Panel Discussion on the Present and Future of Energy

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Joy Romero (Chair), Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Joy RomeroBio: Joy Romero, P.Eng, MBA PM, ICD.D Vice President Technology & Innovation, Canadian Natural Resources Limited. Joy has worked in steel, iron ore, coal and oil and gas.   She has served as Chair of the Governing Council of Athabasca University, advisor to the NSERC chair for Oil Sands, University of Alberta, the NSERC Chair for Energy and Imaging, University of Calgary, chair of the Canadian Oilsands Network for Research and Development and Chair for the Board of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. Joy is currently chair of the Clean Resource Innovation Network and the PTAC Innovation Ecosytem , a board member of the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada and Wavefront and a member of the Kinetica Ventures Advisory Council and the Science, Technology & Innovation Council for Canada.  


Anne Downey, Athabasca Oil Corporation 


Fraser Forbes, University of Alberta 

Fraser ForbesDean Forbes earned a B.A.Sc,  M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and a Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering) from McMaster University. He was appointed to the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta in 1996. In 2002, Dr. Forbes became the Chair of the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, where he led an aggressive expansion program. During this time, the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta became the strongest department of its type in Canada and within the top five world-wide. In 2015, Dr. Forbes was appointed the Dean of Engineering at the University of Alberta. In his first two years as Dean, he has led the creation of the Future Energy Systems initiative through $75 Million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund and has initiated an $80 Million capital improvement program to support the Faculty’s research and teaching. He has also worked as a consultant in the agriculture/food processing, wood products and steel industries. His research has focused on systems engineering and in particular, process control and optimization. He has published broadly (155 research papers and 95 conference presentations) in this area and supervised 30 master's and 14 PhD theses. “



Murray R. Gray, Alberta Innovates and University of Alberta

Bio: Dr. Murray Gray has over 30 years of research experience in upgrading of heavy oil and oil sands bitumen. During his career at University of Alberta, he served in a number of roles, including Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Director of the Institute for Oil Sands Innovation, Vice-Provost (Academic), and Associate Vice-President (Research). He served as Vice President Research at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar and Senior Vice President Academic and Provost of the Petroleum University in Abu Dhabi., before joining Alberta Innovates in 2017. His success in collaborative research with industry on the development of Canada’s oilsands has been recognized by numerous awards and prizes, including the Centennial Award from the professional engineering association in Alberta (2011), and the Industrial Practice Award of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (2003). In 2005 he was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. In 2006 he was awarded a Canada Research Chair and an Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Upgrading. Gray obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1984. He also holds a M. Eng. degree with a specialization in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Calgary (1980) and a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto (1978).


Arun Majumdar, Stanford University, USA

Arun Majumdar

Bio: Dr. Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Professor at Stanford University, a faculty member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, which integrates and coordinates research and education activities across all seven Schools and the Hoover Institution at Stanford.

Dr. Majumdar's research in the past has involved the science and engineering of nanoscale materials and devices, especially in the areas of energy conversion, transport and storage as well as biomolecular analysis. His current research focuses on electrochemical storage, power generation and refrigeration; storing carbon-free energy in renewable fuels; and a new effort to re-engineer the electricity grid using modern sensing, computing and control as well as data science.

In October 2009, Dr. Majumdar was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to become the Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), where he served till June 2012 and helped ARPA-E become a model of excellence for the government with bipartisan support from Congress and other stakeholders. Between March 2011 and June 2012, he also served as the Acting Under Secretary of Energy, enabling the portfolio that reported to him: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Reliability, Office of Nuclear Energy and the Office of Fossil Energy, as well as multiple cross-cutting efforts (e.g. Sunshot, Grid Tech Team, etc) that he initiated.

After leaving Washington, DC and before joining Stanford, Dr. Majumdar was the Vice President for Energy at Google, where he created several energy technology initiatives, especially at the intersection of data, computing and electricity grid, and advised the company on its broader energy strategy. Dr. Majumdar received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1985 and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.