June 17, 2008
University of South Carolina names Future Fuels Center director
Dr. Ken Reifsnider, a University of South Carolina professor of mechanical engineering, has been named director of the Future Fuels Center, effective July 1.
The center will serve as an umbrella for all of the university’s energy research programs. Reifsnider also directs the Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Program, which will become a Center of Economic Excellence when matching funds are in place.
“There’s quite a bit of energy research being conducted at Carolina, so the Future Fuels Center is really a university-wide initiative to focus those efforts,” Reifsnider said. “We’re going to promote all of the Centers of Economic Excellence that are related to energy, as well as our research programs in solar, nuclear engineering, clean coal, biomass and environmental sustainability. The center will also be a mechanism for fundraising for our energy research initiatives.”
Specifically, the center will be involved in promoting and helping to raise funds for three Centers of Economic Excellence that focus on hydrogen storage, catalytic materials and hydrogen production; developing laboratories for the Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Program, including recruitment of four or more faculty members; recruiting three faculty members for photovoltaic energy research; developing a new degree program in nuclear engineering and recruiting three new faculty members; developing the Center for Clean Coal Research and recruiting two new faculty members; and developing the university’s biomass and environmental sustainability research.
Reifsnider said goals for the new center include the development of the following:
new partnerships and agreements and faculty recruitment;
new and existing shared equipment and facilities; completion and outfitting of new laboratory facilities;
research in multi-university programs; technical leadership; and international conferences
existing degree programs and possible additions of new degrees.
Looking farther down the road, Reifsnider envisions the center becoming an Institute for Next Generation Energy, with a larger outreach effort and research presence.