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General CAER News

UK CAER Lab #2 - Renewable Energy Building

  • When CAER's renewable energy laboratory building opened a year ago, it was with energy conservation in mind. A year's worth of data shows a total energy reduction of 55% compared to a typical laboratory building its size. This is not estimated, but an actual savings based on the utility bills. Last year the utility costs of the original CAER building (erected in 1977) was $258,694 ($4.88 per square foot). The new building's utility cost was $111,181 ($2.58 per square foot). This is a difference of $147,000 per year in utility savings that can be directed towards research rather than building consumption.
  • CAER's Clean Fuels and Chemicals group was the major organizer of the 23rd North American Catalysis meeting held in Louisville recently. See this issue's feature for the full story.
  • Nathan Ball of NOHMs Technologies visited to discuss use of the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing R&D Center facilities.

UK Connections

UK CAER Dr. Steve Lipka

  • Electrochemistry expert and Associate Director Steve Lipka is one of the early grantees in the recently announced UK-GE master agreement to collaborate on research projects. This partnership could yield research towards inventing future appliances. - UK Now Story
  • Director Rodney Andrews met with the College of Engineering's Jeff Seay and Badurdeen Fazleena to discuss future collaborations

Meetings and Special Presentations

UK CAER Dr. Kunlei Liu presenting John Moffett LG&E with CAER Distinguished Service Award

  • Kunlei Liu (CAER Associate Director) presented John Moffett (LG&E Manager Research & Development) with a CAER Distinguished Service Award upon his upcoming retirement from LG&E. John was instrumental in forming the CMRG (Carbon Management Research Group), a consortium of Kentucky's major power companies and CAER. The group is carrying out a $24M ten-year program of research to development and is demonstrating cost-effective and practical technologies for reducing and managing CO2 in existing coal-fired electric power plants.
  • Associate Director Don Challman attended the U.S.- China Clean Energy Research Center Steering Committee meeting in Denver where they discussed program and logistics for CERC's upcoming bilateral meeting of U.S. and Chinese participants of the Advanced Coal Technology Consortium scheduled for Jackson Hole this fall. He also attended the 2nd bilateral Intellectual Property Workshop of the CERC in Stanford, CA. The workshop explored U.S. and China perspectives on intellectual property, innovation and investment in clean energy between the two nations. Earlier in the year he attended the Inaugural Meeting of the U.S.- China CERC IP Experts Working Group, of which he was appointed a U.S. member.
  • Challman also attended the 10th Natural Gas Conversion Symposium in Doha, Qatar this spring. The triennial NGCS has been bringing together the world's leaders in synthesis gas production and use since 1987 to share information on research and technology development. Important business prospects were discussed with major petrochemical companies and catalyst suppliers in attendance.
  • Rodney Andrews spoke at the Kentucky Association of Manufacturer's meeting where he gave a presentation on energy.

Outside Interactions

  • Rodney Andrews, Associate Directors Burt Davis and Don Challman, and other CAER and university staff, attended the grand opening of the Birtley Industrial Equipment Corporation's manufacturing and headquarters facility in Lexington. The Birtley Company, affiliated with Borun Process Industry Technology Co. of China, primarily manufacturers mining, oil and gas field machinery, with global operations in the United States and China. Birtley was persuaded to open U.S. operations in Kentucky through the efforts of the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet, the World Trade Center Kentucky, and local and community leaders in Lexington and Fayette County.
  • Rodney Andrews, Courtney Fisk, and Jeff Mossey met with the Program Officer at NSF EPSCoR in D.C. to discuss the next proposal submission. The three later attended an annual EPSCoR Project Directors'/Project Administrators' meeting in Arlington, VA. The second meeting was with all jurisdictions to discuss EPSCoR issues and receive updates from the NSF office.
  • Andrews met locally with members of the natural gas industry.
  • Regional Coordinator Greg Copley attended a Gateway Area Development District Board Meeting in Rowan County, also attended by field representatives for Sen. McConnell (Regina Stivers) and Sen. Paul (Chris Musgrave). He also met with Joyce Wilcox of the East Kentucky Comprehensive Employment Program to discuss opportunity for engaging mining companies in worker training.
  • David Boswell (CAER Advisory Board, Command Consultants), Ralph Bashman (Command Consultants), David Pagan (Command Consultants), and Robert Addington (CAER Advisory Board and EnviRes LLC) toured the lab and discussed potential future collaborations.
  • Research managers from South Africa's SASOL visited the Clean Fuels and Chemicals Group for mutual research interests.
  • UK's Rodney Andrews, Mark Crocker, and Czar Crofcheck met with Ben Stewart of Ohio University to discuss collaborations.
  • Rodney Andrews and Bill Schweri met with Kentucky's congressional staffers to discuss potential funding for PGDP.


CRN and CEATI tour of the UK CAER

  • The Cooperative Research Network and the Centre for Energy Advancement through Technological Innovation research organizations held task force meetings at CAER. Both of these organizations are created to perform research and solve problems for the electric utility industry. The CRN's members are the Rural Electric Cooperatives and the task force that met at CAER is the Generation, Fuels and Environment Group. CEATI is a similar group made up of international utilities. A portion of their time was also spent in presentations on CAER research and an in-depth tour.

Russell Cave children's tour of the UK CAER in May 2013

  • Elementary, middle school, and high school students from around the area monitored building efficiency, saw how fresh flowers can freeze quickly via liquid nitrogen, and discovered that algae is not just pond scum during tours of CAER this spring. The students hailed from Russell Cave Elementary, which celebrates its decade long partnership with CAER this year; Clark County Middle School through its partnership with Bluegrass PRIDE; and a group of female high school students from Fayette County's "Green Team." There were around 150 students in total.

UK CAER scientists attend EKU Girls' STEM Conference

  • CAER researchers Anne Oberlink and Liz Harman-Ware reached out to high school girls at the EKU Girls' STEM Day recently. The scientists were accompanied by two high girls who recently toured CAER. STEM practitioners and educators led girls through activities that mirror real-world STEM tasks and highlight creative and innovative problem solving. Anne and Liz exhibited and served as mentors.
  • This year's Sustainability Expo took place at Locust Trace Agriscience Farm, a local Fayette County public school that focuses on agricultural resources and the environment. CAER participated with staff explaining energy sustainability to children from the school.
  • Greg Copley gave a talk to 12-15 year old energy camp attendees at Hazard Community and Technical College.

Our People - Accolades

Michelle Johnston and Trent Garrison - students at the UK CAER

  • Michelle Johnston and Trent Garrison, M.S. & Ph.D. students, respectively, in Earth & Environmental Sciences, who do their research at CAER's Applied Petrology Lab, received awards from the Geological Society of America's Coal Geology Division. Michelle is the recipient of the GSA Coal Division's Antoinette Lierman Medlin Lab/Analytical Research Award. The selection is for her work to characterize the coal macerals and ultimately understand peat accumulation and the depositional environment for Leatherwood coal. Trent is the recipient of the GSA Coal Division's Antoinette Lierman Medlin Field Award for his work to examine water quality impacts in area of coal fires.
  • Burt Davis received a joint award from the North American Catalysis Society and the Tri-State Catalysis Society (TSCS) for his Fifty Years of Dedicated Service to the Catalysis Society and his Documenting and Archiving the History of Catalysis. As the current president of TSCS, CAER's Uschi Graham presented the award.

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