LSA at the MIT Energy Conference

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A woman and three men sitting at a table looking out towards an audience. All look as though they are listening to a question being asked.

With the support of the Liverpool School of Architecture, Dr Paco Mejias Villatoro attended the MIT Energy Conference as a panellist. The conference took place on March 11 and 12 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, USA. Founded in 2006, MIT Energy Conference is the largest student-led energy & climate conference in North America. Each year, they gather hundreds of industry professionals, investors, scholars, and policymakers to present, learn and discuss pressing challenges and opportunities that redefine the future of the energy and climate sectors.

A woman and three men standing in a lobby. in the middle is a sign saying

Paco was invited to the MIT conference after the publication of the book Off-grid Toilets: Compilation, Analysis and Comparison( He was part of the Energy, Water and Food Nexus Panel moderated by Erin Picton, PhD Candidate from the University of Houston Environmental Engineering ( This panel discussed wastewater circularity in support of transitioning energy and food systems. The discussion focused on wastewater valorisation and trends toward circularity of water, and the products within it. The panel specifically addressed gaps in existing infrastructure, water valuation, and public perception while exploring opportunities through policy, technology and community engagement to tackle these challenges. Part of this panel were also Dr Kishor Govind Nayar, Director of Chemical Vertical at Evoqua/Xylem (, and Dr Bassel Daher from Texas A&M University (

COnference room looking towards the stage over a large audience. There are two screens and modern chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

Particularly interested was the climate tech startup showcase, where MIT students and recent graduates under a myriad of startups showcased their ideas for the green transition of the built environment, such as low-carbon cement ( or membranes to separate gas by osmosis to decarbonise the industrial emissions (