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Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst Keynote Speaker at UH Energy Conference April 23

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April 23, 2010-Houston-

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will be the keynote speaker Friday (April 23) at a daylong conference at the University of Houston that will showcase top energy researchers at UH, industry leaders, and scholars of energy policy and history.

"Houston - the Future of Energy," is sponsored by the UH Faculty Senate with support from Reliant Energy, and will be held at the Hilton University of Houston Hotel and Conference Center. The event is free and open to the public but registration for the luncheon is required by Wednesday, April 21. For a complete agenda and to register online, visit: http://sites.google.com/site/uhenergyconference/schedule.

UH has identified energy as a key strategic focus for faculty research and teaching, and the conference is designed to build awareness of current and emerging energy initiatives at the university. The meeting will feature top energy experts whose presentations will address key topics such as renewable energy sources, new directions in oil and gas exploration, and pollution-reduction projects.

 "The conference will highlight the cutting-edge research and new technology being developed here at UH, from better techniques for discovering oil and gas to new technologies for the electric power grid to the development of alternative energy sources to energy policy and management," said Marshall Schott, UH assistant vice president for instructional support and outreach.

Dewhurst, the luncheon's keynote speaker, will discuss "Texas Public Policy and the Future of Energy in Texas."

H. David Ramm, a partner at DKRW Energy LLC with extensive management and leadership experience in the energy sector, will open the conference with a discussion about the changing energy industry. Ramm also is a member of the National Advisory Council for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the primary national lab for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.

Organizers of the 14th Scholarship & Community Conference said the energy sector was a natural choice as a theme for the event.

"I don't think there is a single aspect of energy that isn't covered here at the University of Houston,'' said Monica McHenry, chair and president-elect of the UH Faculty Senate. "We are a key resource for the energy industry and we want to make sure that industry representatives know they can come to us for their research and workforce needs. We want the energy industry to know that we will continue to align our resources with its needs."

Reliant Energy President Jason Few said the conference is an important event for the energy sector.

"We are in a period of unprecedented change in how we produce and consume energy.  Innovations ranging from low- and no-carbon generation, to smart energy solutions for consumers built on smart grid infrastructure, to the broad adoption of electric vehicles will fundamentally change how we think about electricity," Few said. "Reliant is pleased to be a sponsor of The Future of Energy Scholarship and Community Conference at the University of Houston."

Note to media: For media wishing to cover this event or attend the luncheon, please contact the UH media relations office at 713-743-8155 by Wednesday, April 21. The sessions will be held in the Shamrock Ballroom (Room 261). Lunch will be held in the Conrad N. Hilton Ballroom (Room S202). Dewhurst will speak at the luncheon, which is scheduled to begin at noon.  UH President Renu Khator will welcome participants Friday morning at 8:45 a.m. in the Shamrock Ballroom.

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