Stephanie SonnabendApril 14, 2021
Sudeb Dalai (follow-up)February 26, 2021
Amrita Saigal and Arun SaigalJanuary 26, 2021
Sun YooNovember 25, 2020
Commercial Fusion: Unlimited Clean Energy?No fusion machine has ever generated more energy than it consumes, the requirement for a power plant. Tokamaks have come the closest, but historically they needed to be enormous in size to generate the magnetic fields needed to attempt net energy. New high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, developed in collaboration by MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) and startup Commonwealth Fusion Systems, will be a game changer for the prospects of commercial fusion power. These HTS magnets will produce stronger magnetic fields and as a result enable smaller, lower cost tokamaks that can achieve net energy from fusion for the first time in history - truly the holy grail of clean energy.
Under Bob Mumgaard’s leadership, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), will use this technology to build fusion energy systems. CFS was spun out of MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center in 2018 to leverage decades of fusion research combined with the innovation and speed of the private sector. Supported by the world’s leading investors in breakthrough energy technologies, the CFS team is uniquely positioned to deliver the fastest path to commercial fusion energy. CFS has assembled a world-class team that includes experts in magnets, manufacturing and plasma physics dedicated to the mission of delivering clean, limitless fusion power to the world.
Join us as Bob Mumgaard describes the progress CFS has made in financing, developing, and constructing the world's first net energy fusion machine called SPARC. He will also discuss the company’s plans for scaling production and commercialization of fusion machines to support decarbonization of base load electricity generation around the world. As part of our virtual Fireside Chat, Bob has promised to bring some videos of SPARC hardware and give us a virtual tour of the first SPARC construction site.
Lifelong Learning: The Future of 3D PrintingWant to learn about cutting edge research in the field of 3D printing? Have you been curious about the printing of proteins and organs, micro- and nano-manufacturing processes, rapid prototyping, and more? Come hear from 3 professors and MIT alums working on some mind-blowing innovation in our next event in the Lifelong Learning series with the MIT Club of Northern California:
Mark Skylar Scott, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, Stanford
Hayden Taylor, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, U.C. Berkeley
Eric Lam, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF
Women's Career Series: Developing Executive PresenceTo help MIT women thrive in their careers, the women of the MIT Club of Northern California are excited to launch the Women’s Career Series. We're starting with a panel discussion on one of the most requested topics - Developing Executive Presence! Executive presence is frequently identified as a leadership trait that can make a key difference in progressing in one’s career. But what, exactly, is it—and how can you develop it? In this session, we’ll bring together a panel of accomplished MIT women to have an open, honest discussion on their own journeys to developing executive presence . They will share their personal experiences and challenges, strategies that worked for them, and resources that helped them along the way.
We hope you will join us to learn from each others’ experiences, forge new connections, and discuss the hard issues about developing and managing executive presence. Bring your questions for the Q&A session after the panel!
While this event will focus on executive presence for women, all are welcome to attend.
Lynn Jurich: Pioneer of Clean EnergyTrue pioneers are ahead of the pack – and benefit when the world comes around to their vision for the future. There is no better example in the clean tech space than Sunrun.
When Sunrun was founded 15 years ago by a few newly-minted MBAs, the rooftop solar industry was 1% of where it is today, only a few states were solar-friendly, solar panels were $3/watt, and home storage batteries were impractical. Fundamentally, the up-front costs of solar were out of reach to the vast majority of homeowners. Starting a solar business in this environment was nuts.
Sunrun’s journey from startup to successful public company was typical of pioneering survivors. Not only did the team develop a new residential solar business model and the infrastructure to help them scale, they also raised boatloads of cash to fund their rapidly growing solar installation business. Along the way they established close partnerships with solar equipment providers and installers, overcame resistance from skeptical utilities and policy makers, and took advantage of M&A opportunities for both revenue growth and technology.
Please join us to honor Lynn as our 2020-21 Pioneer of Clean Energy and to listen in on this fireside chat as she shares her team’s journey from crazy idea to viable business to successful public company. We’ll also get her thoughts on the future of solar and energy storage technology, the importance of public policy in the clean tech space, diversity in the workforce, and new opportunities in the rapidly changing electric utility business.