bridging a historic past and a sustainable future

Morris Pierce, PhD. Eco-Grid, Principal Advisor, since 2006:
Morris A. Pierce, PhD, is energy manager and Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and has thirty years of experience as a facilities and energy manager for large institutions.

While at the University of Northern Colorado he assisted the development of a cogeneration project that provided free heat to the campus in exchange for a land lease for the plant. He has been with the University of Rochester since 1988, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the History of Cogeneration and District Heating, while managing the University’s energy needs. The University recently installed a 25 MW natural gas-fired combined heat-and- power plant and a low-temperature, hot-water district-heating system that will cogenerate about half of the University’s annual electric requirements, without using any more fuel than it previously used just to generate heating and cooling for the campus. This new system includes extensive metering and instrumentation to facilitate design of similar systems for other campuses and communities.

Dr. Pierce is currently working to further reduce the University’s carbon footprint by utilizing wood residues and energy crops as a fuel source, and is also working with several communities in New York to develop new biomass district energy systems, including one for the City of Buffalo. He has written numerous articles on district energy and local heat supply planning, as well as the history of these subjects, and also teaches courses on the History of Technology, Environment, and Energy at the University.

Dr. Pierce is active in the International District-Heating Association and also works closely for other associations including Euroheat and Power in Brussels, the Combined Heat and Power Association in London, and the Danish Board of District Heating.