The Interviews Have Begun!

Thursday, June 16th, Bridget and Mark traveled to the University of Colorado at Boulder to interview Professor Robert Erickson for the documentary. Professor Erickson teaches in the College of Engineering and Applied Science and is the director of the Colorado Power Electronics Center. During the interview, Professor Erickson informed us more about his specialty areas in power electronics and the whole situation surrounding energy production and use. Mark has decided to get a number of expert interviews in order to make a firm foundation for when he interviews industry professionals. “Knowing the situation is half of the battle” Mark stated when talking about handling interviews within the industry. “I have learned so much about energy in these past few weeks. It’s incredible! I want to teach everyone else what I have been learning. Energy is huge!” Mark is very excited to be talking to such distinguished professors in the field. Professor Erickson gave us some insights into solar energy, hydropower, as well as introduced a few methods of energy storage. The first involves transporting water from one reservoir to another to produce energy when needed. The second method of storage deals with pumping compressed air into old mines in order to create potential energy. Both of these methods have been used recently in Colorado. He will be featured in the film alongside other energy professors and experts as well professionals in the energy industry. On Friday, Mark returned to Boulder to interview another professor, Dr. Ewald Fachs. Dr. Fachs gave Mark a tour of his personal solar energy generating system before the interview took place. Dr. Fachs discussed the electricity grid in the United States and how each different type of energy affects it. Dr. Fachs provided a good amount of information about the pro and cons of each energy source. He also offered us his own personal future prediction for the production of energy. Check back for a video clip from Dr. Fachs and Dr. Erikson. Expert interviews will continue through the next few weeks until Mark leaves for journey and he begins the industry professional interviews. Mark has also been in contact with professionals from the natural gas and coal industry. He is looking forward to getting the opportunity to see a behind the scenes look at both of these industries. “There is so much that we don’t understand about all of these industries and it has been truly great getting to learn about each of them from the people that deal with it everyday.” Mark

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5 responses to “The Interviews Have Begun!

  1. I just saw this blog and got really interested in it. My current profession makes me a tiny part of the energy industry. Energy is something that will keep on challenging us. That makes it an exciting field to be part of. I am glad you are doing this.

    I will have to catch up A LOT in this blog. I wish you guys success in this endeavor.

    • Thanks for your comment. What aspect of the energy industry do you work in? I saw from your blog that you are a systems engineer… Do you deal with any particular energy source? Care to offer any insights based on your profession? The concept of energy is massive and as consumers we often overlook a lot of it. We started out with the intentions of making a short film and the more we explored the idea of energy, the different types, and the issues surrounding all of them, we had to take a step back and realize that we were now dealing with a feature film.

      • I work in an EPC company for the oil and gas industries – nothing new about those energy sources, at least to an average consumer. But I had a brief stint as a power engineer in an energy company whose core business is geothermal energy. Have you considered that already? Just in case you haven’t and would like to know about it, I don’t think you’ll have problems finding experts in that field. That’s because the US is the largest producer of geothermal power to date.

        I’m not sure what more insights to give. But with specific questions, I ‘may’ be able to help you understand some things that are too technical. Sort of bridging the gap between layman and expert (as I am definitely just somewhere in between at this time). 🙂

      • Geothermal energy is definitely something worth mentioning. It’s a great source of energy production if you have it…Countries like Iceland and the Philippines generate a significant amount of geothermal energy. I believe around 25-30%. So the US produces much more geothermal energy than any other country but when you look at the percentage breakdown in the US, it accounts for less than 1%. This is because we produce and consume so much power in the US in relation to a country like Iceland which can largely be attributed to our size. An interesting aspect of geothermal energy is that you don’t have to use it to generate power. You can use geothermal energy to heat your house. Great stuff. This is what makes the concept of energy so interesting! Thanks for the insight!

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