Recognizing the role and importance energy plays in the world, and especially the state, West Virginia University has created the WVU Energy Institute to establish a powerful network of expertise in energy research and education. Brian J. Anderson, a top energy researcher at WVU, will head the institute.

“Access to affordable, clean energy is one of the most complex and far-reaching issues of our time. Energy is a key driver of our state’s economy and economies around the world. It affects the health and quality of life of the world’s citizens,” President Gordon Gee said.

The institute will connect WVU’s existing energy efforts and respond to new opportunities, Anderson said. It will enable faculty to conduct research and pursue larger and multidisciplinary problems, solutions and funding opportunities. The four main areas of focus will be fossil energy, sustainable energy, energy policy and environmental stewardship.

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Research Corp. has won a nearly $487,000 cyberinfrastructure grant from the National Science Foundation for significant upgrades to high-speed, high-volume Internet connections that will benefit University researchers and their work. The networking grant will help create a science DMZ, or demilitarized zone, which is essentially a secure “express lane” subnetwork for research data traffic within the University’s larger network. The upgrades in speed and creation of the DMZ will give Information Technology Services the ability to separate research traffic from other Internet traffic, guarantee high-speed Internet2 access for researchers, and more.

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West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design had a busy summer preparing to launch its Bachelor of Science degree program in Energy Land Management (ELM). This is a companion to the Environmental and Energy Resource Management program launched last year.

Both programs were developed as a result of the exponential growth of energy as an innovative industry and are designed to prepare students for important roles in the energy sector. Students will develop skillsets that are portable across industries, and they will graduate equipped to work in the oil, natural gas, coal and renewable energy sectors in positions ranging from government and regulatory affairs to land contracts and lease management.

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West Virginia’s bioscience industry has grown 6.9 percent since 2007, according to a new study released by Battelle and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

The report “Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014” found the state’s bioscience industry employed nearly 6,400 people at 343 different businesses in 2012, an increase of 6.9 percent since 2007.

“This is great news that reflects the growing culture of innovation and entrepreneurism in our state, as well as the increased focus on bio-related research and development by our research universities, like West Virginia University and Marshall University, among others,” said Bryan Brown, executive director of the West Virginia Bioscience Association.

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Sally Hodder, M.D., professor of Medicine at Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School, has been named director and principal investigator (PI) of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI).

“Dr. Sally Hodder is exactly the right person to lead West Virginia’s largest research collaborative,” said Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., chancellor forWest Virginia University Health Sciences and president and CEO of the West Virginia United Health System. “She’s an accomplished physician who has shown that she can improve the lives of patients through the integration of research and healthcare. We expect her to put that experience to work for people and communities across West Virginia.”

Both the University and the System have committed millions of dollars to support WVCTSI.

Dr. Hodder currently serves as the director for HIV Programs in the Department of Medicine and director of the Clinical Research Unit at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Hodder was selected following a national search and is expected to begin her new role in September. An interdisciplinary search committee made up of representatives from across the WVCTSI partner institutes (WVU, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and WVU-Charleston/Charleston Area Medical Center Institute), led by WVCTSI Interim Director Glenn H. Dillon, Ph.D., chose Hodder to fill the post.

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For years, diabetics have been using a tiny drop of blood from a finger prick to accurately detect blood sugar glucose levels. Now a team of researchers at West Virginia University is working to develop a similar device to diagnose two very different types of problems: traumatic brain injury and heavy metals in water supplies.

Nianqiang Wu, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Yuxin Liu, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, have teamed up to create the strips. Both have extensive experience in the development of nano-scale devices with applications in healthcare and environmental monitoring.

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Six West Virginia University professors will explore complex shale gas issues ranging from the potential impacts on heart health, water resources, the chemical industry, and policy development not only in West Virginia but also around the world.

Each professor won a $10,000 research grant from WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy and Office of Research as part of their newly launched WVU Shale Gas Network.

Research projects include improving the safety and efficiency of shale gas exploration and production, developing new methods to use shale gas in chemical manufacturing, studying the potential impact of shale gas production on cardiovascular health and researching the development of shale gas in other countries.

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A "Happy" Community in Tennessee

Posting date:May 22nd, 2014

The City of Franklin, TN has creatively combined promotional advertising, city pride, and community unity (with the help of some clutch licensing deals) to inform the world about the city’s enthusiasm and capabilities through song—thanks to its happy residents and employees.

PITTSBURGH, PA –On May 15th in Southpointe, PA, during the 3rd Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest the following four companies each walked away with a winner’s check for $25,000:

KCF Technologies, Inc. – SmartDiagnostics® wireless system that enables low cost predictive maintenance for rotating O&G Equipment
• NG Innovations, Inc. – “C-FIT” unit identifies the density and amount of fluid being transported and identifies the loading/unloading points, tracking and date/time stamping truck movement via satellite
OPTIMUM Pumping Technology – High-performance manifolds for reciprocating NG compressors that eliminates pulsation control bottles and their vibration-related failures, and significantly improving compressor reliability and operating efficiency
• TM Industrial Supply- Filtration technology to effectively separate for removal the NGL’s and other contaminates from natural gas through the use of their Gas Flow Membrane Technology

Bill Hall, SGICC Director commented, “We were very pleased with the quality of this year’s applications. Reducing from over 80 entries to the 13 finalists was an arduous task. The judges did a fantastic job analyzing all of the applications. The four winners are all impressive examples of innovation on display. These companies identified a challenge the shale energy industry faces and developed impressive solutions ready to be implemented.”

Glen Chatfield, President of Optimum Pumping Technology noted, “We’ve been on a long journey to bring our product to market, and this award is so exciting for us! The competition is so stiff, and to be named a winner in this contest lets the industry know that we have developed a product that they need to investigate. The interactions we’ve had with the Shale Gas Innovation Center have been great, and as a Ben Franklin funded company through Innovation Works here in Pittsburgh, I can personally attest to the value of the Ben Franklin organization to entrepreneurs across the state of Pennsylvania.”

Joe Frantz, Vice President of Engineering for Range Resources-Appalachia was one of the judges at this year finals event. He noted, “I’ve worked with SGICC since its inception, and I really enjoyed the engagement in the Innovation Contest this year. Their process used to uncover innovations is a real value for the industry.”

Dante Bonaquist, Senior Corporate Fellow, R&D at Praxair, a sponsor company and judge noted, “Through the Shale Gas Innovation Contest, SGICC brings together a broad range of promising ideas covering production, transportation and utilization. From the technology scouting perspective, there is no better opportunity to see high caliber shale gas related innovations on display at a single event.”

To view a list of all 13 Finalists with technology descriptions and the full press release with quotes from all four winners go to:

With a goal of providing smarter defense capabilities to the “boots on the ground,” West Virginia University has created the Center for Smart Defense to align innovations in academia and the commercial marketplace with defense needs.

“We are excited about the opportunity to connect leading researchers at West Virginia University with our partner institutions in academia and industry to meet the critical needs of the people ensuring our nation’s security,” said WVU President Gordon Gee.

The center, announced Thursday, will be led by former Department of Defense and defense industry senior executive Adam “Jay” Harrison.

“We will be building a smart defense consortium,” Harrison said. “What we’re doing at WVU is unique. Our focus is not necessarily to develop solutions from scratch, but to develop a community of stakeholders centered around WVU with the aim of efficiently applying existing commercial and academic innovations to defense.”

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