General CAER News
- The Louisville Courier-Journal featured algae research by CAER and BAE in a front page December story.
- The CAER hired several new employees in November-December:
- Wang Jin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is our newest postdoctoral researcher. He is working for Mark Crocker in the Biofuels Environmental Catalysis Group, where he will be responsible for automotive catalysis research.
- Alexander Kroumov joined the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Research Group as an engineer. He is originally from Bulgaria and earned his Ph.D from the Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia.
- A new undergraduate student (Caio) from the Universidade Federal do Parana in Brazil will be working in the Biofuels Group until July.
- A French student has returned to work on her doctorate in materials engineering at UK. Tristana Duvallet was here with the most recent group of French exchange students in the longterm program with ESIREM in Dijon, France. She will again be working with the Environmental and Coal Technology Group.
- CAER Director, Rodney Andrews, along with UK President, Lee Todd and others from the university participated in a brainstorming meeting with the Henderson, KY community on December 12th.
- There was an energy working group meeting in the College of Agriculture to discuss collaborations with the CAER on November 24th.
Meetings and Special Presentations
- Rodney made a presentation on House Bill 1 to the State Agricultural and Natural Resources Council.
- Greg Copley exhibited at the Kentucky Association of County Officials Conference in Lexington November 19-21.
- John Dunaway helped organize (and participated in) a biofuels conference December 16-17 in Henderson.
- Jim Neathery, Jack Groppo, Bob Rathbone, and Rodney Andrews made presentations at the Sierra Club's December meeting.
- Alternative fuels kept the director busy in November. Rodney Andrews gave a talk at Commerce Lexington on Alternative Fuels Research and then attended a KSTC energy breakfast a few days later on investment opportunities in alternative energy.
- Greg Copley met with the Rowan County Economic Development Council, in which they discussed the potential of an energy company locating in the county's industrial park.
- Rodney attended a briefing on the state's new energy plan at the Dept. of Environmental Protection on November 19th.
- John Dunaway met with sorghum producers in Western Kentucky on December 3rd to discuss briquetting for fuel.
- Greg Copley and Shiela Medina met with the northeastern Kentucky agriculture extension agents in November about CAER efforts to assist them on energy projects relating to agriculture. They then met with the Morgan County extension agent the following week for a similar meeting.
- Members of the CRN (Cooperative Research Network) visited the Center on January 7th. They represent the research arm of the trade association of the rural electric cooperatives.
- Greg Copley, Darrell Taulbee, Shiela Medina and Rodney Andrews visited the Temple Inland Company's cardboard recycling plant in Maysville and provided potential energy conservation measures.
- The western and eastern Kentucky CAER agents met with business and government leaders in Corbin to discuss the need for trained miners and CAER research projects.
- Don Challman attended the Advisory Board meeting of the Indiana Clean Coal Technology Research Center and the Center's follow up conference entitled "Coal, Steel and the Industrial Economy," in Hammond, IN.
- Greg met with the Appalachian Center local economic development organization to discuss economic opportunities in Eastern Kentucky; and with the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce representative to discuss potential energy-related projects.
- Don Challman, Rodney Andrews, Jim Cobb (KGS) and Energy Secretary Len Peters (KECC) visited with representatives of Argonne National Laboratory, Southern Illinois University, and the Illinois Geological Survey about collaborative research efforts in the Illinois Basin, Carbondale, IL in December.
- Greg discussed respective universities' energy research efforts with the Director of the University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program.
- Both CAER and the Kentucky Geological Survey began sending representatives in November to Kentucky's Dept. for Energy Development and Independence to advise/consult on energy-related questions from the public and staff. The purpose is to provide technical expertise and information to the energy policy makers. This is a serendipitous approach to providing ongoing dialogue between the university and the state.
- The CAER held an open house at the West Liberty (Morgan County) regional office in December. The Center is providing energy outreach to citizens in eastern Kentucky. The office is housed within Morehead State University's Regional Enterprise Center and is managed by energy field officer, Greg Copley.
- The CAER began its 7th year partnering with Russell Cave Elementary School by performing energy-related experiments.
- John Dunaway met with Owensboro Economic Development representative to discuss a grant request; and with representatives of Henderson School Superintendent to discuss potential energy programs in the schools.
Teaching and Instruction
- The Bluegrass Pride organization received a grant to educate area teachers on Kentucky energy issues. As part of that education, the group toured the CAER. The tour came at the end of their two-day trip to surface and underground mines and a visit to a power plant. The teachers heard a timely presentation on energy issues by Associate Director, Don Challman, followed by demonstrations from researchers.
- Eduardo Santillan-Jiminez successfully defended his doctoral dissertation (Chemistry).
- CAER senior researcher BK Parekh was named to the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center Board of Directors.
- Jim Hower retired as editor-in-chief of International Journal of Coal Geology after 10 years on the job and was named honorary editor of the journal. He was also named to the editorial advisory board of Central European Journal of Geosciences.
- A new patent has been awarded to Mahendra Kumar Sunkara and Shashank Sharma (University of Louisville); and Burt Davis and Uschi Graham (UK Center for Applied Energy Research). The patent is titled "Formation of Metal Oxide Nanowire Networks (Nanowebs) of Low-Melting Metals."
Grants and Proposals
- Darrell Taulbee was awarded an additional ($15,000) grant from the Governor's Office Energy Policy for work to be conducted as part of the briquetting demonstration project at EKCC. The total external funding if now $94,000. (See this month's feature story.)
- Burt Davis received a $240,000 award from the ICPC for the Production of High Hydrogen Content Coal-Derived Liquids