Joe Cohen - Abstract for "What Physicists Do"
Senior Vice President
Princeton Energy Resources International
Everything Starts With Physics. Really.
Students are often told that physics provides a great foundation for many future career paths, including, science, engineering, medicine, and a host of others. The stories from physicists about how they ended up doing something seemingly unrelated to the discipline are as numerous as, well, as the number of physicists not doing research or teaching. This is the story of a guy who didn’t really know what he wanted to be when he grew up, but did know that he wanted to do something in his career position to make the world a better place, and that energy and the environment was broadly the area that he wanted to work in.
This presentation shows how physics is just like the Greek language, how it can help you save a bunch of human goldfish who have just jumped out of a burning fishbowl, and how an education in physics can give you an edge in areas that you never realized it would. The speaker makes the case that a foundation in physics, whether undergraduate or higher, provides people with the ability to create or shape careers to their own satisfaction. So, how does one overcome the problem that physics majors do not necessarily have the title employers are looking for, or do not know how to categorize themselves to employers? Of course, you solve it like a physics problem. You’ve seen one of those before, right?
Mr. Cohen is the Senior Vice President at Princeton Energy Resources International (PERI), a consulting firm providing engineering, analytical, and management services to domestic and international clients in energy and environmental areas. He has provided a wide range of analytic services to federal and state governments, electric utilities, private industry, and the U.S. military. His work has included studies and evaluations of the technical, economic, and market status of renewable energy, energy conservation, and energy efficient technologies. He also provides energy R&D program management and evaluation, including risk assessment and strategic planning, and energy policy analysis.
Mr. Cohen has performed design for solar energy systems development, and has conducted energy systems field analysis, system sizing, and energy auditing and conservation services. He has a B.S. in Physics from the College of William and Mary and a M.S. in Technology and Human Affairs from the Engineering School at Washington University in St. Louis.