Current news

Alumna recognized for her impact in combustion engines and fuels

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

By Erin Cassidy Hendrick

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State alumna Elana Chapman, senior fuels and biofuels engineer at General Motors (GM), has been recognized for her impacts within the fuel industry. 

As a recognized expert in internal combustion engines, alternative fuels and advanced propulsion systems, she was honored as the 2020 recipient of the Phi Sigma Rho’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2021 Rodica Baranescu Award for Technical and Leadership Excellence from SAE, previously known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. 

Materials Research Institute announces seed grant recipients

Monday, March 15, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Materials Research Institute (MRI) has announced the 2021 recipients of seed grants that will enable University faculty to establish new collaborations with partners outside their own units for exploration of transformative ideas for high-impact materials science and engineering. There are four research themes for the seed grants, with 12 grants totaling more than $500,000 which were awarded by MRI in partnership with Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory and the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

Internet fiber optics could provide valuable insight into geological phenomena

Friday, February 26, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fiber-optic cables run underneath nearly all city grids across the United States and provide internet and cable TV to millions, but what if those systems could also provide valuable information related to hazardous events such as earthquakes and flooding? A team of researchers at Penn State have found they can do just that.

The scientists are using fiber-optic distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology to turn existing telecommunication infrastructure that is already installed underground into a valuable resource for monitoring ground vibrations.

Second Energy University forum to focus on education March 5

Friday, February 26, 2021

By Kevin Sliman

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State faculty, staff and students are invited to take part in the second forum designed to discuss how Penn State can continue to strengthen its position as an energy leader. The forum, titled "Energy University: Energy Education," will take place from 9-10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 5. Registration is required.

The forum will include five panelists from around Penn State:

New Faculty Spotlight: Barbara Arnold

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Energy Institute recently sat down with new EI affiliate Barbara Arnold to get to know her a little bit better.

Can you tell me about your area of expertise?

I'm a coal preparation engineer with a focus on flowsheet design (including the application of mathematical models) and fine coal processing–gravity, froth flotation, and dewatering. That is the expertise that I'll bring to the beneficiation/concentration piece of the work being done in Penn State's Center for Critical Minerals.


How does your work impact society?

Lo Prete receives NSF CAREER award to investigate capacity adequacy options

Friday, January 29, 2021

Chiara Lo Prete, associate professor of energy economics in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, received a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation to investigate electricity market structures to provide efficient incentives for generation capacity investment under increasing renewable penetration.

Mining engineering professor selected as honorary member of AIME

Thursday, January 21, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Barbara Arnold, professor of practice in mining engineering at Penn State, has been awarded honorary membership in American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME). AIME honorary membership is one of the highest honors that the institute can bestow on an individual.

Nanoengineered cement shows promise for sealing leaky gas wells

Thursday, December 17, 2020

By Matthew Carroll

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Leaking natural gas wells are considered a potential source of methane emissions, and a new nanomaterial cement mixture could provide an effective, affordable solution for sealing these wells, according to a team of Penn State scientists.

Penn State, Colorado School of Mines will support US need for critical minerals

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

By Patricia Craig

Penn State has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Colorado School of Mines to establish a collaboration designed to be responsive in supporting the United States’ need for critical minerals.

New sulfur dioxide conversion method may transform current industrial techniques

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Jennifer Matthews

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A single-step, plasma-enhanced catalytic process to convert sulfur dioxide to pure sulfur from tail gas streams may provide a promising, more environmentally-friendly alternative to current multistage thermal, catalytic and absorptive processes, according to scientists at Penn State.