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CAER Researchers Receive Grants from the Department of Homeland Security

Drs. Rodney Andrews and Darrell Taulbee recently received grants for Homeland Security Research and Development Projects. The announcement was made on August 8th by United States Congressman, Hal Rogers (R-5th District) at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky. The projects both strive to diminish problems related to explosions. Andrews' $1M project is entitled, "Carbon Materials for Blast-mitigating Wall Treatments" and concerns the development of effective, low cost, modular wall panels to provide blast protection, electromagnetic shielding, radiological protection and chemical agent removal. The other project, "Reduction of the Explosion Potential of Ammonium Nitrate by Coating with Low-Cost, Coal Combustion By-Products" will use an ash-like, coal-combustion by-product to desensitize agricultural-grade ammonium nitrate with respect to detonation. It is funded for $124K.

The University of Kentucky is part of The Kentucky Homeland Security University Consortium, which conducts research and development on ideas that might some day prove useful to the Department of Homeland Security. Eight universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System make up the consortium.

Darrell Taulbee and Rodney Andrews - Homeland Security Awards

"Through the University Consortium we have developed a virtual federal lab that brings together the expertise of our institutions of higher learning and works toward the common goal of improving the security of our hometown," said Rogers. "As is the nature with research and development work, these projects represent the seeds of what someday could become part of the nation's arsenal in the war against terrorism. While the time frame for the germination of these seeds varies, the goal of each project is to develop an actual homeland security solution. Each and every innovative idea we fully develop will put one more barrier between the American people and those wishing to do us harm."

Morehead State University will contribute to work on Dr. Andrews' project. Other collaborators are Drs. Mark Meier, John Selegue, and John Anthony, from UK's Department of Chemistry, and Mr. Bob Wombles, Vice President of Technology, Koppers Industries. Dr. Taulbee's collaborators include former FBI detonations expert, Mr. Tom Thurman of the College of Justice and Safety at Eastern Kentucky University and Mr. Paul Rydlund, President of El Dorado Chemical Co. of Oklahoma City, OK.