- Director Rodney Andrews received an appointment as Associate Professor in both the Departments of Mechanical and Chemical/Materials Engineering.
- President Lee Todd recently appointed the members of a new Sustainability Advisory Committee. One of the members is Bob Rathbone, veteran researcher of CAER. Bob spends much of his free time on environmental projects. He also helps to spearhead CAER's educational outreach program for elementary students at Russell Cave Elementary. The committee will report regularly to the President's Office and publish an annual report each April on university sustainability activities and progress in meeting goals in campus business operations, education, research and community engagement.
- Dr. John Anthony is a CAER faculty associate from the Department of Chemistry, who has found recent acclaim. He was awarded the Hubbard Professorship in Chemistry, which is a departmental endowment. Then on March 4th he was approved for a University Research Professorship by the UK Board of Trustees. The designation carries a $35,000 award for one year.
- Lastly, he also recently published an article in Nature Materials, one of the highest-impact journals in materials science. The article is entitled "Contact-induced crystallinity for high-performance soluble acene-based transistors and circuits" and has multiple co-authors from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and The Pennsylvania State University. The article describes a low-cost way to mass produce large arrays of organic electronic transistors on polymer sheets for a range of applications including "intelligent paper."
- Anthony, who is also the Gill Professor of Chemistry, focuses on organic synthesis and materials chemistry. He came to UK in 1996 after performing postdoctoral work at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he also earned his doctorate.
Meetings and Special Presentations
- CAER was a sponsor and staff members attended, presented, chaired sessions and exhibited at the Nanomaterials Conference in March, organized by the University of Louisville.
- Mark Crocker gave an invited presentation to the Department of Chemistry at George Washington University in DC on March 7th. The talk was titled "Catalysis for Biomass Conversion to Liquid Fuels."
- The center has participated in high school mentoring programs for many years with great success. This year's students, Kory Figueroa and Evan Schroader, are from Tates Creek High School. Kory is working in the Environmental and Coal Technologies Group, while Evan is performing carbon research in the Carbon Materials Group.
- Jim Hower (CAER) and Maria Mastalerz (Indiana Geological Survey) wrote an article on coal petrology for SCIRUS's Topic Pages, a free wiki-like internet service that publishes authoritative topic summaries written by scientific experts. This new form of educational outreach facilitates knowledge sharing and provides the latest and most relevant journal and web results.
- Rodney Andrews recently co-organized three carbon materials sessions at the spring American Chemical Society meeting in New Orleans.
- The Kentucky Mine Mapping Information System (headed by John Hiett and administered through the CAER) received the Best of Kentucky technology award in the Best Online Services category at the Kentucky Digital Government Summit. Development began in 2004 with a $1 million grant from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and continues with support from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining. In addition, the group was featured in the trade journal GeoWorld's April, 2008 issue. The article is titled "A Mine Sweeper -- Kentucky Delivers Maps of Abandoned Mines Online." See the Feature Story.
- CAER researcher Bob Rathbone presented awards for the UK Smart Blues House competition. This moves the university toward the national design competition for the US Department of Energy's 2009 Solar Decathlon in Washington DC. Each competing university is attempting to design, build and operate the most attractive, effective and energy-sufficient solar-powered house. Five of 25 submitted designs were given awards.
- Victor Kunadian won first place in the Oral Presentation category in the second annual University of Kentucky Graduate Student Interdisciplinary Conference. He presented on "Deposition profiles of multiwalled carbon nanotubes in a CVD reactor." His co-authors were Rodney Andrews, Dali Qian and Pinar Menguc (Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UK). Victor received the second place award last year. He has worked at CAER as a graduate student from the UK Mechanical Engineering for the last few years.
- A published co-written paper by the Clean Fuels Research Group and Argonne National Laboratory scientists is listed as the 14th top download on the Applied Catalysis A: General website for October - December 2007 according to ScienceDirect, one of the world's largest and most prestigious online journal publishers. This is the third article to reach the top 25 status in less than a year. The article is titled, "Fischer-Tropsch synthesis: temperature programmed EXAFS/XANES investigation of the influence of support type, cobalt loading, and noble metal promoter addition to the reduction behavior of cobalt oxide particles" by Jacobs, G.; Ji, Y.; Davis, B.H.; Cronauer, D.; Kropf, A.J.; Marshall, C.L. (with Argonne National Laboratory); Appl. Catal. A: General 333 (2007) 177.
- Karen Petty, a chemical engineering student at UK, and CAER lab technician was awarded first place for her poster entitled "Multiwall Carbon Nanotube Filled Epoxy: Viscosity and Electrical Conductivity" at LSAMP. LSAMP stands for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. This is an NSF program that funds major efforts to improve minority involvement in science-technology-engineering-mathematics disciplines. Her co-authors were Matthew Weisenberger and Rodney Andrews. Dr. Weisenberger is acting as mentor/supervisor for Karen in the Carbon Materials Group at CAER. She also received an honorable mention at the National Organization for Black Chemist/Chemical Engineers' Conference for her poster "Carbon Nanotube Versus Carbon Black-filled Epoxy for Electrical Conductivity."
- The April 2008 issue of Kentucky Living contains an article featuring the work of Kunlei Liu's Power Generation Group and KGS on carbon management and sequestration.
- The CAER staff would like to congratulate several of our students who are graduating this spring:
- Victor Kunadian (Mechanical Engineering) and Jen O'Keefe (Earth & Environmental Sciences) will receive their PhDs.
- Brad Toon (Mechanical Engineering) will receive his Master's Degree.
- Allison Richardson (Earth & Environmental Sciences) will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Some of these students have spent years with us, conducting research while working on their degrees. We are proud of them all.
- Representatives from the Arizona Public Service Commission and the National Energy Technology Lab held discussions with Mark Crocker and Rodney Andrews in April concerning CO2 biological capture and upgrading of biomass.
- A group from E-ON U.S., and members of their International Research Board, met at the CAER in April for presentations and a tour of appropriate research areas.
- Jack Groppo conducted classification and flotation testing of coal ash for use in concrete at the University of Dundee in Scotland this spring. The CAER maintains joint research efforts with this institution pertaining to coal combustion by-products.
Proposals and Awards
- The Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group is the recipient of a University Research Program grant from Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI). The grant will be used to fund a three year project to optimize catalyst systems in order to decrease NOx emissions from diesel exhaust gas. Program Director, Mark Crocker is the Principal Investigator on the project.