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General CAER News

BK Parekh

  • Dr. B.K. Parekh has retired from the CAER. He had a long professional history in coal preparation and cleaning and contributed greatly to the CAER's rewarding long-term relationship with the UK Department of Mining Engineering. His departure was celebrated by a breakfast and presentations that included current and a few former staff members, as well as faculty members from UK's Mining Engineering Department.
  • Representatives of the regional offices of the Innovation and Commercialization Center (ICC) from Paducah, Lexington, Elizabethtown, Northern KY, Ashland and West Liberty learned how CAER can assist them through a lab tour and presentations. The ICC is a network throughout the Commonwealth whose representatives focus on helping Kentucky entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers with their business strategies in order to build high-tech businesses throughout Kentucky.
  • Mr. Ralph Marshall, from HED International Inc, visited CAER on December 20-21 to assist us with start-up for a newly purchased rotary kiln. The rotary kiln provides the CAER with the capability to produce large quantities of low energy cement that is formulated using coal combustion byproducts. Our current methods utilize smaller batch furnaces, which limit our cement production to several pounds per day. The rotary kiln will increase the capability to 5-10 lbs per hour.

Students doing energy audit at CAER

  • A group of Scott County middle school student recently performed an energy audit at the CAER. The young energy auditors counted the number and luminosity of lights, and addition to the appliances, computers, monitors, and printers. While still on site, Doug Keaton, manager of the energy-audit program for Project NEED, loaded the data into a spreadsheet, which showed how energy in-efficient the 1970s era building is. The easiest (and cheapest) fixes are the obvious ones. Turn out the lights when not in the offices or labs; close lab hoods when not in use; turn off monitors at night; change some of the light fixtures for newer, more efficient ones.

UK Interactions

  • Director Rodney Andrews attended a UK Mining Engineering Board meeting in which Joe Craft was honored.

Outside Interactions

Chinese Mining Engineers Tour at CAER

  • A group of 21 Chinese mining engineers toured the CAER as part of a larger visit to Kentucky recently. The delegation was interested in various forms of technology as they relate to coal and new research into coal technologies. The engineers also visited the UK Dept. of Mining Engineering, the president of the university, and the state's energy secretary as part of their tour of the commonwealth.
  • Mr. Manfred Selig of Wacker Chemical in Munich, Germany met with Darrell Taulbee to discuss collaborative agreement on binder development.
  • Jim Neathery, Don Johnson, and Zhisheng Chen visited the AEP Mountaineer Plant in West Virginia to tour the Alstom CO2 Capture Test Facility.
  • Mr. Ted Norris, from Alliance Coal LLC, visited the CAER on 12/15/2010 to discuss a potential research project with Jack Groppo and Bob Rathbone.

Teaching and Instruction

  • On November 12th, Rodney lectured on "Energy Issues" for the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) Seminar Series. PEIK is located within the College of Engineering to provide education and certification in power engineering to undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals.
  • Rodney attended Carissa Russell's thesis defense on November 29th and was on the committee for Juan Rivas' oral exam on November 30th
  • Rodney Andrews and Brock Marrs taught a short course on nanomaterials in medicine and dentistry at the Federal University of Uruguay.

Staff/Student Accolades

Carissa Russell

  • Carissa Russell, a long-time CAER research assistant and Department of Mechanical Engineering graduate student, successfully defended her M.S. thesis "Interfacial Thermal Conductivity Using Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes" this fall.

Meetings and Special Presentations

Dr. Burt Davis

  • Burt Davis was co-organizer of the Nanocatalysis for Fuels and Chemicals Symposium at the 2010 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, December 15-20, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Rodney was on a renewable energy panel for IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) headquarters in DC.
  • Rodney presented to the Kentucky Agriculture Commission's Energy Committee Meeting in Frankfort in early December and to the senate democrats meeting in Lexington. .


Grants and Proposals

  • CAER's Carbon Materials Group has received three grant notifications. They are: Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) "Fiber Forming Development for Advanced Structural Carbon Fibers" $497,719.00
  • Air Force Topic AF10-BT01 - subcontracted to CAER by Creative Electron Inc., "Multifunctional Polymers for Composite Structures; 2D Laminate Graphite Fiber Reinforced Composites" $50,062.00
  • U.S. Army Missile Research Development and Engineering Center/Materials Sciences Corporation (AMRDEC/MSC) "Multifunctional Polymers for Composite Structures; Phase 111 SBIR" $344,257.00