Opening Keynote speaker Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy ’09-’13, and Professor at Stanford University, starts the conference with the topic of Materials Science Innovations in Energy Efficiency and Generation. Chu asserts that new materials enable newer technology, especially when coupled with better systems designed. Chu brings light to the issue of retaining intellectual property in America for future generations through our manufacturing choices, “We can not only invent things in America, it has to be made in America.”
In the field of High Efficiency Power Electronics, a panel of experts in the field gather to discuss future possibilities, and how we can enable and integrate new technologies into existing systems faster. Moderator Lisa Margonelli, Author and Journalist of New America Foundation, joins a diverse panel including; Rajeev Ram, Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, Hari Harikumar, VP of Advanced Technology at Ingersoll Rand, JB Straubel, Co-Founder and CTO of Tesla Motors, and Umesh Mishra, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara and CEO of Transphorm.
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When you hear the word “drone,” what first comes to mind?
Most people usually think of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated by the military in order to spy on citizens and drop bombs on unsuspecting targets.
Lucien Miller, CEO of Innov8tive Designs, explains that the first drone, called the Kettering Bug, was flown almost a hundred years ago, in 1918. Early drones like this were essentially torpedoes with wings, unguided aircraft that dropped bombs with little target accuracy. It was these types of UAVs that have led people to fear the term drone and the destruction associated with them.
But today, drones and UAVs are rapidly gaining commercial popularity as UAV systems are becoming available at prices non-military budgets can afford. Miller says modern UAVs are becoming so small, they can be purchased for as little as $400. And now their uses extend far beyond covert military operations, such as search and rescue missions, endangered species protection, and infrastructure inspection, just to name a few.
Keith McLellen, CEO of ROV Systems joins the show to discuss the risks that come with the benefits of drones, the biggest concern being an increase in aerial surveillance and an invasion of privacy.
The most recent presidential election brought the issue of outsourcing to the forefront of Americans’ minds as citizens became concerned that they were losing their jobs to factories in China or Bangladesh.
However, Peter Cowhey, Dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego, tells us that the U.S. remains the largest manufacturer based on total output.
As rumors stir about the de-industrialization of America, Cowhey explains that the rate of manufacturing only seems to be drastically declining, because it is not growing as fast as the rest of our economy.
In “The Resurgence of Manufacturing in the United States,” Cowhey is joined by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, Vizio CEO Willliam Wang, former Gateway CEO Ted Waitt and journalist James Fallows to discuss the trends of manufacturing as well as strategies for keeping and creating jobs in the United States.
Where do technology innovations come from? We associate revolutionary inventions like the light bulb with their inventors, attributing the solitary genius of people like Thomas Edison with the production of something that has changed society.
Professor Andrew Hargadon of UC Davis challenges this view of innovation, in the hopes of demystifying the cumulative process of modern inventions.
With increasing demands for more, faster solutions to the environmental and social dilemas of today, Hargadon explores the history of the light bulb’s invention in order to reveal the distorted way that the public construes the process of innovation.
Look at some of the research taking place at UC Santa Barbara’s Solid State Lighting and Energy Center, get a preview of what the future holds when it comes to lighting and power use and discover how Professor Nakamura’s work continues to affect the world.