Keynotes & Plenaries-2013


Thursday, August 1 – Luncheon Keynote

Systems Thinking for Sustainability

Seager speakingThomas P Seager, PhD, Arizona State University


Sustainability is now recognized as a pluralistic concept with different meanings to different people.  This presentation maps out multiple understandings of sustainability, from longevity, to reliability, to resilience, to renewal and introduces the evolution of scientific thinking as it relates to sustainability.  An inventory of contrasting ethical views is introduced that reveals the value laden choices that are inherent in sustainability, but not always explicitly stated.  Lastly, the presentation explains three different systems approaches to sustainability, including logical problem-solving (optimization), systems thinking, lateral thinking, and big bang thinking, and discusses examples.


Thomas P Seager is an Associate Professor of Sustainable Engineering and founding Director of the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Decisions Sciences (SEEDS) studio at Arizona State University.  He is President of the Sustainability Conoscente Network and chairs the annual International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technologies (ISSST), which will be held in Oakland CA 18-21 May, 2014.  Dr. Seager’s research explores the systemic environmental consequences of alternative energy systems.  He teaches courses in ethics, engineering business practices, and systems.


Friday, August 2 – Luncheon Keynote

21st Century Engineering

Day_Gordon_111810_stdGordon Day, 2012 IEEE President

In 2012 Gordon Day served as the 50th President of the IEEE.  He spent most of his career in research and management at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he founded and led the NIST Optoelectronics Division. His personal research ranged from fundamental optical measurements to the development of standards for optical fiber and new concepts in instrumentation.  More recently, he has served as science adviser to Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Director of Government Relations for the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association.  He has been a Professor Adjoint at the University of Colorado, a Professor Adjunct at the Colorado School of Mines, a Visiting Fellow at the University of Southampton (UK), and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney (Australia), and has served on many industry, government, and academic advisory groups.   He is a past President of the IEEE Photonics Society and of IEEE-USA, and is a Fellow of IEEE, AAAS, the Optical Society of America, the Institute of Physics (UK), and the Institute of Engineering and Technology (UK).  He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois.

See the article derived from this keynote in Today’s Engineer:



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