Conference Schedule 2017

Professionals ONLY Mixer - Friday evening from 8:30 PM - 10 PM
The mixer will be held at The Hangar Lounge in downtown Austin. There will be transportation to and from UT. This event is for professionals ONLY and you should have received an email with more details! Do you have any questions? Contact Alyssa Recinella (!

Session 1

Diversity, Competency…Wait! What? INSTITUTIONAL RACISM?!!
Speaker: Charlotte Caples

I want to be an engineer…What does that have to do with me? Let’s talk about it! Institutional Racism is embedded in every system designed to serve others. What is it? How does it look today? This presentation on institutional racism and how we are impacted creates a consciousness that allows participants to explore their role in perpetuating racism or working to organize against it.

Solar Power Panel
Speakers: Brian Korgel, Katharine Beisner and Berlyn Hubler


Ever wondered how solar power works? What about it's efficacy and efficiency for the future? Have all your questions answered by a panel of experts!

Collaborating Across Engineering
Speaker: Drew Johnston

Engaging pracitioners on mutually beneficial program. Join a panel of 3 engineers specializing in construction, electrical engineering and civil engineering as they discuss the benefits of collaboration.

Your Own Sustainable Lifestyle Action Plan: Do you have one?
Speaker: Carol Thompson

20 ideas to develop a plan to implement immediately! Join Carol in a discussion about maintaining that stability in a world that never slows down.

Design Review I
Student Abstracts

Come see the wonderful projects that our students are working on and give valuable feedback!

Session 2

The Beauty of Renewable Energy
Speakers: Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), provides a platform for artists, architects, landscape architects, and other creatives working with engineers and scientists to bring forward human-centered solutions for sustainable energy infrastructures that enhance the city as works of public art while cleanly powering thousands of homes. Come learn more about what they do and the beauty behind sustainability.

Sustainable Design
Speaker: Mike Alcazaren

Interested in learning the latest design software?
Engineer extraordinaire, Mike Alcazaren from Autodesk will be giving a workshop on how to use Autodesk Fusion 360. Autodesk Fusion 360 is the first 3D CAD/CAM tool of its kind and many practicing engineers use this software every day.
This workshop will be an interactive learning experience so please plan to bring your laptop. We recommend downloading the software beforehand (its free!) at Additionally, if you have a portable mouse it may be helpful to bring.

ESW-UT President’s Panel: Approaches for Effective Leadership
Juan-Pablo Gevaudan, Sharmistha Maity, Nicholas Phillips, Sarah Seraj, Matthew Vu

Why are your goals as a leader important? How can we foster better teamwork? What are common challenges we face? This interactive session aims to provide anecdotal answers to these questions from five past presidents of the ESW-UT Chapter. By using a short presentation style, past presidents will share the goals, challenges, and outcomes catalyzed within the organization through their time as presidents. Attendees will be inspired and motivated to create a positive change within their own organizations. Additionally, interactive activities will engage the public to provide officers with concrete goals for personal and professional development.

The Future of Utilities: Distributed Energy, Big Data and Customer-Centricity
Speaker: Phoebe Romero

Renewable energy, mobile technology and energy storage are fundamentally changing the energy distribution sector. This session will touch on current utility demand-side management strategies, and how these may be transformed in the coming years.

Turning the Titanic: Creating Change on Campus
Speaker: Nick Spiller

Universities are entrepreneurial environments of dramatic innovation. At the same time, guiding your campus in a new direction can seem harder than it should be. Join this session led by Nick Spiller, Founder of the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency, for a talk and discussion on how to use your rights as a University community member to build lasting campus organizations. Audience members will have the opportunity to share and discuss ideas for improving their campus.

Session 3

Building an Effective Team
Speaker: Alex Bevan

One person cannot do every job! And sometimes, we have people in jobs they are not meant to do. How can we make a team of people that can produce an efficient and effective outcome? Come find out!

Effective Communication for Sustainable Engineering
Speaker: John Erford

This is not a grammar lesson! Effective communication in the field of sustainability is actively engaging all stakeholders, translating social and environmental issues into economic drivers, creating a compelling story to change business as usual, and more. Join this session’s presenter for an exploration of the challenges and emerging trends of communication in the field of sustainability.

Accelerating Projects
Speaker: Mike Alcazaren, Brittany Bennett, Christian Blackwell, Mark Sanders and Karl Popham 

How can we grow from an idea to a business? How can we escape the red tape and move closer to our goals? Come join a panel of project experts, ask questions and receive advice to accelerate towards your goal!

How to Make an Impact: Leading Real World Change From Your Desk
Speaker: Lesley Lucas

So, if “sustainability” or “super hero” isn’t in your job title, how can you make a difference through your everyday work? Let’s discuss how to leverage your skills, strengths and business role to drive social, environmental and economic progress.

Session 4

Design Review II
Student Abstracts

Come see the wonderful projects that our students are working on and give valuable feedback!

Energy Storage: A Glimpse into the Industry
Speaker: Derek Chung

Catch the view of a project engineers on the ground experience in the energy storage industry. In this session, Derek Chung will outline how policy, the integration of renewable technologies, and consumer interest is shaping the future of energy storage. He will review the process of sales, installation, and operation. Find out how your school could be the next adopter of this exciting technology.

Create the Future. Drive the Change. Lead the Way!
Speaker: Liza Willmore

Hello agents,
Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to build the world of tomorrow.
With your newly found knowledge and freshly minted degree, where might you go and what could you do?
Innovation is both strategic and tactical, one cannot happen without the other.
Leverage your best skills to reinvent with the changing time and business needs through innovations. Define your legacy through the disruptions!

Sustainability Buildstorm:
Create to Understand. Understand to Create

Speaker: Nicholas Phillips

Sustainability will be the driving force for our futures. How might we ensure that our solutions are sustainable as well? Through a short presentation and collaborative breakout sessions, we will discuss how to generate innovative ideas that can stick. Learn some tips on how to have better brainstorming sessions and tactics to tackle any challenge with design thinking to form evidence based solutions.

How to Realize Your Startup is Failing...and Instigate its Recovery: A Brutal Personal Testimony
Speaker: Darla Hollander

There are many indicators that hint your startup may be in the process of failing: unfocused leadership, noncommital team, seeking a solution to your invented problem, and more. From personal experience, here's how to get to the root of the problem and tailor your company accordingly, even if that means shutting it down altogether.

Session 5

Media, Arts and Graphics: HQ Branding
​Speaker: Berlyn Hubler

Ever wonder if your website or media fits in with the official HQ guidelines? Learn more about design, color and font at this session led by our branding expert, Berlyn!

Chapter Leadership Summit
​Speaker: ESW HQ

An ESW HQ-run session for our chapter leaders to engage in meaningful and collaborative discussion.

Influencing Project Success Through Change Management
​Speaker: Drew Shaver

Join one of our top sponsors, Covestro, as they discuss the ongoing success of project development with varying changes in management structure.

Passive Design and Energy Efficiency
​Speaker: Mike Dieterich

These days, more building companies focus on buildings with sustainability in mind. Come learn about the engineering that goes into zero energy, water and waste by expert and founder of RISE Industries.