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General CAER News

Meeting and Tour at the Ky Argonne Battery Center

  • On Thursday, April 12th, the Spindletop Administration Building's parking lot was filled with an electric smart car (provided by LG&E); a Tahoe Hybrid (provided by Hitachi); a plug-in Prius (provided by Blue Grass Energy); a Nissan Leaf (provided by Gates Nissan in Richmond); and the CAER's hybrid Ford Escape. These special cars were here to show to a group of foreign journalists while here to visit the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center. Battery Center business manager Tony Hancock made a presentation on the Center's research and testing goals, to promote this up-and-coming industry. The visit was arranged by the state Economic Development Cabinet. These journalists represented top foreign business and car publications.
  • CAER's annual Energy Fair welcomed approximately 350 4th graders for a day of energy-science fun. The students, from local low-scoring elementary schools, spent the day in energy activities at UK's student center grand ballroom. Among the exhibitors were Toyota Manufacturing's recycling program representatives, Daniel Boone National Forest employees, Kentucky Geological Survey geologists, and the UK solar car and its team of undergraduate engineering students.
  • KY NSF EPSCoR Program Manager Jeff Mossey, Courtney Fisk and, Rodney Andrews hosted the program's External Evaluator (Dr. Julia Melkers, Georgia Tech) for a campus visit on March 13th.

UK Interactions

  • In April the University of Kentucky's College of Design presented its plans for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant located near Paducah, KY. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Kentucky Research Consortium on Energy and Environment (KRCEE) and CAER, the College of Design unveiled a developed model for the future of the plant in regards to its closure, clean-up and potential uses. "The Paducah Project" led by School of Architecture faculty members Gary Rohrbacher and Ann Filson, displayed the site's geographical features, subsurface conditions, and groundwater contaminant plumes. This display will be used to provoke conversation and debate among the public and academic institutions with the hope of removing and abating the groundwater contamination and its sources, enabling a regeneration of the site and region. The previous evening, CAER held a reception showcasing the displays in the lobby of the Spindletop Administration Building. (see more in this issue's feature story.)
  • CAER Director Rodney Andrews met with Eric Grulke of the UK College of Engineering about potential collaborations between the Center and the Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing, a multidisciplinary collaborative unit within the College of Engineering.
  • Rodney attended a committee meeting of the UK Commercialization and Economic Development group on campus in March.
  • Western Kentucky Regonal Representative Sarah Mardon, UK Director of Corporate Partnerships, Kim Kluemper, and UK Commercialization Executive, College of Engineering, Taunya Phillips, discussed potential meetings and collaborations with persons from Calvert City.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • Organic petrographers from the Ohio Valley area representing three universities met on March 29th at CAER to present and discuss their current research. Jim Hower of the CAER organized and facilitated the meeting.

Ky Argonne Battery Center Logo.

  • A group of researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center met in Lexington to discuss current battery research funding opportunities and collaborative proposal development and to create a roadmap for future technology and applications.
  • CAER/KY NSF EPSCoR Director Rodney Andrews and KY NSF EPSCoR Program Manager Jeff Mosley attended a national EPSCoR meeting in Washington DC.
  • Associate Director Burt Davis attended the Technical Advisory Board meeting for the U of L Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Louisville. The purpose of the meeting was for faculty members to present their research findings to the board. There was a poster session and Governor Beshear gave a talk.
  • KY NSF EPSCoR sponsored the 1st Annual KY Nanotechnology Symposium at Western Kentucky University.

Outside Interactions

  • Ken Ladwig of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) spoke to the Environmental and Coal Technologies research group. He discussed ash management issues relative to Kentucky and EPRI's activities in the ash industry. EPRI is the research arm of the electric power industry.
  • Rodney, along with CAER Associate Director for Research Kunlei Liu, attended a briefing on the National Carbon Capture Center. The meeting was organized by John Moffett of KU/LG&E and held at their KU offices in Lexington.
  • An Australian trade delegation visited the CAER on March 8th and discussed mutual endeavors.

    HBEER house in Monticello, Ky.

  • Key members in the multi-organization partnership gathered together in April at the University of Kentucky Extension Office to celebrate the near completion and ribbon cutting on the second prototype of an energy-efficient manufactured house called Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER). The process to build the home used the same equipment used to create houseboats and the home's design utilized a process that allowed it to be manufactured in an existing houseboat factory in Monticello, Ky. Planning partners included Kentucky Highlands Corporation and Kentucky Housing used the resources of the University of Kentucky College of Design and the Center for Applied Energy Research to create a design for an affordable, energy efficient, single family home that will sell for around $100,000 and cost $1.65 per day to power.
  • Rodney attended the Center for Coal Technology Research board meeting.
  • Eastern Kentucky regional energy coordinator Greg Copley met with Bluegrass Biodiesel representatives and Tim Hughes, state director for the Division of Biofuels, to discuss potential soybean co-op project.


Energy Club students tour the CAER.

  • Energy Club students from Henderson and Union County high schools toured UK's Center for Applied Energy Research and Fayette County's Locust Trace Agriscience school on March 28th. CAER's Sarah Mardon, Bree McCarney, and Jeanne Hartinger facilitated the tour at the Center for Applied Energy Research and Sara Tracy lead the tour at Locust Trace.
  • The Energy Club chapter of Morehead State University held an energy conference, moderated by Rodney.
  • Greg Copley exhibited with Forest Industry Association meeting March 28-30.
  • Board member Shiela Medina, met with the Girls Stem Collaborative Committee at CAER.

Teaching and Instruction

  • Rodney, Steve Lipka, and Matt Weisenberger spoke at the American Carbon Society workshop on carbon in energy applications.
  • Carbon materials student workers, Mark Parr Taylor and Darrell Keith Etheredge received their master's degrees this spring. Rodney Andrews was thesis advisor to both. Mark's thesis was titled "Temperature and Strain Controlled Optimization of Stabilization of Polyacrylonitrile Precursor Fibers" and Keith's was "Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes for Thermal and Mechanical Property Enhancement."
  • CAER's Development and Community Outreach staff met with representatives from the Kentucky School Board Association, KCTCS (Kentucky Community and Technical College System), the UK College of Agriculture, and the state Dept. of Energy Development and Independence to collaborate regarding energy education.


  • Burt Davis received a grant titled "Kinetics of Slurry Phase Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis" for $140,000 from Texas A & M.