JB Straubel, co-founder and chief technical officer of Tesla Motors, will share an energizing overview of how advanced battery technologies and electric cars can pave the way toward energy independence and economic development, and how education and innovation plays a key role in reaching those goals.
Straubel will speak at the annual College of Engineering's Distinguished Lecture Series Oct. 11, 2015 at 5 p.m. His talk on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, titled: "Building a Clean Energy Future: Tesla and Nevada," is free and open to the public; reservations are required.
He will talk about his passion for electric vehicles, an interest he developed early. He rebuilt a discarded electric golf cart at the age of 14 and has built a custom electric bicycle and an electric Porsche 944 that held a world electric vehicle racing record.
As a co-founder of Tesla, Straubel has overseen the technical and engineering design of the vehicles, focusing on the battery, motor, power electronics and high-level software sub-systems. He also has responsibility for new technology evaluation, research and development, all software, electronics and propulsion across Tesla's portfolio.
Straubel earned a bachelor's degree in energy systems engineering and a master's in energy engineering from Stanford University. He is also a lecturer at his alma mater where he teaches the popular Energy Storage Integration class in the Atmosphere and Energy Program.
"With this lecture series, we bring distinguished guest speakers with timely topics to the campus and community," Manos Maragakis, dean of the College of Engineering, said. "We're excited to have JB come to the University to share his experience and knowledge. Tesla is a game-changer for our economy and the college is evolving to meet the needs and challenges of our regional and national economic development efforts."
One of the changes instituted by Maragakis is a new interdisciplinary Minor degree based in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. The degree, Batteries and Energy Storage Technologies, is designed to meet the demands of the rapidly expanding industry, which requires highly educated individuals who understand the fundamentals of technology, assembly, manufacturing and troubleshooting of various battery systems and energy storage.
"JB's lecture will give students and the northern Nevada community a window into the industry, the culture of Tesla and the importance of staying at the forefront of technological development," Maragakis said.
The College of Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series is co-organized with the College of Engineering Advisory Board under the direction of member Sara Lafrance. The lecture is in the Milt Glick Ballroom on the 4th Floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union. Parking for the event is free in the West Stadium Parking Complex off North Virginia Street.