UT Austin Energy Bulletin
A Monthly Update from the Energy Institute of
|The UT Austin Energy Bulletin is a monthly update on energy-related research, recent and upcoming events, grants, awards and special announcements – a recap of all things energy at The University of Texas at Austin.
Celebrated professors honored for lifelong service to science
Two legendary UT Austin professors – John B. Goodenough and Dr. Allen J. Bard – have added to their long list of prestigious awards in recognition of lifelong contributions to science. Dr. Bard, a chemistry professor in the university’s College of Natural Sciences known as the “father of modern electrochemistry,” was given the esteemed Enrico Fermi Award for his contributions to basic research, technological innovation, teaching and service. Dr. Goodenough, who holds the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering within the Cockrell School of Engineering, received The National Academy of Engineering’s Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering in recognition of his groundbreaking work in developing the lithium-ion battery, widely used in devices such as cellphones, laptops, cameras and many other mobile electronics. Read more about Dr. Goodenough’s award here, and Dr. Bard’s award here.
Fracking bans illustrate ongoing skepticism of energy industry
Voters in a growing number of cities across the country have approved moratoriums or bans on hydraulic fracturing, indicating a continued distrust of the energy industry, observes law school lecturer Melinda Taylor, who also serves as the executive director of the Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law. Read more.
Bureau of Economic Geology releases assessment of Fayetteville Shale
A new study from UT Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) forecasts the Fayetteville Shale will continue to be a major contributor to U.S. natural gas supplies for years to come. The assessment, as described in a summary report in the Oil & Gas Journal, is part of a four-basin study of shale gas reserves funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In addition to forecasting long-term production, the Fayetteville study identifies areas where future drilling is likely to occur and under what economic conditions. Read more in a university press release, and for more information on the BEG assessments of the Fayetteville and Barnett Shales and upcoming studies on the Haynesville and Marcellus Shales, visit the BEG-Sloan Foundation Shale Gas Assessment Study website, which includes free links to the summary reports in the Oil & Gas Journal.
BP funds deep ocean research at Cockrell School of Engineering
The Cockrell School of Engineering has joined in a $4 million strategic partnership with BP to support several oil and gas industry research projects, with the potential for increased funding as new studies are identified. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will work with BP’s team to develop solutions to technical challenges facing the global oil and gas industry, both onshore and offshore. For more, read the Cockrell School of Engineering press release.
Paper explores pivotal policy question: has the time come for the U.S. to export petroleum?
As the U.S. moves closer to surpassing Russia as the world’s largest oil and gas producer, increased domestic energy production has begun to stress the nation’s transportation, storage, and refinery infrastructure in notable ways. Today, transportation bottlenecks and refinery limitations are prompting producers to call for a change in decades-old energy policy to permit the export of domestic crude oil. Dr. Fred Beach, an assistant director for policy studies at the Energy Institute, examines the issue in this new paper.
McCombs School of Business collaborates with BP to launch The Helios Challenge
Should BP charter or build LNG tankers to operate out of its Freeport, Texas, facility? What are the viable markets for condensate produced in the Eagle Ford Shale? How can the energy industry develop new and better technologies to clean up offshore oil spills? What midstream options are available to producers in the Utica Shale? These are some of the questions tackled by 20 undergraduate honors business students participating in The Helios Challenge, a new course offered by the McCombs School of Business’ Energy Management and Innovation Center in collaboration with BP. Read more on page 7 of the Center’s Winter 2014 newsletter.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“…winning the public’s trust will take time, effort, and real world demonstrations that fracking can be done safely.”
“Pandora’s Promise” film screening / panel discussion | Austin, Texas | February 4
The Energy Institute will host a screening of “Pandora’s Promise,” a controversial new film that examines the conversion of several environmentalists and energy experts from fiercely anti- to strongly pro-nuclear power. The screening is part of the Austin Forum, a monthly speaker series organized by UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center. Read more.
Fourth Annual UT Energy Forum | Austin, Texas | February 19-20
The UT Energy Forum is planned and run entirely by members of the Longhorn Energy Club, a university-wide group composed of graduate students in business, engineering, policy, law, architecture and geoscience. Through plenary speeches and panel discussions covering a variety of issues, the event promotes communication and collaboration among industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers and academia on pressing energy challenges. Go here to learn more and register.
Microgrid RODEO Summit | Austin, Texas | February 20-21
Join other researchers at a first-of-its-kind summit about important work in the field of microgrids: the Microgrid Research on Distributed Electricity Operations (RODEO) Summit. Read more.
Dallas to host ACS national meeting | March 16 – 20
The American Chemical Society has issued its call for papers for its 2014 national meeting and exposition in Dallas, Texas. The theme for this year’s meeting will encompass advanced materials and chemical processes for the production, storage/transmission and utilization of energy. Read more.
UT Austin to host 2014 International Greenhouse Gas Technologies Conference
UT Austin has been selected to host the 12th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies (GHGT-12) October 5-9, 2014, at the Austin Convention Center. Since its inception in 1997, the GHGT series has developed into the leading international conference on greenhouse gas technologies addressing climate change mitigation options. The conference is held every two years on an informal rotation between major cities in Europe, Asia, and North America and attracts more than 1,500 attendees. Leaders from the scientific, industrial and policy communities exchange new knowledge, information and ideas on reducing greenhouse gases.