Wei-Jen Lee, a professor of electrical engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington, is one of just five faculty members from an American university invited to serve on the United Nations Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition (CEET): An Independent Advisory Council to the Secretary-General.
Formed in September 2021 under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General by the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the CEET is expected to contribute to the U.N.’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is possible! We have the knowledge and the technologies to make it happen,” said Gerd Müller, director general of UNIDO and CEET co-chair, in a statement. “Bringing in world-class scientific and engineering know-how from across the world, the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition will provide concrete solutions to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement as well as universal energy access for all.”
The Paris Agreement is an international treaty on climate change adopted in 2015. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
The first cohort of CEET members comprises 36 scientists and engineers from across the globe who have a range of expertise in business, academia and public policy. The complete council is expected to expand to 50 members.
“This is a very complex issue, and it’s a great opportunity for integrating technology, policy and humanity,” Lee said. “The goal is to work together from an engineering and policy standpoint to find solutions that can be implemented and have an impact.”
Lee joined UTA in 1985 and is the director of the Energy Systems Research Center. He is an expert on renewable energy, smart grids, microgrids and power systems. He is president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Industry Application Society and chairs the IEEE Smart Cities/Education Committee.
Written by Jeremy Agor, College of Engineering