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Today, our panel of energy and sci-fi experts will discuss the interplay between science and cinema at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. | Courtesy of Awesome Con

Today, our panel of energy and sci-fi experts will discuss the interplay between science and cinema at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. | Courtesy of Awesome Con

Energy is awesome. Besides driving everything we do, it also plays a starring role in pop culture -- with energy technologies featured in movies, television, comic books and more.

As part of Awesome Con in Washington, D.C., our panel of energy and sci-fi experts will discuss the interplay between science and cinema, and how some of these larger-than-life technologies are becoming a reality through Energy Department-supported research. The panel will take place today at the Washington Convention Center in room 145A from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. 

Meet our panelists below!

  • Cynthia V. Anderson is a Minorities in Energy Champion with more than 20 years of experience in nuclear energy, environmental restoration and business management. Anderson works for the National Nuclear Security Administration and serves as a visiting scholar to the Charleston County School District in South Carolina. She collaborates with the school district, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions to accelerate student achievement by incorporating more science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses into the curriculum. She is also a huge science fiction fan (and has an extensive collection of Star Trek memorabilia).
  • Rodrigo (Rod) V. Rimando, Jr. is a senior technical advisor in the Office of Environmental Management whose mission is to address the nuclear waste legacy left by the Manhattan Project. With over 28 years of nuclear cleanup experience, he now is now leading an initiative to infuse new technologies and innovative solutions to make cleanup safer and smarter. He uses advancements in robotics to access areas that are dangerous for workers to enter and to work with waste that is extremely hazardous for operators to handle. Rimando was first enamored with robots by the 1960s sci-fi TV series "Lost in Space," and then became even more intrigued by C-3PO and R2-D2 in the first Star Wars movie. He has become fascinated by other “inanimate life-like forms” such as those in "The Walking Dead."
  • Alison Goss Eng is the Program Manager for Advanced Algal Systems and Feedstock Supply and Logistics for the Bioenergy Technologies Office. In that role, she guides a diverse research portfolio developing technologies to provide a reliable, affordable and sustainable biomass supply to the growing advanced bioenergy industry. Dr. Goss Eng enjoys science fiction, and in particular books and movies that portray dystopian futures like Children of Men, Ender's Game, and, because she has small children, WALL-E.
  • Alexis Wolfe is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow in the Bioenergy Technologies Office. Wolfe leads the education and workforce development program, working to advance the awareness of bioenergy inside and out of the classroom. She is also a contributing editor to the forthcoming National Algal Biofuels Technology Review. Wolfe is an avid gamer, a huge comic book nerd, and painter.