UMPI president continues energy campaign

Posted June 28, 2011, at 6 p.m.
Don Zillman
Courtesy photo
Don Zillman

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A university president who is heavily invested in energy issues will become more entrenched in the coming months as he works on a new book.

Don Zillman, president of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, recently traveled to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to discuss energy issues and to work with colleagues from as far away as China and Africa on his latest book, which will be published by one of the most prestigious academic presses in the world.

He also spent time working on an energy-related project with scholars and legal experts from around the world.

Zillman and his co-editors are under contract with Oxford University Press for the forthcoming book “Understanding the Legal Aspects of Energy Networks.” The book has 25 authors and four editors, including Zillman, Lila Barerra Hernandez of Argentina, Inigo del Guayo of Spain and Martha Roggenkamp of the Netherlands.

The energy networks discussed in the book include oil and gas pipelines, electric transmission and distribution lines, and other systems that move energy raw materials, such as motor gasoline, natural gas for heating and electricity for computers, to final use.

Zillman said the book will address such varied topics as environmental protection, project financing, international jurisdiction, and business regulation.

“My colleagues from China, Russia, Nigeria, much of the EU, and South America serve as a wonderful source of information on what’s happening around the world right now, from a legal perspective, with energy networks,” he said.

Zillman’s first stop on the trip was the United Kingdom to meet with officials from Oxford University Press to discuss the details of the book and its progress to date. He then traveled to The Netherlands to attend an international workshop at the 400-year-old University of Groningen.

The manuscript for the book is nearing completion, and editors hope to deliver the final manuscript to Oxford University Press in August.

Zillman has a keen interest in energy-related issues, and that zeal has come to life on the campus of UMPI. He came to campus with 30 years of study and teaching in the field of energy law and policy, and a portion of that work involved renewable energy resources. Under his administration, the campus erected a 600-kilowatt wind turbine, and a biomass boiler and solar panels are being installed at Pullen Hall, which is UMPI’s major classroom building.

The campus has formed a Green Committee made up of UMPI professionals who are looking at ways to make the university more environmentally friendly.

The campus also has taken additional steps to decrease energy use, such as using an energy-efficient system to heat the swimming pool in Gentile Hall and planting more flowers on campus to decrease the amount of lawn that needs to be mowed to save gas and reduce emissions.

In 2008, the university also began offering the first of many energy courses to students and community members.

The book is not the first for the president. In 2008, Zillman co-wrote his book, “Strategic Legal Writing,” with colleague Evan J. Roth, assistant U.S. attorney in Portland. The book instructs readers in effective legal writing. It provides detailed scenarios so they can put those skills into practice and explains the techniques for setting and achieving larger, strategic objectives in that writing.

In 2007, Zillman co-edited “Beyond the Carbon Economy,” with Catherine Redgwell, Lila Barrera-Hernandez and Yinka Omorogbe. It also was published by Oxford University Press.

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