Electric, natural gas, hydrogen, and nuclear energy. You probably don’t realize how much you rely on them until they are no longer there.
General Ken Eickmann is a senior research fellow and deputy director at the Center for Energy Security at the University of Texas. Among his many accomplishments, he has chaired committees for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council on energy efficiency and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign fuel.
In this episode, Kevin Kaylakie talks with Ken about building energy for the future. Ken explains the level of dependence the United States has on electric power and whether we have the infrastructure to support the growing demand for electric power. He also discusses how the electric power grid operates and advocates for why we should have a more coordinated approach to how we deal with power issues.
- ”11:14” The U.S. dependence on electric power
- ”23:34” What he believes is the future of energy production
- ”26:51” His thoughts on small modular reactors (SMR)
- ”33:07” How a large well-functioning power grid could support the economy
- ”43:19” Advice for the next generation of leaders in the United States
- And more
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About Our Guest:
General Kenneth E. Eickmann is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading energy experts. He is a Senior Research Affiliate with the Center for Electromechanics at the University of Texas at Austin and works to bring the emerging knowledge and expertise of the University to bear on the technological needs of the Department of Defense. At the request of the US Air Force and the Department of Defense, Gen. Eickmann chaired three committees for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council focused on energy efficiency. He also facilitated a National Forum to identify strategic energy goals for the US Air Force and the nation. In addition, Lt. Gen. Eickmann chaired an Air Force Installation Energy Study designed to determine how best to ensure our nation’s military installations have energy for mission-critical capabilities. As a follow-up to that study, he chaired a national workshop at the National Academy of Sciences focused on energy and water reduction in the industrial processes at Department of Defense laboratories, test centers, and depots. General Eickmann spent 6 years on the Air Force Science & Technology Board (now the AF Studies Board) and several years on the Military Advisory Board for the Center for Naval Analysis which published studies laying out the National Security Imperative to Reduce U.S. Oil Dependence, the National Security Implications of Global Climate Change, and a review of the link between National Security & Assured Electrical Power. More recently he worked with the Center on an assessment of the strategic implications of limited access to clean water around the world.
During his active duty career, General Eickmann completed 22 assignments, including serving as the Commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, the largest military industrial complex in the United States, and later as Commander of the Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, where he led the nation’s largest center of excellence for research, development, and acquisition of aircraft, aeronautical equipment, and munitions. Prior to those assignments, General Eickmann served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for two of the Air Force’s Major Commands; the Pacific Air Forces and Air Force Materiel Command. In addition, the General played an integral role in the rescue and recovery efforts for several disasters including, the San Francisco Earthquake, the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, and the Oklahoma City Bombing. The State of Oklahoma declared July 11, 1995, as “General Ken Eickmann Day” in recognition of his leadership and assistance to Federal and State rescue and recovery efforts following the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. General Eickmann also served for a number of years as the State Vice Chairman of the Texas Engineers Task Force for Homeland Security.
General Eickmann is a Registered Professional Engineer and is certified as an Acquisition Professional in Logistics, Program Management, and Systems Planning, Research, Development & Engineering. He is also a recognized expert in propulsion technology and has published several papers in technical journals in the U.S. and overseas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, the University of Michigan Executive Business Program, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Air War College, and the National Defense University.
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