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U.S. Energy Secretary Chu visits IUPUI

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United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu Tours Energy Labs - at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
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  • United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu Tours Energy Labs at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI.

Editor's note: U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited IUPUI Monday to celebrate a $1.3 million partnership to spur students to identify greater energy efficiencies that may bolster the nation's manufacturers. The following details were provided by IUPUI:

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu visited IUPUI Monday to meet with university leaders and conduct a Town Hall forum with students to discuss the future of clean energy.

Secretary Chu's visit came following an announcement in September that the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI would receive a $1.3 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to train undergraduate- and graduate-level students in manufacturing efficiency as part of the DOE's Industrial Assessment Center program. The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology is one of only 24 schools across the nation — and the only institution in Indiana — selected to participate in the program.

"As President Obama made clear, an American economy built to last will depend on American manufacturing, American energy and skills for American workers," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "This is why the Energy Department is investing in innovative initiatives like the Industrial Assessment Center at IUPUI that is helping to train the clean energy workforce of tomorrow, while saving money for American companies and manufacturers."

Secretary Chu spent the first part of his visit debriefing with university officials and touring the IUPUI Industrial Assessment Center and various energy labs. He then conducted a town hall meeting with students.

The DOE announced in February that to date, the assessment centers across the country have helped save over 530 trillion BTUs of energy — enough to meet the energy needs of 5.5 million American homes — and helped participating manufacturers save more than $5.6 billion in energy costs.

"It was a great honor to host Secretary Chu on our campus," said David Russomanno, Dean of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. "We are very pleased to be part of the DOE's Industrial Assessment Center program, and thank the DOE for their help in creating an opportunity for our students and faculty to partner with businesses to make significant energy efficiency and cost saving gains."

The DOE assessment program is a natural fit for the School of Engineering and Technology, which has long advocated programs that train students to improve the efficiencies of manufacturing and energy-related processes.

The School currently offers a B.S. in Energy Engineering – the only program of its kind in the nation – and works with its Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy to conduct energy-related research and disseminate its findings.

About the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Assessment Center Program:
The Energy Department's Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program helps students gain real-world experience identifying and implementing energy-saving measures that help local companies and factories reduce energy waste, save money, and boost their competitiveness. Since the program began in 1976, the university teams have conducted more than 15,000 energy assessments at U.S. manufacturing plants nationwide. To date, more than 3,000 students have graduated from the Industrial Assessment Center program, with more than 60 percent going on to careers in the energy industry.

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