Energy, What We Could Build: Reimagining an Old Industry for a New Generation

Go back in time to the 1880’s or the early 1900’s.  Stroll down the main streets of New York, Los Angeles, Boston or London.

Look up. The blue of the sky above is almost blocked out by the crisscross of cables. Thousands and thousands of cables used for both telegraph and power connecting the buildings and neighborhoods and ultimately the nation.  These two, communications and electricity were the voice and power of an industrial revolution that transformed the world.


Come back to today.  Go to those same streets and what do you see. The wires are long gone and everyone is looking at what – their phones.  Once again communications, in the form of the Internet, has irreversibly transformed our lives. However this time there is a problem. The stuff that creates and delivers the electricity – power plants, transmission and distribution networks – the infrastructure, which powers this Internet transformation, has not kept pace. By comparison, the electrical system which delivered the electricity to that original revolution has evolved very little since- and yet, should this venerable old system go down… our way of life would go with it.


Imagine 24 hours, a week, a month… without electricity. What can be done? A lot of that will depend on you - students studying engineering, policy, business, law and the environment. We need you more than you know.


Come to the seminar on Oct. 5 @ 4pm and let’s get started.


Joel Whitman is the founder of Whitman Consulting Group and has been involved in the offshore transmission and offshore wind industries for several years as an independent consultant and in a management capacity serving on the management team for a number of existing companies and start-ups in the sector.  Most recently he was the Director for Corporate Strategy for British owned Global Marine Systems Energy Ltd. as well as CEO of its US counterpart Global Marine Energy Inc. From its creation until its sale to a leading cable manufacturing company in late 2012, Global Marine Systems Energy Ltd. had been built into the foremost independent installer of subsea power cable in the world.  Joel is a resident of Massachusetts, a Board member of the US Offshore Wind Collaborative and serves on New Bedford’s Mayoral Offshore Wind Advisory Committee.

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 4:00pm
E-Lab 2 Kellogg Room (Room 118)