Winter Symposium 2018

Centers of Excellence: A New Model for Research

and Scholarly Activity at PSU


The focus of the 2018 Winter Symposium was the establishment of Centers of Excellence at PSU.

These centers are intended to help grow research, scholarly, and creative activities while supporting our students' education. PSU's Centers of Excellence will serve as lenses to focus attention on our faculty's work and to tell the stories of how that work impacts our campus community, our region, and the world.


The Winter Symposium provided faculty with an opportunity to:

  • Discuss and provide input on how centers can support faculty and students in their research and creative work.
  • Develop specific ideas for new centers, building upon the online activity at the Centers Brainstorming website.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Daniel Sperling

 Dr. Daniel Sperling is Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis. He describes himself as a “serial academic entrepreneur” and has been instrumental in establishing several campus-wide research centers at UC Davis, including the Institute of Transportation Studies (founding Director), the Energy and Efficiency Institute, and the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy.  Among his many prizes are the 2013 Blue Planet Prize from the Asahi Glass Foundation Prize for being “a pioneer in opening up new fields of study to create more efficient, low-carbon, and environmentally beneficial transportation systems.” The prize has been described as the Nobel Prize for the environmental sciences. He served twice as lead author for the IPCC (sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), has testified 7 times to the US Congress, and provided 40 keynote presentations in the past five years.  He has authored or co-authored over 250 technical papers and 13 books, including Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future (Island Press, 2018), is widely cited in leading newspapers, been interviewed many times on NPR radio, including Science Friday, Talk of the Nation and Fresh Air, and in 2009 was featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.