Welcome from the Director, Elizabeth Wilson

Welcome to IIES!

Welcome to the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society (IIES), the next chapter in Dartmouth's energy story! How we conceive, build, and operate our current and future energy systems is shaping the future of the planet. Energy systems in the United States and around the world are facing new risks from shifting weather and climate patterns, cybersecurity and geopolitical threats, and the need to create affordable, resilient, and sustainable future energy systems. Energy systems are created by people for people to serve our very human needs and operate in specific contexts. Dartmouth's liberal arts training is the ideal environment to help students think about complex energy systems and their particular cultural contexts.

While the IIES is a Dartmouth newcomer, the alumni office tells me that over 6,000 Dartmouth alumni have been shaping the energy system worldwide for decades! Dartmouth’s energy history is long: From testing the first oil discovered near Titusville, PA in 1853, to building an early co-generation steam-plant in 1898 (where coal was often shoveled by students!), to research in energy markets, biofuels, and today’s aggressive campus sustainability targets and investments in solar PV, Dartmouth students, faculty, staff and alumni are deeply engaged across the energy sector. As energy lawyers, engineers, financial analysts, business executives, researchers, non-profit leaders, citizens, and more, Dartmouth’s women and men are essential players in creating and evolving energy systems, in the United States and around the world. 

At IIES, we join the Revers Center for Energy at Tuck, researchers at the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Dartmouth Sustainability Office to form the Dartmouth Energy Collaborative, or DEC. Our collective mission is to support energy research, engagement, and a whole host of activities across campus, and to train the next generation of energy leaders from Dartmouth. With the DEC, we are working hard to ground students in “energy basics” through our fall Energy 101 series, bi-weekly lunches, and speakers on campus; to immerse them real-world energy contexts (like our Spring Break trip with the Sustainability Office to West Virginia and Kentucky, and an upcoming Winterim trip to the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast); and to top it all off with practical energy internships.  This is just the beginning of how the IIES is helping to prepare the next generation of Dartmouth’s energy leaders to flourish in a rapidly changing world.

I am excited to be a part of Dartmouth’s long and rich energy story; contact us or check out our request for proposals to see how you can participate! We look forward to engaging with you as we work together to explore, shape and create tomorrow’s energy systems.

Thank you,

Elizabeth