Michael G. Morris, chief executive officer of American Electric Power Co., will be the first speaker in the Spring 2008 Energy and Environment Speaker Series at Virginia Tech.

He will speak on Monday, Feb. 18. at 2 p.m. in the Haymarket Theatre in Squires Student Center.

Morris is leading the Future of Energy University Listening Tour to campuses across America to encourage university students to speak up about their hopes and fears, to share their opinions and ideas, and to hear what it will take to ensure America’s energy security while protecting the environment. Each session of the Listening Tour will be 90-minutes to two hours in length, giving students access to an important leader in the energy industry. Morris will provide a brief overview of America’s energy future followed by an extensive question and answer session with students. At the conclusion of the Listening Tour, highlights of the insights, ideas, and concerns shared by students will be compiled in a book to be published in the fall 2008, prior to the U.S. Presidential election.

Since joining AEP in January 2004, Morris has led efforts to build an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant -- the first commercial-scale use of the technology for power generation and the largest IGCC plant announced to date -- and to invest at least $4.1 billion to improve the environmental performance of AEP generating plants by 2010.

Morris serves on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Board, the National Governors Association’s Task Force on Electricity Infrastructure, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, Business Roundtable (chairing the Business Roundtable's Energy Task Force), and the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation. He is a director of the Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, chairs the Ohio Business Roundtable, and is general campaign chair of the 2007 United Way of Central Ohio.

Morris graduated from Eastern Michigan University with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science. After he graduated in 1973, he worked in the environmental department of Commonwealth Associates, where he prepared environmental impact statements for electrical utility transmission lines, natural gas and oil pipelines, and power plants. He received a law degree, cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law and is a member of the Michigan Bar Association. He is a past member of the board of the Detroit College of Law.

Other dates and speakers are:

Monday, March 17, Anne Korin, who chairs the Set America Free Coalition, is co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, and editor of Energy Security. She will address energy supply vulnerabilities, OPEC, energy security, energy strategies, and technological innovation.

Monday, April 21, Marilyn A. Brown, a member of the National Commission on Energy Policy and chair of Energy Policy at the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy. She will speak on “Energy Efficiency as the Fifth Fuel.”

The speaker series, an extension of last year’s Deans’ Forums on Energy and the Environment, are sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Office of the Vice President for Research. For more information, contact Jack Lesko, special assistant for energy initiatives, at jlesko@vt.edu or (540) 231-5196.

Learn more about energy research at Virginia Tech at www.research.vt.edu/energy/energyevents.html.

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