I hope this message finds each and every one of you doing well.
Here is a weekly glimpse of what March 2009 had in store: April 1-3: The highlight of the week was an energy speaking engagement involving representatives from Danforth Science Center, Monsanto, Romer Labs and the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center. The speaking engagement was followed-up with a tour of the NCERC.
April 6-10: The week was highlighted by dignitaries and VIP's visiting the NCERC for tours and business. On Wednesday April 8, 2009 we were honored to host a visit and tour by United States Senator Roland Burris. Senator Burris and his staff expressed appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the NCERC staff. On Thursday April 9, 2009, the NCERC hosted its semi-annual Business Advisory Board meeting. The NCERC Business Advisory Board is appointed by the Governor of Illinois and is chaired by SIU President Glenn Poshard. We (NCERC Staff) were honored to have President Poshard attend and chair the Business Advisory Board meeting. The NCERC Business Advisory Board approved a plan titled, "Positioning the NCERC for Advanced Biofuels Research." The NCERC staff, with the input and recommendations of the NCERC Technical Advisory Committee, will formalize a capital improvement plan for Advanced Biofuels Research.
April 13-17: The NCERC commissioned a new evaporator in preparation for the launch of a three week pilot plant trial in collaboration with USDA/ARS. A central focus of the trial was to evaluate the impact on DDGS of various process parameters. Nearly 24 tons of DDG and DDGS were produced from this single pilot plant trial.
April 20-24: What a week? John Caupert (Director) traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the Biofuels Summit. Highlights of the summit included interaction with Roger Conway, Director Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA. In addition John visited with Linda Benjamin, Regulatory Chemist Division of Animal Feeds, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The latter part of the week was highlighted by the NCERC hosting two prominent persons within the USDA: Robert Fireovid, Director of Biofuels USDA/ARS and Steven Shafer, Deputy Administrator Office of National Programs. This was the second visit by Robert Fireovid over the past nine months and the first visit from a USDA Deputy Administrator.
April 27-30: John Caupert (Director) and Stephanie Regagnon (Assistant Director, Commercialization) travelled to Western Illinois University - Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs to discuss the NCERC Internship Program. We (NCERC) are extremely grateful to Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs for their decision to sponsor four Western Illinois University graduates for a one year NCERC Internships. It is a tremendous sense of accomplishment to see the collaboration between two prominent state universities: SIU and WIU.
Until next time, have a good, productive and safe month.
National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center
Phone: 618-659-6737 Ext 226