Masthead top hat w/ TM for E-newsletter
January, 2010    
In This Issue...
OIT's Renewable Energy Engineering Program
RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT Growing Bioplastics in Trees?
RESEARCHER PROFILE: UO's Alison Kwok Improves Green Building
Oregon BEST Researchers Make Headlines in the News
More About
Oregon BEST
Oregon BEST Researchers

Oregon BEST in the News

Oregon BEST Green Building Research Network

Oregon BEST Solar Energy Research Network
Upcoming Events
иии January 27, 2010

Advanced Facades Research Collaborative Breakfast Briefing

A special briefing about the UO's School of Architecture & Allied Arts' Activated Facade Research Collaborative with Glumac Engineering. Keynote speaker is Pat Brunner of the GSA. White Stag Block, Portland, Oregon, 7:30 a.m. RSVP by January 22 to

иии April 12-14, 2010

The Building Enclosure Science & Technology Conference
(Best2 is a coincidental acronym and is not affiliated with Oregon BEST) is a 3-day event focused on specific aspects of performance of building systems with a view to high energy efficiency, good indoor climate and long-term performance. Academic research complemented with "real world" applications and case studies.

иии April 21-22, 2010

A 2-day forum for learning, networking, and business development that brings together project developers, service and equipment providers, energy end users, utilities, government, and others involved in building the new energy economy.

иии April 30-May 2, 2010

The 5th Annual Northwest Solar Expo & Clean Technology Showcase 2010  offers multiple networking opportunities for business professionals, installers, integrators and potential solar and clean energy customers.

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

Thinking "Outside the Barrel"
OIT's Renewable Energy Engineering Program first in the U.S.

Robert Bass, OIT/PortlandIn 2005, when the Oregon Institute of Technology hired Robert Bass to launch its Renewable Energy Engineering Program - the first of its kind in the nation - only four students enrolled, two of whom dropped out during that first year.

Today, the program boasts more than 200 students: 130 at OIT's east Portland campus and 70 at the main campus in Klamath Falls. The program's rapid growth is good news to local companies like Imagine Energy. They are snapping up graduates.

"We just got big very fast," says Bass, who is a professor of renewable energy engineering. "We're definitely delivering on our promise to develop the next generation of energy engineers. And ours are a very different breed; they're renewable energy engineers."

Two Guys on Green RoofOf the five energy engineering programs in the U.S., the OIT program is the only one focused exclusively on renewable energy. Read more or view VIDEO.
SPOTLIGHT on Oregon BEST Research

Growing Bioplastics in Tree Leaves?
Oregon BEST Researchers look to poplar trees for production

Steve Strauss & Ganti Murthy, OSUImagine if it were possible to grow biodegradable plastics within the leaves of trees...?

Oregon BEST researchers Steven Strauss  and Ganti Murthy at Oregon State University are using a proposal matching grant from Oregon BEST to explore if this might be feasible in hybrid polar trees grown in the Northwest.

If even a small fraction of the worldwide plastic production of 200 billion pounds per year could be replaced with a percentage of biopolymers, it should improve the health of the planet and positively impact the $300-$500 billion global plastics market.

Strauss and Murthy Video GrabThe researchers are collaborating with Portland-based GreenWood Resources, one of the Pacific Northwest's largest hybrid poplar growers. Strauss and Murthy say funding from Oregon BEST was very important to securing funding from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to carry out the initial stages of the research. Read more or view VIDEO.
Oregon BEST Researcher PROFILE
Building Better Green Buildings

UO's professor's case studies help her students, industry

Alison Kwok   Students, UOAlison Kwok, Oregon BEST researcher and professor of architecture at the University of Oregon, believes green building practices can be improved by talking with the people who design, construct, and operate a building after it's been completed and is occupied.

Kwok (pictured far right, with students) is interested in the social interactions of the owners, architects, engineers, and consultants who come together to envision and design a building; the army of contractors who construct it; and the facility managers and occupants who ultimately operate and occupy the structure.

By listening carefully to the stories these people tell, and not just reviewing reams of data and piles of plans, Kwok and her graduate students are hoping to help transform the overall practice of green building. Read more >>
Executive Director's Report

A New Year, More Opportunities

David Kenney portrait

After a jam-packed 2009, Oregon BEST is looking forward to another terrific year! We thank the faculty, business, government, and nonprofit stakeholders who contributed to the many exciting accomplishments of the past year. Here are five things that you can expect to see from Oregon BEST in 2010:
  • Another "Oregon BEST FEST" event. Our inaugural event last September was very popular, and we look forward to offering another opportunity for OUS researchers and industry partners to connect.

  • Continued investment in building out our network of shared-user lab facilities. This network provides industry and OUS researchers access to the tools and expertise needed for discovery and innovation.

  • Expanding university-industry relationships. Catalyzing connections between faculty and Oregon businesses to spark collaborations, new products, and jobs is at the heart of what we do.

  • Increased federal funding for green building and renewable energy research. Helping faculty secure competitive grants brings research revenue and jobs to Oregon.

  • Success stories. We'll share news of successful collaborations that advance research, develop new technologies, and help Oregon businesses succeed.
As our state struggles to recover from the recession, we are striving to support the creation of new jobs through innovation in sustainable technologies. We look forward to partnering with many of you to achieve our goals this year!

David Kenney, President & Executive Director
From Daylighting to Solar Power
Oregon BEST Researchers IN THE NEWS...

UO's G.Z. Charlie Brownиии G.Z. "CHARLIE" BROWN, the Knight Professor of Architecture at the University of Oregon, recently earned a lifetime achievement award from the Oregon Chapter of the Association of Professional Energy Managers. Brown directs the Energy Studies in Buildings Lab in Portland and Eugene, and is internationally known for his research in daylighting. Read more >>

Two Guys on Green Roofиии PSU professor DAVID SAILOR and his graduate students have been busy giving tours of the new Green Building Research Lab at PSU to Oregon state legislators, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, and others. The lab is expanding Oregon's national leadership position in green building innovation. Read More >>

David Kenney portraitиии DAVID KENNEY, Oregon BEST president and executive director, is a featured columnist in the Portland Business Journal's new online/print publication, Sustainable Business Oregon. Read his column, "Green Innovation: It Isn't Just for Startups."

 Chih-hung Chang, OSU Greg Herman, OSUиии CHIH-HUNG CHANG and GREG HERMAN, directors of the soon-to-be-open Oregon Process Innovation Center for Sustainable Solar Cell Manufacturing, say the lab could revolutionize the solar industry. Oregon BEST funding helped attract $2.7M in additional funding. Read More >>

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 founding partner universities include Oregon State University, the Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon.

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