Archives—May 2010

PhD Student Ezequiel Medici and his Faculty Advisor Dr. Jeffrey Allen Have Been Awarded the 2010 Bhakta Rath Research Award

PhD student Ezequiel Medici and his faculty advisor Dr. Jeffrey Allen have been awarded the 2010 Bhakta Rath Research Award. They are the first recipients of the Bhakta Rath Research Award. The award recognizes excellence in scientific and engineering research in the field of physical and natural sciences and engineering.

When Bhakta B. Rath was earning his master’s degree in metallurgical and materials engineering at Michigan Technological University in 1958, the US was an undisputed world leader in science and technology. Now he is the associate director of research and head of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the US Naval Research Laboratory, and Rath worries a lot about a declining interest in this country in studying science and technology.

He and his wife, Sushama Rath, have endowed the Bhakta Rath Research Award to motivate Michigan Tech faculty and doctoral students to conduct the kind of research that will meet the nation’s needs and the challenges of emerging technologies.

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Advanced Power Systems Research Center Awarded Michigan Tech Research Excellence Grant

The APSRC research team has been awarded $48,345 from the MTU Research Excellence Fund – Infrastructure Enhancement Grant for Development of a Combined Heat and Power Research Test Bed. This award will match $65,000 in internal and external commitments to open a new growing research thrust area to university researchers.

The purpose of the project is to develop a research test-bed that will be used to support research on micro-CHP technologies, and specifically develop these systems to utilize renewable energy including synthetic biofuels and landfill gases. The major project objective is to develop an advanced characterization, optimization and demonstration facility that will assess micro-CHP systems and their integration into future home and small commercial energy systems that include advanced energy storage technologies, smart appliances, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, smart meters etc. It would also be a key node in proposed MTU micro-grid. The APSRC team has developed a model to characterize, look at trade-offs, optimize and determine system CO2 and efficiencies of a micro-CHP system and is working on several journal publications on this topic. The proposed research capability enhancement will allow further development of the research.

This facility will also be a critical element in enabling the University community to react to funding opportunities geared toward addressing the many remaining technical challenges in CHP, and in allowing Michigan Tech to participate in collaborative research opportunities in decentralized energy generation with national laboratories such as Oak Ridge National Lab and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.