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.

New UK CAER Undergraduate Research Award Named for Lee Todd, Will Train Energy Entrepreneurs

clock November 9, 2017 07:56 by author Thomas

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER) has created a new program to help train the next generation of Kentucky’s energy entrepreneurs. Named in honor of former UK President Lee T. Todd, Jr., the program will support undergraduate research and student entrepreneurship at the University.



The Lee T. Todd, Jr. Student Innovation Award will provide undergraduate student entrepreneurs with an opportunity to develop their ideas alongside UK CAER scientists and engineers in a collaborative environment.

“This program will allow us to provide a unique research and development experience,” said Rodney Andrews, Director of UK CAER. “Students who have a big idea – an idea they hope to commercialize – will have a chance to develop, test and prove their concepts alongside energy research and development experts.”  

Awardees will have full access to UK CAER laboratories and equipment and will receive a stipend for their work. Students also will have an entrepreneurial mentor to assist them in the commercialization aspect of their project. Todd said what attracted him most to the UK CAER program was the intentional focus on entrepreneurial mentorship.

“I was flattered that UK CAER named this program in my honor,” said Lee T. Todd, a native of Earlington, Kentucky. “I have long admired UK CAER, their researchers, and commitment to strengthening the Commonwealth’s energy economy.”

Todd created two global technology companies – Projectron and DataBeam – in Lexington. Both companies were based on University-generated intellectual property, with 56 of the 70 DataBeam engineers being UK graduates.

“When you think about University-driven innovation and commercialization here in Kentucky, the first person most of us think of is Lee Todd,” said Andrews. “He inspired a generation of Kentuckians to think differently – to realize that they too could compete in the global, high-tech economy.”

The Lee T. Todd, Jr. Student Innovation Award will be funded through private donations. UK CAER has received a lead gift for the project and are actively raising funds to endow the program. Those interested in supporting the program can do so online: https://goo.gl/hxp5MB.

“The UK Center for Applied Energy Research is to be commended for naming and establishing its student innovation award in honor of the University of Kentucky’s 11th president, Dr. Lee Todd,” said Mike Richey, vice president for philanthropy.  “Not only is Dr. Todd fondly remembered as a dynamic university president, but continues to be highly regarded as a leading visionary, entrepreneur, strategic thinker, inventor and innovator.

“The Lee T. Todd, Jr. Student Innovation Award is a most appropriate way to recognize this leader’s legacy: To help train and educate the next generation of energy entrepreneurs.”



UK CAER Student Researcher Places Third in UK Poster Contest

clock August 11, 2017 14:14 by author Thomas

Braxton McFarland, a student researcher in UK CAER’s Power Generation Group, placed third in the UK Department of Chemistry’s annual poster completion. McFarland, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, graduated with a degree in chemistry from UK in spring 2017.

 

 

The title of the poster was “Electroless Copper Plating Method for 3D Printed Circuit Boards.” 





UK CAER Student Employee One of UK's Best

clock June 13, 2017 15:52 by author Thomas

Ryan Hines, a student in UK CAER's Power Generation Group, was named one of the University of Kentucky’s top 10 student employees for 2016-17. Ryan operated the large bench CO2 capture unit for the Center. Ryan is a native of Liberty, Kentucky and is a chemical engineering major at UK.



Ryan played a critical role in conducting a performance test on UK CAER’s carbon capture bench demonstration unit, according to his colleagues.

"We conducted a performance test on our CAER-B3 solvent using our new hybrid process in large bench unit for 500 hours," said Brad Irvin, a Research Scientist Associate at UK CAER. "The hybrid process combined a traditional CO2 capture process with a CO2 pre-concentrating membrane, a new solvent blend (CAER-B3), and solid additives. This test took months to complete and we faced many difficult challenges such as maintenance and repair of the system and keeping our data quality top notch, while also meeting the DOE timelines. Ryan was instrumental in the successful completion of this experiment. His willingness to take ownership and go the extra mile kept the experiment on track and producing meaningful data."