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May, 2010    
In This Issue...
UO Students Wow City with Sustainable Design
Oregon BEST FEST '10: Register Now!
RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT Solar Energy Breakthrough
OIT Opens State's First Geothermal Power Plant
Oregon BEST Researchers Make Headlines in the News
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Oregon BEST
Oregon BEST Researchers

Oregon BEST in the News

Oregon BEST Green Building Research Network

Oregon BEST Solar Energy Research Network

иии June 12-15, 2010

4-day-day intensive workshop for founders of technology start ups, including student- and faculty-led teams, interested in advancing their technology toward commercialization. Oregon State University Campus, Corvallis, OR.

иии July 19-23 , 2010

Offering two distinct tracks (Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems and Sustainable Urban Built Environments), this event lets participants meet and interact with nationally recognized business leaders and experts who have put sustainability at the forefront of their work.

иии September 13, 2010

Register now for this exciting one-day event in Portland that brings the best of Oregon BEST together to collaborate, innovate, and build community. See agenda, call for abstracts, and registration details here.

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

UO Students Wow City with Design
"Fresh, Innovative, and better than anything we've seen."

Schematic by UO students features green space
Perspective of Gresham Redevelopment by UO students
Six developers had already pitched plans for an urban renewal project to leaders at the City of Gresham. But when they saw the proposals developed by architecture students from the University of Oregon, they were "amazed."

"It's the best thing I've seen in the three years I've been on the City Council...way beyond anything presented before," said councilor Richard Strathern. "You saw so many possibilities, your brain was spinning."

The students, led by Oregon BEST Researcher and UO architecture professor Nico Larco, are part of the UO's Sustainable Cities Initiative, a cross-disciplinary organization that promotes education, service, public outreach and research on the design and development of sustainable cities. Some 250 students are involved in the yearlong collaboration. Read more >>
BEST FEST '10: Register Now!
Industry-Researcher Gathering to Spark Green Collaboration

BEST Fest '10 banner

Mark your calendars now to attend the 2nd annual Oregon BEST FEST in Portland on Monday, September 13, 2010. This interactive event brings together university researchers and industry leaders engaged in renewable energy and green building for an all-day networking event and research expo featuring speakers, research presentations, and a dynamic Innovation-Collaboration Challenge aimed at generating and exploring five top revolutionary projects for Oregon BEST to help advance. Come discover how green research, innovation, and collaboration are fueling Oregon's green economy. Register online NOW at
SPOTLIGHT on Oregon BEST Research

Solar Breakthrough by BEST Faculty
Thin film technology safer, faster, and more economical

Oregon BEST Researcher Chih-hung Chang
OSU's Chih-hung  Chang
Oregon BEST researchers Chih-hung Chang and Gregory Herman at OSU and other colleagues have made an important breakthrough in the use of continuous flow microreactors to produce thin film absorbers for solar cells. It is one of the first demonstrations of this technology, which is safer, faster and more economical than previous chemical solution approaches.

The breakthrough is an example of the type of research coming out of a new shared-user lab established with $232,000 in Oregon BEST funding that has helped attract more than $2.7 million in additional research revenue for the lab. The Oregon Process Innovation Lab for Sustainable Solar Cell Manufacturing is set to open next month in Corvallis to help solar energy companies in Oregon better compete globally. Read more >>
Oregon BEST Researcher PROFILE
Where Buildings & People Interact

Loren Lutzenhiser Studies Role Played by Building Occupants

Photo credit: Kelly James/PSU
PSU's Loren Lutzenhiser
More than 40 percent of the energy used in the U.S. is consumed by buildings. We all know this can be reduced with more efficient heating and cooling systems coupled with advanced construction materials.

A lesser known, less studied factor that impacts a building's energy use are its occupants - the people who live or work inside buildings. How do occupants interact with window blinds, thermostats, and appliances? What are their patterns for hot water use? When do they open windows, put on sweaters, charge their iPods, or crank up the AC?

Finding and analyzing answers to questions like these are the work of Loren Lutzenhiser, Oregon BEST researcher and professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University. He wants to know how human beings impact overall building performance, and a $1.2 million contract is helping him find out. Read more >>

Clean Heat, Grants, High Rankings
OIT opens geo heat plant, wins $3M in grants, makes Top-10

OIT's Toni Boyd inside Geo Heat Power Plant
Toni Boyd in OIT Geo Heat Plant
The Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), one of Oregon BEST's founding partners, is making headlines. The Klamath Falls-based school opened a new, clean geothermal power plant in a campus building that formerly housed an oil-fired boiler. The first geothermal combined heat and power plant in Oregon opens on the heels of a new report from the Geothermal Energy Association that places Oregon second only to California in funding for geothermal projects. The new plant will help heat campus buildings and expand OIT's renewable energy education tools, says Toni Boyd, assistant director of the Geo-Heat Center at OIT.

OIT also recently won a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to expand its Renewable Energy Engineering Program (the first of its kind in the nation), and an additional $400,000 for geothermal research.

OIT ranked No. 8 on the WiseChoice Top 10 Guide to Green College Programs. And the school hopes to consolidate its four Portland-area campuses into one at the 11-acre former home of InFocus Corp. in Wilsonville, a move that could boost the school's Portland enrollment and save resources.
Executive Director's Report

Growing Oregon's Green Businesses

Oregon BEST's David Kenney
David Kenney portrait
I've been seeing more data points that highlight Oregon's reputation as a national innovation leader. Oregon companies are winning more and more federal research investments to help them fast-track innovative, new green technologies and products...which ultimately means new clean-tech jobs for Oregonians.

An example of this is Voxtel, one of Oregon BEST's supportive industry partners. They've been in the news lately, landing research revenue (six Small Business Innovation Research grants from the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency) for a range of innovations that includes solar energy. We're proud Voxtel is tapping the tools and expertise at two of Oregon BEST's shared-user research labs.

Another small business grant winner announced this month is Peregrine Power, developer of a controller for electric vehicles.

And ReVolt Technology just won $5 million in stimulus funding from the U.S. Dept. of Energy's prestigious new ARPA-E program, which will allow ReVolt to invest in building its headquarters and development facility in Oregon. ReVolt is working on a zinc-air battery that will also have electric vehicle applications.

It's great to have companies like these in Oregon, led by innovative technical and business leaders willing to partner with our university researchers.

Don't forget to register for Oregon BEST FEST '10 coming up on September 13th, where we'll be featuring innovators like the ones above from industry and universities. With a strong agenda built around collaboration and commercialization, this all-day event is an excellent opportunity to connect and continue fueling Oregon's green economy. I'll see you there.

David Kenney, President & Executive Director
From green building, to earthquakes, to recycling fly ash...
Oregon BEST Researchers IN THE NEWS...

David Sailor, PSUиии The Green Building Research Lab, a signature research facility of Oregon BEST directed by PSU's DAVID SAILOR, is quickly gaining a reputation in sustainable built environment circles as a source of both expertise and equipment. Read more >>

UO's Nico Larcoиии NICO LARCO, UO architecture professor, says Oregon can attract more federal funding for sustainable development, but it requires business community to quickly adapt to new thinking. Read more >>

OSU civil engineering professor Scott Ashfordиии SCOTT ASHFORD, head of the OSU School of Civil & Construction Engineering, traveled to Chile following the recent 8.8 earthquake there to assess damage, returning home with research data, images, and a warning that a similar quake could impact the Pacific Northwest. Read more >>

OSU civil engineering professor Jason Idekerиии JASON IDEKER, OSU civil engineering professor, is working to reduce CO2 emissions from concrete production by using fly ash, a waste product of coal-burning power plants that is sent to landfills but can improve concrete durability. 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: