Second UCFER Technical Review Meeting

UCFER Fall 2019 volument 3 newsletter header

left: Robert Enick, University of Pittsburgh; middle: Giannis Mpourmpakis, University of Pittsburgh; right: Michael Hickner, Penn State. Photos by NETL

left: Robert Enick, University of Pittsburgh

middle: Giannis Mpourmpakis, University of Pittsburgh

right: Michael Hickner, Penn State
Photos by NETL

left: Chunshan Song, UCFER director; middle: Sarma V. Pisupati, Penn State; right: Eric Petersen, Texas A&M University. Photos by NETL

left: Chunshan Song, UCFER director

middle: Sarma V. Pisupati, Penn State

right: Eric Petersen, Texas A&M University
Photos by NETL

Over two days in late May, representatives from fourteen U.S. universities gathered at NETL in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the second annual UCFER technical review meeting. Representatives discussed the direction of NETL research, reviewed UCFER’s progress, and heard project updates from the group’s principal investigators (PIs).

DOE technical director and UCFER researcher Madhava Syamlal began the meeting with brief remarks to welcome attendees and discuss the day’s schedule. He then delivered opening remarks that outlined NETL science and technology goals, including key research areas and resources NETL can offer coalition members.

Brian Anderson, who began serving as NETL director in November 2018, highlighted UCFER fossil energy research and its partnership with NETL. Anderson was previously a member of the UCFER technical advisory council.

“Early-stage research is essential in advancing innovative technologies that facilitate next-generation solutions; and we can’t do it alone,” Anderson said. “The NETL commitment to collaborative research with talented university partners helps us create a robust innovation ecosystem to meet America’s energy needs with domestic energy resources in the coming decades.”

Chunshan Song, director of UCFER and distinguished professor at Penn State, updated attendees on the state of the coalition. Song covered how projects from the previous three rounds of funding have progressed and outlined the schedule for the fourth and fifth round of funding.

Song began his presentation with an overview of current trends in fossil energy, both within the U.S. and globally. Looking at past energy trends and projections into 2050, he focused on the global push to increase renewable and clean energy, including solar and wind energy solutions. Song sees UCFER responding to that trend by researching how to use fossil fuels in more environmentally-friendly and efficient ways. Carbon dioxide capture, storage, and re-use are a major focuses of the coalition, he said.

“Fossil energy research and development will pave the way for clean carbon-based sustainable energy technologies that can produce and use fuels, chemicals, and materials while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions,”  said Song, director of the EMS Energy Institute and distinguished professor of fuel science in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State.

Song proposed that future Requests for Proposals (RFPs) could include a wider range of technology topic areas to attract more proposals from each member university. Additionally, Song requested that NETL consider increasing the amount of funds in each RFP and promoting collaboration between universities through larger funding packages.

The new DOE project officer for UCFER, Omer Bakshi, welcomed attendees and stressed the importance of NETL and university research collaboration.

The eighteen presentations from PIs leading UCFER-funded projects during the rest of the meeting demonstrated the achievements and future work that collaboration has created. The first day of the meeting concluded with a closed-door review of the fourth round of funding and proposal selection by the technical advisory council.

left: Brian Anderson, NETL director; right: group shot. Photos by NETL

left: Brian Anderson, NETL director

right: group shot
Photos by NETL

left: Hanjing Tian, West Virginia University; right: group shot. Photos by NETL

left: Hanjing Tian, West Virginia University

right: group shot
Photos by NETL

left: Michael Mann, University of North Dakota and Richard Bajura, West Virginia University; right: Brian Anderson, NETL director; Photos by NETL

left: Michael Mann, University of North Dakota and Richard Bajura, West Virginia University

right: Brian Anderson, NETL director
Photos by NETL

Traci Rodosta, NETL;  Madhava Syamlal, NETL; Chunshan Song, Penn State; and Omer Bakshi, NETL; Photo by NETL

Traci Rodosta, NETL;  Madhava Syamlal, NETL; Chunshan Song, Penn State; and Omer Bakshi, NETL                     

Photo by NETL