on the topic of guest speaker at georgia southern university

for about five years, up until the summer of 2012, i had the privilege of being an annual guest speaker to an undergraduate class at GSU. a good friend of mine is a professor of environmental biology and it was his class – about 250+ students – that i would speak to. i’ve been reflecting on those talks, 1) because my friend is no longer teaching there and i’ve been considering reaching out to other schools; and, 2) because of the changes and happenings in our industry:

there is always a lot happening and much of it is in the news. i wonder what questions students 2 years later would ask. when I spoke to the students in georgia (average age ~21) they were fascinated to learn about total-cost concepts of solar and wind, ‘vampire’ loads, correlation of ghg emissions to per capita consumption, and how to interpret their monthly bill from georgia power. sidebar…

in 2011 as i prepared for that year’s talk, i created a 13 question survey to guide topics. the results are here: 2011 Survey Results. it was a fun exercise:  58% of respondents were not responsible for their own electric bill (mom and dad were or electricity was included in their rent). 81% had no clue what their $/kWh rate was.

my talks are casual and engaging and these were 20-something undergrads; the class was an 8 o’clock so it had to be fun just to keep everyone awake. anyway, i received several kudos from the last talk and the slide deck was one of my better designs. it and the outline are below – as usual, i cite all my sources. if this presentation can be of use to you or you find some inspiration to reach out to students, please take it and godspeed. it is a truly rewarding experience and helps to break the misunderstandings/misconceptions of our industry.

slide deck outline

  1. title
  2. the energy dilemma is multi-dimensional
  3. 60 second overview of the industry basics
  4. good news or bad news (everyone always picks bad first, this is a transition slide)
  5. power generation does have a dirty side
  6. power consumption in the US
  7. US vs. them
  8. there are others who consume more than us
  9. efficiency and waste
  10. the good news!
  11. so where do we spend our electricity?
  12. power consumption by game consoles (remember these are 20-somethings!)
  13. more
  14. more
  15. how to read your electric bill
  16. transition slide
  17. the myth of nuclear power and energy independence
  18. more
  19. more
  20. technologies on the horizon
  21. references and citations



as always, my files are macro free, code free, bug free, and free-free.


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