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This summer’s rising gas prices have set off a flood of discussions about alternative energy sources and dependence on fossil fuels. UT Knoxville is offering Tennessee residents and UT graduates a chance to learn more about energy alternatives through its annual Alumni Summer College.

This year’s Alumni Summer College takes place July 16-20 on campus and explores the topic of energy through lectures by leading researchers as well as a tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The college begins Wednesday, July 16, with a dinner featuring ORNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology, Jim Roberto, who will present "Science for the Energy Challenge."

Other lecture topics include:

  • "Fill ‘er Up with Switchgrass!" by Sam Jackson, UT research associate in the Office of Bioenergy Programs
  • "Sustainability Science and Technology: A New Roadmap for Our Future" by Randall Gentry, director of UT’s Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment and associate professor of civil and environmental engineering
  • "The Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell: A Power Source in a ‘Hydrogen Economy’" by S.J. Paddison, associate professor of chemical engineering
  • "Responding to the Country’s Energy Problems" by Lee Riedinger, professor of physics
  • "New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy" by Bob Shelton, senior fellow for energy policy, and Jerry Paul, distinguished energy policy fellow at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Participants will tour ORNL on Friday and experience some of the groundbreaking neutron science research taking place there. On Saturday, participants will visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg to see how the facility manages power and water efficiently.

Participants also will have the opportunity to shop and enjoy dinner in Gatlinburg.

Anyone interested may participate in the Summer College; it is not necessary to be a UT alumnus. Tuition for five days is $325, which includes the Saturday trip and selected meals. Lodging is the responsibility of the participant, although rooms are reserved at a discounted rate at the Crowne Plaza Knoxville. Deadline to register is July 2.

For more information or to register visit http://www.utalumni.utk.edu/summercollege. Those interested may also contact Phyllis Moore at 974-3011.