The Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute (ROSEI) and the Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) had a prominent presence at this year’s ARPA-E Innovation Summit, held May 22 through 24 in Dallas. This was ROSEI/WSE’s second year as an event sponsor.

Part of the ROSEI/WSE contingent at the ARPA-E Innovation Summit

A delegation of 14 representatives engaged with conference attendees of the JHU booth, met with a variety of companies, hosted a networking reception for friends and potential collaborators, and interacted with ARPA-E Director Evelyn Wang during the three-day event.

“It was a successful three days, I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out,” said Ben Schafer, ROSEI’s director. “This was the result of a diverse group effort, including WSE and ROSEI staff, ROSEI faculty, graduate students, partners, and consultants, as well as JHU alumni and corporate partners. A big thank you to everyone, especially Senior Program Manager Chad Restrick for leading everything.”

Building on their 2023 summit sponsorship to raise awareness of JHU’s sustainable energy efforts, ROSEI and WSE adopted a “join us” theme this year, aiming to use the event to forge more research collaborations. Private meetings with various companies, such as GE Vernova and GE Aerospace, were effective in pushing those goals. Hosting a social reception during which Hopkins faculty and external potential collaborators could network in a relaxed atmosphere also helped, Schafer said.

“Last year was our first at the summit and it was mostly us learning more about how the event worked and what we could do to maximize our presence there,” Schafer said. “To go from that to hosting our own successful event at the summit in the span of a year is very exciting and shows how much we have grown. We had more people attend than anticipated, and it was great to see so many different conversations happening about Hopkins energy all at once.”

Larry Nagahara (JHU’s Vice Dean for Research and Translation), Benjamin Schafer (Director of ROSEI) and Evelyn Wang (Director of ARPA-E)

Group members said that they also thoroughly enjoyed interacting with Wang. After a private meeting, and then later at the group’s booth and social reception, Schafer came away encouraged with how similarly ARPA-E, ROSEI, and JHU are viewing the energy transition.

“The most exciting part of this year’s summit is how well the missions of ROSEI, JHU, and ARPA-E are aligned. Together we have incredible potential synergy to impact the energy transition; it is exciting for us to collaborate with them, and we are hoping to do more than get projects funded through ARPA-E,” Schafer said. “We look forward to welcoming the summit back to Washington, DC next year and are excited to go much further with our partnership.”