Oregon BEST Top Hat E-News Update
July 2009    
In This Issue
From Oregon to Iraq: Green (re)Building
Using Wood Composites to Replace Plastics
New Wind Tunnel Helps Researchers Study Wind Farms
Oregon BEST Researchers Make Headlines in the News
More About BEST
BEST Researchers

Upcoming Events
··· August, 2009
Fast Pyrolysis Demonstration Tours
Fast Pyrolysis is a thermal process that rapidly heats woody biomass to 500 degrees C then quickly cools the volatile products to yield bio-oil, bio-char, and syngas. See a mobile unit demonstrated on three different dates at locations in S. Oregon. More info.

··· Aug. 25-27 & Sept. 15-16, 2009
Lab2Market Entrepreneurship Academy
A five-day, hands-on workshop where participants learn to navigate the path from research to market, manage the dynamics of entrepreneurship, evaluate technology/market opportunities, communicate elevator pitches, build and manage interdisciplinary teams, and locate funding opportunities. PSU campus, Portland, Oregon. More info.

··· Sept. 14, 2009
Oregon BEST FEST '09
A dynamic, one-day event offering insights into federal research funding, priorities, and programs; a venue for presenting posters about Oregon BEST research projects; and an opportunity to meet with prospective industry collaborators and the Oregon BEST Board of Directors. More info.

··· Sept. 21, 2009

Solar Materials Symposium
Oregon BEST offers a one-day symposium on new solar energy technologies as part of the
annual Micro Nano Breakthrough
Conference, which runs September 21-23 at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Keynote speakers include Nate Lewis of Caltech on a "Global Energy Perspective" and Jessika Trancik of MIT on "Nanostructured Porous Materials for Low Carbon Energy Conversion." BEST researchers and industry leaders will discuss issues around current PV materials and the nano/micro technologies of the future. More info.

Oregon BEST
P.O. Box 212
Portland, OR 97207
Tel. 503-725-9849

Executive Director's Report
Helping Oregon Companies Compete
David Kenney portrait
In the June 19th special supplement to the Portland Business Journal highlighting the area's 100 fastest growing companies, Craig Wessel's 'Publisher's Note' included the following:
But revenue is just part of the success these companies have created for themselves and the region. The 100 companies on this year's list also employ 10,709 people and have grown the number of people employed by 37 percent over the period we measure. These 100 companies have created 2,811 new jobs over the past three years.
This might be instructive to individuals in the public sector charged with growing the region's economy. While business recruitment is the focal point of economic development efforts, we may be far better off by doing everything we can as a state to help grow the companies we have.

This is a key part of Oregon BEST's strategy: helping existing Oregon businesses innovate new technologies, products, and services by connecting them to our state's network of university research facilities and expertise. These connections spark collaborations that help both Oregon businesses and Oregon universities compete.

We are grateful to the Oregon Legislature for investing in Oregon BEST for the coming biennium so that we can continue serving as an economic catalyst--helping Oregon businesses succeed, helping Oregon universities expand research funding, and helping the people of Oregon by creating new green economy jobs here.

   -- David Kenney, President & Executive Director

From Oregon to Iraq: Green (re)Building
Oregon BEST Helps Fund OSU-Led Visit by Iraqi Engineers

Iraqi Engineers
While Oregon's economy remains sluggish and the war in Iraq continues, Oregon BEST has helped Oregon State University broker funding for a unique project that could boost business for Oregon's green building and renewable energy sectors while helping Iraqis rebuild their war-torn infrastructure.

OSU Engineering faculty, working with the Michael Scott Mater Foundation, used a $27,000 grant from Oregon BEST to leverage $400,000 to support a two-week, hands-on workshop in early August for 20 Iraqi delegates who will visit Oregon to learn about green building, sustainable design, and renewable energy from Oregon BEST researchers at OSU, the UO, and PSU.

"This will be the first time an event of this type has been undertaken in the U.S.," says Scott Ashford, Oregon BEST researcher and head of OSU's School of Civil & Construction Engineering.

Joshua Mater, founder of the Mater Foundation, says the American Embassy in Bagdad is excited about the project. "And we've even had calls from Hollywood producers who want to make a documentary about this. It's exciting." Read More >>

Oregon BEST Researcher PROFILE
Replacing Plastics Along Highways

Using Woody Biomass in Composites Solves Several Problems

Lech Muszynski, OSU professorWhen Oregon BEST researcher and OSU professor of wood science and engineering Lech Muszynski was looking for items made of plastic that could potentially be manufactured using wood-plastic composites containing woody biomass, he didn't have to look far.

From his car, he noticed many things along the highway that fit the bill: from the bright orange traffic cones, barrels, and dividers used at construction sites to the tiny plastic reflectors glued to highway surfaces to delineate traffic lanes.

"Our research is focused on putting woody biomass into transportation-related products that you pass every day and don't think anything about," says Muszynski, ticking off a list of possibilities. "Guard rails, snow fences, mileposts, sign panels, traffic dividers, sound barriers--you name it. Our goal is to make wood composite products that may contain up to 70 percent biomass instead of petroleum-based plastics."

Muszynski believes Oregon can be the leader of highway perimeter products made of wood composites. Read More >>
SPOTLIGHT on Oregon BEST Research

Blowin' in the Wind Tunnel
New Tool to Help PSU Professor Study Wind Turbine Arrays

Raul Cal, PSU professorWind turbines are popping up like giant sunflowers along the Columbia River Gorge and elsewhere in the world, churning out clean energy generated by the flow of air across large blades that turn turbines.

Although researchers have studied and refined wind turbine blade design for years, few have looked into how arrays of turbines on wind farms impact the atmospheric boundary layer and the surrounding environment.

But Oregon BEST researcher and Portland State University mechanical engineering professor Raúl Bayoán Cal has big plans to change that, using a state-of-the-art wind tunnel that is unique among other wind tunnels in the U.S.

In September, Cal will fill a cavernous lab space on the ground floor of PSU's Maseeh College of Engineering with a $400,000 wind tunnel that occupies 1,500 square feet of floor space, features a test area 16 feet long, and is capable of producing heated and cooled air, simulating arid summer or icy winter conditions. Read More >>
From Shingles to Chicken Feathers to Ocean Waves
Oregon BEST Researchers IN THE NEWS...

Annette von Jouanne, OSU professor··· ANNETTE VON JOUANNE, an OSU professor of electrical engineering who is a leading expert in ocean wave energy, was featured in a Smithsonian Magazine article that describes her research and love of water. Read More >>

Two Guys on Green Roof··· TODD SCHOLZ, OSU professor of civil engineering, is studying the impact of recycling asphalt shingles into pavement for driveways and roads...and helping Oregon companies in the process. Read More >>

Two Guys on Green Roof··· IHAB ELZEYADI, an Oregon BEST professor in the UO Department of Architecture, has developed a tool that architects and planners can use in their energy retrofits and modernization plans for the more than 20 billion square feet of U.S. schools in need of renovation. Read More >>

Roger Ely, OSU professor··· ROGER ELY, a professor in the OSU Department of Biological & Ecological Engineering comments on the importance of advancing hydrogen storage technologies and the potential value of a University of Delaware research project that's looking into using chicken feathers to store hydrogen for fuel cells. Read More >>

Established with funding from the Oregon Legislature in 2007, the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) connects Oregon businesses with the state's shared network of university labs to transform green building and renewable energy research into on-the-ground products, services, and jobs that power Oregon's green economy. Oregon BEST's partner universities include Oregon State University, the Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon.

Oregon BEST · PO Box 212 · Portland, OR 97207-0212
Tel. 503-725-9849 · On the web: oregonbest.org