2/6/2011 1:19:40 PM
Times Union: Leading the charge
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Jian Sun remembers how isolated he felt in the Midwest.
"Years ago I had a job in Iowa," the electric power engineering expert recalled last week. "If I wanted to talk to anyone about what I do, I'd have to travel 30 or 40 miles."
Things today are different for Sun, now the director of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Future Energy Systems.
"There's a lot of energy in this area," he said as he counted the assets in the Capital Region's expanding cluster of companies, research and academic institutions, and government agencies, all involved in producing, managing and storing energy.
For the Capital Region, this wealth of expertise presents opportunities for job creation and economic development.
The energy sector here is well established. When President Obama was in town two weeks ago, he visited General Electric Co.'s steam turbine and generator manufacturing plant, a century-old business that continues to thrive in downtown Schenectady.
But a short distance away on the same campus, GE has established its renewable energy headquarters, and an advanced battery manufacturing plant will soon open in another nearby building.
Batteries were among the technologies explored at a symposium Thursday afternoon at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, which drew more than 150 people to the University at Albany. Full article