Wayne State Highlights Alternative Energy Breakthroughs at March 11-15 International Conference in EgyptMarch 9, 2007
WSU President Irvin D. Reid Showcases WSU’s National Biofuels Energy Lab as Key to Reducing Pollution, Global Warming
Wayne State University is one of three distinguished international research institutions slated to present technology breakthroughs at the 10th International Conference on Energy and the Environment in Luxor, Egypt, March 11-15, 2007.
As one of the original founders and co-sponsors of the bi-annual conference, Wayne State University will present in concert with The Supreme Council for Research Centers and Institutes in Egypt and the University of California (UCLA) to promote the adoption of international policies and technologies that further worldwide energy conservation goals.
“The latest report by the UN Commission on Global Warming tells us we are dealing with life and death stakes with a dwindling timeline to turn around harrowing prospects like rising ocean levels, drought, heat waves, tsunamis and tornadoes and fierce hurricanes,” notes Wayne State University President Irvin D. Reid, who is presenting at this year’s conference. “The most recent scientific evidence is the most conclusive to date that warming of the world climate is unequivocal and accelerating.”
Wayne State initiatives Reid is expected to discuss include:
• The first M.A. degree in alternative energy technology, which began in January of 2004;
• Expansion of WSU’s Smart Sensors and Integrated Microsystems Clean Room; and,
• A growing relationship with NextEnergy of Michigan, a non-profit created by the state to promote economic development and diversification by facilitating alternative energy research, design, manufacturing and commercialization for stationary, potable power and automotive use.
In addition, WSU’s National Biofuels Energy Lab, headquartered at Wayne State’s 43-acre TechTown technology park, serves as a catalyst to facilitate technology transfer to Michigan’s growing alternative energy industry. In fact, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm chose WSU’s College of Engineering as the site to announce the first $100 million distribution of her 21st century jobs fund initiative, which includes five Wayne State projects totaling more than $7 million in grants.
WSU College of Engineering Dean Ralph Kummler established WSU’s original educational link to Egypt, and ultimately, established the Cairo conference via two students who attended WSU more than twenty years ago. Since that time the conference has become a world renowned forum on global energy and environmental issues.
"With the Biofuels Lab we are hoping to make B20 fuels a reality,” noted Kummler. “Right now the standard biodeisel fuel blend is only five percent from a sustainable biomass source. We want to move that up to 20 percent. If we replaced gasoline with this blend, it would make a huge difference in lowering emissions and dependence on foreign oil.”
Reid will present at the conference alongside Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Hani Helal, and Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Energy, Dr. Hassan Younis. According to Reid, WSU’s close collaboration with the government of Egypt has led to that country’s implementation of policies that reflect research presented at the conference in past years.
Faculty and student presenters at the conference include: Dr. Naeim Henein, professor, mechanical engineering; Nabil Chalhoub, professor, mechanical engineering; Dinu Taraza, professor, mechanical engineering; Robert Banisik, part-time faculty, mechanical engineering; and, Giscard Kfoury, mechanical engineering student.
“We believe in the importance of retaining and recruiting top talent in Michigan,” added Reid. “Close collaborative relationships with universities all over the globe, including the University of Alexandria in Egypt, bring some of the world’s top scientists and researchers to Wayne State’s campus. These relationships augment our existing resources and distinguish Wayne State as a diverse and internationally prestigious academic institution that meets global needs.”
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