Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

‘Reimagining Infrastructure’ symposium set for Oct. 27-29

Santee Cooper Lecture to feature three innovators

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Innovators, from left, Sarah Koenigsberg, Robert MacKimmie and Nina French, will be part of the "Reimagining Infrastructure" symposium Oct. 27 through 29.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College will host three innovators Oct. 27 through 29 to share their projects and ideas with the Spartanburg community during a “Reimagining Infrastructure” symposium. The program is the final installment of the eight-year Santee Cooper Lecture Series on Sustainability and Energy Issues.

The speakers are Sarah Koenigsberg of Tensegrity Productions; Robert MacKimmie, operator of City Bees in San Francisco; and Nina French, CEO of Lucid Energy.

“American infrastructure is aging rapidly,” says Dr. Peter K. Brewitt, assistant professor of environmental students at Wofford, “but all over the country, innovative people are creating new and sustainable solutions to get America’s energy, food, water, transport and waste systems running in the 21st century. We’re proud to welcome Sarah, Robert, and Nina to Wofford.” The Environmental Studies Program presents the Santee Cooper Lecture Series. Reimagining Infrastructure originated as a project of Orion Magazine, which published Brewitt’s column, “Concrete Progress,” for three years.

Koenigsberg will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Olin Teaching Theater in the Franklin W. Olin Building. Her topic is “The Beaver Believers: Reconceptualizing Our Water Infrastructure in a Drying West.” She will include part of her film about the Beaver Believers, a group of people who are maintaining and increasing the flow of rivers across the west by reintroducing beavers to watersheds. The animals improve their watersheds for many miles downstream.

MacKimmie will speak at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at Wofford’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center at Glendale, S.C. MacKimmie places beehives around San Francisco, Calif., which not only produce honey but create a more verdant and fruitful city along the flight paths of these industrious insects. His talk is titled “The Anthropomorphized YouTube Beepocalypse: Reclaiming Urban Bee Stewardship in the Post-Factual Age.”

After a catered dinner on Oct. 28, French will speak at 7 p.m. at the Goodall Center. She has created a pipe that creates electricity in gravity-fed municipal water systems, providing all of the benefits of hydroelectricity with none of the environmental impacts of dams. French will talk on “Spinning Water into Electricity: A New Story About Hydropower.”

On Saturday, Oct. 29, the symposium will conclude with a 9 a.m. guided walk around Lake Conestee Nature Park in Greenville, S.C., with Dave Hargett, the park’s director. Conestee once was a badly contaminated industrial site that has been redeemed and now is a space of recreation and nature.

The symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Brewitt at or 864-597-4939.

Wofford and Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility, began the lecture series in 2009 to provide the college and the Spartanburg community with a forum for discussing timely and pressing environmental issues on energy and sustainability with leading experts from around the world.