Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Husson Professor Selected to Lead U.S. DOE Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Initiative

Published on: February 21, 2024

A headshot of a bald man waiting black rimmed glasses, a black collared shirt, a blue plaid tie and a black vest is shown.

BANGOR, MAINE — Husson University Associate Professor Brien Walton, J.D. Ed.D., has been named a Faculty Explorer by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions in the first EnergyTech University Prize Faculty Award competition. He will lead a clean energy and conservation incubator and accelerator program.

The new award recognizes outstanding ideas for growing clean energy entrepreneurship through student engagement. Through the prize, Walton will implement educational activities to engage more students in energy technology commercialization and entrepreneurship on Husson’s campus under the guidance of a DOE mentor.

Walton is one of 10 Faculty Explorers named, and the only one from New England.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Brien Walton has been honored and will be leading a clean energy entrepreneurship project to engage students in this important area. Husson has a long-standing commitment to providing hands-on, experiential learning that prepares students to be career ready on day one and I am confident this will support that,” said Husson Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Lynne Coy-Ogan, EdD, who is also Husson’s president-elect. 

Walton, Husson University associate professor of entrepreneurship and director of the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business, provided a strategic plan for a clean energy and conservation incubator and accelerator. 

“I’m honored that my twist on the traditional incubator strategic plan was selected for this award and am thrilled to begin implementing high-quality activities to help advance energy entrepreneurship among Husson’s students,” said Walton. 

The new incubator and accelerator puts Husson at the forefront of Maine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Dr. Brien Walton's knowledge and insight have made him one of the nation’s leading experts in business and innovation. Being recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy says a lot about the caliber of faculty members we have working at Husson University’s College of Business,” said Marie Hansen, JD, PhD, SHRM-SCP, dean of the College of Business and the New England School of Communications. "This will further Husson's commitment to bringing real world experiences to the classroom, enhancing student learning as well as creating opportunities to connect with business and organization leaders on important innovative topics."

The EnergyTech University Prize competition is a collegiate competition for both students and faculty, aimed at growing clean energy entrepreneurship. This is the first time there has been a prize solely for faculty. The 10 winners, including Walton, will work with U.S. Department of Energy mentors and have unprecedented access to innovations from the department’s 17 national labs. This new initiative will result in market research skills for an academic population that does not currently have access to these kinds of opportunities.

“We developed the faculty track this year as a new approach to making students aware of the opportunities that exist in the energy sector, and to reward the faculty who are inspiring the next generation of cleantech leaders," said DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and Director of the Office of Technology Transitions Dr. Vanessa Z. Chan. 

Back to All Articles