Organizers of the South by Southwest Eco (SXSW Eco) conference at Austin have announced that Julie Felgar, Managing Director of Environmental Strategy and Integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Alejandro Rios G., Director of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, will lead a dual keynote session at SXSW Eco in October.
Ms. Felgar and Dr. Rios will discuss breakthrough research in sustainable biofuel for commercial aviation, connecting the urgency of global sustainability challenges with the opportunity for breakthrough solutions, today. They will share insights on progress towards development of sustainable jet fuel, which reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to petroleum-based fuel through its lifecycle. They will address breakthrough research at SBRC in the United Arab Emirates on the use of halophytes, desert plants that can be irrigated with seawater, as a biofuel feedstock. Enabling local food security, socio-economic development and responsible use of land and fresh water, SBRC’s research has positive implications for potential production of sustainable bioenergy crops in coastal deserts in several countries.
SXSW Eco, which last year drew over 2,800 attendees from around the world, brings together a diverse community of innovators in the areas of technology, smart cities, business, design, energy, food systems, land and water, policy and more, and attracts a global community to explore, engage and co-create solutions for a sustainable world. The three-day event, now in its fourth year, will take place October 6-8, 2014 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. A uniquely inclusive platform for professionals, the conference examines the critical challenges of our times through a kaleidoscopic lens of design innovation, policy tipping points, technological breakthroughs, conservation practice, entrepreneurial spirit and a culture of creativity to transform inspiration into action.
Julie Felgar leads an enterprise-wide team at Boeing that shapes global policy on critical issues affecting aviation including domestic and international policy, environmental strategy and product performance, and safety and security, and identifying ways to improve the environmental performance of Boeing products and services and the commercial aviation industry. Working with stakeholders around the world, Ms. Felgar is responsible for ensuring Commercial Airplanes has an integrated environmental strategy and a coordinated approach to environmental policy advocacy, biofuel commercialization and marketing. She also works closely with Boeing’s product development team to incorporate the company’s Design for Environment philosophy into future commercial products.
A bio-profile posted by the Wall Street Renewable Energy Finance Forum notes that prior to her current role, Ms. Felgar served as Director of International Operations in Washington, DC., where she represented Boeing Company interests with U.S. Government agencies, embassies, and trade and professional organizations promoting commercial aircraft programs in the Americas and Asia.
Previously, Ms. Felgar was senior manager of Government Relations and Licensing in Global Trade Controls, responsible for Boeing’s dual-use license submissions to the U.S. Government and maintaining/developing the appropriate relationships within the Government and the aviation industry, to aid in shaping the export control regulatory environment and facilitating business objectives.
Prior to joining Boeing, Ms. Felgar worked for the U.S. Government in a series of roles related to export controls at the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security. She graduated in 1997 with a masters degree in International Studies/Business from George Washington University, has a bachelor of arts in International Studies from Florida State University, and is mother to three young sons.
Dr. Alejandro Rios Galvan is Director of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) and Professor of Practice at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which clams to be the world’s first graduate-level university dedicated to providing real-world solutions to issues of sustainability. The Institute’s goal is to become a world-class research-driven graduate-level university, focusing on advanced energy and sustainable technologies.
Located in the Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, Masdar Institute aims to support Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification by nurturing highly-skilled human and intellectual capital and partnering with industry leaders. This will help the Emirate in its transformation to a knowledge-based economy and enhance its position as a leader in global energy. The SBRC was established in 2009 by Masdar Institute with founding members Boeing, UOP-Honeywell and Etihad Airways and associate member Safran. SBRC is spearheading research in the use of salt-tolerant halophytes for the production of sustainable alternative fuels in Abu Dhabi.
Only the brightest UAE national and international graduates, who demonstrate exceptional intellectual and entrepreneurial strengths and are committed to addressing the world’s energy needs, are accepted by Masdar Institute, and with its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change.
Masdar Institute also seeks to be a leading renewable energy and clean technology player, by providing a test bed for the world to develop commercially viable and sustainable energy solutions, facilitating applied research for the four corporate arms of its allied Masdar group and the UAE as a whole.
Dr. Rios was the Director of ASA Fuel Services for 11 years, where he oversaw the operation and management of a network of over 60 fuel farms and their associated 2,000+ apron into-plane operations. He was the architect of the Plan de Vuelo (Flight Plan) initiative that is promoting the development of a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Mexico.
In 2005, Dr. Rios was granted the INNOVA award for the deployment of the Fuel Management System at ASA, as one of the best practices in the Mexican Federal Government. In 1998, he was appointed as a fellow of the Eno Center for Transportation Leadership Development in Washington, DC, US.
Dr. Rios holds a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and Masters and Ph. D. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering, from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His research interests are renewable energy development, integrated systems design, investment strategies for network design and estimation of origin-destination flows.
Professor Bullard is author of eighteen books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity. He was featured in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know, Bullard: Green Issue is Black and White. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. And that same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA). In 2010, The Grio named him one of the 100 Black History Makers in the Making and Planet Harmony named him one of Ten African American Green Heroes. In 2012, he was featured in Welcomebooks Everyday Heroes: 50 Americans Changing the World One Nonprofit at a Time by Katrina Fried. And in 2013, he was honored with the Sierra Club John Muir Award, the first African American to win the award. Dr.Bullard currently serves as the Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. He received his Ph.D degree from Iowa State University.
“We are very excited to have Dr. Bullard kick off SXSW Eco 2014 and set the tone for the event, says Chris Sonnier, producer and program manager of SXSW Eco. “As the acknowledged father of environmental justice, Dr. Bullard offers a message for conference attendees that we feel is inextricably bound to that of SXSW Eco: that passionate individuals, institutions and organizations can, and already are, driving meaningful, critical change.”
SXSW Eco has also announced the next instalment of 27 sessions for the 2014 conference, including: “How Everyday Chemicals are Killing us,” a conversation with actor Evan Handler (Sex and the City, Californication), and Michael Green from the Center for Environmental Health. Additional session topics will include “Activating Digital Communities to Drive Change” (Blue State Digital, Rockefeller Foundation/100 Resilient Cities, Sierra Club) and “How Tech is Catalyzing Conservation Innovation” (World Wildlife Fund). To view all of the newly announced sessions, visit http://sxsweco.com/news/2014/announcing-next-installment-sxsw-eco-sessions.
The SXSW Eco Flipbook is your guide to the latest conference information. Learn more about the SXSW Eco audience through our conference statistics, browse programming themes and explore ways to participate in SXSW Eco 2014. You can check it iut at: http://read.uberflip.com/i/258124
The SXSW Eco Exhibition runs through October 6-7, 2014 and will feature compelling exhibitors, meet ups, startup events, and other opportunities to interact, learn and make meaningful connections. For more information, please go to:
SXSW Eco is sponsored by Austin Energy, Austin Technology Incubator, Lagunitas and the Austin Chronicle. Registration is now open for SXSW Eco 2014. Attendees who register before the next deadline of August 8, 2014 will receive a discount. For more information, visit:
http://sxsweco.com/attend and save.
South by Southwest Eco (SXSW Eco)
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
Texas Southern University
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Wall Street Renewable Energy Finance Forum
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
Texas Southern University
South by Southwest Eco (SXSW Eco)