What is planned for the USAEE/IAEE North American Conference in Austin (Nov 4-7, 2012)

From the Conference Program Co-Chairs:

Mina Dioun

President, Dioun Energy Consultants (Austin, Texas)


Peter Nance

Senior Principal, Teknecon Energy Risk Advisers (Austin, Texas)




We are delighted to invite you to attend the 31st USAEE/IAEE North American Conference, which will be held in our amazing city of Austin on November 4-7, 2012.

The Austin Conference Program Committee has planned a superb program which is informative and provides opportunity to promote conversation about major energy economics issues; offers remarkable technical tours and exciting special events.  Please make sure to take the opportunity to enjoy the scenic city and the live music every night.

Traditionally, the USAEE/ IAEE conferences have been providing a unique opportunity to catch up with current topics that span the breadth of energy economics as well as providing many great venues for networking with USAEE/IAEE colleagues from around the world and Austin conference is going to provide such opportunity to energy experts from government and industry as well as academia and students to present the results of their current researches or their applied case results.  We are expecting more than 200 such presentations.  Specifically, the conference’s plenary sessions focuses on opportunities and challenges of transition to a sustainable energy era with many distinguished chairpersons, speakers, and great luncheon speakers.

USAEE/IAEE believes that students are the future of our organization; therefore, in Austin conference like any other USAEE/IAEE conferences students will have many opportunities to participate. The students can present papers for Best Student Paper Award with a top prize of $1000 and up to nine additional student awards with a prize of $500 each. Also, students can participate in Student Poster Session, present their works at the Concurrent Session, and this year for the first time the North American students can participate in Student Case Competition.    Finally, there will be opportunity for students to participate in Student’s happy hours, Student’s Breakfast as well as other conference programs such as networking dinner, and planned technical tours and social events.

The Conference Program Committee has planned many social events and technical tours including the followings:

  • On Sunday morning, Nov 4th, the delegates can enjoy a four-mile walk/run at scenic Lady Bird Lake in central Austin with a few members of Central Texas Association for Energy Economics Chapter as their tour guides.

  • On Sunday at 1:00 pm an optional tour of Pecan Street’s Pike Power Commercialization Lab and Mueller Community is planned.  This tour provides an opportunity to learn about the nation’s leading smart grid demonstration project. Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Inc. is a research and development organization focused on developing and testing advanced technology, business model and customer behavior surrounding advanced energy management systems.  The delegate will return to the Hotel by 3:30pm.
  • The most memorable event of the conference is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, Nov 4th, at 4:15 pm.  The venue for this event is Oasis on Lake Travis, a restaurant destination with one of the best sunset views in North America. The opening reception will feature Texas-style cocktails and finger foods during the sunset. After sunset, we will have a complimentary energy themed Networking Dinners with traditional Texas style barbeque buffets. The Oasis is also the venue for the Student Happy Hour providing an opportunity to get acquainted with each other prior to the start of the conference.

  • On Tuesday, Nov 6th, take advantage of the fact that this year’s U.S. national elections falls during the conference by watching results with your friends of a like political persuasion. Don’t forget to vote before you come to the conference!
  • For those who are not as involved in the election process, we’re planning a special event for Tuesday night at hotel and we will have opportunity to private viewing of the film Switch, the winner of the Colorado Environmental Film Festival’s Winner Best of Fest.  Switch is a groundbreaking film on the future of energy, featuring Dr. Scott Tinker. It's the first truly balanced energy film, embraced and supported by fossil and renewable energy companies, environmental groups, government agencies, universities and the general public alike. It is produced by Arcos Films and directed by Harry Lynch.
  • On Wednesday, Nov 7th, at 1:00 pm, an optional tour of Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Control Room is scheduled.  This informative tour will allow the participated delegates to learn more about an ISO with an all time peak demand in excess of 68,000 MW. ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 40,000 miles of transmission lines and manages more than 550 generation units including approximately 10,000 MW of intermittent wind generation capacity, the largest among all ISOs.  ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 23 million customers – representing 85 percent of the state’s electric load. ERCOT also helps facilitate the best retail choice programs in North America. Spaces on the ERCOT tour are limited, so remember to book early.
  • On Wednesday afternoon there will be a post-conference technical workshop entitled Unconventional Oil and Gas with a primary goal of informing engineers, energy economists, policy makers, legal practitioners, regulators and energy market analysts of some of the technical issues surrounding the development of unconventional oil and gas resources.  The presenters are from Bureau of Economic Geology of the Jackson School of Geosciences of the University of Texas, Schlumberger-Doll Research, Baker Institute of Rice University, and HIS.  The workshop registration fee for the Conference registrants is $75.00 and for the non-registrants is $100.00.

Finally, Austin is a unique city with a great number of outdoor and indoor activities and hundreds of restaurants.   Early November weather in Austin is very pleasant and usually sunny with a daily high temperature about 72 F (22°). Among many outdoor places to enjoy are: Lady Bird Lake and its hike and bike trail, swimming in one of the largest naturally adapted swimming pools in the U.S., Barton Springs Pool. The pool is fed naturally by Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer, a dinner cruise on Lady Bird Lake, canoeing and water sports, several world-class golf courses, Mount Bonnell, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, the Zilker Botanical Garden/Japanese Garden.  In Austin you have a great opportunity to visit many interesting historic places and museums: the Texas State Capitol, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, The Blanton Museum of Art, and The University of Texas, one of the largest universities in the nation with more than 50,000 students. All located a few blocks from the conference hotel.  Every night you can enjoy a great variety of live music venues located a few blocks from Sheraton hotel.   Austin is claimed to be the "Live Music Capital of the World" .


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