pride in the teams’ accomplishments to date and our interest in learning more about their solar-inspired innovations during the decathlon which runs through the end of this month in Washington, DC.
Applied Materials has a history of supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, an award-winning program that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
As a leader in scaling green manufacturing, Applied Materials is pleased to sponsor this year's solar decathlon competition in Washington, D.C. and as founding partner to the launch of the first Solar Decathlon in China in 2013.
Solar energy and innovation are at the forefront of diplomacy as President Barack Obama hosts China’s President Hu Jintao in an official state visit January 18 – 22, 2011. As part of the visit, numerous agreements will be reached that can improve economic and environmental conditions in their respective countries and around the world. Applied Materials has played an important role in creating a Solar Decathlon competition program in China fashioned after the highly successful U.S. model.
On Friday April 23, 100 or so young entrepreneurs gathered at Microsoft’s Mountain View, California campus to learn from one another and from some wrinkled Gen X and Boomer guests, myself included. The occasion was SDForum’s “Tech Titans of Tomorrow,” the organization’s fourth annual gathering for teenagers interested in technology and business development. I was invited to speak about corporate responsibility and sustainability and what those concepts mean to businesspeople.
With all the current discussion on topics like renewable energy, policies to incentivize solar investment, product cost and pricing, and different technologies and which one will emerge as the consumer choice, is anyone asking how the 2 billion people who currently do not have access to electricity obtain that access?
To recognize the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the leaders of Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society asked that very question to experts in the field at a conference sponsored by Applied Materials last month. Billed as “Power to the People, Renewable Energy for Underserved Communities,” a number of subject matter experts explored the topic with business and community leaders, community benefit organization leaders, and Santa Clara students.
I can’t resist one last update on the Solar Decathlon. Last week Team California took third place in the Solar Decathlon, a huge win, considering their size vs. some of the other schools. The Santa Clara University students should be proud of their results, especially in architecture, where they had set a specific goal to improve.
Appropriately, it was a warm, sunny afternoon in Washington, D.C. as the 2009 Solar Decathlon officially kicked off yesterday with a full color guard ceremony complete with several hundred solar devotees and the Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu.
As part of our kick-off activities for this year’s Solar Decathlon, Applied Materials hosted a panel discussion on scaling renewable energy at the National Press Club in Washington D.C yesterday. The panel included reps from Pacific Gas and Electric Company(PG&E), Bechtel, Green Strategies, the Bipartisan Policy Center as well as Applied Materials Chairman and CEO Mike Splinter.
Vote today! Help make Team California the winner of the 2009 Solar Decathlon People's Choice Award. From your cell phone text the code HOUSE31 to 99503. One vote per cell phone allowed. Spread the word and help Santa Clara University be #1.