EMS Energy Institute Interim Director Zuleima KarpynI am pleased to invite you to explore this issue of Energy Innovation. While serving as interim director of the EMS Energy Institute, I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the relentless work of our faculty, staff, and students; the value they create; and the collective impact they enable for all. My philosophy this year has been one that promotes access to facilities, resources, and information as a way to build bridges and empower our affiliates to execute their best research ideas. It has been a pleasure and valuable experience to serve the EMS Energy Institute in this role, and I thank you for your welcome and support.

The 2013-2014 academic year has been a time to reflect on our past, our future, and the strategies needed to fulfill our vision as the EMS Energy Institute crafted its 2014-2019 strategic plan within the overall Penn State strategic planning process. The goals and strategies put forth in this strategic plan follow the central theme of “energy resource development and the associated challenges of water and carbon management.” Along with this thematic emphasis, the EMS Energy Institute seeks to expand research capabilities through shared instrumentation, promote synergistic activities and research collaboration, create professional development opportunities for graduate students, and grow Penn State’s global presence in energy science and technology.

We are already well on our way to realizing some of the goals laid out in our strategic plan. Over the last year, the Institute has worked to implement a proposal process to fund collaborative research center initiatives, promote our facilities to a greater community and provide formal training on our instrumentation, and host a variety of speakers through the Energy Exchange Seminar Series.

As always, our faculty members continue to inspire research excellence. The research brief section of this newsletter will give you an idea of some of the diverse topics our faculty and students are exploring. I am also pleased to announce two new faculty affiliates: Mort Webster, who joined Penn State in February and is an associate professor of energy and mineral engineering, and Jeffrey Brownson, who was recently promoted to associate professor of energy and mineral engineering. Angel Johnson is also joining our superb support staff.

On July 1, 2014, we will welcome back EMS Energy Institute Director Chunshan Song after a one-year sabbatical leave working with Dalian University of Technology in China as part of the PSU-DUT Joint Center for Energy Research. We will work together to ensure a smooth transition into our renewed Institute strategy “To be the leading research hub for energy science and technology development.”

Zuleima Karpyn
Interim Director, EMS Energy Institute
Associate Professor, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering