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.

CAER 101 comes to Cardinal Valley Elementary School

clock October 13, 2016 09:28 by author Thomas

UK CAER scientist Robby Pace provided a CAER 101 lesson by Lexington's Cardinal Valley Elementary School on Wednesday.

The CAER 101 project brings together scientists and children in a classroom setting. The scientists create lessons for local 4th and 5th graders, allowing them the opportunity to learn about energy science concepts, hands-on. Helping to make math and science fun and relevant to the next generation of Kentuckians is a major focus for UK CAER.



UK CAER Job Opening - Programmer

clock October 12, 2016 14:43 by author Thomas

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research is seeking a Programmer System Analyst (Senior). This position is responsible for design and implement schema changes of a large operational database. The ideal applicant must have the ability to change and create forms and system improvements to meet staff needs. It requires programming the Microsoft NET framework, as well as occasional on mobile development using Microsoft tools. This position supports end users with any issues arising from the database, or any of the database related software including installation or provisioning the department’s desktops, laptops or tablets with the front-end software needed to access the database, along with ODBC, DSNentries, etc.

 

This position will work 2 days at the Center’s support office in Frankfort for support of programming and databases and 3 days at the Center for Applied Energy Research facility in Lexington.

The job posting can be found on UKJobs here: https://ukjobs.uky.edu/postings/126218

 

 



Edrington Takes Second Place in Poster Competition

clock September 15, 2016 08:46 by author Thomas

UK CAER’s Sarah Edrington, a mechanical engineering graduate student at UK, placed second in the graduate category at the Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition's student poster competition. Sarah was recognized for her poster entitled: “PAN Precursor Draw During Spinning: Effects on Mechanical Properties and Morphology of Resultant Carbon Fiber.” Sarah, who does research as part of CAER’s Carbon Materials Group, will continue her work with PAN carbon fiber precursor spinning as part of her thesis.




Workshop to Focus on Issues with Ponded Coal Combustion Products

clock September 13, 2016 11:34 by author Thomas

The UK Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER), American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are co-hosting a workshop this November to shine a spotlight on current issues with coal combustion products (CCPs).

The Midwest Workshop on Current Issues in Ponded CCPs will be held November 1-2 at the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront.

The workshop will feature some of the world’s leading experts on coal combustion products. For a full list of speakers and to register for the event, check out the following website: http://www.worldofcoalash.org/ash/.

 (photo courtesy of Moretrench)



UK Center for Applied Energy Research Awarded Four Patents

clock September 6, 2016 14:48 by author Thomas

UK CAER researchers received four patents in August, out of a schoolwide-total of seven:

  • Darrell Taulbee and Robert Hodgen for “Enhancement of binding characteristics for production of an agglomerated product” (#9,428,705)
  • Steve Lipka and Christopher Schwartz for “Hybrid flow battery and Mn/Mn electrolyte system” (#9,413,025)
  • Joseph Remais, Cameron Lippert, and Kunlei Liu for “Method of increasing mass transfer rate of acid gas scrubbing solvents” (#9,409,125)
  • Kunlei Liu, Reynold Frimpong, and Kun Liu for “Hybrid process using a membrane to enrich flue gas CO2 with a solvent-based post-combustion CO2 capture system” (#9,409,120)

 These patents join the more than three-dozen patents already held by CAER researchers over the years.



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.” 



Summer Partnership with Kentucky State University

clock July 21, 2016 09:49 by author Thomas


Kazi Javed, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Kentucky State University (KSU), has always been committed to bringing science to life for his students. This summer, he is doing just that thanks to a unique partnership with the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER).


Dr. Javed, who teaches an analytical instrumentation class at KSU, is volunteering in the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group here at UK CAER this summer. With a focus in the classroom on instrument design and method development, Dr. Javed is bringing KSU students to UK CAER’s lab this summer to introduce them and train them on instrumentation not available at KSU.

 

Joining Dr. Javed from KSU are four students: Ma’Kaylah Garrett, a biology student from Indianapolis, Indiana; Steven Hall, a mechanical engineering student from Frankfort, Kentucky; Andrew Lentini, a mechanical engineering student from Shelbyville, Kentucky; and Siraj Ramsey, a mechanical engineering student from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The mechanical engineering students are taking part in KSU and UK’s joint program, where the students attend KSU for three years and UK for two years. Participants receive a bachelor’s in mathematics from KSU and a UK engineering bachelor’s degree.

 

This collaborative work was made possible thanks to National Science Foundation grants entitled “MRI: Acquisition of a Gas Chromatograph with Dual Detection Capabilities to be Used in Sustainable Energy Research” (award number 1531637) and “SusChEM: Promotion of Nickel Catalysts for the Conversion of Biomass-derived Oils to Fuel-like Hydrocarbons” (award number 1437604). 



CAER Hosts Southern Legislative Conference Attendees

clock July 12, 2016 15:55 by author Thomas


The UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) was pleased to host Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) attendees for a center tour on Tuesday, July 12. Lexington is serving as host of the 70th annual SLC Annual Meeting July 9-13 and, as part of the meeting, conference attendees took part in technical tours.

The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments was established in 1947 and comprises presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta, Georgia.



Davis, Jacobs Present on Fischer-Tropsch in Norway

clock June 22, 2016 14:31 by author Thomas

Two members of the UK Center for Applied Energy Research’s Clean Fuels and Chemical Group were invited to present their research at the Natural Gas Conversion Symposium 11 in Tromso, Norway from June 5-9. 

Burt Davis, Associate Director, provided an oral presentation and presented a research poster on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process.

Gary Jacobs, a Principal Research Engineer at the Center, provided a plenary lecture and presented a research poster as well. In addition, Dr. Jacobs was nominated to serve on the Natural Gas Conversion Board. 



Center Helps Train Kentucky Science Teachers

clock June 2, 2016 12:29 by author Thomas

It may be summer but school is most certainly in session at UK CAER. But in this classroom, it is the teachers that are the pupils.

UK CAER researchers are taking part in a Kentucky Council for Post-secondary Education (CPE)-funded program to train science and mathematics teachers how to teach energy in the classroom. The program, Energy is Elementary, is a partnership between the UK College of Education and CAER, and is taking place at the Center from June 1-3.  This grant has afforded the Center the opportunity, to expand the current CAER 101 program to a total of 11 schools. The CAER 101 program gives our researchers the opportunity to be present in the classroom and inspire 4th grade students to become scientists while having fun and learning the basics of energy.



Winburn Problem Solvers Team Visits CAER

clock May 25, 2016 08:44 by author Thomas

Students from Winburn Middle School's Future Problem Solvers team spent some time at UK's Center for Applied Energy Research on May 17 to help prepare for an international competition. The students spent time with representatives from CAER, DEDI and the Association of MISO States to learn about the future of the energy industry.

 

 

The students are training for a problem solving competition that will take place June 1-5 at Michigan State University. The contest will feature a question about energy and the students came to CAER to learn as much as they can about that topic.

"We tried to provide as much useful information about energy as we could," said Shiela Medina, Assistant Director of Policy and Engagement for the Center. "It was a pleasure to host such a bright and inquisitive group of students. I can't wait to see how they do at their competition."