The U.S. based Ambassadors from the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) women’s initiative met for their annual retreat on 30–31 July 2013 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) historic Endicott House outside of Boston, MA. The U.S. C3E program is collaboration under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of Energy and MIT that was announced at the third Clean Energy Ministerial.
During the retreat, the Ambassadors reviewed the nominations submitted for the 2013 C3E Awards for mid-career leadership and achievement in six categories and selected the winners, which will be announced at the C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium on 19 September 2013. Each of the six winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from MIT. A lifetime achievement award winner will also be named at the Symposium.
In addition to the award nominations, the Ambassadors reviewed posters submitted to a nationwide competition for graduate students featuring research on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The top 10 finalists will be invited to present their posters and discuss their research at the Symposium and compete for a $5,000 prize.
The Ambassadors also discussed ways to use social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn to support the advancement of young women committed to careers in clean energy. In addition, they reviewed the features and functionality of C3Enet.org, a new online community that connects women around the world working in the clean energy sector.
MIT Professor Angela Belcher provided another highlight of the meeting, giving the Ambassadors a version of her recent TED talk on “using nature to grow batteries.” She described her materials science research and how viruses can be programmed to make elegant nanoscale structures to be used in applications from producing energy to fighting cancer. Viruses she’s produced have provided useful materials for new batteries, hydrogen fuels, and solar cells.
The goal of the C3E Symposium in September is to provide women in clean energy with a range of perspectives and expertise on clean energy challenges and opportunities. It will be hosted by MIT and take place in Cambridge, MA. At the fourth Clean Energy Ministerial meeting that took place in April, Finland and Mexico named their own C3E Ambassadors, who will be invited to attend the Symposium. The initiative encourages other Clean Energy Ministerial partner governments to name C3E Ambassadors as well.
You can learn more about the 2012 C3E Award winners at http://web.mit.edu/c3e/winners.html.