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EDGE Executive Director Dan Vermeer Promotes Sustainability in the Middle East
February 15, 2011
Dan Vermeer, Executive Director of Duke's Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment (EDGE), travelled to the Middle East this January as part of Fuqua's effort to integrate industry-related content into its global educational programs. The trip coincided with 160 students from the Cross Continent MBA Class of 2011 participating in their Middle East residency in Dubai, as well as the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.
At the World Future Energy Summit, Dan moderated a panel on "Sustainable Cities" and orchestrated a lively discussion among participants such as Johnson Controls, Bayer Materials Science, Booz and Company, Herriot Watt University and Masdar. Duke Professor Richard Newell, Director of the U.S. Energy Information Agency, also gave a keynote speech at the Summit, and connected with Dan to discuss Duke's multi-disciplinary approach to addressing sustainable energy issues.
With the help of Fuqua's regional team in Dubai, Dan designed an experiential learning opportunity for Cross Continent MBA students interested in energy. The "energy experience" included a trip to the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, where students engaged with hundreds of companies. Visiting company exhibits at the Summit gave students opportunities to connect with industry experts to discuss future challenges and opportunities in the energy industry. The group also received a presentation of MASDAR by Omar Zaafrani, one of the company's executives, and toured the showcase renewable energy city currently under construction outside of Abu Dhabi.
Other highlights of the trip included:
- Breakfast event co-hosted by Duke and Stanton Chase at The Capital Club in Dubai, where Dan spoke on water sustainability to an audience of over 70 executives
- Meetings with senior leaders at Saudi Aramco to explore opportunities for research collaboration
- Meeting with Griffin Thompson, Senior Energy Advisor at the U.S. State Department, regarding eco-partnerships between the U.S. and China
- Meeting with the Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation for discussion of sustainable transportation solutions
- Radio interview about sustainable cities and Duke's work on global energy issues with The Dubai Eye radio network
- Television spot with Emirates 24/7 (coverage begins at 21 minute mark) on Dubai One TV on global energy issues. Dan was one of three experts the station interviewed, along with Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of MASDAR, and Adnan Amin, Interim Director of The United Nations' International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Learn more about the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment.