Tuskegee University, Chevron partner in ‘Energy Smart’ alliance to increase internships, research opportunities, more
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (January 19, 2012) — Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon on Thursday announced that the institution has partnered with Chevron in an Energy Smart Education Alliance. The partnership is meant to help promote money-saving energy sustainability on campus, reduce the university’s environmental footprint, increase research opportunities for students and faculty, and establish a recruitment pipeline for graduates to become Chevron interns or employees. Rochon, university board members — including board chairman Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams and development committee chairman Felker Ward— and Chevron representatives were present at a press conference to detail the partnership and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University.
Rochon said the university has been approached before about energy sustainability plans and audits by researchers and other entities, but he feels partnering with Chevron was better for the university.
|Rochon details opportunities that will be provided
by the new Chevron partnership for the university's
students and other constituents.
“The Chevron partnership is very comprehensive,” Rochon said. “It is far more mutually beneficial because it raised the bar.”
As part of the 10-point MOU, Chevron will collaborate with Tuskegee for the establishment of a Chevron Center of Excellence on campus. The center will work to advance technologies such as alternative fuels, fuel cell energy development, satellite remote sensing and high performance computing.
“Chevron is proud of the long-standing relationship we have with Tuskegee University,” said Jim Davis, Chevron Energy Solutions president. “The alliance is an opportunity to share the skills and knowledge we have acquired over past decades.”
$1 million to be saved
The energy sustainability plan is expected to save the university about $1 million a year after it is implemented. The plan will reduce the university’s energy consumption and costs by 25 percent.
Studies of the campus and its buildings have already begun. Neal Turner, Chevron’s senior development manager, said one of the first things to be examined was the central plant where the system to steam and chill water are housed. This system is the source of heating and cooling for the whole campus, but leaks are making the aging structure inefficient and costly. Turner said several options have been examined to address the structure and it may be replaced or enhanced.
Turner also said Chevron hopes to bring technology to the university that will benefit science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
“We’re looking for ways to put demo projects on campus such as solar or wind,” Turner said. “And try to incorporate those in the classroom and try to increase and enhance the STEM education you have here.”
The university is already making strides to become a greener campus by incorporating efficiency technology in buildings that adjust energy. For instance, some classroom lights in the Andrew F. Brimmer School of Business and Information Science are motion sensitive. So, if someone leaves the room, the lights turn themselves off, according to Tory Ward, director of the physical plant at the university.
“A successful university is one where the students and faculty can be proud of their campus and confident in their surroundings,” Davis said. “A successful university is one that has leaders that find greater ways to do more with less.”
Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon, left, and Jim Davis, Chevron Energy Solutions president, sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities for the Energy Smart Education Alliance.