The CING USA-Canada Annual Meeting on May 23-27, 2013 took place in Washington, D.C.
Our technical theme was “Energy for the Future” with expert presentations and a study visit.
On the fun side, we had the unique opportunity to see “the inside” as well as visit the big attractions of Washington. And not the least, we were assured that we would remember this Gasque forever. Or that we would forget everything from the Gasque – both indicators of a good time.
A block of 30 hotel rooms was reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn, located at 1333 North Courthouse Road, Arlington, Virginia, 22201, (703) 528-4444. This is a beautiful hotel, close to attractions and the Orange Metro Line Courthouse Station just a couple of blocks away.
Thursday, May 23:
7:00 PM – 12:00 PM
- Club Emil – an evening with Swedish pea-soup, pancakes, and punch.
– A fundraising event organized by U.S. Friends of Chalmers with Karin Markides and the Chalmers Team, held at the residence of Arne (E74) and Eva (V76) Dunhem. There was a suggested donation of $50-$100 per person, which went towards providing a scholarship to an American student for Master studies at Chalmers University of Technology.
Friday, May 24:
- Informal lunch and meet-up at Nick’s Riverside Grill by the Georgetown Waterfront, just a few minutes’ walk to House of Sweden.
- Gathering at House of Sweden.
– This building is the home of the Swedish Embassy, located at 2900 K Street NW, down on the waterfront to the Potomac River.
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
- Registration and tour of House of Sweden.
– Presentation of House of Sweden – a stunning example of contemporary Scandinavian architecture designed by our famed Chalmers graduate Gert Wingårdh. It shows Swedish values such as openness, transparency, and democracy, and is the flagship of Swedish public diplomacy in the United States. The place is owned and managed by the National Property Board of Sweden (Statens Förvaltningsverk).
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Refreshments/mingling break at 4:00 PM)
- Seminar – Energy for Our Future.
– Program and presentations led by Chalmers President Karin Markides and Dr. Rolf Höijer, the Swedish Science Counselor. Sponsors included Chalmers, The Office of Science and Innovation, Embassy of Sweden, the Volvo Group Technology, SKF USA, and U.S. Friends of Chalmers. The seminar included presentatives from U.S. National Policy Institutions (Center for Strategic & International Studies) and The Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy. What challenges and opportunities are ahead of us and what collaborations may be fruitful? This was a unique opportunity to meet the experts in this timely and critical topic!
The presenters included:
– Chalmers President Karin Markides.
– Professor Tomas Kåberger, former Director General of the Swedish Department of Energy and now professor at Chalmers.
– Rolf Höijer, Head of Office, Office of Science and Innovation, Embassy of Sweden.
– Ola Göransson, Counselor, Office of Science and Innovation, Embassy of Sweden.
– Sarah Ladislaw, Co-director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).
– Doug Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis at NREL.
– Tony Greszler, Vice President, Government and Industry Relations at Volvo Group Technology.
– Samuel S. Di Renzo, Director, Renewable Energy, SKF USA, Inc.
– Additionally, Göran Fredrikson, M81, in Florida, presents his Waves4Power offshore power generation.
– Bo Hedfors, E68 will wrap up by talking about the U.S. Friends of Chalmers.
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
- Dinner at Rock Bottom Restaurant for Chalmers alumni and invitees in the Ballston Common Mall, 4238 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22203, (703) 516-7688 at the Ballston Metro Station.
– Since we were over a total of 45 people, we reserved the Martha’s Parlor dining room which was located at the front of the restaurant with windows facing Glebe Road. We enjoyed a “Brew House Buffet” for a fixed price of $26.65 per person plus any beverages you wished to consume. In addition, we had “study tours” of the brewery in “small groups” with the manager describing their brewing process.
Saturday, May 25:
8:30 AM – 10:50 AM
- Private tour inside the U.S. Capitol.
– Two privately guided tours at 9:10 AM and 9:50 AM of the U.S. Capitol Building including a visit to the U.S. Senate Gallery, the House of Representatives Gallery, and the Rotunda.
- Tour of the Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building.
– After the 9:50 AM tour, we walked through the Tunnel from the Capitol Visitor Center to the Library of Congress, the Thomas Jefferson Building. The whole building with content was impressive and there were very interesting exhibitions inside.
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
- Discover the Capitol Hill neighborhoods.
– After the visit to the Library of Congress, we continued with a casual walk through the Capitol Hill historic neighborhoods just down East Capitol Street to the Historic Eastern Market. Enjoyed the historic atmosphere with beautiful old buildings, explored unique specialty stores and restaurants, and experienced the Eastern Market, the Flea Market, and many more attractions.
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
- Lunch on Capitol Hill.
– Felt like real U.S. politicians! Since we were almost 60 people, there were no restaurants that could seat us all so we had to individually choose a restaurant. However, it was a very vibrant and exciting area with several restaurants to choose from next to the Eastern Market, for instance, Tunnicliff’s Tavern and Boxcar Tavern (both served brunch during our visit since it was a Saturday), Suna (fine dining), Acqua Al 2 (Italian), Prego Italian Deli, or Tortilla Cafe (Mexican and Salvadoran) with excellent fish tacos (note: the famous Guy Fieri and his Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives has been there. See his video here). Or try Market Lunch inside the market, with good crab cakes and blueberry pancakes.
- Metro ride to energy study visit.
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
- Study visit – alternative energy – The Stella Group.
– Visit to the office and exhibition building of The Stella Group with a discussion and demonstration of small scale local alternative energy sources in the kW level and creating a zero-energy building – solar, wind and fuel cell energy, storage and optimization, and more.
– Presented by Mr. Scott Sklar who had forty years of experience in the energy sector, including national military and energy policy as a U.S. Senate aide, technical performance and standards as Acting R&D Director at the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and business/financing running (15 years) the solar and biomass industry associations and his own company for 13 years.
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
- Gasque held at George’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, located 1.6 miles from the Hilton Garden Inn.
– The Gasque was held in the best of Chalmers traditions from Göteborg starting with Swedish style appetizers, then a delicious main meal, and ending with coffee and a special tårta. Song books were distributed for expressing your energy and happiness starting with Livet är Härligt and likely including Punschen Kommer Ljuv och Sval later in the evening. In order to lubricate everyone’s throats for singing in perfect harmony, traditional Gasque liquids of different octane levels and flavors were served.
Sunday, May 26:
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- CING USA-Canada Annual Meeting and brunch at the Dunhem residence.
– The formal meeting took about 1½ hours which consisted of electing board officers, reviewing status of our association, discussing activities for coming years, and listening to your inputs.
– In conjunction to the meeting, we had a buffet style brunch for all (including families/spouses) with French toast, Quiche, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, muesli, coffees, tea, and juice. We were happy to wake those up who snoring that morning after the Gasque.
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
- Rolling Thunder and visit to the National Mall.
– Watched and listened to the Rolling Thunder at the National Mall and the Constitution Avenue with up 900,000 visitors and more than 350,000 motorcyclists coming to town for the Memorial Day parade and celebration.
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
- Alternative: the National Mall.
– Free time for sightseeing or for joining Eva Dunhem on a walking tour to several of the main memorial and museum attractions on the Mall.
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
- Ghost & Graveyard Tour – a “scary” and fun guided walking tour of 6 blocks in historic Alexandria, VA.
8:45 PM – 10:00 PM
- Dinner at the Union Street Public House restaurant in historic area of Alexandria, VA.
– This facility is a renovated Colonial waterfront warehouse in historic Alexandria. Union Street has been serving locals and visitors with fresh seafood, grilled steaks, and chops in a warm convivial atmosphere since 1986 and has earned its reputation as “Old Town’s Favorite Tap & Grill.” Though they have a small selection of tap beer, the selection includes the locally brewed Virginia Native Dark and Virginia Native Gold, two fine lagers. The food is American southern food, a mix of meat, and seafood.
Monday, May 27:
- Free day for sightseeing.
Several recommended visits included:
– 14 Smithsonian Museums located along the The Mall. Just a few examples: Air and Space, American Art , American History, Natural History, and many, many more… all Smithsonian museums were free.
– The National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center with the larger planes is at Dulles Airport – home of the Discovery Space Shuttle, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (the fastest jet in the world), the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay (dropped the bomb on Hiroshima), Concord, etc.
– The National Zoo (free entrance).
Other Memorial places and attractions nearby:
- National World War II Memorial.
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
- Martin Luther King Memorial.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.
- Lincoln Memorial.
- Korean War Veterans Memorial.
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
- Arlington National Cemetery.
- John Ericsson National Memorial.
- Newseum – a collection of the big news and related artifacts over centuries (entrance fee).
- National Museum of Crime & Punishment (entrance fee).
- International Spy Museum – now including an ‘007 exhibit (entrance fee).
- Union Station – impressive building, transportation, shopping, dining, events.
We recommended the National Building Museum, a unique building by itself, and with fascinating exhibits with history of architecture, buildings and engineering (entrance fee).
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
- Private Tour of The U.S. Capitol (this was a reserved back-up time slot to allow this highly recommended tour for anybody that could not join the U.S. Capitol tour on Saturday).
Map of the event sites!