The Center for Energy and the Future

CEF Logo

The Lycoming College Center for Energy and the Future (CEF) serves as a platform for students, faculty, researchers, business and political leaders, and members of the community to engage in our nation’s ongoing conversation about energy systems of all types and their impacts on our future, whether at the local, national or global level. The center aspires to deepen fair-minded examination of these complex and important issues.

To do so, CEF houses a curriculum featuring minors in Energy Science and Energy Studies. The center also:

  • Invites a diverse array of energy speakers with academic, industry and policy-making expertise to share their knowledge with the Lycoming community,
  • Hosts academic conferences and community summits to address important energy issues,
  • Supports faculty and undergraduate research, and
  • Offers students broad access to field experiences and internships to deepen their understanding of global energy systems.
Jonathan Williamson, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Energy and the Future

Jonathan Williamson, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Energy and the Future

As CEF director, Williamson develops the center’s policies, establishes and maintains relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and oversees day-to-day operations. His teaching involves the political institutions and behavior of American politics, as well as the domestic and international politics of energy. His recent research centers on community and economic development impacts related to Marcellus Shale natural gas development. Read more.

Why study energy at Lycoming?

Lycoming College is uniquely positioned — geographically and intellectually — to seek answers to the big energy questions facing humanity. Geographically, the College is located at a major gateway to Marcellus Shale natural gas development, and is close to coal resources, renewable facilities, and nuclear power plants. With such a spectrum of the world’s energy sources at the College’s doorstep, Lycoming is well-positioned to expose students to the science and technology of energy production.

Intellectually, Lycoming College’s deep commitment to the liberal arts approach makes it the perfect venue to introduce them to the complex topics connected to energy. Through internships, research opportunities, field experiences, and visiting speakers, students will be directly engaged in the vigorous debates surrounding each form of energy production and consumption, and their effects on individuals and society alike.

A truly meaningful understanding about energy requires knowledge of both the science of energy and the politics, economics, business, history and ethics that connect the science to humanity. Lycoming’s students and faculty use the liberal arts’ interdisciplinary approach to ask questions and seek answers to these complex issues, bridging the gaps between disparate fields of study to allow one profession’s important findings to influence the pursuits of another.

A resource to the broader community

In addition to providing students with an interdisciplinary energy curriculum and an engaging array of enhanced academic experiences, Lycoming’s Center for Energy and the Future seeks to become a trusted venue for fostering civil and rational discourse about all types of energy systems and their impacts on our future for the broader community. Through sponsoring conferences and summits across a diverse range of energy topics, CEF will engage stakeholders, including academics, professionals, policy makers, and the general public, and provide them with a forum to gain knowledge and participate in these debates. The goal is to ask better questions, seek better answers, and to deliberate in a sober and fair-minded way on the consequences of those answers for our energy future.