Southeast Biomass: Highest and Best Use

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The Georgia Tech Clean Energy Speaker Series welcomes four guest speakers to discuss the best practices for improving regional energy efficiency. The goal of the Series is to provide an objective, factual and comprehensive analysis of the Southeast’s energy and power requirements to 2030 and to examine the extent to which clean energy technologies can meet some of these demands.

Valerie Thomas is the Anderson Interface Associate Professor of Natural Systems in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy. Valerie works on the energy, environmental and economic implications of biomass and other energy systems. Her current work includes assessment of alternative aviation fuels for the U.S. Air Force, assessment of algal biofuels, and assessment of bioenergy resources in Georgia, and assessment of the costs of new electricity generation in the southeast.

Marie Walsh is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Tennessee, Head of M&E Biomass (a private consulting firm), and serves as shared faculty with the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Marie was formerly a Research Staff Economist and Leader of the Integrated Systems Analysis Task in the U.S. Department of Energy Biomass Feedstock Development Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Nathan McClure currently leads the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Forest Utilization, Marketing, and Development program. He also serves as the Director of Forest Energy and Development for the agency. Nathan has worked in a variety of positions over the past 25 years with the Commission. He is a Georgia Registered Forester and a Society of American Foresters Certified Forester.

Michael (“Mike”) H. Burnside is president and chief executive officer of Catchlight Energy LLC, a biofuels joint venture between Chevron and Weyerhaeuser. He has held this position since the venture was formed in February 2008. Prior to Catchlight Energy, Mike worked 33 years for Chevron and held a variety of assignments in manufacturing, planning and analysis, and finance functions, most recently as project manager to establish the biofuels joint venture.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Michael Hagearty
  • Created:02/17/2010
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016