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Tom Zawodzinski

Zawodzinski to Speak at South by Southwest Conference

UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage Tom Zawodzinski will be speaking at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference.

Zawodzinski will be featured on the panel, The Future of Power: A Creative Discussion on the Possibilities presented by the US Army on March 8 at the Thompson Hotel Austin in the Red River Ballroom in Austin, Texas.

Zawodzinski will be joined on the panel by Cassandra Reilly, deputy product manager for the Army Mobile Electric Power Systems; Eric South, manager of operation energy initiatives at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana; and Stefan Williams, a chemical engineer at the US Army DECVOM C5ISR Center.

Williams received his master’s and PhD degrees at the University of Tennessee in chemical engineering (2017-2021). He contacted Zawodzinski about appearing on the panel, citing his expertise in fuel cells and the fundamentals of energy storage materials and systems.

“I am very honored Stefan reached out to me about this exciting opportunity,” Zawodzinski said. “It’s flattering to know how much he valued his experience as a former graduate student. This panel should be very enlightening and provide a lot of important information regarding future technologies.”

The US Army’s DEVCOM C5ISR Center has been instrumental in the development of commodities consumers use daily, including IR cameras used in night vision, the AA battery, and GPS. The center is now focused on designing a resilient power and energy (P&E) cycle to address the increasing need for sustainable, reliable, and accessible energy.

The panel experts in the P&E sector will discuss solutions to energy problems and how technologies developed by the Army will play a role in the nation’s energy future. The discussion will conclude by discussing the realm of the possibilities and provide audience members with resources to take their ideas from conception to implementation through government supported opportunities.

“I brought up ideas to discuss about how the commercial sector and Department of Defense (DOD) could sort of overlap and the DOD could actually turn out to be a driver in some development because they have the government resources,” Zawodzinski said. “They’ve committed long ago to making their bases carbon neutral and things like that. There is a lot of potential, and I am eager to hear and share more ideas during this panel.”


Rhiannon Potkey (865-974-0683,