Skip the graphical homepage and go directly to a textonly sitemap Skip the graphical homepage and go directly to a text on this page

General CAER News

Demonstration of Minova fast-drying, spray-on concrete developed at the UK CAER.

  • U.S. Representative Hal Rogers attended a CAER press conference demonstrating a fast-drying, spray-on concrete developed at CAER that has been commercialized and could be used to stabilize buildings damaged in terrorist attacks or natural disasters.
  • CAER Director Rodney attended the 2012 Public & Land Grant University Conference on Energy in Columbus, Ohio.

UK CAER Visiting scientist, Veronica Rico-Perez.

  • Veronica Rico-Perez is working as a visiting scientist in the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group. She has a master's degree in materials science and is earning her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at the University of Alicante in Spain.
  • Petrologist Jim Hower (along with energy coordinator Sarah Mardon and researcher Kevin Henke) collected coal and ash samples at several power plants across the state. The sample program takes place every five years and began in 1992. Surveys involve both collection of information from utilities and collection of coal and ash samples from each power plant in the state. Find the detailed data on all power plants in the U.S.
  • Following the director's trip to China with other UK representatives (see feature story) he followed up with a presentation to staff on elements of the trip important for performing cooperative work with China.

UK Interactions

Tour at UK CAER.

  • Associate Professor Czarena Crofcheck and six of her students from the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Thermochemical Processing of Biomass class toured the CAER. The tour included combustion, pyrolysis, and gasification capabilities including carbon management, CO2 absorption processes, and biomass combustion/gasification facilities including a coal and biomass briquetting demonstration.
  • Mardon attended the Kentucky Geological Survey's Annual Seminar. She talked with researchers, listened to talks, and learned about membership in professional organizations. Not long after, she toured UK's Paducah Engineering campus and met with staff and faculty, discussing potential UK corporate partnerships. She also met with David Morrison at KCTCS to discuss training at the West Kentucky campus and how CAER might collaborate.
  • Andrews, along with UK Asst. Vice President for University Relations, Steve Byars and UK Associate General Counsel, Katherine Adams, visited Nexus in Louisville to discuss economic development efforts. Safety Officer Ruthann Chaplin organized a meeting with UK Occupational Health and Safety Director Lee Poore to learn about university and OSHA safety requirements.
  • Eastern Kentucky Energy Coordinator Greg Copley visited the Bent Mountain Biomass Project in Pike County. The project involves growing biomass on reclaimed mine land in Pike County and near the Quicksand Forestry Research station in Breathitt County. The project is in conjunction with the College of Agriculture's Departments of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Horticulture, Plant and Soil Sciences and Hay Forage programs. Greg assisted in planting the trials, performs periodic site monitoring, takes measurements, samples, and provides access to interested parties for onsite evaluation and education.
  • Andrews attended the Kentucky Geological Survey Board Meeting.

Meetings and Special Presentations

Meeting at UK CAER.

  • In early May a group of researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and the Kentucky-Argonne Manufacturing Research and Development Center met in Lexington to discuss current funding opportunities and collaborative proposal development possibilities in battery research. These plans will be used in creating a roadmap for future technology and applications.
  • Mardon presented information about energy in Kentucky on behalf of Kate Shanks with the Kentucky Dept. of Energy Development and Independence (DEDI) at the Green Energy Conference in Paducah. She also spoke to the Morganfield Rotary Club in Union Country.
  • May 17th was the 17th annual statewide EPSCoR conference, "Science for Impact," in Lexington. The conference had over 200 attendees. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell provided a letter of welcome for the conference, which featured 66 research posters presented by faculty and students across the state who received EPSCoR support. CAER/EPSCoR attendees and participants included Mossey, Waldridge, Hartinger, and Hutcheson. Mossey gave the presentation, "Infrastructure Improvements to Support Energy and Environmental Research in Kentucky" and organized the KY NSF EPSCoR breakout session. In addition, he attended the NSF EPSCoR National PA/PD meeting in DC on May 21st and 22nd.

Media Interactions

Energy beet.

Outside Interactions


  • CAER participated in the 2012 National Technology Summit - "Promoting America's Energy Security" - held May 23-24 at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky. The summit is part of the Tennessee Valley Corridor initiative which strives to build a strong alliance of community, business, education and government leaders through a series of regular regional economic summits throughout Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
  • Andrews attended a "Faces of Coal" Think-Tank Meeting in Frankfort at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Board Room.

Several tours took place recently:


  • Representatives from the Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship (CRERES) toured the new CAER Lab #2, the center's newly-built high-performance laboratory which allows significant expansion of renewable and energy storage research.
  • Andrews led researchers from Soren University in Copenhagen, Denmark on a tour of the new CAER renewable energy lab.
  • Mardon attended a chemical industries meeting at CAER and helped lead the tour afterward.

Travis Cone tour at UK CAER.

  • Travis Cone and Meg O'Donnell, of Congressman Hal Rogers' staff, toured the CAER. They met with several researchers in such diverse areas as electrochemical battery research, coal and environmental technologies, synfuels, biofuels (algae and briquetting), carbon materials, and power generation technologies.
  • Researcher Bob Jewell wrote a review of the new minerals processing building's fans for Big Ass Fans; and gave the photographer access to the space to photograph the fans.
  • Mardon attended Henderson Country High School's Energy Club Meeting where she met Stephanie Blinn, a faculty member who will help with the club next year.
  • Researcher Darrell Taulbee toured Old Dominion Hybrid Energy plant in Virginia City, VA. While in Virginia, he attended a business meeting and made a presentation on the Virginia Tech briquetting project.

ESIREM logo.

  • Professor Cabouche of ESIREM, the French materials engineering university located in Dijon, France, visited the CAER to discuss the continued student exchange program. The relationship began in 1998. CAER has hosted dozens of French students over the years, some of whom went on to receive their masters or Ph.D. from UK.


  • Teachers from across the state toured the UK CAER Biofuels Labs, Algae Greenhouse, Biomass/Briquetting Lab and the Power Generation Lab. They were participating in a teacher workshop (Biofuels Train-the-Trainer Academy) with the goal of providing hands-on experience and training so the teachers may incorporate renewable energy technology into their classrooms. The workshop was hosted by the Consortia for Education in Renewable Energy Technology (CERET).
  • Copley and Mardon exhibited at the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers Energy Conference and at Kentucky Oil and Gas Association Annual Meeting. Andrews presented at the KAM meeting as well. In addition, Copley participated in a tornado recovery meeting in Magoffin County and the West Liberty Energy Efficiency Expo.
  • Hower reviewed articles for Coal Combustion & Gasification Products (8), International Journal of Coal Geology (8), Fuel (5), Fuel Processing Technology (2), and at least 5 others.
  • A group of Kentucky Community and Technical College System teachers met at CAER and toured the lab.
  • As a member of the Kentucky Energy Workforce Development Board Taskforce, DCE Associate Director Shiela Medina attended a board meeting where how to ensure a prepared pipeline of workers for the energy industry.

Teaching and Instruction

  • CAER Program Manager Joe Remias judged a graduate student poster session for the UK Dept. of Chemistry NAFFs Symposium.
  • Jewell was a webcast speaker at a webinar for the power industry hosted by EPRI. The presentation covered utilization of spray-dryer byproducts in construction materials. He also led a multi-week class experiment on coal by-product utilization at Russell Cave Elementary. This continues a 10-year tradition of partnering with this school.
  • Darrell Taulbee mentored a Lafayette High School student who completed a six-week internship as part of Fayette County's Experience-Based Community Education (EBCE) program.

Staff and Student Accolades

Dr. James Hower.

  • Jim Hower presented the keynote address: "Engineering control on fly ash chemistry: Examples from Kentucky power plants" in the Geochemistry of petroleum, coal combustion, and gasification products session at the 22nd V.M. Goldschmidt Conference in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Dr. Burt Davis.

  • Associate Director Burt Davis recently celebrated his 700th publication in a long and prestigious 48+ year career. Dr. Davis's first publication, co-authored with Wallace S. Brey, was in 1964 in the Journal of Catalysis, while he was a graduate student at the University of Florida. His 700th publication was in Catalysis Letters, 142 (2012) 190-194 with M.K. Gnanamani and W.D. Shafer titled: "Deuterium exchange study for hydrogenation of D5-1-pentene (4,4,5,5,5) over conventional cobalt Fischer-Tropsch catalyst." This paper has produced a 63% refereed publication statistic.
  • Sarah Mardon was placed on Board for Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals.