President Obama to visit University Park on Wednesday

UPDATE: Obama visit postponed until Thursday, Feb. 3; details at

President Barack Obama will visit Penn State's University Park campus on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the White House announced in a conference call to media today (Jan. 28).

As part of the administration’s strategy to win the future through new investments in research and development, the Department of Energy has launched Energy Innovation Hubs across the nation. Penn State will provide overall leadership for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for energy-efficient buildings that will be located at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. Hank Foley, Penn State vice president for Research, is the principal investigator for that project, which involves 11 academic institutions, two DOE laboratories, five high-profile global industry partners, regional economic development agencies, and community colleges. During his visit, Obama will focus on the importance of work being done at the Energy Innovation Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

"Penn State is one of the places in the country focusing on energy efficiency," White House Deputy Director of Communications Jen Psaki said in announcing the reason for the visit.

Steven Chu, secretary of the Department of Energy, explained that the work being done at the Energy Innovation Hub is precisely what Obama was referencing when he spoke of the nation's "Sputnik Moment" in his State of the Union Address earlier this week. "It's all about gearing up America's intellectual force so we can develop these clean energy sources," Chu said.

"This effort is highly interdisciplinary and so is as intellectually exciting to us as it is practical for the nation," said Foley. "This is the start of a new era in this nation and we at Penn State are just so pleased to have been chosen to help lead it."

While at Penn State, the president will tour labs focused on energy-efficient building solutions and deliver remarks on the importance of  investing in innovation and clean energy to put people back to work, grow the economy and win the future.

More details, including information on media credentialing, will be released as they become available.

For more about the Energy Innovation Hub, visit online.

President Barack Obama last visited Penn State while campaigning for the 2008 election. Credit: Andy Colwell / Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated March 21, 2011