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Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions

ORAU’s Annual Meeting addresses key issues facing higher education

Annual Meeting logoORAU's Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions is held to explore relevant topics in higher education. The meeting not only provides presentations by nationally recognized experts, but also gives our university consortium members the opportunity to partake in valuable discussions with council representatives and ORAU staff in conjunction with the meeting's yearly theme.

ORAU’s 75th Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions will be held March 9-11, 2020 and is focused on “Smart Cities and Communities.” The meeting will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss key technology, economic and policy challenges and opportunities. Experts and leaders from academia, federal agencies, and national organizations will share their views on critical infrastructure systems and resiliency, as well as transitioning innovative research to practice.

*Location change for 2020* Please join us at the Hilton Knoxville Airport for the 2020 meeting, which will begin on Tuesday, March 10, at 8:30 a.m. and conclude on Wednesday, March 11, at 12 p.m. On Monday, March 9, a special session on the value of membership will be held for our university attendees.

Meeting information

  • Registration for the 75th Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions is now open. To attend, please register at the Annual Meeting registration site

    This is an invitation-only meeting and is not open to the media.

    There is no limit to the number of university representatives allowed to attend the Annual Meeting; however, students are not permitted.

    Councilors: If you cannot attend this year but would like to designate a proxy, please complete the Annual Meeting proxy delegation form. Once completed, your designated proxy MUST complete the main Annual Meeting registration to provide all necessary information and become officially registered. Please communicate this information to your Proxy because the system does not automatically generate a notification to them.

    Registration closes Tuesday, February 11, 2020 for all attendees. 

  • *Tentative agenda (subject to change closer to event date)

    Monday, March 9, 2020

    3:00 – 7:00 p.m.           Registration – Hotel Lobby

    4:00 – 5:30 p.m.           Leveraging ORAU Membership Session

    Tuesday, March 10, 2020

    7:30 – 8:30 a.m.            Registration and Continental Breakfast – Hotel Lobby
                                             Networking Opportunity

    8:30 – 8:40 a.m.          Opening Remarks

    • Andy Page, President and CEO, ORAU
    • Arlene Garrison, Vice President, University Partnerships

    8:40 – 8:45 a.m.           Introduction of Keynote Speaker

    8:45 – 9:30 a.m.           Keynote Addresses

    Ben Levine, Executive Director, MetroLab Network

    9:30 – 9:45 a.m.           Keynote Q&A

    9:45 – 10:05 a.m.         Break

    10:05 – 11:35               Panel Session 1: Critical Infrastructure Systems and Resiliency

    Moderator:  Chester Maze, Vice President, Chief Information Officer, ORAU

    Panel Speakers

    Paula Alvarez Pino, Program Director, Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Sam Visner, Director, National Cybersecurity FFRDC, MITRE Corporation

    Zack Huhn, Chairman, Smart Regions Initiatives

    11:35 – 12:00 p.m.       Panel Q & A

    12:00 – 1:15 p.m.         Lunch
    Networking Opportunity

    1:15 – 2:45 p.m.           Panel Session 2: Transitioning Innovative Research to Practice

    Moderator:  Jeff Miller, Interim Program Director, Health, Energy & Environment, ORAU

    Panel Speakers

    Operationalizing University/City Smart Cities Partnerships: Portland State University's Digital Cities Testbed Center, Jonathan Fink, Director, Digital City Testbed Center, Portland State University, and Kevin Martin, Manager, Smart City PDX, Portland, Oregon

    David Corman, Program Director, National Science Foundation

    Debra Lam, Managing Director, Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation, Georgia Institute of Technology

    2:45 – 3:05 p.m.           Panel Q & A

    3:05 – 3:25 p.m.           Break

    3:25 – 4:45 p.m.           Business Meeting

    4:45 – 5:30 p.m.           Break

    5:30 – 6:15 p.m.           Reception
    Networking Opportunity

    6:15 – 7:00 p.m.           Dinner

    Wednesday, March 11, 2020

    7:30 – 8:30 a.m.            Continental Breakfast
    Networking Opportunity

    8:30 – 8:35 a.m.            Opening Remarks

    • Arlene Garrison, Ph.D., Vice President, University Partnerships

    8:35 – 8:40 a.m.            Introduction of Keynote Speaker

    • Eric Abelquist, Executive Vice President & Chief Research Officer, ORAU

    8:40 – 9:30 a.m.            Keynote Address

    Diana Furchtgott-Ruth, Deputy Assistance Secretary for Research and Technology, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, U.S. Department of Transportation – Advanced Transportation Systems

    9:30 – 9:45 a.m.            Keynote Q & A

    9:45 – 10:15 a.m.          Break

    10:15 – 11:45 a.m.        Panel Session 3: Social and Economic Impact

    Moderator: Eric Abelquist, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, ORAU

    Panel Speakers

    Ben Green, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University

    Reinhold Mann, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research & Chief Scientist, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

    Erik Johnston, Co-Director, Center for Smart Cities and Regions; and Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University

    11:45 – 11:55 p.m.         Panel Q & A

    11:55 – 12:00 p.m.         Wrap-up

    • Andy Page, President and CEO, ORAU

    12:00 p.m.                      Adjourn

    12:00 p.m.                      Box Lunches Available

  • Keynote Speakers

    Ben Levine
    Ben Levine (bio)
    MetroLab Network
    Diana Furchtgott-Ruth
    Diana Furchtgott-Ruth (bio)
    U.S. Department of Transportation

    Panel Session 1: Critical Infrastructure Systems and Resiliency

    Paula Alvarez Pino
    Paula Alvarez Pino
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Samuel Visner
    Samuel Visner (bio)
    MITRE Corporation
    Zach Huhn
    Zack Huhn
    Smart Regions Initiatives

    Panel Session 2: Transitioning Innovative Research to Practice

    Jonathan Fink
    Jonathan Fink (bio)
    Portland State University
    Kevin Martin
    Kevin Martin (bio)
    Smart City PDX
    Debra Lam
    Debra Lam (bio)
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    David Corman
    David Corman (bio)
    National Science Foundation

    Panel Session 3: Social and Economic Impact

    Ben Green
    Ben Green (bio)
    Harvard University
    Reinhold Mann
    Reinhold Mann (bio)
    University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
    Eric Johnston
    Erik Johnston (bio)
    Arizona State University
  • The 75th Annual Meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions will be held at Hilton Knoxville Airport.

    Hilton Knoxville Airport
    2001 Alcoa Highway 
    Alcoa, TN 37701

  • Hilton Knoxville Airport
    2001 Alcoa Highway
    Alcoa, TN 37701
    Phone: 855-680-3239

    Book your hotel reservation

  • Badges: You MUST register to receive your required attendee badge. If you do not have your badge, you will not be able to attend the meeting.

    Attire: Dress should be in standard business attire.

  • Knoxville and the surrounding area offer a variety of cultural and recreational activities for every age and topic of interest. For more specific information about these opportunities, visit one of the links below.

Past meeting archive

  • meeting1.jpg

    2019 ORAU Annual Meeting recap

    ORAU's 74th Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions was focused on Ensuring a Robust U.S. Energy Future. Check out the Day 1 recap to learn more about discussions centered on how technology will reduce the global carbon footprint through public policy and financial incentives.

  • meeting3.jpg

    2019 ORAU Annual Meeting recap

    "Rapid climate change is a driving force in the global race to develop carbon capture technology. Other countries are investing heavily in this technology, so it is in America’s best interest to be a leader in this research field," emphasized keynote speaker Dan Reicher, an entrepreneur, investor, policymaker and lawyer focused on clean energy and climate change.

  • meeting2.jpg

    2019 ORAU Annual Meeting recap

    The meeting addressed key technology, economic and policy challenges and opportunities. Experts and leaders from academia, federal agencies, and national organizations shared their views on transformative science and policies that enable efficient, affordable, and environmentally sound use of fossil fuels.

Contact us

To learn more about the ORAU Annual Meeting, contact the University Partnerships office:

Richard ValentineP.O. Box 117, MS 29
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-0117
Phone: 865.576.1898