Chief scientist at BP to speak on energy sustainability at Iowa State Feb. 27



Pat Miller, Lectures Program, 515-294-9935,

Teddi Barron, News Service, 515-294-4778,

Chief scientist at BP to speak on energy sustainability at Iowa State Feb. 27

AMES, Iowa -- The chief scientist at one of the world's largest oil and gas companies will speak at Iowa State University next week. Ellen Williams of BP will present "Energy Sustainability in a Changing World" at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Her talk is part of the university's Women in STEM Speaker Series and the Live Green! Sustainability Lecture Series. It is free and open to the public.

As lead scientist for the fourth-largest corporation on the planet, Williams plays a role in determining how developments in science and technology can contribute to sustainable, secure and environmentally responsive energy.

During her talk, Williams will discuss specific examples of carbon capture and storage, as well as biofuels. Although everyone wants secure, reliable and affordable energy, Williams says that climate change, resource scarcity and technical innovation are transforming the evolving energy landscape. She will consider the many possible pathways to a low-carbon energy future, as well as the unresolved technical challenges and potential impacts of each. Williams also will talk about BP's energy portfolio, which demonstrates many of the research challenges.

Williams is on leave from the University of Maryland, where she is a Distinguished University Professor of physics and director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Throughout her career, Williams has encouraged the involvement and success of women and minorities in physics and related fields.

Co-sponsors for Williams' lecture are Live Green! Sustainability Series and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body. More information on ISU lectures is available at, or by calling 515-294-9935.