A Joint Membership Meeting
The Wisconsin Association of Energy Engineers (WAEE)
The Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC)
On Wednesday, 1/23/2019, about 40 members of WAEE and M-WERC ignored winter weather warnings, numerous closings, and about 6 inches of snow to attend a first ever, combined board meeting. Not everyone had to endure the conditions. Some attended via remote video connection.
(Absent among the remote attendees was our own WAEE President, Jerry Eaton. Apparently Jerry chose to ignore the video conferencing technology opting instead to frolic among the kangaroos and koalas on the beaches of New Zealand :- ) He should return just in time for the approaching sub-zero weather).
Executive leadership from WAEE and MWERC presented overviews of their organizations. Richard Feustal presented on behalf of WAEE while Alan Perlstien, John Bobrowhich and Jeff Mackey shared the history of MWERC, it’s structure, successes and projects.
(Details and copies of the presentations will be made accessible here as they become available.)
From my perspective the incentive and importance of this meeting revolved around a shared understanding of the two organizations and a mutual desire to find the common ground. The common ground necessary for the two organizations to collaborate more effectively for our members, our environment and our economy.
What follows is my take away. My perceptions based on the history and presentations made by the two organizations.
First I would describe their missions as follows :
WAEE - Maintain an emphasis on energy efficiency, conservation, and education in the state of Wisconsin
M-WERC - Reestablish the mid west as the epicenter of high quality, affordable manufacturing by encouraging innovation, supporting entrepreneurs while marketing and facilitating the adoption of new technology.
Keep in mind that these are my words. While I may not have ‘nailed it’ I think they are close enough to allow further discussion of how our two organizations ‘fit’.
WAEE works through a number of programs intended to generate interest, foster communication, educate, and maintain a commitment to energy conservation. Monthly meetings reviewing the technology and techniques deployed by companies and organizations in our state, an annual Energy Exposition, and numerous scholarships encouraging interest in energy related fields.
The issues of climate change, severe weather events, global warming, numerous reports, scientific studies and on…, are all amplified by relentless global media attention. Believe them or not, it isn’t surprising that anyone that uses power wants to use less. i.e. every individual, every company, organization and country are increasingly committed to reducing energy consumption. Whether motivated by economics, the environment or both, the bottom line is, The need for energy management professionals is exploding.
The WAEE mission deliverable, students and professionals with a demonstrated commitment to energy efficiency and conservation, fits nicely with M-WERC.
M-WERC looks to cultivate entrepreneurs, while facilitating the innovation, development, marketing and adoption of new, energy relevant technologies. With resources like the Energy Innovation Center with more than 230,000 square feet of Manufacturing, Laboratory and Office Space M-WERC is able to nurture the ideas and innovation of students and professionals alike. The best of the best.
At the conclusion of the first half of our meeting, focused on getting acquainted, it appeared to me that at that our two organizations were already working toward some similar goals and objectives:
- Encouraging thought
- Enticing discussion
- Engaging participation
- Enlisting new members
Furthermore, it seemed to me that there is a “lingering opportunity” to do more. Formalizing the relationship between M-WERC and WAEE would facilitate “Exploring improvement”. If you are interested in exploring, please get in touch. email@example.com
I would also encourage you to look at the M-WERC website and see for yourself the projects and programs M-WERC is involved in, some of which were included in M-WERC’s morning presentation. Interesting, important to say the least. You might want to start here.
The afternoon session included an overview of the "Focus on Energy New Four Year Plan" which was delivered by Erin Monroe, Program Director for Focus on Energy.
Erin was followed by Maria Redmond of the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation who provided an overview of active Grant Programs.
(Both Erin and Maria presented via video tele-conferencing showing the good sense to stay home rather than travel from Madison :- )
As I mentioned earlier we expect to have copies of the materials presented here as soon as they become available.