UK CAER Current News

The Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) is one of the University of Kentucky's multidisciplinary research centers. Its energy research provides a focal point for environmental, renewable and fossil fuels research in Kentucky.

UK CAER focus of CN2 feature

clock August 22, 2016 10:08 by author Thomas

 

Article - http://mycn2.com/politics/center-for-applied-research-focuses-on-kentucky-s-future-energy-needs-and-resources

 

CN|2's Don Weber covered the Kentucky Legislature's Special Subcommittee on Energy's meeting at the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research. Following a business meeting where CAER Director Rodney Andrews gave a presentation on the Center's mission and activities in the past and in coming years, the group toured CAER's labs and grounds. There, legislators -- and Mr. Weber -- met with CAER scientists to get an up-close look at the operations there.

 

 



Center for Applied Energy Research Hosts Kentucky Energy Subcommittee

clock August 19, 2016 14:32 by author Thomas

 

The UK Center for Applied Energy Research hosted members of Kentucky’s Special Subcommittee on Energy on Friday for an update on Center’s research and development activities. The Subcommittee, comprised of members of both the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives, heard a UK CAER presentation from Director Rodney Andrews and toured the Center’s research facilities.

 



UK CAER Staff Member Spends Summer Spinning Webs

clock August 17, 2016 09:05 by author Thomas

Ashley Morris, a senior research engineer in the UK Center for Applied Energy Research’s Materials Technologies Group, has spent the summer in the Bay Area serving as Interim Director of Fiber Spinning for synthetic spider silk startup, Bolt Threads.

Morris honed her skills over the past 8 years while developing UK CAER’s world class solution spinning line and has become an expert in the field of solution spinning (often used for the production of acrylic fibers, which can then be converted into carbon fiber). That experience provided her an opportunity to spend the summer at Bolt Threads, a venture backed startup producing synthetic spider silk, which is known to be five times stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar.

Bolt’s scientists use recombinant technology to modify the genetic code of spider genes that make silk proteins and insert them into a strain of yeast. Fed with sugar and water and left to ferment, the yeast expresses the spider silk protein, which is then spun into fibers and converted into yarns for textiles. The company can tune the properties of the silk, making it, for example, “stretchier” or stronger, based on the genes inserted into the yeast.

Founded in 2009 and based in Emeryville, California, Bolt recently announced a partnership with Patagonia to develop goods from their proprietary spider silk-inspired fibers and textiles.

“Bolt Threads has offered me a terrific opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s top scientists and engineers in the field of biotechnology,” said Morris. “I am thankful for the opportunity to showcase leadership and technical skills gained at UK in a fast-paced startup environment, and the overall experience has made me a better researcher.” 



Donor Creates Award Program, Honoring Long-time Staff Member Marybeth McAlister

clock August 11, 2016 15:33 by author Alice

An anonymous donor has created a new award program at the UK Center for Applied Research (CAER), which is designed to recognize and honor staff excellence.

The program is named in honor of Marybeth McAlister, long-time Director of Communications for UK CAER. Called the Marybeth McAlister Memorial Outstanding Staff Award, the program will recognize one member of UK CAER’s support staff with this annual award each year.

“We are very grateful to have a donor step up and want to do something to honor both Marybeth’s legacy and current staff here at UK CAER,” said David Melanson, Assistant Director for External Affairs and Development. “I think such generosity speaks volumes to what staff do for the Center each and every day.”

Marybeth McAlister is remembered by her colleagues for her selfless spirit, empathy, attention to detail, and kind disposition. In short, the donor felt that naming this staff award in her honor was appropriate.

“We at the Center knew that Marybeth was someone we could always count on – no matter the situation,” said the donor.

In accepting this gift, the Center has committed to raise additional funding to ensure this program will continue in perpetuity.

If others would like to honor Marybeth and support this outstanding staff award program, contact Dave Melanson, Assistant Director for External Affairs and Development, at david.melanson@uky.edu or donate online at https://www.uky.edu/GiveNow/ (under Gift Information, select “Research” and then the “Marybeth McAlister Staff Award Gift Fund”).



UKCAER Seminar - Recent Developments in Emission Control

clock August 4, 2016 09:21 by author Alice

DATE: Monday, August 8, 2016
TIME: 3:15 – 4:30 pm
WHERE: Ben Bandy Conference Room, Lab 1

TITLE: Recent Developments in Emission Control
SPEAKER: Dr. Christine Lambert, Ford Motor Co.

ABSTRACT: Modern emission control devices for gasoline and diesel powertrains evolved over decades of development to meet ever more stringent emission standards. For example, the U.S. standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx) have decreased by 97% from 1974 to 2004. The most well-known device, the three-way catalyst, is used under stoichiometric conditions of spark-ignited engines and controls hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Newer devices include diesel oxidation catalysts, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems for NOx, and diesel soot filters. The latest diesel emissions certifications in the U.S. include multifunctional devices like diesel soot filters with SCR catalytic coating. As emission standards continue to tighten in U.S., Europe, and China, research is focusing on HC traps, low temperature NOx adsorbers, N2O mitigation, and gasoline soot filters.