Talk to Show How Personal Energy Choices Affect Community Health

Published 11.03.2015


In the next installment of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Daniel J. Doyle Technology & Society Colloquia Series, a nationally recognized facilities manager will discuss how organizations and individuals can decrease their energy use and show the impact even minor improvements can have on expenses, air quality and health.

The lecture, titled “Improving National Health Through Energy Efficiency,” will be presented by Alan R. Neuner, vice president of facilities operations for Geisinger Health System, at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 in the college’s Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

“The goal of this lecture is to raise awareness of the role every individual plays in making energy decisions that impact the quality of life and health in our own communities,” Neuner said. “These decisions not only have immediate impact, but can influence community health for generations to come.”

Alan R. NeunerThroughout time, the evolution of human society has been directly linked to increased energy consumption. As society progressed, so did its reliance on energy for comfort, transportation and manufacturing. Since most energy required burning fuel, the byproduct of its use was air pollution, which negatively impacted the overall health of society.

While early endeavors to mitigate air pollution were to add pollution-control equipment to smokestacks, Neuner explains that the more sustainable solution is to use less energy.

During his talk, Neuner will present the national impact that minor improvements in energy use can have on air quality and community health, and compare the economics of the “negawatt” (a measurement of energy conserved) to renewable technologies.

As an example, he will review the projects Geisinger undertook at its main campus to realize a 40-percent reduction in overall energy consumption per square foot (and a perfect 100 Energy Star rating), along with the resulting health impacts in its service territory.

A native of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Neuner received a degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and completed postgraduate studies at McMaster University in Canada, Bethany College in West Virginia and Southampton University in the United Kingdom.

As Geisinger’s vice president of facilities operations, Neuner is responsible for more than 300 employees servicing a physical plant of more than 7.5 million square feet and dispersed across a 31-county service area.

Neuner holds the Certified Healthcare Facility Manager credential from the American Hospital Association. He has received the Association of Facilities Engineers’ prestigious FAME Award of Excellence for his work on legionella remediation, as well as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Businesses for the Bay Award for pollution prevention and energy reduction, and the Pennsylvania Society for Health Facility Engineering’s Donald M. Sauerman Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Health Facility Engineering.

Named in honor of a Penn College professor emeritus and 1984 Master Teacher, the Daniel J. Doyle Technology & Society Colloquia Series features presentations by noted authors and academics that challenge audiences to consider the impact of technology on society. In the spirit of all colloquia, a question/answer period will follow the presentation; the conversation can also continue during the reception that will follow.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.