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2015 MIT Energy Conference

Save the Date! February 27-28, 2015

2015 Keynote Speakers

William M. Colton

Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning Exxon Mobil Corporation

Mr. William (Bill) M. Colton is Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning for Exxon Mobil Corporation as of February 1, 2009. In this role, he oversees all of the corporation’s strategic planning activities and the development of its Energy Outlook, ExxonMobil’s assessment of global energy trends.

Mr. Colton received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1975. He joined Exxon Corporation in 1975 and his career has been spent in both upstream and downstream businesses throughout ExxonMobil, including project development, refining, lubes, synthetic fuels and natural gas marketing.

Mr. Colton also worked in finance and planning positions, including ExxonMobil corporate headquarters and eight years overseas in Tokyo and Bangkok. Mr. Colton's previous assignment was as the Corporation's Assistant Treasurer. 

David Danielson

Assistant Secretary of Energy, DOE

Founder of the MIT Energy Club in 2006, Dr. David Danielson leads the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). As Assistant Secretary, he oversees a broad energy portfolio that is intended to hasten the transition to a clean energy economy.

Previously, he was the first Program Director hired by DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). At ARPA-E, he developed and led R&D programs with a budget of more than $100 million that focused on high-risk, high-reward, disruptive clean energy technologies.

Prior to joining ARPA-E, he was a clean energy venture capitalist at General Catalyst Partners, a Boston-based venture capital fund. He co-founded the firm's clean energy investment practice and helped build and grow startups in various clean energy technology areas including solar power, wind power, advanced biofuels, bio-gas, carbon capture and storage, and advanced lighting.

He was a co-founder of the New England Clean Energy Council. He has authored more than 20 scientific articles in the field of advanced materials. While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he was the founder and President of the MIT Energy Club and a founding Director of the MIT Energy Conference. For his work in building a strong multidisciplinary energy community at MIT, he was awarded the Karl Taylor Compton Prize, MIT's highest student award. He holds a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Thomas M. Siebel

Chairman and CEO, C3 Energy

As the founder, chairman, and CEO of Siebel Systems—one of the world’s fastest-growing software companies, Mr. Siebel built the foundation of the CRM market. Founded in 1993, Siebel Systems rapidly became a leader in application software with more than 8,000 employees in 32 countries, over 4,500 corporate customers, and annual revenue in excess of $2 billion before it merged with Oracle Corporation in January 2006. Now as chairman and CEO of C3 Energy, Siebel leads an accomplished team of machine learning, computer science, power system, and engineering experts to tackle one of the toughest technology challenges—to apply the sciences of big data and machine learning to today’s energy industry to unlock significant value across the power grid.

Mr. Siebel serves on the board of advisors for the Stanford University College of Engineering, the University of Illinois College of Engineering, and the University of California at Berkeley College of Engineering. He is a director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and is the chairman of the board of the American Agora Foundation. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2013.

Mr. Siebel is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a B.A. in history, an M.B.A., and an M.S. in computer science. 

Dirk Smit

Vice President of Exploration Technology R&D, and Shell Chief Scientist for Geophysics

Dirk graduated from Utrecht University in 1989 with a PhD in Mathematical Physics, String Theory. He went on to complete an academic post-doctorate at Berkeley and was awarded a post-doctorate at Harvard University. He joined Shell’s Geophysics R&D department in the Netherlands in 1992. 

Since then he has held numerous positions, including Chief Geophysicist for Shell UK and Technology Manager for Hydrocarbon Exploration.

Dirk holds several positions outside Shell: a visiting faculty position at the Earth Science departmet at MIT in Cambridge, as well as a visiting professorship in Geoscience at the Chinese University of Petroleum in Beijing. He serves on numerous university advisory boards in The Netherlands, China and US. Dirk served as a member of the National Research Council on Solid Earth Observations in the US and is currently a member of the National Dutch Science Board for Basic Science Research in the Netherlands.   

In his spare time, Dirk is an amateur astronomer and, together with his son, enjoys searching the deep skies through an 11 inch SCT (telescope) during long, Dutch, winter nights.

William A. Von Hoene, Jr.

Chief Strategy Officer, Exelon Corp

William A. Von Hoene, Jr., 60, oversees corporate development, corporate strategy, legal, regulatory, government affairs, investments and communications for Exelon, the nation’s number one competitive energy provider.  He previously served as executive vice president, Finance and Legal, of Exelon. Von Hoene joined Exelon in February, 2002 and has held numerous positions before assuming his current responsibilities in February 2012.  He serves on Exelon’s Executive Committee and is a member of the Boards of Directors of Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, the Alliance to Save Energy, and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.  He also serves on the Board of Advisors of Flying Food Group and is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, a joint venture between Exelon and EDF which owns five nuclear units.

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