March 28, 2017

Annual ‘Energy Day’ set for April 5

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Humans need clean, affordable energy and researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are working hard to ensure a safe, secure energy supply for the future.

SIU’s Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center will share information and research efforts at its annual Energy Day event, set for Wednesday, April 5, in the Student Center Auditorium. The event is part of Da Vinci Days, an annual, campus-wide showcase of innovation and creativity in the sciences, humanities, and arts.

Activities for Energy Day run 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The day will include presentations from SIU faculty, a distinguished keynote, networking opportunities and a panel discussion. Lunch is provided for everyone who registers. The event is free and open for students, faculty, industry, alumni and members of the general public who are interested in energy.

Go here for more information and to register.

Vann Bush, managing director of Gas Technology Institute, will give the keynote address starting at 10 a.m.

Starting at 10:30 a.m., SIU energy researchers, including one of the students who received an Energy Boost scholarship, will talk about their work. Sophie Hall, a degreed senior in mechanical engineering, will discuss a sustainable design that would link food waste reuse, renewable energy and water purification using solar power.

Mohtashim Shamsi, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will talk about his work exploring electrochemically assisted methane production using microbial electrolysis cell systems. Christopher Cooley, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and energy processes, also will give a presentation on his work on using devices to harvest vibration energy and simultaneously powering multiple electrical loads. Both researchers received seed grants from the ACERC. 

Following lunch, more researchers will talk about their work in the energy field. Qian “Jenny” Huang, assistant professor of architecture, will discuss smart grid technology and energy efficiency in buildings, while Jia Liu, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, will talk about using microbial fuel cells for power and removing contaminants. Qingfeng Ge, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, also will give a presentation on his work.

At 2 p.m. a panel of experts will discuss the future of energy in Southern Illinois. The panel includes Aur Beck, founder of Advanced Energy Solutions Group Inc. and a member of the Illinois Renewable Energy Association; Beau Henson, economic development specialist with the Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission; and Leonard Hopkins, vice president of the Environmental and Fuels Department of Southern Illinois Power Cooperative.

The day ends with a reception from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the International Lounge.