The summit also included working group sessions, where attendees broke off into specific groups to identify and tackle specific problems related to their field or area of interest. Groups include Zero Waste, Finance, Regulatory, and Energy Generation, High Performance Campus Design, and Academic Integration. These expert think-tanks met for hours each day of the summit, to set, refine, and review goals.
Running in conjunction with the regular AES was the student summit, where over 100 college students from all over the world convened to meet with industry experts, fellow students, and thought leaders in energy and sustainability. The student summit featured speakers of special interest to current students in areas such as innovation, entrepreneurship, and the evolving roles of students and education. The student summit also included networking sessions, where attendees could talk with sponsors, companies, and summit attendees to further their research and interests.
Over 30 students also participated in the Poster Competition, where they entered a juried contest to develop, design, and present a poster related to a particular area of energy. These posters were presented panel of 17 judges during the summit, with winners and cash prizes awarded at the closing session. Categories and winners were: Undergraduate Project/Research- Isaac Hayes (Western Carolina University), Graduate Research- Steven de Jongh (UNC Charlotte), PhD Research- Ashfanoor Kabir (NC State), and Graduate Project- Sushant Shetgeri (NC State).
Additionally, during the course of the week, seven meetings were hosted by the AES staff. Because the summit attracted industry professionals from all over the east coast, the opportunity for networking and strategic planning at Appalachian State was ideal. The meetings ranged from groups interested in large scale photovoltics to the development of green fees for students. Other meetings involved regional zero waste experts and faculty interested in research on utility grids.