New Ideas in Science: Renewable Energy

Northern Illinois University Office of Continuing and Professional Education announces a one-day professional-development conference as part of its “New Ideas” series. Join NIU experts as they present fresh ideas on how to integrate renewable energy into your curriculum. Presentations include:


“Reducing the Home Baseload Need with Renewable Energy Fluctuations” 
Nicholas A. Pohlman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, NIU Department of Mechanical Engineering

Power distribution is dominated by nuclear and fossil fuels as a result of anticipated baseloads of industry and home needs where users always have access to turn on another device. Due to the fluctuating power generation of renewable resources, adjustments in conservation methods will be necessary in the future - e.g. the TV may need to power off while the refrigerator compressor operates. Professor Pohlman’s experiential lab activity will help students discover the power consumption devices within their home and offer a hands-on equivalent to "control" distribution via multiple valves from a water reservoir, which can be replenished infrequently like unsteady renewable energy systems.

“Systems Thinking for Affordable and Clean Energy; How you can make a difference in sustainable development”
Tomoyuki Shibata, Ph.D., Associate Professor, NIU Public Health Program and Faculty Associate, NIU Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy

Aside from his multiple scholastic and instructive roles at NIU, Professor Shibata is also the Co-Founder & Executive Director for the non-profit organization Global Environmental Health LAB. Professor Shibata will discuss renewable energy from multidimensional point of views to assist students in improving knowledge and skills to promote sustainable development locally and globally.

“Innovative Remote Smart Home for Immersive Engagement”
Kevin B. Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, NIU Department of Technology
An openly accessible, remotely operated smart home will be demonstrated in Professor Martin’s presentation as an engaging tool for physics and environmental students. The system can be utilized to cover topics such as: energy flows, cost benefit ratios of various technologies, impacts of new technologies, and proper management of resources. Special attention is given to the web based interface to ensure the system is easy to use and requires only a standard web browser in order to operate. An associated website provides a self-scheduling tool to provide access to the system and a resource for related background information on smart grid and residential energy efficiency technologies.


Holmes Student Center, Sky Room

DeKalb, IL

Wednesday, April 10

8AM - 2:30PM

Wednesday, April 10 at 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Holmes Student Center, Sky Room
600 Lucinda Ave, DeKalb, IL 60115

Event Type

Lectures, Presentations and Workshops, Meetings and Conferences, Community Events


Academics, Professional Development

Target Audience

Alumni, General Public



$95 ($110 after April 1)

College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, NIU Continuing and Professional Education
Contact Name

Mark Pietrowski

Contact Email or Phone

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