September-October, 2004 - VOLUME 3, NUMBER 5
General CAER News
The CAER Advisory Board met on October 28th. With UK Executive VP for Research, Wendy Baldwin in attendance, the main topic of discussion was interactions among the CAER - the university - and the state.
The semi-annual CAER project portfolio review meeting was held on October 14th. Researchers from all of the groups highlighted their work with the purpose of stimulating inter-group collaboration.
Meetings and Special Presentations
The energy summit entitled 'Coal 2020 - Burning Questions' took place October 12-13th in Lexington. The event, which was organized by UK and Cinergy, was in celebration of Cinergy's 10th anniversary. As such, the summit's speakers and panelists dealt with issues such as: the future and sustainability of coal, environmental issues, and the value of research and industry. Ari Geertsema participated in the closing panel entitled, "The Road Forward - What Are the Opportunities for University/Industry Collaboration on Future Research?".
Ari attended the annual Gasification Technologies Conference early in October. The recent announcement of IGCC projects in the US caused much interest and attendance at the conference was about 50% higher than usual. Also at the subsequent Coal Utilization Research Council meeting, it was clear that the coal-based gasification technologies are getting closer to commercial reality in the US
Ari was invited to make a presentation at the 28th Governor's Conference on the Environment in Lexington on October 27th. He spoke on "Clean Coal Options." It is the first time that this conference was hosted jointly between the Secretaries for Commerce, Environmental and Public Protection, and Economic Development. The Governor expressed his support for synergistic collaboration in the area of energy and the environment at the conference.
The joint efforts of the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville to organize a nanomaterials workshop resulted in a September 20-21st meeting -- the 2004 International Workshop on Nanomaterials, held in Lexington, Kentucky and partially organized by the CAER. The scientific focus emphasized the latest advances in the synthesis, utilization and application of nanomaterials as they relate to: energy-conversion devices, drug delivery, electronics and composites. Lectures by invited national and international speakers were followed by forums for discussion of issues concerning state-of-the-art nanotechnology in the area of nanowires and nanotubes. The meeting's featured speaker was Ira Flatow, host of National Public Radio's "Science Friday." CAER's Dr. Gary Jacobs won the best poster award in the 'professional' category.
The CAER grounds were once again the site for the Annual Kentucky Mining Institute Mine Rescue contest this fall. The competition was held September 8-10, and was part of the Institute's 65th Annual Meeting. This was held in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Mines & Minerals.
On September 14th, Ari presented a lecture at DOE NETL as part of an in-house Gasification Technology Training Course for DOE staff. His topic was Syngas Conversion to Liquids and Chemicals. The course was attended by about 60 people.
Relationships with Cemex, the third largest cement producer in the US, were strengthened when Ari and Jack Groppo visited their headquarters in Monterrey, Mexico. Presentations were made on CAER's capabilities and specifically on the DOE co-funded project at the Ghent power station. CAER was asked to submit a proposal for a facility in Florida to process waste material. The relationship with Cemex holds promise for greater collaboration.
Proposals and Awards
The long-awaited project award for the Ghent project, for which CAER was already selected in January 2003, was approved by DOE at the end of September. The project of $9 million will involve the erection of a demonstration-scale facility at the Ghent power station of LG&E with Cemex as a major partner. The project is scheduled for completion by October 2007.
Emilie Chenu, a student from the UK/ESIREM 2003 exchange program, who returned to work and study an additional year at the CAER, successfully defended her Master's Thesis at her home university of Dijon, France.