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INNOVATE: Engineering Change
March 27, 2009

Innovative approaches are critical to solving todays energy crisis. There’s no single answer, and lots of teams are looking for creative solutions. The half-hour reality/documentary-style program INNOVATE: Engineering Change takes viewers behind the scenes of one such effort, introducing a diverse group of scientists and engineers from Verdant Power, a “virtual” company staffed by people who live and work in various locations. They have developed turbines that use the power of moving water to generate electricity. If their pilot project in New York City’s East River succeeds, this alternative source of energy has the likelihood of becoming a commercial venture. But the team members have had their work cut out for them: The river current has proven to be faster than originally anticipated, and the force of the water has broken a number of turbine blades, necessitating their redesign.

Viewers are on-site for the installation of a turbine with newly designed blades. As the large structure is carefully lowered into the water, politicians, investors and the media watch anxiously. A lot is at stake; tension mounts. Thrown by an unexpected failure, the team problem-solves into the night and devises a new plan. Says Vermont-based Dean Corren, director of marine current technology, “When things go wrong, you want to get input from different people …nobody has a monopoly on good ideas.” Their hard work pays off when power is successfully generated.

Also appearing in the program are Rob Morrow, co-star of the hit TV series NUMB3RS, and Association of American Colleges and Universities spokesperson Debra Humphreys, who weigh in on the importance of developing tomorrow’s innovators. Hosted by Emmy Award-winning executive producer Helene Lerner, INNOVATE: Engineering Change will be available for broadcast on public television stations nationwide beginning April 1, 2009. (Please check local listings.)

For additional information on this program, including video clips and more, please visit

Also, contact Helene Lerner at 212-689-9683 or

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