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General CAER News

  • The semi-annual CAER Advisory Board Meeting was held May 2-3. In addition to board members, Talina Matthews (Director of the Governor's Office of Energy Policy) and Chuck Staben (UK Acting Vice President of Research) also participated.
  • Representatives from the US Army came to the CAER on June 27th to inspect the progress on the pilot-scale carbon fiber spin line, which is funded by the Army.

Staff/Student Accolades

  • A 2002 paper from the CAER's Clean Fuels and Chemicals Group was recently recognized in the "Top-50 most cited articles" as published in Elsevier's Catalysis journals 2002-2006. The article, written by CAER scientists including Gary Jacobs and Burt Davis, was published in the Applied Catalysis A: General Journal. Being a member of the "top 50" club is quite a feat considering that almost 3.4 million articles, just in the catalysis topic area, were downloaded from Elsevier's ScienceDirect service during the past twelve months.

Daniel Bortz
Daniel Bortz

  • Daniel Bortz, an undergraduate mechanical engineering student, who does research at CAER, won the Capstone Design Award. In the mechanical engineering 411/412 Capstone Design course, students work in teams of four or five each to carry out a comprehensive design effort encompassing two semesters. The student teams prepare the overall project plan. There were 19 teams in the running for this award.
  • Harold Evin received his Master's degree with Honors at the Institut Carnot de Bourgogne, Dijon, France for his thesis entitled "Low temperature water-gas shift: alkali doping to facilitate formate C-H bond cleaving over Pt/ceria catalysts -- an optimization problem?" His advisors included G. Jacobs (CAER), B.H. Davis (CAER), and O. Politano (Institut Carnot de Bourgogne). He is an exchange student from France currently doing research at the Center.
  • On June 26th Eva Brown served on the Technical Advisory Board for the College for Technical Education.

Outside Interactions

  • Acting Director Rodney Andrews met with several companies during the June to discuss potential collaborative research. These companies and institutions included: Alltech, EnviRes, NETL, and Michelin.
  • Rodney testified on coal to liquids technology before the state Appropriations & Revenue committee's meeting in Northern Kentucky on June 21st.

Educational Outreach

  • CAER's Bob Rathbone and UK entomology Associate Professor Lynn Rieske-Kinney led a study of water cleanliness at Elk Horn Creek near the lab. This was done with the Russell Cave Elementary 4th grade class. The kids learned that water quality can be determined based on what kind of invertebrates live in it.

Russell Cave Activities

Russell Cave Tour of CAER Lab and Water Quality Field Trip

  • On May 21st Russell Cave Elementary fourth-grade classes made the annual tour of the lab, followed by a picnic on the grounds. The picnic was attended by teachers, students, and the scientists who were on the tour and who performed experiments throughout the year for the students at the school.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • CAER participated in the Coal Preparation conference in Lexington May 1st-4th.
  • Several CAER researchers attended and made presentations at the 32nd Annual Clearwater Coal Conference.
  • The CAER and the ACAA jointly held the 2007 World of Coal Ash Conference (WOCA) at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky. See this issue's feature story for details.

Proposals and Awards

  • CAER researcher Mark Crocker was recently awarded a grant from the Governor's Office of Energy Policy. It is entitled, "Construction of a Fixed Bed Reactor for Continuous Production of Biodiesel." The amount of the grant is $58,413.


  • Dr. Jacek Jagiello is a visiting scientist at the CAER. He has spent most of his professional life working on adsorption phenomena and studying adsorption properties of non-porous and porous materials - with special interest in understanding and characterization of activated carbons. He received his Doctorate in Chemistry at M. Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland (1984). Dr. Jagiello has authored and co-authored more than 80 scientific publications.

Dr. Jacek Jagiello
Dr. Jacek Jagiello

Public Relations

  • Lexington Herald-Leader editorial writer Jamie Lucke and reporter Jack Brammer met with CAER management and toured the lab recently. The purpose of inviting them to the Center was to educate them on the CAER's research, as well as open lines of communications with the newspaper in order to make its staff feel comfortable with contacting researchers on energy issues.
  • Courier-Journal's environmental reporter interviewed Burt Davis on the science of coal-to-liquids research at CAER for an article that appeared in the Courier-Journal in mid-June.
  • Burt Davis and Rodney Andrews were interviewed and videotaped in June for a 'video' news release by UK's Public Relations Department. The release concerned coal-to-liquids research and is featured on Newswise, an on-line news service that is available to journalists and describes current research topics of interest to the general media.
  • CAER Publications Manager Marybeth McAlister wrote an article for the American Coal Council Magazine recently entitled, "Learning without Grades: A research laboratory's links to the traditional university." It examines the ways that CAER contributes to student education by mirroring the University of Kentucky's historical land grant mission of instruction. This article appeared in American Coal, issue #1, 2007.
  • CAER researcher Darrell Taulbee's work on ammonium nitrate explosive reduction was featured in a recent addition of "The Breathitt County Voice." In addition to highlighting important work that could reduce terrorism, the article features one of its native sons. Since the May publication, several state and national publications and tv news stories followed, describing the work and interviewing Taulbee.