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The Florida State University

IESES Newsletter

National Edition -
November/December 2010



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Table of Contents
Carbon Nanotube Research Holds Promise for Cheaper, More Efficient Fuel Cells
Media Production Promotes Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
International Clean Energy Training Center Proposed in the Philippines
Statewide Network of Energy Sustainable Communities Created
Award Winning "Florida Sustainability Index" Provides Timely Relevant Market Strategies for Green Firms
Florida's Missing Winds -- New Evidence Supports the Viability of Harnessing Offshore Wind Energy in Florida
Economic Analysis of a Potential Cap-and-Trade Program for Florida Utilities Published
Steinar Dale, Director of The Center for Advanced Power Systems Named 'A Must Know Floridian' For Research on Smart Grid Technology
Marine Algae Biofuel Research Leads Charge to Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuel
FSU Scientist Jeff Chanton Kicks Off International Permafrost Study
Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion Works to Improve Efficiency of Commercial Flight
Dr. W. Ross Ellington Named Florida Governor's Point of Light for Role in Oil Spill Academic Task Force
Greetings!
The Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability (IESES) promotes scholarly basic research and analysis in engineering, science, infrastructure, governance and related social dimensions to further a sustainable energy economy.

This issue highlights our recent national and international Dave at JMIsuccesses in promoting and creating next generation sustainable energy science and policy. Thank you for reading and please feel free to contact me at dave@ieses.fsu.edu.

Sincerely,

Dave Cartes, Director
Carbon Nanotube Research Holds Promise for Cheaper, More Efficient Fuel Cells

 
An illustration of a carbon nanotube.

A Florida State University engineering professor's innovative
research with nanomaterials could one day lead to a new generation of hydrogen fuel cells that are less expensive, smaller, lighter and more durable - advantages that might make them a viable option for widespread use in automobiles and in military and industrial technology.
 
Dr. Jim P. Zheng is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the
Florida A&M University- Florida State University College of Engineering, a researcher at FSU's Center for Advanced Power Systems, as well as an IESES research partner. Working with a material known as carbon nanotubes - essentially a form of carbon that is extraordinarily light and that easily conducts heat or electricity - he has designed a thin material, or membrane, that could reduce the need for expensive platinum components in hydrogen fuel cells.
 
Jim Zheng 2"The driving issue involved in mass production of such fuel cells is one of cost," Zheng said. "Current hydrogen fuel cells use a platinum catalyst, making them too expensive to even consider producing on a large scale. However, by using carbon nanotube membranes, which are highly conductive and have unique properties, it might be possible to reduce the amount of platinum that is required. And since the membrane is thinner and lighter than current components, the fuel cell can be smaller and yet still provide the same amount of power."
 
Known as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, or PEMFCs, this technology was initially developed for military and spacecraft applications at GE. To date, the technology has been extended to a wider scope of applications, with the potential to power a range of devices from mobile phones and laptops to cars, buses, boats, houses and even spacecraft.

 
Zheng's research has captured the attention of a technology company that hopes to develop it further. Bing Energy Inc., a manufacturer of state-of-the-art components for PEMFCs based in Chino, California, has entered into a commercialization agreement with The Florida State University that gives it exclusive use of Zheng's patented technology. As part of the agreement, Zheng's team will develop several prototypes of fuel cells employing the carbon nanotube membranes. Bing Energy representatives will then evaluate them to gauge their effectiveness and potential for mass-production.
 
"What Dr. Zheng has developed is truly the 'better, faster, cheaper' story applied to fuel cells," said Richard Hennek, Bing Energy's Vice President for Business Development. "He has cleverly utilized the latest in nanotechnology to provide a dramatically better solution for the PEM fuel cell. Performance improvements of 40-plus percent, durability improvements of 25 percent, and all at a lower cost make for a compelling story. We at Bing Energy Inc. are truly excited to be working with Dr. Zheng and FSU to bring this technology to the marketplace."
 
While a commercialization agreement provides no guarantee that a product will ultimately make it to the marketplace, Florida State officials nevertheless expressed satisfaction that university-generated technology was deemed worthy of a formal relationship with Bing Energy, Inc.
 

"What this means is that someone outside the university with significant knowledge in the energy field has recognized the commercial potential of Professor Zheng's work," said John Fraser, director of FSU's Office of Intellectual Property Development and Commercialization. "They're essentially saying, 'We like this technology and we want to license it because we believe it can lead to a significant breakthrough in the production of affordable hydrogen fuel cells'."
 
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FSU Vice President for Research, Kirby Kemper.
"Partnerships like this one between university researchers and outside organizations contribute to Florida State's core mission by helping to develop products and knowledge for the benefit of society," Fraser said.
 
FSU Vice President for Research Kirby Kemper emphasized the importance of energy research such as Zheng's at a time when the many economic, environmental and national-security issues related to the United States' dependence on oil make headlines every day.
 
"The ability to put into production a cheaper fuel cell than currently exists on the market has the potential to
move society toward the affordable-energy storage and production processes that are needed to make full use of renewable energy sources," Kemper said.
 

Media Production Promotes Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
The FSU Center for Environmental Media Production and Research (CEMPR) designs, creates and evaluates media products intended to influence a broad range of environmental attitudes and behaviors.  Promoting energy efficiency and sustainability at the residential and commercial level, CEMPR integrates traditional print media, broadcast video, web-based social networking and 3-D video production with rigorous audience response evaluation resulting in data driven communication campaigns that deliver measurable results. For more information, contact Dr. Andy Opel at aopel@fsu.edu.

Click here to watch the videos.


CEMPER Videos
International Clean Energy Training Center Proposed in the Philippines
 
Dave Cartes, IESES Director and Program Director of the Training Center in Philippines.

The FSU Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability and Learning Systems Institute recently applied for funding with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for an International Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy project, called, "Clean Energy Labor Recruitment, Assessment, Training and Employment (CELABRATE)."

Dr. Dave Cartes, IESES Director and director of the proposed project, hopes to establish a clean energy workforce in developing countries, a task that can be formidable, especially for conflict stricken regions.  In developing countries, energy systems are critical for local economic development, which requires the development and maintenance of infrastructure, such as potable water, transport ation and telecommunications as well as schools and health care facilities.  Ideally, modern energy systems should utilize wind, solar PV, micro-hydro, and hybrid technology.  According to Dr. Cartes, a local workforce that can assemble, design, install, operate and maintain energy systems is needed in order for developing countries, such as those in Asia, East Africa, and the Middle East to be able to sustain these energy systems.  In addition, the establishment of energy systems in developing countries requires people indigenous in those countries to be able to train a local workforce.   

FSU Learning Systems Institute's international development work has included research and training in Indonesia.

Thus, IESES and Dr. Flavia Ramos with her colleagues at FSU's Learning Systems Institute (LSI) have partnered to establish a training center in Subic, Philippines to train workers from Asia, East Africa and the Middle East.  The placement of the center is advantageous, because of its central geographic location and resources already established by the International School of Sustainable Tourism and other USAID programs. The Philippines was also chosen because of its resemblance to other developing countries that experience similar barriers to economic development.  In particular, Mindanao is a region in the Philippines that experiences frequent conflict, so it represents the challenges of similar developing countries.  According to LSI, a research and development organization that has extensive experience in working with unstable regions, the key to addressing these problems will be to involve stakeholders, such as international donors, local governments, non-governmental organizations, and local contacts to integrate local needs with global interests.  

Statewide Network of Energy Sustainable Communities Created

DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Dr. Richard Feiock, Director, Center for Sustainable Energy Governance and Augustus B. Turnbull Professor of Public Administration at The Florida State University have organized the Network of Energy Sustainable Communities (NESC).  The purpose of NESC is to stimulate innovation and energy investments that will accelerate energy savings by local governments in Florida by sharing best practices, organizing and managing large scale collaboration and bulk buying projects.


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Richard Feiock, Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy Governance.

Florida State University has been working with U.S. DOE contributing surveys, research and outreach to assist in efforts to promote investment, collaboration, and bulk purchasing by local governments that will achieve significant cost savings. These initial efforts identified broad interest in collaboration and bulk buying but also revealed significant barriers to collaboration that need to be addressed including issues related to coordination within governments, among governments and with other organizations.

 

NESC is undertaking activities to address barriers to collaboration at three levels: First they plan to conduct focused regional workshops throughout the state.  By bringing interested governments in each region together with experts in collaboration, governance, finance, and purchasing, they will identify specific projects and design the mechanisms to put the projects in place.  Second, they will systematically improve statewide dialogue and share the insights and successes of regional workshops.  Third, they will work with universities and other partners throughout the U.S. to share strategies and insights to replicate their successes in other states.

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During the past month, NESC held its first regional workshop in Palm Beach County and was successful in supplying information as well as collecting valuable feedback. Attendees included sustainability officers as well as procurement, economic development, and environmental resource management personnel. NESC also hosted an Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Symposium, in Tallahassee, Florida, on December 10th. This symposium brought together representatives from Florida's local governments, the U.S. Department of Energy, energy service companies, and financial advisors specializing in government lending for energy efficient and sustainable projects. The symposium covered topics related to the difficulties in engaging in efficiency and sustainability projects, what some of the solutions to these problems are, the ways that these projects can lead to economic development, and the ways that cost savings can be generated through collaborative green purchasing as well as green building.  See the website for more information about this event. For more information, contact Program Director Christy Smith.  Richard Feiock is an IESES research partner.


Award Winning "Florida Sustainability Index" Provides Timely Relevant Market Strategies for Green Firms
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Joseph Cronin, John R. Kerr Research Chair in Marketing.


To further develop a market for sustainable products, Dr. Joseph Cronin in the FSU Marketing Department was awarded an IESES grant in 2009 to investigate the role of "market-pull" strategies in advancing sustainability goals.  Dr. Cronin and his students specifically sought to identify what "drives" consumers' attitudes and behaviors when considering sustainable products. They focused on consumers' personal attitudes and their perceptions of their abilities to change the environment.  The research specifically addresses the optimal ways to educate consumers so that they purchase sustainable goods and services.  This is vital information for firms expanding their mix of environmentally friendly products. 


In the process, the team developed a pool of survey participants whose information forms the Florida Sustainability Index. The index consists of a group of motivated participants that have agreed to thoughtfully complete each sustainability related research survey. The index was modeled on the American Consumer Satisfaction Survey which interviews thousands of Americans annually about their satisfaction with the goods and services they have consumed. The Florida Sustainability Index is housed in Professor Cronin's Center for Sustainability Initiatives.


The survey results in the Florida Sustainability Index have been award winning.  In April of 2010, Professor Cronin and graduate students Mark Gleim and Stephanie Lawson won a global competition for sustainable marketing research from the Von Allmen Center for Green Marketing in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky.  On December 3, 2010 Dr. Cronin was on a distinguished panel presenting their research findings at the Sustainability in Marketing at a Colloquium at the Von Allmen Center.  The FSU Center for Sustainability Initiatives is well on its way to providing timely, relevant information for companies using sustainability as a business strategy.  Click here  to see their presentation at the colloquium and click here to see their recently published article in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science


Florida's Missing Winds -- New Evidence Supports the Viability of Harnessing Offshore Wind Energy in Florida
 
Chart 1: U. S. Offshore Wind Energy Resource Map (NREL 2010).  Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi are "blanked out" due to lack of prior study data.

In 2010, a wind energy resource map produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) showed no wind off of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi (Chart 1). The NREL report excluded sections offshore Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi due to insufficient pre-study data.


However, there are other promising reports for wind energy potential off the coast of these regions.  In fact, offshore wind power will be an important component of a future renewable energy portfolio.  Florida's coastal cities and broad shelf of shallow water offshore favor the development of an offshore wind energy industry.  A different 2008 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) publication depicts Florida contributing 5-10 gigawatts of wind power capacity by 2030, comprised of a small amount of onshore and a relatively large amount of offshore wind farms (Chart 2). 

 

Chart 2: State contributions to wind energy providing 20% of U.S. electrical power by 2030 (NREL 2008)

  The discrepancy between the two NREL studies bring to question why one report predicts Florida to supplying a significant share of wind power while another report lacks enough data for a wind resource map.  The irregularity is based in the science of resource assessment.  With modern wind turbines reaching heights of 85m and projected to increase to 100m over the next two decades, it is challenging to assess a resource where there are no consistent measurements.  Most of the offshore wind measurements in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida's Atlantic coast are from widely scattered buoy and coastal platforms with wind measurement heights at 5-10 m with a few at 30-40 m; both well below the heights of modern offshore wind turbines.  Furthermore, coastal sea breeze and pre- and post-frontal wind patterns can be complex, containing low-level wind jets that are not resolved by image of windfarmthe current network of surface observations.  NREL's "20% Wind by 2030" estimate came from a climate "reanalysis" modeling study and Navigant's assessment came from a University of Delaware graduate student course project.  A preliminary study of offshore buoy and tower data by FSU's Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) indicates that estimates of offshore winds at 100 m turbine levels are very close to the 7 m/s (15.5 mph) value considered economically viable by NREL, with capacity factors of 25-31%.  An accurate evaluation of Florida's wind resource is critical before we can kick-start a wind energy industry in Florida.  Georgia is already ahead of Florida in this regard, with the Georgia Institute of Technology investigating offshore wind energy potential with offshore measurement towers supported by the Southern company. A comprehensive wind resource assessment would incorporate remote sensing (e.g. Doppler Lidar to get near the 100 m level of wind turbines), marine wind measurements from tall towers, coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling techniques, and detailed flow models.  Furthermore, since tropical cyclones are a risk factor, advanced hurricane risk modeling will be needed to help specify wind turbine engineering design factors related to wind loading. 

  

Two other studies are support the 2008 NREL findings.  A recent report by Oceana, an ocean conservation organization, estimates wind energy potential on Florida's offshore Atlantic coast as 10.3 gigawatts, enough to supply 16% of electrical generation.  Consistent with this report is a study by Navigant Consulting, sponsored by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). The study suggests that although onshore winds tend to be weaker in Florida due to lack of terrain and open prairie spaces, Florida is surrounded by a robust offshore wind resource.  Offshore wind is desirable since wind farms may be positioned in relatively shallow water offshore adjacent to coastal electrical load demand centers of major metropolitan areas, but far enough to be unseen from the coast.

Dr. Mark Powell, a NOAA scientist stationed at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) and IESES research partner, recently gave a seminar at FSUon the viability of offshore wind energy in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico region. The presentation included a discussion of current fuel sources, advantages and limitations of wind energy, preliminary indications of the offshore wind energy resource for Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, and research needed to support the development of a sustainable offshore wind energy industry in the U.S.  Download the presentation. The Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) is a center of excellence performing interdisciplinary research in ocean-atmosphere-land-ice interactions

coaps logo

to increase our understanding of the physical, social, and economic consequences of climate variability. See the COAPS fact sheet on Wind Power. Dr. Mark Powell is an IESES research partner.   


Economic Analysis of a Potential Cap-and-Trade Program for Florida Utilities Published

Dr. Julie Harrington, Director of the FSU Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis was the lead author for a recently published economic analysis that gauges the potential impacts of carbon regulation on the state economy. The analysis was the second phase of studies that have been completed to address the provisions of the Florida Climate Change Protection Act to reduce greenhouse gases by developing a state cap-and-trade rule to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of public utilities. Cap-and-trade is a proposed market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives. 


Julie Harrington, Director, Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis

The project team utilized an analytical approach to make comparisons between the "business as usual" to a variety of cap-and-trade program proposals. Assuming the current level of energy efficiency and the costs of renewable energy, the different scenarios found a cap-and-trade program will have negative economic impacts to Florida's economy.  All the scenarios had an initial reduction in gross domestic product, income and jobs.  However, some scenarios showed improvement in the economy over time. 


The analysis could be refined further.  In particular, an investigation into the optimal mix of cost-effective renewable energy could be added to the analysis.  Also, the models could make expectations of technological improvements in energy efficiency and clean energy over time. For more information, see the report or contact Dr. Julie Harrington.  Dr. Harrington is an IESES research partner.

 

Steinar Dale, Director of The Center for Advanced Power Systems Named 'A Must Know Floridian' For Research on Smart Grid Technology

CAPS all-electric Navy ship
CAPS project, an all-electric Navy ship.
Dr. Steinar Dale, director of the Center for Advanced Power Systems(CAPS) at The Florida State University and IESES research partner, was featured in The Florida Trend, a business publication, for his research developing "smart grid" technology, which was used in the creation of an all-electric Navy ship.

Below is the interview:

Florida Trend: What is the smart grid?

Steinar Dale: The smart grid is hard to define. Some people define the smart grid as essentially the smart meter, which provides the utility with information about electric loads (usage) in the house, providing two-way communication into the house. It allows the customer to see where he is using his electric power. It can be allowed to turn off appliances and so on to reduce the peak loads of utilities, so a utility won't need to start peak-load generators such as gas generators, which are expensive to run for short periods of time.


Florida Trend: In simple terms, how does your center conduct research that affects the smart grid?

Steinar Dale
Steinar Dale, Center for Advance Power Systems Director
Steinar Dale: We have the ability to simulate many aspects of the smart grid. One of the things we will be working on right now - with a grant from the Department of Energy - is to understand the impact ... of large-scale solar integration into the grid. When the power of these intermittent sources goes away - whether it's that the wind stops blowing or the thunderstorm (passes) over the solar cells, you will essentially lose the generating power from those places. Therefore you need to be able to ramp up another generating source, whether it is a gas turbine or coal plant.

Florida Trend: How does your work for the Navy play a role in this?

Steinar Dale: The future Navy ship power grids system is probably the ultimate smart grid, the ultimate micro-grid. It requires considerably more knowledge about the behavior of that grid than you need in a terrestrial system. You have a lot of changing loads at all times in this grid, but a fixed set of generation. And you always have to try to meet the load, and you have to be sure the generation stays stable. So I think the Navy research is very much in the forefront of what our utility grid will look like in the future.


Florida Trend: Where is this technology and research taking us in the future?

Steinar Dale: The electric car has storage capacity. If everybody comes home at 5 o'clock with a half-empty or almost empty battery and plugs it in, you will see the grid crash. So we have to develop intelligence to deal with that. The car comes in and says, 'I'm only half-empty. I don't need to be charged now. I can be charged at 8 o'clock at night for example.' If you can distribute that (energy use) over a period of time ... even the present grid would be able to handle that too."


The Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS) develops technology and research to address long range advanced power system issues relevant to government, industry and utilities.
Marine Algae Biofuel Research Leads Charge to Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuel
Graduate students, Claire Smith, Zoe Bider and Kristina Welch (not pictured) are working to develop a clean and renewable biofuel that has 10 times the energy yield of land crops. 


The Center for a Systems Approach to Bioenergy Research (SABER) headed by Dr. Joel Kostka is working to develop an alternative source of energy that can be used in place of fossil fuel and that will help fulfill the 2005 U.S. Energy Policy Act mandate that 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels must be incorporated into gasoline over the next 6 years. 

Dr. Kostka has contributed his expertise on the development of biofuel technologies on a panel that advises the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) and the Florida Energy and Climate Commission developed by the Florida legislature to 'perform research and development on innovative energy systems that lead to alternative energy strategies, improved energy efficiencies, and expanded economic development for the state'.  


nelson
Senator Bill Nelson Proposed Bipartisan Legislation to Promote Algae Biofuel Production in Florida


Marine algae could provide a cheap, clean and renewable biofuel that has 10 times the energy yield of land crops.  Marine algae are also cultivated in the ocean, and using marine algae as a carbon source requires less space compared to land crops. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that in order to replace all the petroleum fuel in the USA with algal derived biofuel, intensive cultivation would require only 1/10,000 square miles of the ocean, an area that is roughly the size of the state of Maryland. 

 

Biofuel production involves growth and production of algal biomass, harvesting and transportation, depolymerization of carbohydrates, fermentation, purification, and distribution. Depolymerization of complex sugars represents a barrier to the development of algal biomass as an alternative carbon source, and so fundamental research will focus on this step. When manufacturers produce ethanol from corn, they use enzymes from microorganisms to convert starches to simple sugars and to ferment sugars into ethanol. Algal biomass contains different types of complex sugars, and enzymes need to be identified which are specific to the breakdown of these complex sugars.  


 Microorganisms naturally decompose dead/ dying algae in the oceans at temperatures ranging from - 2 to > 100 C, and these microbes could be exploited to produce biomass-degrading enzymes specific to the processing of algal carbon to form soluble sugars that can be fermented to ethanol. Ethanol refining requires harsh (hot, acidic) conditions, which normal microbes cannot withstand. Thus, SABER will exploit microbes from hostile or extreme environments for the discovery of new enzymes that nature has evolved naturally to deal with harsh conditions.


Dr. Joel Kostka, the director of SABER is an IESES research partner.

FSU Scientist Jeff Chanton Kicks Off International Permafrost Study

Florida State University Oceanographer, Jeff Chanton, is part of an international team embarking on a new study of permafrost decomposition in arctic Sweden. What he and his fellow researchers discover there may be critical given the permafrost's key role in climate change, and vice versa.

"It is all part of an ominous feedback loop," Chanton says.  The warming climate is causing the Swedish permafrost to thaw and decompose, and as it does, the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere, creating a feedback loop of further warming temperatures and accelerating permafrost's decomposition.


FSU Oceanographer, Jeff Chanton.

"There are 1,672 gigatons of carbon stored in the permafrost as soil and peat organic matter," Chanton said. "To put that quantity in perspective, it is three times the amount of carbon found in our atmosphere, which contains 550 gigatons in the form of carbon dioxide. What will happen if all the permafrost thaws, releasing its gigantic store of carbon into the atmosphere? The respiration of bacteria that decompose that organic matter produces not only carbon dioxide, but also methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide."


"We know that increasing carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere creates a positive feedback to global warming," he said. "Our new study will shed vital additional insight about how the thawing affects the atmosphere, which in turn, affects warming, and how the thawing of the permafrost affects the organic carbon stored there."

Video: International Permafrost study to include FSU scientist

A three-year, $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will fund the collaborative investigation, to be undertaken by researchers from five universities on three continents. University of Arizona scientists are leading the team, which includes The Florida State University's Chanton and research colleagues at the universities of New Hampshire, Stockholm (Sweden), and Queensland (Australia). Chanton will receive a $300,000 share of the DOE grant as well as part of a larger share of the award that will be used to purchase lasers and other field instruments for the entire team.


This study will require periodic trips by Chanton north of the Arctic Circle, where he kicked off his research in August near Abisco, Sweden, amid the mosquitoes and black flies typical of the arctic summer there. While this was his first foray into Sweden's remote arctic realms, Chanton is no stranger to permafrost research. His previous studies took place in Alaska and Siberia.


Chanton is a faculty member in Florida State University's Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science (EOAS), where he holds the dual titles of Winchester Professor of Oceanography and Distinguished Research Professor. Visit the EOAS website to learn more about the cutting-edge research under way there.


Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion Works to Improve Efficiency of Commercial Flight
Since its creation by the Florida Legislature in 2008, the Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion (FCAAP), a statewide Center of Excellence, affiliated with The Florida State University, University of FloridaUniversity of Central Florida, and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, has been conducting research into how to get airplanes to fly more efficiently, with less pollution and less noise. Now, with the coming transformation of NASA's role in space travel, horizons are widening for the Tallahassee center.

The aero-propulsion center's new place in space research stems from its lead role in the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation launched by the Federal Aviation Administration. The new Air Transportation Center's focus will include space launch operations, launch vehicle systems, commercial human space flight and space commerce. Besides FCAAP, members include the Florida Institute of Technology, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Stanford University, the University of Colorado and the University of Texas, plus Space Florida and NASA's Kennedy Space Center and several commercial space-oriented enterprises. The center leverages the resources of its partner universities to create an unrivaled pool of aerospace talent, expertise and physical infrastructure.

 
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Dr. Farrukh Alvi, Executive Director of FCAAP.
The desired results of this multi-university FCAAP collaboration include the creation of hundreds of young scientists and engineers, as well as the design and development of new technologies and products that solve problems faced by industry and government. FCAAP also serves as an incubator to transition the technology to applications in a timely and efficient manner. Through its government and industry partners, the center strives to become the "go-to" center in aerospace-related areas for Florida, the region and the nation.

FCAAP has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant worth approximately $3.3 million to fund the development of a "next-generation polysonic wind tunnel" at the center's soon-to-be-completed Tallahassee facility.
   "The wind tunnel will create a unique shared resource to produce fundamental advances in gas dynamics and material science, as well as to develop transformational flow-control technologies," said Farrukh Alvi, a mechanical engineering professor at the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering and the director of FCAAP. "The facility will thus produce critical knowledge while dramatically accelerating transformative research leading to next-generation designs."

Aero-Propulsion, Mechatronics and Energy Building

"When built," Dr. Alvi said, "the wind tunnel will be able to generate wind speeds ranging from Mach 0.3 to Mach 5 - roughly 200 mph to 1,500 mph. The new facility will be large enough to attract industry use, yet small enough to be efficiently operated by university researchers. "It will engage students from numerous disciplines addressing fundamental and practical problems, as well as developing and applying state-of-the-art diagnostics."
 
Housed at Florida State, in innovation park across the street from IESES' office, the polysonic wind tunnel will augment FCAAP's resources while transforming the science and engineering of active flow, noise control and related fields. FSU is currently building a $22 million research building that will house both FCAAP and the wind tunnel. The facility will be equipped with state-of-the art systems to ensure efficient, sustainable, and long-term operation.
 
Dr. Alvi is an IESES research partner.

Dr. W. Ross Ellington Named Florida Governor's Point of Light for Role in Oil Spill Academic Task Force
ross ellington
Associate Vice President for Research, Dr. W. Ross Ellington, has recently been recognized by Florida Governor Charlie Crist as a Governor's Point of Light.

"Dr. Ellington's commitment to serve and lead other academic and scientific professionals during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill plays a vital role in the Sunshine State's recovery," said Governor Crist. "His leadership, professionalism and wisdom as chair of the State University System's Oil Spill Academic Task Force is a tremendous asset during this unprecedented environmental disaster."

As chair of the State University System's Oil Spill Academic Task Force, Dr. Ellington has devoted countless hours beyond his typical research duties leading other professionals in assisting Florida and the Gulf region in responding to the oil spill. Under his leadership, the task force quickly became a leader in scientific research of all potential impacts from the oil spill. Dr. Ellington eagerly accepted his role as chair of the task force while maintaining his leadership roles at Florida State University.This program recognizes Florida residents who demonstrate exemplary service to the community.

IESES provided Dr. Ellington initial program support for the Oil Spill Academic Task Force. Dr. Ellington is an IESES research policy. 


A Report of the Proceedings of the Florida Symposia on Offshore Energy - Part I and Part II - is Online

Symposium view

Access the Full Report Here

This report is a transcript of the Symposia series including presentation materials, citations and executive summaries for both Part I and II.


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The Institute is a public resource. Here we carry out scholarly basic research and analysis in engineering, science, infrastructure, governance and the related social dimensions to further a sustainable energy economy. The Institute unites researchers from the disciplines of engineering, natural sciences, law, urban and regional planning, geography and economics to address sustainability and alternative power issues in the context of global climate change.
The Center for a Systems Approach to Bio-Energy Research;
The Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis;
The College of Business Center for Sustainability Initiatives;
The Center for Environmental Media Production and Research;
The Public Utility Research Center; and
The Florida Energy Systems Consortium.

Editor: Melanie Simmons at msimmons@fsu.edu
FSU IESES Newsletter
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Tallahassee, FL 32310
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Editor, Melanie Simmons PhD at FSU IESES
Assistant Editor, Sarah Tso