On Friday, March 13, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Gov. Jim Doyle toured a Milwaukee home that was recently upgraded as part of the Weatherization Assistance Program, which is slated to receive federal economic stimulus funds. During this visit, Secretary Chu met with Gov. Doyle, UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin, GLBRC Director Tim Donohue and several Center scientists. This session allowed GLBRC scientists an opportunity to update the Secretary on scientific and operational aspects of the Center since its inception some 18 months ago. Secretary Chu was particularly interested in hearing about progress surrounding programs to alter plant biofuels polymers, enzyme discoveries, new approaches to biofuels development and the sustainability of cellulosic plant biomass.
“We’re delighted to have Gov Doyle host this meeting and invite us to meet the new Department of Energy Secretary,” says Donohue. “The meeting reinforced that he is passionate about helping the country chart a new sustainable renewable energy future. It is also inspiring to see someone leading the agency with such a deep knowledge about the issues surrounding cellulosic biofuels. We hope this is the first of many visits or interactions between Secretary Chu and scientists within the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Centers.”