Conference to be held on how using hydrogen as electricity would affect society

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 12, 2004 – Bringing together technological experts and policy makers to determine what a hydrogen economy may look like and how it may benefit society, "The Hydrogen Economy: Its Impact on the Future of Electricity" conference will be held April 19-20, 2004 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington.

The JW Marriott Hotel is located at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C., 20004. For registration please visit: .

"The conference attendees will get a chance to hear both the policy and technology aspects of the hydrogen economy and will have an opportunity to network with representatives from industry, government and academia who are actively engaged with the future of the hydrogen economy worldwide," said Saifur Rahman, conference chairman, professor of engineering and director of Virginia Tech's Alexandria Research Institute.

Conference organizers and participants will focus on hydrogen production, hydrogen delivery infrastructure, power generation technologies, system interface issues and case studies from North America, Europe, and Japan. It also will spotlight how hydrogen fuel will affect the future delivery of electric energy.

Jointly organized by four IEEE societies -- the Power Engineering Society, the Industry Applications Society, the Power Electronics Society and the Society on Social Implications of Technology -- the conference will open with a keynote address by former Congressman Robert Walker who, as a legislator, has made long-lasting contributions to research and development in the hydrogen economy field. The keynote address is titled "Understanding the challenge."

The conference will end with an address by Jeremy Rifkin, author of "Hydrogen Economy." He will speak about the creation of the worldwide energy web and the redistribution of power on earth.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.