MSU AIChE Climate Conference

Speakers and Events


Our Speakers


We have secured several professional speakers for this event. Each of them are experts in their fields, and are excited to share their knowledge and insights with our community. With a diverse range of topics there is something for everyone. Check out this section to learn more about the speakers and their talks! Information about the location and times of each talk can be found in the Directory. To find out more about the speakers click the ABOUT buttons in each description.


Dean Brett GunniNk

Energy Efficiencies in Norm Asbjornson Hall

Dean Gunnink is the Dean of the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering at Montana State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering Materials from Iowa State University. He will be discussing the energy-efficient design of Norm Asbjornson Hall, a LEED platinum certified building.


Dr. Nick Silverman

The Role of Carbon Dioxide in Climate Change and Modeling Climate Change in the Near Future

Dr. Silverman earned his Ph.D. in Regional Hydroclimatology from the University of Montana. He is now employed there as a Research Scientist.


Dr. Bruce Maxwell

How Ecological Systems are Evolving with Climate Change

Dr. Maxwell earned his Ph.D. in Forest Ecology and Crop Science from Oregon State University. He is the Director of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems and a Professor in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University. His research concerns complex biological interactions among plant species.

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Dr. Paul Lachapelle

Community Efforts to Address Climate Change

Dr. Lachapelle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Montana State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Montana. His research includes community development, public participation, and natural resource policy.


Jim Williams

View from the Center of the Universe: Climate Change and Energy Markets

Jim Williams has been in independent power business since 1989 and has been directly involved in the development of approximately 2,000 MW of generating capacity and participated in over $2 billion of project financings. As owner and president of Basin Creek Power Services, he opened a new $40 million 51.8 megawatt power plant in Butte, Montana in 2006.

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Dr. fabian menalled

How Climate Change is Affecting Crop Yields, Weeds, and Pathogens

Dr. Menalled earned his Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a Professor at Montana State University in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences. He does research concerning sustainable agriculture.

Undergraduate Research


The Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering facilitates extensive undergraduate research, some of which will be highlighted in this conference. During the Undergraduate Research Poster Session the community and student body will be able to connect with undergraduates to explore and understand their exciting research. These projects explore alternative energy technologies and study the effect of climate change on our environment. This event will be held in the expansive foyer of Norm Asbjornson Hall to provide an open and interactive environment.

The poster session will be split into two distinct sections: renewable energy technologies and the ecological consequences of climate change. The renewable energy technologies, which are all undergoing development at MSU, include fuel cells, bio and hydrogen fuels, solar energy, and wind energy. The ecological research focuses on local issues including the effects on aquatic systems, terrestrial wildlife, and agriculture.

Interested in presenting your research? Apply to be a part of the Undergraduate Research Poster Session on the Register page!