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General CAER News

  • The CAER's annual Advisory Board meeting was held in November, with members touring the new state-of-the-art renewables and energy storage building.
  • The annual meeting of the Combustion Management Research Group (CMRG) took place this fall. CMRG is an industrial-governmental-academic consortium, which is partnering with CAER to carry out research and development of carbon management research for coal burning power plants.
  • UK hosted the Agricultural Resources Committee Meeting with Chemistry Professor John Anthony presenting.

UK Connections

River Cities Model

  • Several staff members participated in a studio evaluation for the College of Design (CoD) and attended the final presentation of Professor Gary Rohrbacher's studio in the CoD. This is part of CAER's collaboration with the group to bring in scientific and engineering expertise to judge a studio project dealing with rethinking of an iconic architectural piece from an energy efficiency perspective. In another CAER/CoD initiative, Associate Director Shiela Medina traveled to Ashland with College of Design Dean Michael Speaks to discuss the River Cities Project, a series of studies about the urban-economic conversion along the Ohio River.
  • CAER Director Rodney Andrews presented a lecture for Stacy Closson's class on energy security in the Patterson School of Diplomacy. This was followed by a tour of the CAER. He was also appointed to UK Provost Search Committee; and attended UK's Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) Advisory Board Meeting.

Meetings and Special Presentations

  • At the Annual Kentucky Energy Management Conference at the Lexington Marriott Rodney spoke on "Future of Coal." Later he spoke at the Lexington Coal Exchange, Inc. on the "Long Range Outlook for Coal."
  • Mark Crocker gave an invited seminar entitled "From Recalcitrant Biomass and Finicky Slime to Biofuels" at Georgetown College.

Outside Interactions

  • At the ASAE/IBE Meeting in Chicago, Rodney attended as outside advisor. This was a joint meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering / Institute for Biological Engineering.
  • Rodney attended Project Lead the Way Kentucky board meeting.
  • In November Rodney and researcher David Jacques attended the Oxford Surfaces meeting with Rodney presenting "Modification of Carbon Surfaces." They also visited Gas Tech Engineering Corp. to discuss long range collaboration efforts.
  • On December 3rd Larry Cox and Steve Kelly from the Ky Dept of Agriculture visited to discuss fuel testing laboratory needs and met with the director and Associate Director for Biofuels, Mark Crocker.
  • Dr. Yali Yao of the University of Witswaterwrand in South Africa gave a seminar and visited the CAER's Fischer-Tropsch facilities.
  • Assistant Professor Jin Miyawaki, Dept. of Chemistry and Engineering, Kyushu University visited staff to discuss research on advanced device materials.

Thani Jermwongratanachai

  • The catalysis group is hosting a Fulbright Scholar, Thani Jermwongratanachai, from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Eastern Kentucky Regional Coordinator Gregg Copley attended an update meeting with Morgan Co. Judge Exec, Tim Conley, on rebuilding West Liberty and the reclaimed mine land feedlot initiative.
  • Western Kentucky Regional Coordinator Sarah Mardon participated in the Owensboro Kiwanis Club Board Meeting, of which she is a member. She also met with Garrick Thompson of Union County First to discuss involvement she has had with the community in Union County and opportunities to work with people there in the future.
  • Sarah met with Larry Griffin of International Paper in Henderson, KY into discuss how to use/sell waste from processes, toured waste sites, discussed past collaboration.


Jonathan Miller

  • The UK Energy Club hosted a seminar featuring Jonathon Miller, former two-term Kentucky State Treasurer and author of The Compassionate Community. The group later toured the Riverview coal mine in Waverly, KY.
  • Shiela Medina participated in Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative Leadership Team Meeting which was held at CAER.
  • Sarah Mardon Judged at the VEX Sack Attack Robotics Competition held in Henderson. Sixteen teams from across the state participated.
  • Sarah attended Henderson County High School CTE Open House committee meeting. She also met with Luke Hess of Northwest KY Forward to discuss the survey she completed for the group about CAER's training/seminar/workshop opportunities. She also exhibited at Coal Days, where she talked with students, coal miners, and community members about CAER, energy in Kentucky, and UK's Engineering programs. Her other outreach activities included exhibiting at the career fair at Henderson County High School where she talked with students about careers in energy/research/science/engineering and the education needed for employment. She also presented information to students at the Paducah Engineering Campus about Energy Clubs.
  • East KY PRIDE education coordinators talked with the energy coordinators regarding CAER involvement in county schools.
  • Greg Copley met with KY Power Customer Service representative to discuss cooperation in STEM and Project Lead the Way efforts.
  • Researcher Gary Jacobs is a mentor for Experience-based Career Education (EBCE) program high school student from LaFayette High School, Lexington, KY.

Teaching and Instruction

Russell Cave Schoolchildren do scientific experiments in the classroom

  • Researcher Bob Jewell met with Julie Jones (Russell Cave Elementary) to plan the upcoming experiments in the classroom. This is the tenth year of this partnership.
  • Shiela Medina attended the Energy Workforce Development Conference at the Capital Plaza in Frankfort, KY, regarding Energy Programs at Community Colleges.

Our People Accolades

Patent art

  • A patent was issued to Liu, K. Neathery, J.K. Li, X. Remias, J.E. on the "Method for removing CO2 from coal-fired power plant flue gas using ammonia as the scrubbing solution, with a chemical additive for reducing NH3 losses, coupled with a membrane for concentrating the CO2 stream to the gas stripper."
  • Associate Director Burt Davis, a most respected expert in the field of catalysis, reviewed a large number of journal articles during the last couple of months. He served as a reviewer for the Journal of Catalysis, Applied Catalysis A&B, ACS Catalysis, Fuel, Energy & Fuel, Colloids & Interface, Industrial Engineering & Chemical Research, AIChE Journal, Topics in Catalysis, Catalysis Letters, Catalysis Today, Journal of Physical Chemistry, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, and the Journal of Molecular Catalyst.

Media Interactions

  • Biofuels researcher Andy Placido was interviewed by David Kuack from Hort Americas. Hort Americas is a leading provider of goods and services to the horticulture industry. CAER purchased LED lights from them for use on the algae energy project. The interview was included in Hort Americas monthly newsletter for November and is about not only our project but also about how LED lights can be used to help grow algae.