Ron Sega, who led the U.S. Air Force team that received a Presidential award for energy management and conservation, has been named vice president for Energy, the Environment and Applied Research at the Colorado State University Research Foundation.
Sega will also serve as CSU President Larry Edward Penley’s special advisor on energy and the environment as Colorado State readies to sign the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment. Sega’s new positions formally recognize Colorado State’s longtime leadership in the area of clean energy research and a push to take that research to market.
Along with this news and the university’s commitment to being a leader in clean energy and sustainability research, Colorado State today announced the enterprise arm of its Clean Energy Supercluster, named Cenergy, to more rapidly facilitate technology transfer of research out of the laboratory into the commercial marketplace. More than 100 faculty members in all eight colleges are involved in developing and disseminating market-driven solutions to address some of the world’s toughest environmental problems – from creating clean-burning two-stroke engines to helping developing nations create sustainable enterprises.
"Ron is a champion for clean and renewable energy solutions – he helped change habits for one of the largest energy consumers in the country," said Penley, who also appointed Sega chairman of his advisory committee on Sustainability and the Environment. "This position has been created at the vice president level so that we maintain a major research focus on solving some of the world’s most pressing problems as well as seek environmental solutions that include making CSU carbon neutral in a rapid timeframe."
As the Woodward Professor of Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering, Sega is working to build a systems engineering program in collaboration with industry and other universities in the state. Systems engineering addresses complex systems in such areas as aerospace, energy, environment, natural resources and bioscience/health. High-tech industry officials, for example, have said they struggle to find qualified systems engineers in the state.
Sega brings decades of experience in applying academic research to real-world situations. He joined Colorado State last fall from the U.S. government where he served as Under Secretary of the Air Force.
As Under Secretary, Sega led a team responsible for $100 million in energy-related savings and cost avoidance in 2006, providing leadership on a comprehensive strategy for improving conservation and reducing energy use. For example, changes were implemented that resulted in a 9 percent reduction in flying hours and a 7 percent reduction in jet fuel used – major achievements given that the Air Force is the largest user of energy in the federal government with an energy bill of $7 billion.
Sega’s team was honored by President Bush in November for promoting and improving federal energy management. The team won the overall Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management for such achievements as savings of 3.3 trillion Btu in fiscal year 2006 – enough for the annual household energy needs of a city the size of Boulder, Colo.
A former astronaut, Sega flew two missions into space on Space Shuttle Discovery in 1994 and as payload commander for the third shuttle/Mir docking mission aboard Atlantis in 1996.
About the Colorado State University Research Foundation
The Colorado State University Research Foundation, or CSURF, aids the university with intellectual property patenting and licensing management; university start-ups; equipment leasing and municipal lease administration; financing of equipment, real estate and buildings through mortgage debt obligations; and land acquisition, development and management.