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General CAER News

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto speaking to KSE Subcommittee.

  • UK President Eli Capilouto welcomed the Kentucky Special Energy Subcommittee to the Center for Applied Energy Research recently. The subcommittee held one of its regular meetings at the Center's new energy-efficient laboratory building with some members touring the facility afterwards.
  • CAER Director Rodney Andrews visited Grupo Antolin (a global automotive supplier), CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre), and ITMA (research lab) as well as other collaborators in Spain.
  • CAER program manager Jim Neathery gave an internal presentation recently on seed funding for research groups. The seed research committee will distribute a portion of internal CAER funds (if/when these funds are available) in the form of seed grants to researchers with new ideas.

UK Interactions

UK CoD logo.

  • The UK College of Design recently named UKCAER Director Rodney Andrews this year's "Friend of the College." The award is given to someone who has partnered with the college to bring recognition and success. Through his work at CAER, he has been instrumental in reviewing and promoting projects like the Houseboat for Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER), The Rivers Cities Project, The Paducah Studio, and the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.
  • Mark Crocker participated in a meeting of the UK Senate Council's Ad Hoc Committee on Multidisciplinary Research Centers. The Senate Council had previously voted to create an ad hoc committee to look into the nature of these centers, their reporting structure, their educational endeavors, and the applicable Governing Regulations.

UK CAER Liz Ware during a chemistry demo.

  • CAER graduate students Liz Ware-Harman and Justin Mobley demonstrated experiments at the UK Chemistry Dept. during National Chemistry Week. They performed chemical and safety demonstrations for a large group of students from local schools.
  • The UK Energy Club hosted its third Energy 101 Seminar of the semester. The seminar was given by Chris Reeves of CMTA and covered energy efficient building designs and nets zero buildings.
  • The SEAM program brings together undergraduate business and engineering students to participate in an integrated program in which students learn from both disciplines. A group of these students met with Rodney, learned about algae use for CO2 reduction, and toured the new renewable fuel and energy storage building.
  • Bree McCarney met with Eric Crowden and Bleik Pickett of UK Development. Rodney later gave Pickett a tour of our new facilities.
  • Rodney was videotaped by the UK Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences for a segment on the importance of EES in energy development.

Meetings and Special Presentations

Matt Wiensberger and Julian Norley.Matt Weisenberger, CAER Carbon Materials Associate Director (left) and Julian Norley, GrafTech Intl. (right)

  • Julian Norley, Corporate Fellow of GrafTech International Holdings Inc., delivered this year's Graffin Lecturer, an honor of the American Carbon Society. He spoke on his company's 125 years as a carbon and graphite materials science company. The talk took his audience from the early days of gaslight assistance through today's use of the company's products in smart phones.
  • Rodney, David Jacques, and Don Challman attended the Fuels from Coal & Biomass workshop in Morgantown, WVA. Rodney presented on the CAER's CTL program.
  • The CAER was well represented at this year's Governor's Conference on the Environment Oct 8-9th. Rodney spoke on the future of coal during a panel. The lab and the UK Energy Club exhibited side by side.

Jim Hower.

  • Jim Hower chaired six sessions at 29th International Pittsburgh Coal Conference; judged best paper and best poster awards; and presented best paper and best poster awards.
  • Marsha Grimminger and Steve Lipka attended the 12th Annual Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Colloquium in Washington DC., where Marsha gave a presentation on her work entitled "Fluorinated Carbon Nanospheres with Tunable Particle/Pore Size for Li/CFx Primary Batteries." Steve also attended the 2012 DOE Energy Storage Program Peer Review and Update Meeting in Washington, DC. A poster was presented entitled "2.5kW/10kWh Redox Flow Battery (RFB) with Low-cost Electrolyte and Membrane Technologies" with ITN Energy Systems, Inc. on a recent grant from ARPA-E.
  • Energy Club Coordinator Bree McCarney and UK Energy Club students attended the Centre College Environmental Issues Forum.
  • Rodney presented to the Franklin County Area Development Districts Public Safety and Energy Committee. He discussed what the regional energy coordinators can do for that area.

Outside Interactions

Tour of the Ky Argonne Battery Center.

  • The Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center was toured recently by international automotive journalists. The Kentucky FAMiliarization Tour was sponsored by the Cabinet of Economic Development. They visited Kentucky as guests of Governor Beshear and toured the highlights of the state such as Ford, Toyota, UPS, and the Battery Center. The goal is to give them information for future publications.
  • John Anthony recently gave invited talks at Dennison University "Recent Advances in Plastic Electronics," and Ohio State University "Molecular Designs for Organic Electronics."
  • CAER was visited by international academics recently. Professors from Akita University and Kyoto University in Japan saw the breadth of our research and discussed coal liquefaction with the lab's experts.
  • Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Associate Director Mark Crocker received a visit from DOE ARPA-E program director J. Burbaum. He toured the labs to learn more about CAER's biofuels activities.
  • Mark Crocker and Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez visited the Institute for Research on Catalysis and the Environment of Lyon (IRCELYON) in France and discussed the potential for collaboration between CAER and the Engineering and Process Intensification group at IRCELYON. They also toured the facilities and discussed ways to strengthen the exchange program between CAER and the ESIREM, which has been a student exchange partner for over a decade.
  • Regional Coordinator Greg Copley attended a Morgan County long term recovery team meeting in September. He also attended the Big Sandy Regional Industrial Development Authority meeting; and a Knox County Chamber of Commerce meeting.
  • Steve Lipka and John Anthony presented at the Ag/Natural Resources Committee Meeting.
  • Rodney spoke on CAER activities at the KY Energy Innovation Roundtable dinner with some CAER staff attending.
  • Greg attended the Bracken County Energy Field Day, which showcases the use of Switchgrass as a potential bioenergy crop and its use in the EKPC Spurlock plant. It was held on a farm in Mason County.
  • Associated Director Shiela Medina attended the State Energy Sector Partnership meeting at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort.
  • Sarah Mardon attended Owensboro Chamber Young Professionals Board Meeting.


UK CAER Regional Energy Agents.

  • UKCAER Regional Energy Coordinators Sarah Mardon and Greg Copley exhibited at the recent Kentucky Academy of Sciences Meeting.
  • CAER staff members participated in Transylvania University's Health, Wellness and Eco Fair on October 10. They spoke to faculty, staff and students about current CAER projects and research along with the exciting announcements surrounding the opening of the new CAER lab.
  • Greg attended NEED (National Energy Education Development) training. Training was designed for educators to have information and packets on energy related education and instructional material.

Teaching and Instruction

UK CAER Hosts Ash Workshop in Lexington, KY

  • A new workshop co-sponsored by CAER and the American Coal Ash Association, provided a comprehensive overview of coal combustion byproducts. Around 50 people attended.
  • CAER staff is again teaching CME 599, Power Generation Technologies in the UK College of Engineering. The class provides an overview of all types of power generation.
  • Sarah Mardon presented information about energy auditing to middle and high school students; and helped Henderson County High School Energy Club students teach middle school students how to conduct an energy audit. She also assisted high school students with teaching elementary students the NEED Energy curriculum. Approximately 250 students and 40 teachers/facilitators/volunteers participated. Finally, she presented information about energy in Kentucky and the U.S. to a Henderson County AP Environmental Science classes.

Staff and Student Accolades

UK CAER Researcher Burt Davis and New Patent.

  • Congratulations to Uschi Graham, (former CAER researcher) Rajesh Khatri, and Burt Davis. They recently authored the patent "In-situ nanoparticle formation in polymer clearcoats." Toyota sponsored the R&D phase of the project that led to the invention. The University of Kentucky is the Assignee and Toyota will receive one complementary license.
  • CAER's Carbon Material's research group has made the top 50 most cited papers in Applied Physics Letters. As stated by the journal web site, "This collection represents the most highly cited papers ever published in Applied Physics Letters." Lead author Dali Qian along with other UK CAER scientists Rodney Andrews and Terry Rantell and former University of Kentucky scientist, now at North Carolina State University, Elizabeth Dickey are pleased with the recognition. The published paper is Load transfer and deformation mechanisms in carbon nanotube-polystyrene composites by D. Qian, E. C. Dickey, R. Andrews, and T. Rantell in Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 2868 (2000).
  • The Clean Fuels and Chemical Research Group can lay claim to two "most cited" papers in the area of applied catalysis research. One of the most downloaded articles on the Applied Catalysis web site is ... Fischer-Tropsch synthesis: Effect of Pd, Pt, Re, and Ru noble metal promoters on the activity and selectivity of a 25%Co/Al2O3 catalyst, by Wenping Ma, Gary Jacobs, Robert A. Keogh, Dragomir B. Bukur, and Burtron H. Davis. An older publication from the Clean Fuels research group continues to be one of the most cited papers for the same journal ... Fischer-Tropsch synthesis: Temperature programmed EXAFS/XANES investigation of the influence of support type, cobalt loading, and noble metal promoter addition to the reduction behavior of cobalt oxide particles, vol 333, Issue 2, December 2007, Pages 177-191 by Jacobs, G., Ji, Y., Davis, B.H., Cronauer, D., Kropf, A.J., Marshall, C.L.

UK Reveal Video about John Anthony

  • UK Chemistry Professor and CAER faculty associate, John Anthony's organic solar cell and transistor work is highlighted in a new video.

Media Interactions

  • Jack Groppo hosted a video production crew from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) who visited CAER to videotape interviews with UK Energy Club members and Mining Engineering students. The video entitled "Coal = Future" focuses on various aspects of careers related to energy production and clean coal technologies.
  • "HOME GROWN OIL" is an article about "drop-in" replacements for transportation fuels that are made from organic trash or excreted by algae. The article, appearing in the Spring 2012 issue of The Trends Journal. It features CAER's project on the utilization of waste CO2 and heat from a coal-fired power plant to cultivate algae. The algae could then be processed into fuel and other products while lowering CO2 emissions at the power plant.