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General CAER News

UK CAER Lab #2 - Renewable Energy Building

  • A year's data show the CAER's renewable energy laboratory building used 55% less energy than a typical laboratory building its size. Last year the utility costs of the original CAER building (erected in 1977) were $258,694 ($4.88 per square foot) compared to the new building's utility cost of $111,181 ($2.58 per square foot). Much of the energy reduction was accomplished by energy-saving features throughout the building.

UK Connections

  • The CAER-administered KY NSF EPSCoR program is featured in this video about a cyberinfrastructure system to monitor, analyze, model, and forecast the consequences of environmental changes in freshwater ecosystems.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • CAER director Rodney Andrews, Assoc. Director for Carbon Materials Matt Weisenberger, and researcher Ashley Morris, attended the Annual World Conference on Carbon, organized and hosted by the Brazilian Carbon Association and held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Rodney spoke to the Winchester Rotary Club on renewable energy projects.
  • Uschi Graham was an invited lecturer at the European Nano-Toxicology workshop recently held in Rome. The meeting had attendees from 19 countries. Immediately afterwards she participated in the nano-toxicology training school at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata with a focus on modeling nanomaterial toxicity.

Swagelok Training at UK CAER

  • Swagelok Indiana representatives Mike Sallee and Tim Shine gave a hands-on seminar for CAER's Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis research group. The presentation discussed proper usage, specifications, economical techniques and safety practices when using their products.

Outside Interactions

East Bend Reactor

  • A demonstration scale photobioreactor (PBR) is being operated and expanded at Duke Energy's East Bend Station in Union, KY. The PBR converts the CO2 in flue gas to algal biomass, via photosynthesis. The biomass is then periodically harvested to supply feedstock for upgrading into value added products. The low energy harvesting system recycles water and unused nutrients. Partners include: KY Department of Energy Development and Independence and the US-China Clean Energy Research Center-Advanced Coal Technology Consortia.
  • Andrew McNeill of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association visited and toured CAER.
  • Rodney and Jeff Mossey attended the annual nanotechnology symposium on behalf of Ky NSF EPSCoR.
  • Rodney and UK VP for Research, Jim Tracy, visited Calgon Carbon Company and NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory) to discuss potential collaborations.

Media Interactions

  • Jack Groppo participated in radio interview with Chad Lampe, News Director of WKMS (NPR station out of Murray State University) as part of a documentary on coal in Western Kentucky.


Stem Girls visit UK CAER Staff

  • To promote young women in science, CAER staff spent a day mentoring two female high school students. Simone Stigall (front left) and Alex Raines (front right) job shadowed Liz Ware (back left) and Anne Oberlink recently. They learned about biofuels and low energy cement. Several of the lab's female researchers and college students joined them for lunch and discussions regarding careers in science.

Steve Hampson with Barbara Veazey, Ken Wheeler, Buz Smith

  • CAER's Steve Hampson, West Kentucky Community & Technical College President Dr. Barbara Veazey, Paducah Junior College Board of Trustees member Ken Wheeler, and Buz Smith of the Department of Energy examined a DOE Paducah Site groundwater model exhibit created by the UK College of Design at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center.
  • As Kentucky Energy Club advisor, Jack Groppo met with Kate Shanks (DEDI) and Pattie Stivender (Bluegrass Greensource) to discuss Kentucky Energy Club organization and potential collaboration with Bluegrass Greensource. Jack also met with Paul Dolloff (EKPC) and Larry Holloway (UK Electrical and Computer Engineering) to discuss organization and activities of UK Energy Club for coming year.

Teaching and Instruction

  • CAER researchers are teaching Power Generation Technologies (ERG 542/CME542) and Geochemistry (EES 530) this fall.
  • Rodney, who was on Tabatha Graham master's committee, attended her defense for a master's of engineering in UK's Biosystem and Agriculture Engineering. He was also on Rituraj Borgohain's Ph.D. committee and attended his defense in the Dept. of Chemistry.

Our People - Accolades

Michelle Johnston - student at the UK CAER

  • Michelle Johnston, an MS student in the University of Kentucky's Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and a part-time employee of the CAER's Applied Petrology Laboratory working under the direction of Jim Hower, recently completed several weeks of study under the direction of Nikki Wagner at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Michelle studied the petrology of a suite of coals from Botswana. Nikki Wagner was on sabbatical leave at the CAER in the second half of 2011.
  • Rodney Andrews was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Carbon Society.

Trent Garrison - student at the UK CAERTrent Garrison, a PhD student in the UK Earth & Environmental Sciences (EES) under the direction of Jim Hower, has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Bernadine Meyer Memorial Scholarship from the Kentucky Society of Natural History. This will help to support his research on emissions from coal fires. Trent has been a part-time employee in the Applied Petrology Laboratory since January 2012.

  • 4 UK CAER receiving UK service awardsCongratulations to Teresa Epperson (left front), Theresa Wiley (right front), Jim Hower (left second row), and Wayne Pettit for receiving 30 and 35 year service awards from UK.