Amanda Morris receives Powe junior faculty award in support of her solar energy research
Oak Ridge Associated Universities has selected Amanda Morris, a Virginia Tech scientist investigating sustainable energy, for a 2012 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. The unrestricted grant is for faculty members in the first two years of their tenure track.
Morris, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, is searching for ways to harness energy from the sun in an easier, more efficient, less expensive method than currently available. The $5,000 Powe award, which is matched by Virginia Tech, is aimed at aiding Morris to foster new collaborations in her research field and advance her scientific investigations.
» Read more on the Virginia Tech website
University Honors students invited to Paris to compete as finalists in an international energy solutions case competition
Katie Gloe of Leesburg, Va., a junior majoring in chemical engineering, and Darius Emrani of Greensboro, N.C., a junior majoring in computer engineering, both in the College of Engineering, are one team out of 25 selected to enter the third and final round of the competition.
Gloe and Emrani will present their energy management idea, named EnerGymnasia, at the concluding event. "We were inspired by the number of students who use McComas Gym," said Gloe. "The idea is to capture energy from stationary equipment and walk-able surfaces, then input that energy back into a gym-wide electrical grid, making the gym more energy independent."
» Read more on the Virginia Tech website
Shashank Priya to host world energy harvesting conference at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Shashank Priya will host a two-day conference Aug.7 and 8 on campus, bringing together a group of international experts on energy harvesting and its applications.
Priya directs Virginia Tech College of Engineering's Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems, part of the National Science Foundation's Industry University Collaborative Research Center. He is organizer of the upcoming 7th Annual Energy Harvesting Workshop and 2nd Annual Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems Conference.
» Read more on the Virginia Tech website
Energy conservation initiative begins in six campus buildings
A comprehensive energy conservation initiative is under way in six campus buildings that is expected to save the university more than $8 million in utility costs over an 11-year period.
Cassell Coliseum, Jamerson Athletic Center, Hahn Hall-South, Dietrick Hall, and McBryde Hall, as well as the central steam plant, will receive multiple upgrades, including new lighting, HVAC control upgrades, water conservation measures, variable frequency drives, kitchen ventilation upgrades, cooling tower retrofits, building envelope sealing, and steam system repairs. The $5.3 million project is scheduled to be completed by early 2013.
» Read more on the Virginia Tech website
Energy Initiatives at Virginia Tech — A Progress Report
PDF version of a report by Satish V. Kulkarni, Director of Energy Initiatives for the Office of the Vice President for Research. Presented to Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors November 6, 2011. Includes discussion of the national and local scene; Virginia Tech's energy portfolio, recent activities and new initiatives; coal, nuclear, bioenergy, solar, building energy efficiency, and transportation; and partnerships with DOE national labs, universities, and industry.
Energy experts sought for seminars, speakers' bureau
The National Energy Technology Laboratory – Regional University Alliance (NETL-RUA) is looking for researchers willing to improve NETL-RUA's visibility in the region and nationally as energy experts and to further the alliance mission to educate energy leaders for the future.
Toward those goals, a seminar series and a speakers' bureau are being sponsored by the NETL-RUA education committee and communication and outreach committee.
For the seminar series, NETL-RUA speakers may be asked to participate in webcasts among the institutions as part of a member institution's regular academic seminar series or as a special event. Additionally, NETL-RUA may invite a renowned guest lecturer to speak on an energy-related topic drawing attention to this region and the alliance as a resource for energy information and knowledge.
For the speakers' bureau, a list of experts will be made available to organizations seeking technical speakers. These events could range from chamber of commerce or social service organization meetings to keynotes at STEM associations or government agency meetings. This list will also serve as a resource for media requests for technical experts.
Input is requested via a short, web-based survey, which should only take a few minutes.
NETL-RUA is an applied research collaboration that combines NETL's fossil energy and energy systems expertise with the broad capabilities of five nationally recognized, regional universities: Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.
If you have questions, contact Julianne Klara, Regional University Alliance manager, 412-386-6089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Energy Relaunches Energy.Gov
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the comprehensive reform of its website, Energy.gov. The new website makes it easier for visitors to get localized information specific to their cities, counties, and states on tax credits, rebates, energy-saving tips, and grant opportunities.
The new platform utilizes the latest technologies in information visualization, bringing updated and interactive charts and maps to Energy.gov and making energy information more relevant to individuals. The Department is also now able to offer more open data sets for individuals to use and apply to other online applications.
The Energy.gov reform initiative is part of the Obama Administration's Campaign to Cut Waste, a dedicated effort across the federal government to streamline operations, end unnecessary spending and save taxpayers money. Over the next year, the Department will continue to improve Energy.gov by moving more program websites and features to the centralized platform.
Learn more about the new Energy Department website at www.energy.gov.
Director of energy initiatives named
Satish V. Kulkarni, a Virginia Tech alumnus who has led international and national collaborations related to energy, security, and the environment for more than three decades, has been named the director of energy initiatives for the university.
The Office of the Vice President for Research and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science jointly created the position in recognition of the societal need for advanced technological solutions to energy concerns. The director will promote energy-related research and initiatives across the university.
Kulkarni will work both at the new Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington and on the Blacksburg campus. He was until recently associate vice president for new initiatives and partnerships at Georgetown University and, before that, the counselor for science, technology, environment, and health affairs at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India with the Department of State.
He was recently inducted into the Academy of Engineering Excellence at Virginia Tech for "meritorious lifetime achievements and contributions to the engineering profession."
Learn more at http://bit.ly/gpQhXY.
Energy experts discuss Japan's nuclear crisis and the possibility for a similar event in the U.S.
Can an event like that at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant happen in the United States?
Nuclear experts across the globe continue to assess the damage caused by Japan's nuclear crisis. The consensus is that its impact is matched only by the Russian Chernobyl disaster in 1986. While the world stays focused on Japan, Americans wonder if a nuclear catastrophe can happen here.
Dr. John Metzger, director of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh and Howard Bruschi, retired Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and current Executive Consultant at Westinghouse, discussed the current situation in Japan on the radio program "The American Entrepreneur" on Pittsburgh radio station AM 1360 WMNY.
Click the link to hear the discussion. The segment is entitled "Can the Japanese Nuclear Crisis Happen Here in the United States?" The interview starts at time 10:15 into the segment.
CPES welcomes Dr. Hui Wang
Her research focus will be on the integration of electric vehicle to utility grid in the CPES mini-consortium on Renewable Energy and Nanogrids (REN). Download the August 2010 proposal for the CPES REN mini-consortium.
Created by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Geographic Information Science and Technology group for the U.S. Department of Energy, the new site will provide reports, technical data, and lists of experts.
Goals are to:
- provide ready access to the status of bioenergy in the United States
- distribute data needed for assessments
- support emerging bioindustry by providing an integrative perspective
- support policymaking by visualizing the outcomes of proposed policies
- define where research or demonstration funds should be targeted
- foster education and outreach
"The Bioenergy KDF harnesses Web. 2.0 and social networking technologies with customized online collaboration features for sharing and linking geographic and non-geographic digital content and resources," said ORNL's Rahul Ramachandran, the chief technology architect of the KDF.
Registered users will be able to contribute additional data sets that can be shared, growing the body of knowledge, better informing this growing industry and eliminating information silos.
Grants awarded for community-based energy research
The Office of the Vice President for Research has awarded three Community Action Grants for Energy Research to promote collaboration between Virginia Tech researchers and the community.
Grant recipients are:
- Members of the Conservation Management Institute (CMI) for a feasibility study on converting the Catawba State Hospital oil-fired furnace to biomass. [ PDF of the proposal ]
- John Randolph for a project to help develop a final Blacksburg climate action plan and pilot residential energy assessment program. [ PDF of the proposal ]
- David Dillard and Cortney Martin for a project to demonstrate the feasibility of micro wind–based net metering for Southwest Virginia. [ PDF of the proposal ] Follow progress on this project.
Virginia Tech’s Energy Task Force
Virginia Tech is committed to research and education that provides solutions for the Nation’s energy needs.
In 2006, the Deans' Task Force on Energy Security and Sustainability was formed to assist with university-level efforts in energy research. In the coming year, we will continue these efforts by assisting faculty members with the preparation of large grant proposals in research areas related to energy security and sustainability. We will also seek partnerships that position Virginia Tech as a national and international leader in areas of expertise and will continue to coordinate campus-wide events, such as a speaker series and community engagement activities.
This website is intended to provide a resource to view the university community's significant expertise in the field of energy research. If you are a guest, please review the links to project areas and research centers to gain a better understanding of our expertise in these important areas.*
If you are a faculty member doing energy-related research, please review your information by entering your name or center in the "Search" field. We welcome information about new projects and any updates you would care to make.
Search the Energy Task Force website
PODCAST: "The Climate Bridge Reaches Blacksburg." Tim Thornton of WVTF news interviews panelists who visited Virginia Tech in September 2009 to discuss "A Transatlantic Perspective on Climate Change and Energy Policy." Thornton interviews Martin Hoppe-Kilpper, a German energy business leader; Andrea McGimsey, a Northern Virginia energy policy leader; and Jack Wall of SustainFloyd. The talk was sponsored by the Transatlantic Climate Bridge, an initiative to foster transatlantic cooperation and partnerships between Germany, the US, and Canada on climate and energy policies at the local, the state, and the federal level.
PODCAST: Updating our Electricity Grid (length 0:54). Richard Hirsh, director of the Consortium on Energy Restructuring, talks about how electricity gets from the power plant to your toaster – and what’s wrong with this picture
PODCAST: Electricity and the Internet (length 1:01). Richard Hirsh, director of the Consortium on Energy Restructuring, talks about a better way to distribute electricity – the Internet as a model.
PEOPLE AND THEIR ENERGY RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
For more detailed, technical descriptions of energy research projects, you may want to examine the abstracts of the research posters presented at the Deans' Forum on Energy Security and Sustainability in October 2006 and at the Energy Research Engagement Showcase in November 2006.
Note to the university community: If you see gaps in the resources or other information listed on this site, please send the additional information to Beth Tranter.