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Business, industry, government preview energy research at Virginia Tech Showcase


BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 6, 2006 – The Nov. 29-30 Energy Research Engagement Showcase offers business and community leaders the opportunity to learn about more than 300 energy-related activities at Virginia Tech, as well as energy efforts by faculty members at other public universities in Virginia.

Sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development and the Deans' Task Force for Energy Security and Sustainability, the showcase will foster commercialization of research from Virginia universities in the energy and energy-related environmental fields, enhance public-private partnerships that will make Virginia a leader in energy security and sustainability, stimulate economic development, and facilitate the adoption of profitable energy solutions. The showcase is part of Virginia Tech’s “Energy Ideas” initiative, a year-long series of events designed to increase dialogue within the university and acquaint the public with Virginia Tech’s efforts related energy innovations.

Some of Virginia Tech’s 300 energy projects have already produced significant results. Among these is the Frequency Monitoring Network (FNET), deployed in response to the August 2003 blackout that affected 50 million people in the United States. FNET can pinpoint the location of a power grid problem before a cascading effect can again cripple large parts of the nation. Today, FNET consists of more than 30 Frequency Disturbance Recorders positioned around the United States and managed centrally at Virginia Tech. The simplicity of the technology from a user’s point of view is astounding. Frequency Disturbance Recorders have no installation costs; the user just plugs a unit into a standard electrical outlet. Virginia Tech has received a U.S. patent for this technology.

Other key Virginia Tech energy inventions include economical fuel cell materials, a cost-effective bi-directional DC/DC current converter adopted by Ballard Power Systems, a Method and Apparatus for Packaging Fiber Optic Sensors for Harsh Environments that make oil wells more productive licensed to Tubel Technologies, and a Hydrogen-Selective Silica-based membrane licensed to ConocoPhillips.

Registration and a reception will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 29 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on the university campus in Blacksburg, Va. On Nov. 30, the morning program will feature panels on non-renewable energy, renewable energy, and energy policy. In the afternoon, faculty members from Virginia Tech and other Virginia universities will showcase their research through poster sessions and lab tours. Ample opportunity will be available for one-on-one time with the researchers.

The agenda will include discussions on Virginia’s efforts to commercialize energy research, renewable and non-renewable energy opportunities and challenges, energy policy, environment, infrastructure, and efficiency. There will be overviews of wind, biomass, solar, nuclear, fossil fuels, hydrogen, and fuel cell research at Virginia Tech and other Virginia public universities; industry perspectives; and government initiatives relating to energy.

To learn more, register, and submit a poster for the Nov. 29-30 showcase, visit the Showcase website. For other information about the showcase, contact Virginia Tech’s Director of Economic Development Ted Settle at (540) 231-5278.

To submit a poster abstract visit the Poster Request website. (Note: you do not need a Virginia Tech PID or password to enter this site)



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