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 Connects with Children at UK's Engineering Day

clock February 26, 2014 17:01 by author Alice

 

CAER was one of many exhibitor participants at the 2014 University of Kentucky's Engineering Day event held on the UK Campus on February 22nd.

 

Jack Groppo, a long-time CAER engineer, interacted with a lot of youngsters, even high school students hailing all the way from Harlan, Kentucky. The CAER and the UK Energy Club teamed together to use a bicycle to demonstrate energy conservation. Each child could ride the bike and see how much work it took to light up different types of light bulbs.

 

The CAER supports STEM educational outreach in many ways, including the CAER101 project - a "scientists in the classroom" approach using hands-on demos that support 4th grade curriculum.


What's Up with this Winter Weather? Trent Garrison Discusses topic on WEKU

clock February 21, 2014 17:31 by author Alice
Trent Garrison, a PhD student at UK Earth and Environmental Sciences under the direction of Jim Hower EES Adjunct Professor and UK CAER Geologist, spoke on the WEKU radio show on February 15th. Trent discussed the current weather patterns from a geologist's point of view on the program titled: Eastern Standard: What's Up with this Winter Weather? - Listen to that program.


Podcast of CAER Fuel Seminar Speaker - Max Ball

clock February 21, 2014 17:22 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research has published another podcast for individuals interested in energy issues.

It explored the topic of Carbon Capture and Storage by  Mr. Max Ball of SaskPower.  

- Podcast and PPT File

SaskPower's Boundary Dam Integrated CCS Demonstration will be the world's first full application of Post Combustion Carbon Capture to a coal fired power generating unit. An avalanche of learnings will come with start-up of this unit later in 2014. SaskPower 's Carbon Capture Test Facility, now under construction at Shand Power Station, will add another dimension to the operating experience beginning in 2015. Knowledge coming from these initiatives will pave the way for a second generation of clean coal projects.



UK CAER Hosts Workshop for Targeting Ideas to Foundations

clock February 18, 2014 17:46 by author Alice

The UK Office of Proposal Development prepared a workshop for CAER scientists regarding how to locate funding opportunities.

 

Using the SPIN Database to Find Funding Opportunities - This session provided information about the Sponsored Projects Information Network (SPIN) funding database, UK’s primary tool for detailed funding searches of both federal and private agencies. Participants will be introduced to the features of SPIN and will learn how to conduct their own advanced funding searches.

 

Targeting ideas to Foundations - This talk described the types of foundations that might be good targets for CAER research and how they differ from federal agencies.  We will identify some strategies for finding appropriate foundations and talk about the elements in a letter of inquiry, a common first step in approaching foundations.



Podcast of Dr. Wesley Burnett - CAER Seminar Speaker

clock February 17, 2014 18:54 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research has published another podcast for individuals interested in energy issues. It explored the topic of Sustainable Energy Development: An economic perspective by Dr. Wesley Burnett from the University of West Virginia, USA.

- Podcast and PPT File

Economics is a social science concerned with the allocation of scarce resources for satisfying unlimited wants. Given the exhaustibility of fossil fuels and concerns over global climate change, economic science provides an approach to better understand energy markets. The burning of fossil fuels result in economic and environmental consequences that are not always reflected in the prices of the resources. These “hidden costs” or externalities result in market failure, as the market fails to generate the efficient level of pollution control. In the case of stock pollutants, externalities can be particularly severe, arguably resulting in costs to future generations. Government intervention is often necessary in the presence of market failure.

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is an economic tool used to evaluate the equivalent value of benefits and costs of a particular project for a community. CBA is useful to establish whether such a project is worthwhile.

In this discussion, I shall address basic economic concepts including energy economics as a science, externalities, market failure, property rights, and cost-benefit analysis. The purpose of the discussion is to educate non-economist about these basic economic principles in attempt to bridge the gap between science and engineering.



College of Design Architecture Students Tour UK CAER

clock February 17, 2014 17:31 by author Alice

Approximately 60 students from the UK College of Design's Structural and Materials Concepts in Architecture class (Professor Martin Summers) toured the various research areas at the CAER on February 13, 2014. The students reviewed various material's related stops as well as hearing about the UK CAER Laboratory #2 Energy Efficient research building.

The tour stops included:

  • Dr. John Anthony's solar labs which develop functional materials for electronic and optical applications in organic thin-film transistors (for flexible flat-panel displays), organic solar cells (for low-cost generation of electricity) and organic light-emitting diodes (for high-efficiency lighting);
  • UK CAER Biofuels research which strives to reduce environmental impacts of fuel use and to develop renewable fuel sources;
  • UK CAER ECT research, specially potential building materials created from coal combustion by-products;
  • UK CAER Carbon Materials research, another area of materials development from high value carbon from Kentucky's fossil resources (nanotubes, carbon fibers, etc);
  • Algae Greenhouse project which works to capture CO2 from a coal-fired plant by the cultivation of algae (which can be converted into fuel products).


UK College of Design Senior Project at UK CAER

clock February 17, 2014 17:25 by author Alice
UK CAER is working with a UK College of Design student to create educational stations for use at various research site locations through the CAER campus. Jessica Neiser, a UK CoD interiors student, will be conducting her senior thesis project by designing a "system" that can be followed to develop these potential educational materials or "stops" throughout the center.


UK CAER Begins Work on the Local Government Energy Retrofit Program

clock February 17, 2014 17:21 by author Alice

The UK CAER recently received a Local Government Energy Retrofit Program grant. The scope is to work with local governments around the state to help them through the process of contracting with Energy Service Contractors to improve the efficiency of their facilities. Greg Copley is the contact person for this service.



UK Professor John Anthony Mentors Ky Senior to Intel Science Talent Search

clock January 30, 2014 13:25 by author Alice
From the Lexington-Herald Leader: Valerie Sarge, a senior at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School, has been named one of the 300 semi-finalists in this year's Intel Science Talent Search, the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. She was the only student chosen from Kentucky.

 

Valerie, whose topic was Synthesis of Benzodifuran Derivatives for Solar Cells, will receive a $1,000 award for her research. Dunbar also will receive $1,000 to further her education in science, math and engineering.

 

Forty finalists will be invited to Washington, D.C. in March to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for monetary awards.

 

John Anthony, University of Kentucky Hubbard Professor of Chemistry, Organic Synthesis and Materials Chemistry has been Valerie's mentor during her science project. Additionally Dr. Anthony was able to provide financial assistance for equipment and supplies to support Valerie's research from an Office of Naval Research grant.

 



Centre College Freshman Students Tour UK CAER

clock January 29, 2014 09:24 by author Alice

A group of Centre College freshman and their professor, Marie Nydam, recently toured the UK Center laboratories. Their course is on the effects of coal mining and the students are always interested in solutions to the environmental and economic problems they see as they tour Eastern Kentucky. Ms. Nydam felt that CAER would be a great place to visit to see research being completed so that it may become the basis of future solutions.

The students toured the coal combustion research lab; saw a briqetting demo; heard details about coal mine fires; talked with researchers about CO2 capture; learned a great deal about biofuels potential; heard a discussion about energy storage options and toured the CAER's energy efficient laboratory.



New Engineer Technician Position Available from UK CAER

clock January 24, 2014 11:06 by author Alice
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research is seeking an individual for a full-time Engineer Technician Associate position. The candidate will be involved in various aspects of the Battery Center research including design, construction, assembly, installation, operation, calibration, testing, modification, and maintenance of equipment and analytical apparatus and staying up to date on appropriate use of tools, instruments, computer analytical apparatus, and other battery related technologies.

 



Tribute to Marybeth McAlister, Long-time CAER Employee

clock January 24, 2014 11:01 by author Alice
  Marybeth McAlister, longtime Communications Manager at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), died of complications of influenza and pneumonia on January 8, 2014, at the UK Medical Center. She was 53.

 

In December 2012, Marybeth had a cord blood stem cell transplant at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to counter her chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Within six months she was cancer free.

 

Darrell Taulbee, Industrial Support Coordinator/Senior Scientist at CAER and one of Marybeth's close friends, said, "There are so many superlatives that describe Marybeth. If I were forced to choose just one ...Read the full Tribute


UK CAER Seed Grant Program is a Success

clock January 24, 2014 10:52 by author Alice
UK CAER staff gathered over coffee to review posters given by four young scientists that received new "seed" grant funding during 2013, the initial year that CAER began an internal seed grant program. This program was established to bridge the divide between internal creative ideas and large government grants and/or industrial funding, with the objective being to develop a process of converting new research concepts into competitive proposals.

 



CAER Scientists Judge Local School Science Fair

clock January 24, 2014 10:11 by author Alice
The Sixth Annual Liberty Elementary Science Fair was held on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 in Lexington, Kentucky. Several UK CAER scientists and engineers helped to judge the children's science experiments. This gives the students a real-world audience and adds a touch of interest to their projects.

 



Recent Certified Safety and Health Specialist Graduate

clock January 24, 2014 09:05 by author Alice
Congratulations to Ruthann Chaplin for her recent completion of EKU's Certified Safety and Health Specialist Certificate Program. Ruthann finished the certification program with 152 hours after completing OSHA 501, Trainer Course for General Industry, on December 6, 2013. More...


UK College of Design Tours the UK CAER Energy Center

clock January 13, 2014 17:12 by author Alice
Several of the University of Kentucky College of Design faculty members toured the UK CAER energy complex on January 10, 2014. The group toured the biofuels, electrochemical, minerals, carbon materials labs and the algae greenhouse.

 



Great Graphic Showing Forecasting of Natural Gas Prices

clock December 19, 2013 11:22 by author Marybeth McAlister

Forecasting #naturalgas prices has been notoriously difficult to do. @EIAgov #AEO2014 #natgas #energy #Kentucky pic.twitter.com/MQuPq1IMCA



New Job Annoucement from UK CAER Power Generation Research Group

clock December 17, 2013 15:39 by author Alice

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research seeks a Pilot-Scale CO2 Capture Process Operations Team Member. This position will include hands-on operation of a 0.1 MWth scale CO2 capture process located at UKy-CAER and will require lifting and climbing ladders. There may be opportunity for contribution to the preparation of scholarly reports, manuscripts, articles, and proposal submissions. For more information please visit the UK CAER website.



Visiting Scientist from China to Spend Year at CAER

clock December 6, 2013 11:08 by author Marybeth McAlister

 Please welcome Shuli Bai to Mark Crocker’s group. He is a visiting scientist in environmental engineering from Taizhou College in China, who received his Ph.D. from the Chinese Academy of Science.



Congratulations to Liz Ware for Receiving Ph.D.

clock December 5, 2013 13:20 by author Marybeth McAlister

Liz Ware passed her doctoral defense on November 18th. Her dissertation is titled "Application of Pyrolysis-GC/MS to the Study of Biomass and Biomass Constituents." Her advisor is CAER Associate Director, Mark Crocker and co-advisor is Dr. John Selegue, UK Dept. of Chemistry. Liz began working at the CAER in Spring of 2009 and officially joined the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis group as a graduate student in Jan. 2010. She has been offered a post-doctoral position at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and will be moving to the Denver Area soon to start her new job, where she will be working on biomass cell wall analysis.