After receiving the Ph.D. degree in applied physics from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1962, Professor Pickard held postdoctoral appointments, first at Harvard and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, he has pursued a continuously evolving career in teaching and academic research, the preponderance of which has been spent as a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at Washington University in Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO. His research areas have included: high voltage engineering; electrobiology; the biological effects of electromagnetic fields; and biological transport & systems biology. He now concentrates upon the theory and practice of massive energy storage because the sustainability of our industrial civilization depends upon reliable dispatchable energy even though the major renewables are notoriously intermittent.
His current foci are: 1) exploring likely trajectories that the fossil fuels may follow on their way to exhaustion; 2) evangelizing the importance of preparing now for that exhaustion; 3) evaluating the sustainability of tomorrow's renewable energy sources; and 4) discerning the potential realism of proposed energy storage technologies.
Pickard WF. 2015. Massive electricity storage for a developed economy of ten billion people. IEEE Access 3,1392-1407.
Pickard WF. 2014. Energy return on energy invested (EROI): A quintessential but possibly inadequate metric for sustainability in a solar-powered world? Proceedings of the IEEE 102, 1118-1122.
Pickard WF. 2014. Smart grids versus the Achilles’ heel of renewable energy: Can the needed storage infrastructure be constructed before the fossil fuel runs out?” Proceedings of the IEEE 102, 1094-1105.
Knoblauch M, Froelich DR, Pickard WF, and Peters WS. 2014. SEORious business: Structural proteins in sieve tubes and their involvement in sieve element occlusion”. Journal of Experimental Botany 65, 1865-1878.
Pickard WF. 2013. Transporting the terajoules: Efficient energy distribution in a post-carbon world. Energy Policy 62, 51-61.
Pickard WF. 2013. The limits of HVDC transmission. Energy Policy 61, 292-300.
Pickard WF. 2012. Where renewable electricity is concerned, how costly is ‘‘too costly’’? Energy Policy 49, 346-354.
Pickard WF. 2012. Münch without tears: a steady-state Münch-like model of phloem so simplified that it requires only algebra to predict the speed of translocation. Functional Plant Biology 39, 531-537.
Pickard WF. 2012. A nation-sized battery? Energy Policy 45, 263-267.
Pickard WF. 2012. The history, present state, and future prospects of underground pumped hydro for massive energy storage. Proceedings of the IEEE 100, 473-483.
Pickard WF, Abbott D. 2012. Addressing the Intermittency Challenge: massive energy storage in a sustainable future. Proceedings of the IEEE 100, 317-321.
Pickard WF. 2010. The future of biomass energy: a Fermi-calculation perspective. Energy Policy 38, 1672-1674.
Pickard WF. 2010. Finessing the fuel: revisiting the challenge of radioactive waste disposal. Energy Policy 38, 709-714.
Pickard WF, Shen AQ, Hansing NJ. 2009. Parking the power: strategies and physical limitations for bulk energy storage in supply–demand matching on a grid whose input power is provided by intermittent sources. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 13, 1934-1945.
Pickard WF, Abraham-Shrauner B. 2009. A ‘simplest’ steady-state Münch-like model of phloem translocation, with source and pathway and sink. Functional Plant Biology 36, 629-644.
Pickard WF. 2008. Great captains: the dean as a military commander. IEEE Engineering Management Review 36, 109-111.
Pickard WF. 2008. Geochemical constraints on sustainable development: can an advanced global economy achieve long-term stability? Global and Planetary Change 61, 285-299.
Pickard WF. 2008. Laticifers and secretory ducts: two other tube systems in plants. New Phytologist 177, 877-888.