Keynotes and Plenary Events

Wednesday Public Outreach Event

Panel – Sustainability for Humanity through Engineering

Salt Lake City Library – Auditorium
Abstract: See


Index: Thursday Opening Session / Friday Lunch Keynote / Friday Dinner Keynote / Saturday Lunch Keynote / Saturday Closing

Note: All Weber plenary events will beheld in Ballroom A on the third floor of the Shepherd Union building

Thursday Opening Session

Moderator: Dan Donahoe, SusTech 2015 Chair

  • Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox
  • Ryan Thomas, Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Weber State University
  • Jacob Cain, Energy and Sustainability Manager, Weber State University
  • Juliana Boerio-Goates representing the DIOSLC


Friday Lunch Keynote

“Ogden: Junction City”

Will Bagley, Historian


Ogden, Utah, long known as “Junction City” as for linking the Union Pacific to the Central Pacific Railroad, has a colorful history reaching from its beginning as Miles Goodyears’s Fort Buenaventura to its rough-and-tumble jazz age notoriety as a town too wild for Al Capone to the hometown of Mormon weapons designer John Moses Browning, builder of the first reliable machine gun. Junction City remains a crossroads for commerce, communications, and innovation.

Speaker Bio:

BagleyWill Bagley attended Brigham Young University and obtained a B.A. in history from  the University of California at Santa Cruz. He was a Research Associate at Yale University’s Beinecke Library and was the library’s Archibald Hanna Jr. Fellow in American History in 2009. During the 2008 academic year, he served as a Wallace Stegner Centennial Fellow at the University of Utah’s Tanner Humanities Center. Bagley has worked as a historical consultant for National Geographic magazine, the National Park Service, the Wyoming State Historical Preservation Office, the Nevada Humanities Council, and for more than a dozen documentary films including A&E Television’s Mountain Meadows Massacre and The Mormon Rebellion, and PBS’s, The Mormons.

Will has published extensively. He is the author and editor of twenty books and two multi-volume series on overland emigration, frontier violence, railroads, mining, the creation of computer search technology, and the Mormons. He is the editor of the Kingdom in the West Series (published by Arthur H. Clark) and the author of the projected four-volume history, Overland West: The Story of the Oregon and California Trails (University of Oklahoma Press). He has authored numerous articles and reviews in professional journals, such as the Western Historical Quarterly , Utah Historical Quarterly, Overland Journal, The Journal of Mormon History , and Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Bagley has won numerous awards including a Spur Award from Western Writers of America, the Bancroft History Prize from the Denver Public Library, Westerners International Best Book, and the Western History Association Caughey Book Prize for the most distinguished book on the history of the American West. He currently serves on the Friends of the Marriott Library at University of Utah advisory board.



Friday Dinner Keynote

“Designing Sustainable Packaging for Implantable Electronic Devices”

Michelle Poliskie, NuSil Technology


Various market analysts predict a multi-billion market potential for implantable electronics over the next few decades. This growing technology has been referred to as a “green electronic” since it represents one of the purest examples of sustainable design in the industry. Specifically, these devices require the integration of the most environmentally and humanly benign chemistries with energy saving technologies. For instance, it was recently reported in the April issue of IEEE Spectrum that new thin film piezoelectronics can harvest energy from the human body to power pacemakers. A piezoelectric powered pacemaker lasts years longer than the current battery powered alternatives. Increased lifetimes require manufacturers to design electronic packaging with robust long term mechanical performance and biocompatibility. This presentation will investigate these emerging market trends and the sustainable design requirements of the chemicals, components and packaging used in implantable electronics.

Speaker Bio:

PoliskieDr. Michelle Poliskie is currently the Director of Engineering and Electronics at a privately held, specialty chemical manufacturer (NuSil Technology) in California. Previously, she was an engineer at Solyndra, a position she held since 2007. She specializes in process design and material selection of polymeric packaging. Most recently, her synthetic skills and extensive knowledge of materials characterization have been applied to failure analysis, process optimization, and in-line metrology development. Dr. Poliskie is a former lecturer at Johns Hopkins University where she taught polymer synthesis, commercial formulations and characterization techniques. Dr. Poliskie holds a BA in Economics and a BA in Chemistry (with honors), both from Grinnell College. Her PhD is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Polymer Science. She was the recipient of a National Research Council fellowship, and she recently authored two books: one on polymeric packaging, ISBN (1439850720): “Solar Module Packaging: Polymeric Requirements and Selection” CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2011 and another of solar module manufacturing, ISBN (0071795421): “Solar Manufacturing: Environmental Design Concepts for Solar Modules” McGraw-Hill, New York, 2013.


Saturday Lunch Keynote

“Sustainable Steam in the Twenty First Century”

Wolfgang Fengler, Coalition for Sustainable Rail


The Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR), a Minnesota-based 501c(3) not-for-profit, is working in conjunction with the University of Minnesota to advance the role of sustainable steam in passenger rail transportation and distributed generation.

Cosmetic Stabilization

Test Vehicle

Their work is based on the development of advanced steam locomotive boiler and engine technologies developed post-1950 and relies upon the biofuel development of the Natural Resources Research Institute of UMN.



This presentation will provide a history of the steam locomotive in America, the role a sustainable, modern steam locomotive could play in the passenger rail sector, and how those technologies can be used to create electricity on the distributed basis from waste-stream biomaterial. Much as the century’s old windmill was redesigned into the wind turbine of today, CSR is upgrading steam technologies to propose solutions to pressing transportation and energy needs.


Speaker Bio:

FenglerWolfgang A. Fengler is a mechanical engineer with more than 15 years of professional experience. He is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a BS in Design & Control and an MS in Heat & Mass Transfer. During his tenure at UCLA, he completed an internship at the campus cogeneration plant. Mr. Fengler began his career with Honeywell where he was responsible for the heat transfer and volumetric modeling of the NASA Advanced Inflatable Airlock project as well as the development of PEM fuel cell power systems. At General Electric, Mr. Fengler developed SOFC fuel cell system controls and balance-of-plant packaging. While at GE, he served on the site safety committee and earned his Six Sigma Green Belt with special training in Lean Manufacturing and Design for Manufacturing and Quality. His experience also includes production management at a surface engineering facility specializing in sputtering, cathodic arc deposition and ion implantation. Mr. Fengler has consulted on a number of other rail-related projects covering locomotive and passenger equipment and is familiar with FRA, AAR, APTA, EPA and Amtrak standards.

His interest in advanced steam locomotive technologies began in the mid-1980s. In addition to studying the work of Chapelon, Porta, and Wardale among others, he has investigated a number of these advances in scale form. This experimentation eventually led to correspondence with both David Wardale and Dante Porta. As a long-time member of the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society he has assisted with restoration and operation of Santa Fe Railway steam locomotive # 3751 including performing Form 4 calculations. He currently also advises the restoration teams on Santa Fe steam locomotives # 2926 and # 5000.

More information about CSR’s research and undertakings may be found at both and


Saturday Closing Panel

2:00-3:00 pm

Panel discussion on the future and role of sustainable technologies.

Moderator: Dan Donahoe, SusTech 2015 Chair
Panelists: TBA





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