University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Can America run on natural gas?

At her departure, Castlen Kennedy was joined by Professor Chip Groat, left, and Paul Wilson, a vice president of Texas Gas Service, a sponsor of the trip.

At her departure, Castlen Kennedy was joined by Professor Chip Groat, left, and Paul Wilson, a vice president of Texas Gas Service, a sponsor of the trip.

Castlen Kennedy got an unusual start to the research for her master’s degree thesis: A group of people gathered on Wednesday (May 18, 2010) to wish her good-bye and good luck.

Kennedy was not, as she noted, headed into the library.

Rather, she and a friend hit the road in a vehicle powered by compressed natural
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Grad student working to reduce solar energy costs

Reeja Jayan is conducting research in solar energy.

Reeja Jayan is developing a cost-effective solar cell.

This post comes from the Graduate School:

The amount of solar energy that the Earth receives in one hour is more than the energy demand for the entire world for an entire year.

Kind of incredible, isn’t it?

For Reeja Jayan, learning this one fact changed the course of her life entirely.

“It was one of those moments where I thought, ‘why aren’t we using this?’” says Jayan, who was an Electrical Engineering master’s degree student at
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mary Wheeler named fellow in American Academy

Mary Wheeler, member American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Mary Wheeler, member American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Mary Wheeler does complex mathematics and computation to figure out what’s going on under the surface. She’s director of the Center for Subsurface Modeling at The University of Texas at Austin and her work is used to recover and gas, determine where groundwater contaminants are going and whether carbon sequestration works.

She was named this week as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Read about Wheeler in a Cockrell School of Engineering
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Solar energy research: The cake pan demo

Loren Kaake

Loren Kaake

Translating a scientific concept into an easy-to-understand image can be hard, but here’s how a researcher at The University of Texas at Austin did it with BBs and a cake pan.

See the video of charge transport in a cake pan

At the Electronic Frontiers Research Center (EFRC) on Charged Transport and Polymers, Loren Kaake, a post-doctoral fellow, researches how to make organic semiconductors for solar panels.

The organic materials in question are polymers, or plastics. Photovoltaic cells made from plastic would go
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Dr. Goodenough goes to Washington

John Goodenough and Steven Chu at the Enrico Fermi award ceremony.

John Goodenough and Steven Chu at the Enrico Fermi award ceremony on Jan. 12, 2010.

It was the first day of the spring 2010 semester and two students were in John Goodenough’s office conferring about experiments and research papers. On Goodenough’s desk were papers he was to referee. Later, there were classes to teach.

Of course, it was a career of such tasks and a lot of work in the lab that made Goodenough the toast of the town in Washington, D.C.,
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Drilling deep for biofuels at TACC

Mark Nimlos, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Mark Nimlos, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

To get to some oil reserves, you have to drill deeply.

Scientists working on biofuels also drill deeply, but they drill into the molecular-level activity of enzymes instead of rock.

How energy researchers are doing this using the Ranger supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is the subject of a story by Aaron Dubrow, TACC’s science writer.

Dubrow shares some of his thoughts about the research:

“I thought some of the most interesting parts of the story were that
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