Institute at Case Western Reserve Propels Ohio's Study of Energy

A new designation for Case Western Reserve University could lead to a power surge for its Great Lakes Energy Institute (GLEI).

Wind turbines over water

The university has been selected as one of Ohio's Centers of Excellence in advanced energy. The designation, announced recently by Gov. Ted Strickland and Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut, could lead to more funding and collaboration on research, said Dianne D. Anderson, GLEI executive director.

"The state has determined those universities with strength in energy programs, evaluated them and named those for the future," Anderson said.

Established about two years ago with the help of a grant from the Cleveland Foundation, GLEI is led by researchers at the Case School of Engineering. As Ohio strives to become a leader in advanced energy technologies, the answer, researchers hope, is blowin' in the wind.

"Down the road, there may be substantial federal funding leading to research on drivetrains for large wind turbines and production," Anderson said. Combined with contributions from Ohio's Third Frontier program and industry partners, Case Western Reserve has plans to install three wind turbines, offering opportunities for companies to test wind energy systems.

Alternative energy legislation signed by the governor last year aims for economic development and job creation, while setting mandates on public utilities.

"The challenge, of course, before us is to deliver energy research outcomes that are impactful within the science and engineering communities in which we operate and, most importantly, that have real energy applications," said J. Iwan D. Alexander, GLEI's faculty director.

Along with Case Western Reserve, universities designated as Centers of Excellence in advanced energy are Bowling Green, Central State, Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio State, Ohio and Toledo.

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Posted by: Katie O'Keefe, October 6, 2010 04:55 PM | News Topics: breaking news