Former CU Energy Club President Co-authors Report

Former CU Energy Club President Mackay Miller Co-authors Report on Clean Energy Innovation

Mackay Miller, the first president of the CU Energy club and currently a member of the Market and Policy Impact Analysis Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), recently co-authored the technical report, "Clean Energy Innovation: Sources of Technical and Commercial Breakthroughs."

Miller was CU Energy club president during the 2009-10 academic year, its inaugural year, and was also involved in the preliminary planning for the club during the 2008-09 academic year and the summer of 2009. The Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) is a sponsor of the club and was instrumental in its launch. "The CU Energy club provided a platform for us as students to formally engage with energy scientists and professionals," said Miller. "Establishing this platform openeda whole new channel of exchange and dialogue on campus that was sporadic and disorganized before 2009." The CU Energy club brought Miller into contact with a lot of fascinating faculty and fellow students from other disciplines, including law students working on land leases for solar developments, law professors returning from the COP15 sessions in Copenhagen, biochemical engineers working on next-generation biofuels, and economists researching behavioral drivers of energy markets. "The conversations I had in CU Energy club settings were broader and deeper than any I could have had within the confines of my academic program," said Miller, who received his M.B.A. in finance from CU-Boulder in 2010. "The opportunity to work as a research partner at NREL while pursuing my MBA was also enormously important," said Miller. "It magnified my learning by 100% and gave shape to the type of work I did in my academic program."

Miller is excited about RASEI's role in identifying, convening, and mobilizing the diverse resources that CU and NREL bring to bear. "The work of reorganizing the global energy system is basically the biggest, most audacious, and most collaborative challenge ever," he said. "It faces enormous technical and economic hurdles, not to mention a diverse range of cultural, scientific, and political complexities. When you start from that perspective, there are a very few institutional types capable of integrating knowledge across these domains – corporations and industrial consortia play an important role, government has its role in many challenges, but universities are the only institutions that touch all of these domains."

Read full report on breakthroughs in clean energy innovation:

Janet Braccio
RASEI Communications Consultant
May 2011