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General CAER News

Leslie Combs

Ky Chamber of Commerce

  • CAER Director Rodney Andrews gave an overview on energy technologies during the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce's annual Business Summit on July 11 in Louisville. He was a keynote speaker along with Vanessa G. Gallman (Editorial Page Editor, Lexington Herald-Leader), and Michael G. Morris, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, American Electric Power.
  • Rodney participated in the State Sciences and Technology Plan meeting at KSTC on August 22 and 23.
  • CAER Advisory Board Member and Kentucky House Majority Floor Leader, State Representative Rocky Adkins met with Rodney, David Jacques, and Courtney Fisk to discuss coal-to-liquids research at the CAER.

American Coal Ash Association

  • The Executive Committee of the American Coal Ash Association traveled to the CAER on August 11th for a site visit. The group is investigating moving the association's headquarters. A decision is expected by late autumn.
  • Transylvania University chemistry professor, George Kaufman spent a second summer performing research with the Electrochemistry Group at CAER.
  • A used battery assembly line was purchased from Ener1 in Florida and transported to Lexington, where it is being stored until the new energy building is completed. The equipment is part of the assembly line used for preparing pouch electrodes and cells for prismatic batteries.
  • Rodney, along with Associate Director Shiela Medina, and UK VP for Research, Jim Tracy, attended the state Science and Technology planning meeting on July 20th.

Ken Reifsnider

  • Ken Reifsnider gave a seminar which explored Energy for Now and Then: Heterogeneous Functional Materials (HeteroFoaMs) for Fuel Cells and other Energy Systems. Reifsnider is Director, University of South Carolina's Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) program in Columbia, SC. He also met with members of the Kentucky Energy Cabinet and industrial representatives while here.

UK Interactions

University of Kentucky's PR Department tours the UK CAER

  • UK Public Relations Executive Director Jay Blanton, along with several PR staff writers, recently toured the CAER and heard a presentation by the director. The goal was to make our capabilities, current research, and UK interdepartmental ties known for potential new stories; and to better acquaint the group with the Center.

Jeff Mossey and Patia Hanlin

  • Welcome to the two newest members to our staff. They are Jeff Mossey, Kentucky NSF EPSCoR Program Administrator; and Patia Hanlin, Kentucky NSF EPSCoR Data Coordinator. Their offices are located on the first floor of the Spindletop Administration Bldg. Rodney Andrews recently became the state NSF EPSCoR Director; Courtney Fisk is the Program Manager.
  • CAER/KRCEE met with Gary Rohrbacher, Asst. Prof. in Architecture and Michael Speaks, Dean of the College of Design (CoD) and the Manhattan Redux Project Team on Aug 10 to review progress on the physical scale model being developed for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Citizens Advisory Board. The ground surface and aquifer surface model components were discussed and methods to illustrate the relationship of the aquifer and the Ohio River were identified for inclusion as the model is completed. CAER/KRCEE and the Department of Energy Portsmouth-Paducah Project Office had a follow up meeting to review the model on August 25th. The model and CoD's 100+ year vision for future use of the Paducah site are an invited exposition at The International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam, April 2012.
  • Rodney, Matt Weisenberger (CAER Carbon Group), and Mark Meier, along with John Anthony (UK Dept. of Chemistry) met with representatives from Grupo Antolin, a leading global supplier of vehicle interior components, whose offices include a presence in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
  • CAER regional energy coordinators, Sarah Mardon and Gregg Copley met with Shane Tedder (UK Sustainability Coordinator and toured campus sustainability project sites to familiarize themselves with sustainability efforts on campus in order to spread the word across the state.
  • Greg Copley met with Mike Montross (UK Biosystems and Ag Engineering) and staff regarding an energy beet crop project and test plot.

Kentucky Energy Club

  • The UK Chapter of the Kentucky Energy Club participated in a Ropes Course at Asbury College in August to build team leadership.
  • Rodney was interviewed by Kentucky Kernel reporter for an article on carbon capture.

Outside Interactions

  • Rodney participated in a Ky. Climate Action Plan Council meeting on August 25th; he also participated in Commerce Lexington's Clean Coal Focus Group during the same period. In addition, he attended a KESP Board meeting as part of the State Energy Sector Partnership in Frankfort.
  • A program called "CLIMATE CHANGE AND CLEAN ENERGY (A Regional Project for South Asia)" brought eight international visitors to CAER on August 15th. According to the U.S. Department of State, the goals of the program are: to examine the latest scientific findings on climate change and its effects; and explore the roles that the public, private, and academic sectors play in protecting the environment.
  • Steve Lipka, Ralph Brodd, Burt Davis and Uschi Graham toured the U of L Conn Center labs and attended their annual board meeting reception dinner on August 14, 2011.
  • Sarah Mardon presented at Union County First's Board Meeting on 8/10/2011 and talked with the board about CAER and her regional position. She also attended the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Rooster Booster the following day, in which congressman Brett Guthrie spoke. In addition, she attended the Evansville-Henderson Sustainable Coalition Meeting. This is one of several meetings in both communities designed to give the public a voice regarding sustainable planning for both cities.
  • Sarah Mardon attended Northwest Kentucky Forward's Expansions Announcement on July 19th at the Henderson City-County Airport. Governor Steve Beshear announced a hangar expansion at the airport and the expansion of three area businesses (American Innovative Metal Solutions, Industrial Service and Electronics, and Sunspring North America), which will lead to an increase of employees at those businesses. She also attended the Kentucky Forest Industries Association Meeting in Owensboro on July 28, 2011. She met people in the industry and talked with them about the CAER's interest in working with biomass and talked with Div. of Forestry staff.
  • Courtney Fisk toured Legislative Research Commission staff members at the job site for the new CAER lab, which is currently under construction. This tour was set up through Capital Projects Management Division to see projects under construction projects at UK.
  • Betaseed gave a presentation at the CAER and answered questions regarding planting beets as an energy crop in Kentucky for eventual ethanol production. Steve Libsack gave a presentation on the seed and plant's energy production to representatives of Patriot BioEnergy (Roger Ford, Chris Musgrave, and Craig McCloud), and Mike Montross (BAE). The meeting was arranged by Greg Copley.
  • Associate Director Tom Robl and coal-combustion by-products researcher Bob Jewell travelled to China in August where they spent 11 days on a trip hosted by Milton Wu who is the director of Longking's FGD By-Product Utilization Engineering and Technology Research Center in Xiamen, China. The purpose of this trip was to establish a working relationship between organizations working towards a common goal. The outcome of this trip will be a research collaboration between groups. Among entities visited were: Nanjing University of Technology, Shandong University, the China Building Material Academy, National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy, and Longking.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • Sarah attended a meeting with professionals in energy-related fields. Lexington's Mayor Jim Gray was the speaker. He talked about how the city was trying to be more energy efficient. Participants included Mayor Jim Gray, Judge Executive from Franklin County, area architects, staff from DEDI, Patterson School faculty member, farmers from Logan County, staff from Bluegrass Pride and MACED, and UK and Transylvania's sustainability coordinators.
  • Rodney presented on current activities at CAER before the Special Subcommittee on Energy in Frankfort.


University of Kentucky VIZ Center

  • Ann Randolph and John Davies (DEDI) met with Julie Martinez (UK VIZ CENTER), Rodney, Shiela and Courtney on the Coal Education Video Project. This was the first meeting on the project.
  • Paul Yeary, from Alice Lloyd College, returned to CAER for the summer to work/finish the Carbon Materials NIHS project.

Teaching and Instruction

  • Steve Lipka served on a dissertation committee as co-advisor for Raghu Mangu, UK's Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who completed his defense on August 3, 2011.

Oxford University

  • Mark Crocker Visited the Dept. of Inorganic Chemistry at Oxford University, United Kingdom, and gave a seminar entitled "CO2 Recycling and Biofuels Production Using Microalgae."
  • Jim Neathery, Jack Groppo, and Rodney Andrews are once again teaching the Power Generation Technologies course on UK campus as a part of the Power and Energy in KY (PEIK) program.

Staff/Student Accolades

Dr. Burt Davis, UK CAER Associate Director in Lexington, KY, USA receiving award

  • Burt Davis has been named to the 2011 American Chemical Society's (ACS) Fellows Program. The prestigious American Chemical Society Fellows program was created by the ACS Board of Directors in 2008 "to recognize members of the American Chemical Society for outstanding achievement in and contributions to science, the profession, and the society." Davis was honored as an ACS Fellow at the fall meeting in Denver, CO.
  • Nicola Jane Wagner is here at CAER to work on petrology with Jim Hower during a six month sabbatical. Nikki received a bachelor of science in geology and biology from the University of London, followed by a Ph.D. from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Ashley Morris, new CAER engineer

  • Ashley Morris began working at CAER as an undergrad in 2006, and finished her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in Dec. 2010. She has since joined the Carbon Materials group as an engineer.
  • CAER Biofuels Scientists Mark Crocker and Sam Morton co-wrote and published an article entitled "A Carbon Harvest" in the June issue of the World Coal Magazine.


  • Department of Energy Award: Application of a Heat Integrated Post-Combustion CO2 Capture System with Hitachi Advanced Solvent into Existing Coal-Fired Power Plant, $14,502,144. (see feature story).
  • The CAER has been selected for a 3 year, $600k grant to investigate new carbon cathode materials for Li-CFx batteries. The award is from the 2011 Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program. The goal of the research effort is to develop fluorinated carbon nanosphere electrodes with tunable particle/pore size for Li/CFx batteries. CAER's Electrochemical Power Sources Group Associate Director Steve Lipka is the project investigator.