2022 MIT Sustainability Conference

Technologies and Industry

September 20, 2022 - September 21, 2022
2022 MIT Sustainability Conference
Conference


Location

Boston Marriott Cambridge
50 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142

Overview

Sustainability in the face of increasing climate change risk: What, practically speaking, does that mean for the corporate world?  For manufacturing, chemical, materials and process companies, it means transforming to low-emissions methods and technologies – and exploiting the growth of renewable energy to power this transformation.  For other corporate enterprises it also means adaptation – leveraging computation and communications technologies for better forecasting, resilience and risk mitigation. 

Day 1 of this event will showcase bold, innovative faculty, impactful MIT research programs and disruptive startups all working to decarbonize industrial processes and improve resilience.  Building on this, Day 2 will feature a morning of workshops to engage more deeply with several leading MIT centers who are dedicated to solving industrial sustainability challenges in water, plastics, aviation and setting GHG emissions targets.


Registration Fee

ILP Member: Complimentary
General Public: $2,250 
Current MIT Faculty/Staff/Student: Complimentary
    * MIT Alum, Sloan Exec Ed, and Professional Education Member: 70% discount Send email for a discount code.
    * MIT Startup Exchange Member: Send email for a comp code.

Live Streaming available to ILP members

This conference will be held in a hybrid format combined as an in-person event with online live streaming available to ILP members only.

Current ILP members will be able to register either In-Person or Live Streaming registration type. Live Streaming link will be sent to registrants a week before the conference.


Registration Questions: ocrevents@mit.edu


Book your hotel room at Marriott with group rate ($380 + tax)

Guests may reserve their rooms by calling Marriott Central Reservations at 1-800-228-9290 or by using the reservation link. Guests may book their rooms online no later than August 29, 2022, to receive the discounted rate for the room block.

  • Overview

    Sustainability in the face of increasing climate change risk: What, practically speaking, does that mean for the corporate world?  For manufacturing, chemical, materials and process companies, it means transforming to low-emissions methods and technologies – and exploiting the growth of renewable energy to power this transformation.  For other corporate enterprises it also means adaptation – leveraging computation and communications technologies for better forecasting, resilience and risk mitigation. 

    Day 1 of this event will showcase bold, innovative faculty, impactful MIT research programs and disruptive startups all working to decarbonize industrial processes and improve resilience.  Building on this, Day 2 will feature a morning of workshops to engage more deeply with several leading MIT centers who are dedicated to solving industrial sustainability challenges in water, plastics, aviation and setting GHG emissions targets.


    Registration Fee

    ILP Member: Complimentary
    General Public: $2,250 
    Current MIT Faculty/Staff/Student: Complimentary
        * MIT Alum, Sloan Exec Ed, and Professional Education Member: 70% discount Send email for a discount code.
        * MIT Startup Exchange Member: Send email for a comp code.

    Live Streaming available to ILP members

    This conference will be held in a hybrid format combined as an in-person event with online live streaming available to ILP members only.

    Current ILP members will be able to register either In-Person or Live Streaming registration type. Live Streaming link will be sent to registrants a week before the conference.


    Registration Questions: ocrevents@mit.edu


    Book your hotel room at Marriott with group rate ($380 + tax)

    Guests may reserve their rooms by calling Marriott Central Reservations at 1-800-228-9290 or by using the reservation link. Guests may book their rooms online no later than August 29, 2022, to receive the discounted rate for the room block.

Register

Agenda

  • Day 1: September 20 (Tuesday)
    8:00 AM

    Registration with Light Breakfast
    8:45 AM

    Welcome and Introduction
    Executive Director (Interim), MIT Corporate Relations
    John Roberts
    Executive Director (Interim)

    John Roberts has been Executive Director of MIT Corporate Relations (Interim) since February 2022. He obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at MIT and returned to the university after a 20-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, joining the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) in 2013.  Prior to his return, John worked at small, medium, and large companies, holding positions that allowed him to exploit his passions in synthetic chemistry, project leadership, and alliance management while growing his responsibilities for managing others, ultimately as a department head. As a program director at MIT, John built a portfolio of ILP member companies, mostly in the pharmaceutical industry and headquartered in Japan, connecting them to engagement opportunities in the MIT community. Soon after returning to MIT, John began to lead a group of program directors with a combined portfolio of 60-80 global companies. In his current role, John oversees MIT Corporate Relations which houses ILP and MIT Startup Exchange.

    Program Director, MIT Corporate Relations
    J.J. Laukaitis
    Program Director

    J.J. Laukaitis joined the Industrial Liaison Program in 2012 and is a strong believer in the amplifying power that comes from building enduring relationships between industry leaders and MIT researchers and innovators.

    J.J. has over 25 years of experience in engineering, product management and commercial sales management across multiple industries including mechanical design and manufacturing, electronics, semiconductor equipment, health care IT and renewable energy.

    In his work for PTC, Continuum, Teradyne, DFT Microsystems and GE, J.J. has managed programs to conceive, design and launch new products and services and has led major initiatives to transform customer information into insight for revenue growth.

    Program Director, MIT Corporate Relations
    Ron Spangler
    Program Director

    Ron Spangler joined the Office of Corporate Relations (OCR) in October 2013 as Senior Industrial Liaison Officer.

    Spangler comes to OCR with many years of experience in business development, portfolio management, product development, and strategy. For the past thirteen years, he has been at TIAX as Director, Government Business Development where he has been responsible for new technology-based business development, with emphasis on products and services in energy and defense. Prior to that, he was at Milde Technology Corporation, an MIT spinoff, as Vice President, Marketing and Business Development. Spangler has also held positions at Cymer, Inc. as Director, Product Marketing, Emerging Technologies and Applications and as Director, Semiconductor Applications; at Active Control eXperts, Inc. as General Manager, Sports Equipment Business Unit and as Engineering Manager, Vibration and Motion Control Business Unit; and at Litton Industries, Itek Optical Systems Division, as Senior Electrical Engineer.

    Spangler earned his S.B., Aeronautics and Astronautics, his S.M., Aeronautics and Astronautics, and and his Ph.D from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics here at MIT. He was also a member of the MIT Rugby Football Club, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, and General Manager of WMBR-FM.

    Spangler has many publications and patents to his credit and is an FAA licensed pilot with a glider rating.

    Program Director, MIT Corporate Relations
    CJ (Changjie) Guo
    Program Director

    Dr. CJ Guo joined the Office of Corporate Relations as a Senior Industrial Liaison Officer in July, 2015. CJ comes to OCR with 25 years of extensive global experience in technology innovations, portfolio management and business development in emerging and conventional energy sectors with leading multinational corporations in the US, China and Canada.

    CJ is a leading expert in emerging energy technologies and energy system transitions. With Shell, he was the Emerging Technology Theme Leader in China/Beijing (2011 to 2015), worked extensively with the Chinese energy communities on the country's future energy landscape, and the Senior Technology Advisor in alternative transportation fuels in the US / Houston (2006-2010), and served during 2010 as Chairman of the Fuel Operations Group for the US DOE FreedomCar Partnership. Prior to joining Shell, CJ has held technology development, commercialization and management positions with Air Liquide (2002-2006) and The BOC Group (1995-2001) after working as a research scientist in oil-sands upgrading with CANMET in Canada (1992-1994).

    CJ earned his Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, at CSU, Ohio, his M.S. and B.S., Chemical Engineering at TYUT, China. He has earned various awards from Shell, Air Liquide, BOC, Shanxi Province (China). He holds many patents and has sat on the board of Shenzhen Sanmu Battery Technology Company as an independent board member during 2009-2010.

    8:55 AM

    Coffee Chat: Perspectives on Investing and Nurturing Tough Tech Enterprises
    Founding CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine
    Rae
    Katie Rae
    Founding CEO and Managing Partner

    Katie Rae is the founding CEO & Managing Partner of The Engine, a venture capital firm spun out of MIT with more than $670M assets under management. The Engine invests in early- stage companies solving the world’s biggest problems through the convergence of breakthrough science, engineering and leadership. She has served in this role since March 2017. Katie serves as a Board Member at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Via Separations, Lilac Solutions, Boston Metal, Sublime Systems and VEIR.

    She founded Project 11 Ventures in 2014 and served as Managing Director. Prior to that, Katie held leadership roles at Techstars Boston, serving as Managing Director from 2011-2014 and Chairman until 2016. She has advised hundreds of founders and invested in more than 100 companies at the earliest stages of formation. Key investments include Flywire, Pillpack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion), Bevi, GrabCad, and Synack.

    Katie founded Equity Summit in 2018, an annual event bringing together female and underrepresented minority fund managers and world leading Limited Partners. She serves as the organization’s President.

    In addition to her extensive investing career, Katie has more than fifteen years of experience in senior management and product positions at Microsoft, Eons, AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2, and Mirror Worlds. She holds an MBA from Yale University and a BA in Biology from Oberlin College.

    Program Director, MIT Corporate Relations
    J.J. Laukaitis
    Program Director

    J.J. Laukaitis joined the Industrial Liaison Program in 2012 and is a strong believer in the amplifying power that comes from building enduring relationships between industry leaders and MIT researchers and innovators.

    J.J. has over 25 years of experience in engineering, product management and commercial sales management across multiple industries including mechanical design and manufacturing, electronics, semiconductor equipment, health care IT and renewable energy.

    In his work for PTC, Continuum, Teradyne, DFT Microsystems and GE, J.J. has managed programs to conceive, design and launch new products and services and has led major initiatives to transform customer information into insight for revenue growth.

    9:25 AM

    Sustainability Resources and Opportunities at MIT; Overviews of Leading Programs and Centers
    • MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium
    • MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative
    • MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment
    • MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Water & Food Systems Lab
    9:45 AM

    Disruptive Developments in CO2 Capture, Water Recovery and Consumer Packaging
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    Kripa Varanasi
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering

    Kripa K. Varanasi is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He received his B.Tech from IIT Madras, India and his SM (ME and EECS) and Ph.D from MIT. Prior to joining MIT as a faculty member, Prof. Varanasi was a lead researcher and project leader at the GE Global Research Center. At GE he received many awards for his work including Best Patent, Best Technology Project and Leadership Award. At MIT, the focus of his work is in understanding the physico-chemical phenomena at interfaces and developing novel materials, devices, and products that can dramatically enhance performance in energy, water, agriculture, transportation, medical, and consumer devices. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and translating technologies from lab to market. He has co-founded multiple companies including LiquiGlide, Infinite Cooling, AgZen, and Everon24. Time and Forbes Magazines have named LiquiGlide to their “Best Inventions of the Year”. His Infinite Cooling project has won first prize at DOE’s National Cleantech University Prize, MIT 100K, Harvard Business School Energy & Environment Start-up, and MassChallenge. Prof. Varanasi has received numerous awards for his work NSF Career Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, ASME Bergles-Rohsenow Heat Transfer Award, Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40. ASME Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award for outstanding achievements in mechanical engineering, APS Milton van Dyke award, and MIT Graduate Student Council’s Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising.

    10:15 AM

    Networking Break
    10:40 AM

    CREWSnet: Cutting-edge Forecasting Technology that Boosts Climate Resilience
    Assistant Leader, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Systems Group, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
    John C. Aldridge
    Assistant Leader, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Systems Group

    John C. Aldridge is an Assistant Leader, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

    11:10 AM

    Decarbonizing Metallurgical Processes
    Associate Professor of Metallurgy, MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering
    Antoine Allanore
    Associate Professor of Metallurgy, MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering

    Prof. Antoine Allanore has more than a decade of experience in the field of chemical metallurgy. Since 2004, as R&D engineer at ArcelorMittal in France, then at MIT since 2010, he has developed several alternative processes for metal extraction that adopt green chemistry principles. He co-founded Boston Electrometallurgical Corporation (BEMC) to engineer the large-scale development of such approaches. In 2012, he was appointed the T.B. King Assistant Professor of Metallurgy in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at MIT, where his research group aims at developing sustainable materials extraction and manufacturing processes. His group has proposed a novel approach to investigate and control water/mineral interactions in soils using microfluidics (Word Congress on Soils Science, Korea, 2014, PLOSOne, 2015). Focusing on mining and processing of unconventional resources (Journal of the Total Environment, 2015, Green Chemistry 2015), he invented a waste-free process to produce a potassium fertilizer from earth-abundant raw materials. The product has been designed to suit tropical soils and has succeeded crop-tests. It is now under field evaluation in Brazil (16th World Fertilizer Congress, Rio, 2014). He teaches thermodynamics and sustainable chemical metallurgy at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He was awarded the DeNora Prize in 2012 and the Early Career Faculty Fellow award in 2015, both from TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society).

    11:40 AM

    MIT Startup Exchange Lightning Talks
    Events Leader, MIT Startup Exchange
    Ariadna Rodenstein
    Events Leader

    Ariadna Rodenstein joined MIT Startup Exchange in a new role as Events Leader in September 2019. She has responsibility for the design and execution of startup events, including content development, coaching and hosting, and logistics. Ariadna works closely with the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) in promoting collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry and other areas in the MIT innovation ecosystem and beyond. Prior to this, she worked for over a decade at Credit Suisse Group in New York and London, in a few different roles in event management and as Director of client strategy. Ariadna has combined her experience in the private sector with work at non-profits as a Consultant and Development Director at New York Immigration Coalition, Immigrant Defense Project, and Americas Society/Council of the Americas. She also served as an Officer on the Board of Directors of the Riverside Clay Tennis Association in New York for several years. Ariadna earned her B.A. in Political Science and Communications from New York University, with coursework at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico City, and her M.A. in Sociology from the City University of New York.

    In order of appearance:
    Sustainable Alternatives to Palm Oil from Microbes
    David Heller
    Co-founder & Head of Operations, C16 Biosciences
    David Heller
    David Heller
    Co-founder & Head of Operations

    David Heller is the Co-Founder and Head of Operations at C16 Biosciences.

    Supply Chain Transparency
    Leonardo Bonanni
    Founder and CEO, Sourcemap
    Leonardo Bonanni
    Founder and CEO

    Dr. Leonardo Bonanni is the founder and CEO of Sourcemap, the supply chain transparency platform. Leading brands and manufacturers use Sourcemap software to trace their products to the source and ensure that corporate standards are met every step of the way, including zero-deforestation, zero-child labor, and the highest standards for raw materials such as recycled, fair trade and organic. You can see Timberland and The North Face, Mars and Hershey, all publishing their Sourcemap-verified supply chains on open.sourcemap.com, the world's largest supply chain disclosure website. Leo developed Sourcemap as part of his PhD at the MIT Media Lab and has been named among America's 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics and America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.

    Using AI to Reduce Cows Methane Emission
    Yuval Pearl
    Head, Environmental Policy, Metha.ai
    Zero-emissions Ammonia Power Solutions for Heavy Transportation
    Dan Nguyen
    Strategic Partnerships Manager for Stationary Power, Amogy
    Dan Nguyen
    Strategic Partnerships Manager for Stationary Power

    Dan Nguyen, Strategic Partnerships Manager for Stationary Power at Amogy, is passionate about cultivating new ideas and working towards a more sustainable future. He has led many projects in the industrial chemicals space being responsible for over $80M of CAPEX spending, including new construction and pollution reduction. After 7 years of Project Management, he transitioned to sales and business development in commodity and specialty chemicals. B.S. in Chemical Engineering '12 from UCLA  and M.S. in Biotechnology '18 from Johns Hopkins University. 

    Next Generation High Voltage Transmission Lines
    Stephen Conant
    Vice President for Commercial, VEIR
    Stephen Conant
    Vice President for Commercial

    Stephen Conant is the Vice President for Commercial at VEIR, leading the company’s effort to introduce a new, innovative transmission technology to the market. Prior to joining VEIR Steve was a Partner at Anbaric Development Partners, a developer of high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission projects, including submarine projects to support offshore wind development. Steve has expertise in site acquisition and environmental permitting and has managed multi-discipline teams for the development of electric transmission projects. Steve’s energy career includes electricity market price forecasting and environmental due diligence on major energy infrastructure projects.  Earlier in his career he worked in the public sector as an environmental regulator and as the District Director for a United States Congressman.  A fourth-generation resident of Lowell, Massachusetts, Steve is the founder of the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, one of the few non-profit urban land trusts in the United States.  In 2021 he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of his alma mater Lowell High School for his work in environmental conservation.

    Energy Storage Technology That Converts Surplus Zero-Carbon Electricity into Heat
    Daniel Stack
    Co-Founder & CEO, Electrified Thermal Solutions
    Daniel Stack
    Co-Founder & CEO

    Daniel is co-founder and CEO of Electrified Thermal Solutions, Inc. Electrified Thermal is building the Joule Hive™ thermal battery: a new technology that converts and stores cheap, renewable electricity as high-temperature heat, hot enough to replace fossil fuels in even the hottest furnaces, boilers and kilns across the industry. Prior to launching Electrified Thermal, Daniel earned his Master’s and Ph.D. in the MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Department and worked for six years under the direction of Dr. Charles Forsberg developing the Joule Hive technology, known academically as “FIRES” (Firebrick Resistance-heated Energy Storage).

    Water and Energy Savings in Cooling Towers
    Karim Khalil
    Co-Founder and CTO, Infinite Cooling
    Low-cost Carbon-negative Polymer Ceramic Composites
    Richard E. Riman
    Founder, RRTC
    Richard E. Riman
    Founder

    Richard E. Riman is a distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Professor Riman is a leading scholar in materials science/engineering and a globally recognized entrepreneur, elected to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) in 2016. He was named the Inventor of the Year by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. Academy fellows include 94 presidents and senior leaders of research universities, as well as 28 Nobel Laureates. He has authored more than 225 publications, 275 patent applications, and patents and delivered over 500 presentations. His work earned him the titles of academician in the World Academy of Ceramics and a fellow of the American Ceramic Society. He received research recognition awards early in his career. These include the National Institute of Health National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Alcoa, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, and R&D 100. His academic research uses thermodynamics as a tool for engineering hydrothermal-solvothermal crystal growth methods for materials relevant to biomedical, electronic, and structural applications. His research focuses on areas where the material itself solves a problem of enormous importance to society and promotes sustainable manufacturing practices. For example, in the structural field, he created the first green cement adopted by the cement and concrete industry on a commercial production scale (2000 t/day) while reducing cement cost, reducing energy usage by 30%, and CO2 emissions by 70%. He continues to focus on greenhouse gas-reducing technology via a variety of novel materials-based initiatives. He has now turned his attention toward manufacturing carbon-negative advanced composite materials to replace carbon-positive materials such as wood, steel, ceramic, plastics, and fiber-reinforced resins. His research has created 4 startup companies, two of which are Solidia Technologies and RRTC, Inc.

    12:20 PM

    Lunch with Startup Exhibit
    1:15 PM

    Panel: The Challenges and Opportunities of Advancing Sustainable Technologies in Industry
    Moderator:
    Senior Lecturer, Sustainability
    Director, Sustainability Initiative, Sloan School of Management
    Jason Jay
    Senior Lecturer, Sustainability
    Director, Sustainability Initiative

    Jason Jay is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan.  

    He teaches courses on leadership, strategy, and innovation for sustainable business. Jason engages students and alumni in hands-on projects with leading companies and organizations. These efforts help build a community of innovators for sustainability that includes MIT students and alumni, faculty and researchers, with partners in business, government, NGOs, and hybrid organizations. 

    Jason’s research focuses on how people navigate the tensions inherent in the quest for sustainability, as they simultaneously pursue their own self-interest and the flourishing of human and other life. This work includes deep case studies of cross-sectoral collaboration and hybrid organizations that combine social and business goals. These case studies have been published in the Academy of Management Journal and California Management Review. He also contributes to the MIT Sloan Management Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Greenbiz on the topic of sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI). A key finding of his research is that social innovation occurs through authentic conversations that hold the tension between divergent values and perspectives. With Gabriel Grant, he is the author of Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World.

    As a facilitator and consultant, Jason has helped advance sustainability strategy with companies like Biogen, Novartis, and Bose. He is a research partner and facilitator for the EDF Climate Corps and its network of companies. He has contributed to the strategy and curriculum of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Innovation and Change Initiative as a faculty affiliate.

    Prior to MIT,  Jay ran an internet startup, traveled around the world, taught kindergarten in a progressive preschool, and worked as a consultant with Dialogos International, where he consulted on leadership development and organizational change for major international corporations and NGO's including BP and the World Bank. 

    Jay holds an AB in psychology and a Master's in education from Harvard University, and a PhD in Organization Studies from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Panelists:
    Chief Technology Officer, Technip Energies
    Wei Cai
    Chief Technology Officer

    Wei Cai is Chief Technology Officer of Technip Energies. Before joining Technip Energies, Wei spent more than 18 years at GE Research, where she held various leadership roles including General Manager of the GE Global Research Center in Shanghai, and later at GE Research headquarters in New York as Executive Business Program Manager, Executive Technology Director- Functional Materials and more recently as Executive Energy Transformation Technology Leader.

    Wei also served a dual role as the Inclusion & Diversity leader for GE Research from 2020 to 2021. She holds a PhD in Material Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wei had more than 40 patents filed and authored numerous journal articles.

    P&C Research Lead, Swiss Re Institute
    Jerry Gupta
    P&C Research Lead

    Jerry Gupta is a Senior Vice President at Swiss Re, one of the world's leading providers of reinsurance and insurance. He is an executive with experience leading data science and technology initiatives, and managing both business and technical teams. At Swiss Re, he leads Tech Enabled Data Driven Innovation with a goal of developing new products/solutions and taking them to market. Previously he was the Global Head of Program Management at Amazon.

    Prior to that Jerry helped launch the Innovation and Venture groups at Liberty Mutual Insurance. Jerry is a technologist and data scientist, experienced in finding Product-Market fit and developing user experiences that delight customers. He has launched new businesses both as an entrepreneur and within Fortune 100 setting. He has conducted due-diligence on transactions worth over $3B in aggregate value and has raised over $25M in private placements. In addition, he has been on the board of or an advisor to several start-ups in the US, India and Europe.

    Jerry has an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, and an MS in Data Science from Northwestern University. He also has an MS in Computer Sciences from Bentley University.

    Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Northrop Grumman
    Mike Witt
    Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer

    Dr. Mike Witt is vice president and chief sustainability officer for Northrop Grumman Corporation, a technology company focused on global security and human discovery.

    Witt is responsible for the company’s environmental and sustainability programs across the business. These programs include enterprise-wide business strategies for carbon reduction, resource efficiency and materials management, helping to minimize the company’s environmental impact and advance environmental sustainability across the sectors.

    Witt brings decades of environmental, health, safety and sustainability expertise to Northrop Grumman. Most recently, he held a number of key leadership positions with Dow Inc., and led their strategy for carbon reduction, climate change and materials sustainability, and played a key leadership role in building a $1.5 billion cross value chain global initiative to end plastic waste in the environment. He also represented the chemical industry in negotiations with the United Nations on a new global plastics treaty.

    Witt holds a doctorate in environmental engineering from Michigan State University, a Master of Business Administration from Northwood University and bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Michigan.

    Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

    2:00 PM

    MIT Climate Grand Challenges
    Japan Steel Industry Professor
    Associate Provost
    Richard Lester
    Japan Steel Industry Professor
    Associate Provost

    Richard Lester is the Japan Steel Industry Professor and Associate Provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he oversees the international activities of the Institute. From 2009 to 2015 he served as head of MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, leading the Department successfully through a period of rapid rebuilding and strategic renewal.

    Professor Lester’s research is concerned with innovation strategy and management, with a frequent focus on the energy and manufacturing sectors. He is widely known for his work on local, regional, and national systems of innovation, and he has led major studies of national and regional competitiveness and innovation performance commissioned by governments and industry groups around the world. He is the founding director and faculty chair of the MIT Industrial Performance Center.

    Professor Lester is also well known for his teaching and research on nuclear technology innovation, management and control. He has been a long-time advocate of advanced nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies to improve the safety and economic performance of nuclear power, and his studies in the field of nuclear waste management helped provide the foundation for new institutional and technological strategies to deal with this longstanding problem.

    Professor Lester’s latest book, Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System (written with David Hart), outlines a strategy for mobilizing America’s innovation resources in support of a decades-long transition to an affordable and reliable low-carbon global energy system. Professor Lester is also the author or co-author of seven other books, including: The Productive Edge: A New Strategy for Economic Growth; Innovation—The Missing Dimension (with Michael Piore); Making Technology Work: Applications in Energy and the Environment (with John Deutch); Made in America: Regaining the Productive Edge (with Michael Dertouzos and Robert Solow); and Radioactive Waste: Management and Regulation (with Mason Willrich.)

    Professor Lester obtained his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Imperial College and earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT. He has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1979. He is an advisor to governments, corporations, foundations and non-profit groups, and he serves as chair of the National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy.

    2:20 PM

    Networking Break
    2:45 PM

    Materials Advancements in Membrane Separations
    Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering
    Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems
    Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
    MacVicar Fellow, MIT Materials Science and Engineering
    Jeffrey Grossman
    Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering
    Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems
    Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
    MacVicar Fellow

    Jeffrey C. Grossman is the Department Head of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems. He received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Illinois and performed postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2009 he joined MIT, where he has developed a research program known for its contributions to energy conversion, energy storage, membranes, and clean-water technologies. He has published more than 200 scientific papers, holds 17 current or pending U.S. patents, and recently co-founded two companies to commercialize novel membranes materials for efficient industrial separations

    3:15 PM

    A New Digital Twin of the Earth: Increased Accuracy in Predicting Droughts, Floods, Heat Waves
    Professor
    Director, MIT Technology and Policy Program (TPP)
    Primary Appointment - MIT Institute for Data, Systems & Society (IDSS)
    Noelle Eckley Selin
    Professor
    Director, MIT Technology and Policy Program (TPP)
    Primary Appointment - MIT Institute for Data, Systems & Society (IDSS)

    Noelle Eckley Selin is a Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Her research uses atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making on air pollution, climate change and hazardous substances such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Professor Selin received her PhD from Harvard University in Earth and Planetary Sciences as part of the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group, where she developed and evaluated a global, 3D model of mercury pollution. Prior to joining the MIT faculty, she was a research scientist with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. In addition to her scientific work, she has published articles and book chapters on the interactions between science and policy in international environmental negotiations, in particular focusing on global efforts to regulate hazardous substances. Professor Selin is also affiliated with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, and she also serves as the Director of MIT's Technology and Policy Program.

    3:45 PM

    Engineering Nitrogen Delivery to Cereals
    Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Advanced Biotechnology, MIT Department of Biological Engineering
    Christopher Voigt
    Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Advanced Biotechnology

    Christopher Voigt is the Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Advanced Biotechnology in the Biological Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Voigt is an expert in Synthetic Biology and has led research programs across medicine, agriculture, chemistry/materials and defense. He is the co-Director of the Center for Synthetic Biology and the Editor-and-Chief of ACS Synthetic Biology. He is a Founder of Pivot Bio and Asimov IO and has served on the SABs of DSM, Synlogic, Amyris, Bolt Threads, Zymergen, Design Therapeutics, Axcella, Aanika, Senti, DeepBiome, Empress Biotechnologies, and Twist Bioscience. He is an Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow (VBFF) for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), a member of the Bush Fellows Research Study Team (BFRST) and a Newton Award Recipient. He was a founding member of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) (formally SynBERC). He is a founder of the Synthetic Biology, Evolution, Engineering and Design (SEED) conference series. 

    Nitrogenous fertilizer is critical to obtain high crop yields, but its production and use consumes 3% of the global energy supply and 2-6% of greenhouse gases, including potent N2O. Biological nitrogen fixation offers an alternative, but the nitrogenase is a complex enzyme that requires dozens of genes and tight regulation to function and symbiotic relationships with crops are difficult to control.  Here, I will present several approaches we are taking to engineer corn or corn-associated microbes to fix their own nitrogen.  First, I will discuss approaches to engineer bacteria that associate with maize roots to break and replace their regulatory pathways so that they turn on nitrogen fixation even in the presence of applied nitrogen fertilizer.  Second, I will describe efforts to engineer plants themselves to carry the microbial pathways. Collectively,  approaches from Synthetic Biology are facilitating new approaches to this long-standing problem to produce self-fertilizing crop systems.

    4:15 PM

    MIT Office of Sustainability
    Julie Newman
    Director

    Julie joined MIT as the Institute’s first Director of Sustainability in the summer of 2013. She has worked in the field of sustainable development and campus sustainability for twenty years. Her research has focused on the intersection between decision-making processes and organizational behavior in institutionalizing sustainability into higher education.

    4:45 PM

    Day 1 Wrap-UP with Networking Reception
  • Day 2: September 21 (Wednesday) Sustainability Workshops

    Sustainability Workshops

    Sustainability is fast becoming an imperative across numerous industrial domains. The companies that get ahead of the curve will both do good and do well in the coming sustainable economy. 

    Building on the lessons learned from Day 1 of the 2022 MIT Sustainability Conference, these focused, structured, topical workshops will give you the opportunity to interact with MIT and your peers in the Industrial Liaison Program, to define common challenges in industrial sustainability, and to understand how your engagement with MIT can help shape your company’s responses.  There will be homework! 

    We have arranged these workshops in two sessions, to allow you to engage on more than one topic:

    8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

    Registration with Light Breakfast
    9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Session 1: Designing Plastics for End-of-Life to Enable Circularity

    MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative and the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium

    To improve the circularity of plastics, we need to design the plastics system with the products’ end-of-life explicitly considered. This includes material, product, recovery, and system design. This is a challenge because there are many stakeholders in the system and there are currently limited incentives for them to collaborate. 

    This workshop will include a discussion of the barriers limiting design of plastics for end-of-life and highlight efforts by MIT and industry partners to overcome them. These include technological advances in material production and recovery, as well as innovative product and system design solutions for a range of conventional and bio-based polymer systems.

    9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Session1: Sustainable Aviation – An economy-wide challenge

    MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics

    Aviation is considered a tough-to-decarbonize mode of transportation because volume and weight challenges render many decarbonization pathways infeasible (e.g. large battery-electric airliners). In fact, it is likely that aviation’s value chain will have to be re-designed to meet ambitious environmental goals. This has economy-wide implications: not only will the world need new aircraft, but operational patters will have to be adjusted, and infrastructure as well as a supporting energy system will have to be built. As such, this decarbonization challenge provides a prime example for tackling complex decarbonization challenges which are interlinked with the future shape of our global economy.

    This workshop takes a holistic approach towards the problem. It brings together academics and industry to identify guiding sustainability metrics and gain insights into approaches for achieving system-level change.

    10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

    Networking Break
    11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

    Session 2: Setting and Adopting Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Targets

    MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium

    Corporate commitments to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets have increased dramatically in recent years. This has primarily been motivated by corporate social responsibility factors, but regulatory pressure is mounting. The process for setting these targets generally involves three steps: measuring corporate GHG emissions, setting targets, and developing pathways to achieve the targets.  There is significant variation across these targets on the scope of operations included (scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3) and the timing. 

    This workshop will explore the process of setting and adopting net zero greenhouse gas targets. This includes the technical aspects of measuring GHG emissions and evaluating the potential for pathways to achieve targets, as well as the organizational aspects associated with setting targets, obtaining resources for achieving them, and adjusting implementation based on organizational and societal factors. 

    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

    Session 2: Managing Industrial Wastewater Through Research and Innovation

    MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Laboratory

    In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to discuss your companies’ hard-to-solve industrial water-related challenges.  You will hear directly from professors across MIT to learn about the latest research and inventions in this space.  We will also help you explore the topic of industrial process water in an unpressured, creative way that can catalyze meaningful, actionable research projects.

    Stay after our session to meet J-WAFS professors from across MIT over a networking lunch.

    MIT J-WAFS is an Institute-wide, cross-disciplinary research program with international reach.  J-WAFS mobilizes MIT resources to bring scientific, technical, and business solutions to urgent global water and food challenges across the world.

    12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

    Adjournment with Bagged Lunch