USAEE President's Message

Lori Smith Schell

Founder and President

Empowered Energy

(Durango, CO)


Happy New Year!  2013 promises to be an exciting year for USAEE and I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to serve as your President this year.  As a long-time member of USAEE, I look forward to increasing my investment of time and energy in an Association that has provided me with many new friends and colleagues over the years.  It has been a real pleasure working with my predecessor, Peter Hartley, over the past several years on the USAEE Council and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for his leadership as last year’s USAEE President.Thanks to a concerted effort by many volunteers over the past few years, USAEE membership now exceeds 1,100 members.


My primary goal this year is to work further toward balancing the interests of our three main sources of membership, namely business/consulting, government, and academia (including students).  We will continue USAEE’s focus on student support and work to foster ongoing USAEE involvement after graduation, given that these younger USAEE members are the future of the Association.

In the coming year, we will continue working to establish new USAEE Chapters to provide local/regional opportunities for our members to meet.  We are pleased to welcome the recently established Bay Area Chapter, which will be meeting quarterly at different venues around the Bay Area.  The Distinguished Lecturer Series (DLS) has been created to assist in obtaining outstanding speakers to facilitate the creation of new USAEE Chapters, the revitalization of existing Chapters, and the conducting of USAEE-sponsored webinars.  More information on the DLS and how to nominate speakers can be found at

A major highlight of the year will be the 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference, which is being held in Anchorage, Alaska, from July 28-30, 2013.  The theme of the conference is “Industry Meets Government:  Impact on Energy Use & Development” and the conference organizing committee has included a number of the plenary sessions that have a decidedly Arctic theme, along with a number of plenary sessions on developments in electricity markets and in oil & natural gas markets.  You can view the full conference program at  We are hoping to build on the success of the 2012 North American Conference held last November in Austin.

The Anchorage conference will also provide the usual wide selection of concurrent session topics and you are encouraged to organize a concurrent session on a relevant topic of your choosing, where one person organizes and invites the presenters and abstracts are submitted as a group.  We had several such sessions at the Austin conference, each of which was very well received.  Please note that the abstract submission deadline for Anchorage is February 21, 2013, and that the applicable abstract format differs for applied case studies versus more-academic research.  In addition, the Poster Session in Anchorage will be open to all delegates, though only students will be eligible for the competitive cash prize.  The Call for Papers of the Anchorage conference is available at and includes the option to state a preference to make either a poster or concurrent session presentation.

The Anchorage conference will continue the highly competitive student case competitive, which was introduced with great success at the Austin conference.  Another new item at the Austin conference was a very well attended half-day, post-conference workshop on Unconventional  Gas and Oil; the Anchorage conference planning committee is considering  organizing a similar event, and would welcome suggestions for a timely topic.  Please send any ideas directly to Fred Joutz, USAEE VP-Conferences, at

The conference organizing committee consciously chose to hold the Anchorage conference during the high season in Alaska, given that Alaska is a “once-in-a-lifetime” destination for many people.  There will be three technical tours associated with the Anchorage conference, including one to the North Slope, one to Valdez, and another in the Anchorage area that will include touring a landfill gas facility and the new in-city electric generating station that it feeds.   There will also be plenty of time to connect with colleagues and friends, including an offsite reception at the Alaska Heritage Center.  We hope that you will plan to tie your attendance in with a family vacation and we encourage you to make your airline reservations early, given the limited number of airline seats available.

Earlier this summer will be the IAEE International Conference in Daegu, South Korea, June 17-20, 2013.  We are seeking to make the Anchorage conference topics complementary to those in Daegu, with minimal overlap.  We hope that you will consider attending both!

Looking ahead, an exciting development for USAEE is that we will be co-hosting with IAEE the International Conference in 2014 in New York City.  Planning is just getting under way for the 2014 IAEE/USAEE International Conference, so if you’d like to get involved in the planning, please let us know.

I welcome your input on how we can continue to grow USAEE membership and add value to you as a member of the Association.  Please feel free to contact me directly by phone at (970) 247-8181 or by e-mail at if you have ideas you’d like to share.  I look forward to an exciting and productive year.



Click to view a printable version of this article.