Jake Ward, the University of Maine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, spoke with WLBZ (Channel 2) for a report about the university’s proposed wind project off the coast of Monhegan Island. The project, known as New England Aqua Ventus, was recently chosen as an alternate for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Demonstration Program and will receive $3 million for further research and development. It will be considered for more funding should it become available. Despite some opposition from island residents, Ward says the project has a lot of support and is confident that a full-scale unit will be built.
Archive for the ‘Engineering’ Category
Michael “Mick” Peterson, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Maine Public Broadcasting Network report on University of Maine System trustees working to develop a plan to close a budget gap. Peterson told the trustees that while 31 percent of the system’s budget is dedicated to instructional costs, the figure doesn’t reflect the true value of those services. “When we start looking at our similar peers — and certainly our aspirational peers — they’re spending 40 percent on instruction, we’re spending 30 percent — that’s a big difference,” Peterson said.
Colleagues in STEM and social-behavioral sciences from around the state are invited to attend a day of networking and discussion of issues relevant to career advancement for women in academia Tuesday, May 20 in Bangor.
The University of Maine’s ADVANCE Rising Tide Center will host the “Advancing Women in Academia: 3rd Annual Networking Conference” from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn.
The day includes poster presentations, networking sessions and workshops. Workshop topics include: Fostering Collaborations Across Institutions; Effective Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Women Faculty; and Social Media for Outreach, Collaboration and Networking.
Daryl Smith, a senior research fellow and professor emerita of education and psychology at Claremont Graduate University in California, will deliver the keynote, “Diversifying the Faculty for the Next Generation: Debunking the Myths.” Other presenters and workshop facilitators include Michelle Hale, director of Maine Career Connect; Linda Silka, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center; and Jacquelyn Gill, an assistant professor of terrestrial paleoecology at UMaine.
The event is presented with support from the National Science Foundation and UMaine’s ADVANCE Rising Tide Center partners Maine EPSCoR, Colby College, Maine Maritime Academy, University of Southern Maine and the University of New Hampshire.
The ADVANCE program, funded by the National Science Foundation, seeks to develop systemic approaches to retaining and advancing women faculty in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and social-behavioral science careers. The ADVANCE Rising Tide Center seeks to implement strategic initiatives at UMaine and within the University of Maine System that will embed transformation in a focused, sustainable institutional regime to create “a rising tide that will lift all boats.”
The Portland Press Herald reported on questions surrounding the U.S. Department of Energy’s decision not to award the University of Maine’s offshore wind project with a key $47 million grant. According to the article, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins spoke with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who said one reason the project lost out was because federal officials weren’t convinced the New England Aqua Ventus floating design made of concrete and composites could be built for less money than competing steel units. “I care a great deal about this and I’m really surprised at the decision,” Collins told the Press Herald. “It’s just difficult to understand why the administration didn’t choose the university as one of the projects.” The project will receive $3 million for further research and development, and will be considered for more funding should it become available. The Bangor Daily News also published an editorial on the topic titled, “Go big, or lose big, on offshore wind in Maine.”
The University of Maine will host more than 100 Maine 4-H youth this weekend at the annual 4-H@UMaine: Connecting Kids to Campus.
Youth 12 to 17 years old will stay overnight on the UMaine campus, explore careers and take part in experiential learning during a variety of workshops offered by UMaine faculty and graduate students. The event will be held from 3 p.m. Friday, May 16 until 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17.
Workshop topics include composite materials, embryology, fundamentals of acting, aquaculture, high-altitude ballooning, dance, field skills for the forest, ecology, waves in the ocean, veterinary medicine, permaculture, chemical engineering, CSI-geology, nanotechnology, and nutrition and health.
Some 4-H members will also judge the Maine Invention Convention state competition from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. During this event hosted by UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, students from around the state will showcase their inventions to solve real-world problems.
More information about 4-H — the youth development program of University of Maine Cooperative Extension — is available online, or by calling Karen Hatch Gagne at 207.592.6980 or Barbara Baker at 207.212.8397.
WVII (Channel 7) spoke with mechanical engineering professor Michael “Mick” Peterson and several students at the Mechanical Engineering Design Open House. More than 60 mechanical engineering students displayed their capstone projects that ranged from a surgical device that can be used for adult circumcision to the reduce HIV transmission rates in Africa, to a snowmobile powered by compressed natural gas. Most projects focused on the development of heat pumps and other energy-related devices. “They couldn’t have built any of these projects if they didn’t have the three previous years of engineering training,” Peterson said.
University of Maine graduates and distinguished engineers will be inducted into the Francis Crowe Society during two ceremonies on Saturday, May 10.
The College of Engineering will host a ceremony from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts, and the School of Engineering Technology will host a ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon at the D.P. Corbett Business Building.
The College of Engineering’s distinguished engineers to be inducted are:
Allan A. LaBonty, P.E. ’80; nominated by Chemical and Biological Engineering
David B. Bernhardt, P.E. ’84; nominated by Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hilary Henry ’94, ’13G; nominated by Electrical and Computer Engineering
Michael W. Brakey ’75; nominated by Engineering Physics
The School of Engineering Technology’s distinguished engineers to be inducted are:
Todd D. Pineo ’89; nominated by Electrical Engineering Technology
David W. Humphrey, P.L.S. ’82; nominated by Surveying Engineering Technology
Robert Falciani, P.E.; nominated by Construction Management Technology
The Francis Crowe Society recognizes UMaine engineering graduates and others who have made considerable contributions to the engineering profession. The society is named in honor of Francis Trenholm Crowe, who earned a degree in civil engineering from UMaine in 1905 and was chief engineer of the Hoover Dam. Crowe also was involved in the construction of 18 other major dams in the United States, facilitating farming in a number of areas.
More information about the Francis Crowe Society is online.
The Associated Press, Portland Press Herald, Mainebiz, Bangor Daily News, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and WLBZ (Channel 2) were among news organizations to report on the U.S. Department of Energy’s selection of finalists for the next phase of its Advanced Technology Demonstration Program. The University of Maine’s offshore wind project known as New England Aqua Ventus was selected fourth and is an alternate. The project will receive $3 million for further research and development, and will be considered for more funding should additional funds become available. “We’re certainly going to have the opportunity to continue to try to demonstrate this technology at full scale and whether it’s directly with DOE as a partner or through some other vehicle that’s something we’ll have to be working on over the next years,” said UMaine’s Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development Jake Ward. The Washington Post, SFGate, Houston Chronicle, The Washington Times, Boston Herald, WABI (Channel 5) and Sun Journal carried the AP report.
Today the U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of finalists for the next phase of its Advanced Technology Demonstration Program. The University of Maine’s offshore wind project known as New England Aqua Ventus was selected fourth and is an alternate.
Three of the six projects, all of which are at 50 percent completion, were awarded full grants to move to the next stage, which includes the completion to 100 percent design and engineering.
The DOE noted that Maine’s VolturnUS technology, which currently is successfully in use on a pilot scale near Castine, was highly favorable and innovative, and “with additional engineering and design, will further enhance the properties of American offshore wind technology options.” The DOE has indicated it will continue to work with UMaine to advance the design to deployment readiness.
UMaine’s New England Aqua Ventus project will remain an alternate for the DOE Advanced Technology Demonstration Program, should additional federal funding become available.
In the coming year, UMaine will use the DOE funding to complete the R&D and to consider the path forward, according to Jake Ward, University of Maine Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development.
“The University of Maine remains enthusiastic about the opportunities from the VolturnUS technology to tap into the largest sources of renewable energy in Maine,” Ward says. ”The winds in the Gulf of Maine are still there. The need for economical, environmentally sustainable renewable energy that can create local and U.S. jobs is still an important goal for Maine and the United States. The extensive work that the UMaine lead team has completed is very important to meeting these goals.”
Contact: Jennifer O’Leary, 207.515.3341
Students, teachers and parents from Fort Fairfield and Central Aroostook middle schools will visit the University of Maine on Tuesday, May 6 to take part in a daylong event that makes connections between engineering and animal science.
The event, which is a makeup session for some schools that were registered for this year’s Expanding Your Horizons conference that was canceled due to weather, is hosted by the Women’s Resource Center on campus as part of the Maine Girls Collaborative Project (MGCP). MGCP is a member of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) that aims to support educators and organizations working to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Throughout the day, more than 30 students will be introduced to a variety of engineering careers in nontraditional ways, such as how engineering can be related to working with horses.
Participants will start the day at Witter Farm where Robert Causey, an associate professor of animal and veterinary sciences, and Elizabeth Carpenter, a dairy herdsperson for UMaine farms, will speak about UMaine’s work with retired race horses that live at the farm. The horses are cared for by UMaine animal science majors. A companion program uses the dynamics studied in engineering to assess the safety of racetracks. The program is an example of an emerging career field in the intersection between biological sciences and engineering. While at the farm, students will participate in workshops on anatomy and forces/dynamics, and be able to meet the animal science majors and horses.
Other activities planned include a gender equity workshop at the Women’s Resource Center, tours at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center and a hands-on robotics workshop.
Students from Greely Middle School in Cumberland participated in a similar event on May 2.