I hope this message finds each and every one of you doing well.
Here is a weekly glimpse of what February 2009 had in store: February 2-6: The week was highlighted with visitors in high profile positions within National Science Foundation and the Brazilian ethanol industry. Thursday February 5th John Caupert (Director) and Frank Romano (Business Affairs) traveled to Springfield, IL for monthly meeting with Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Hats off to the tremendous support received from Norm Marek and the entire ILDCEO Team.
February 9-13: John Caupert (Director), Brian Wrenn (Research Director), Frank Romano (Business Affairs) and Yan Zhang (Analytical Research) traveled to SIUC for a day of meetings Tuesday February 10th. Highlights of the day included discussions of mutual interest with the Coal Research Center, College of Engineering and College of Agricultural Sciences. Tuesday evening February 10th John Caupert (Director) was a guest panelist on a discussion sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council. Tremendous emotion continues to swirl around the benefits (and perceived costs) of the U.S. ethanol industry.
February 16-20: SIUE began a Safety Audit of the NCERC. With certain areas in need of improvement, the NCERC will benefit from this type of audit. Brian Wrenn (Research Director) identifies two collaboration opportunities for DOE Research Funding Proposals. Great Job Brian! Tuesday evening February 17th John Caupert (Director) once again was on a panel sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council. Emotion runs as high in Edwardsville, IL as it does in Carbondale, IL. The low level of awareness of some consumers, on the benefits of ethanol, is surprising.
February 23-27: Off to San Antonio, TX for the RFA - National Ethanol Conference. The NCERC was well represented as John Caupert (Director) moderated two sessions, Frank Romano (Business Affairs) presented, and Stephanie Regagnon (Commercialization) was an attendee. Having lived in South Texas during the early part of this decade, it was nice getting back to familiar surroundings. While attendance may have been a bit down at this year National Ethanol Conference, the agenda was better than ever. The NCERC had numerous meaningful conversations with attendees. GREAT JOB RFA!
Research Highlights and Opportunities:
Brian Wrenn (Research Director) visits with representatives of the National Science Foundation to gather information on the possibility of NCERC being involved in an Engineering Research Center (ERC).
Brian Wrenn (Research Director) meets with Department of Energy representative to discuss mutual areas of research interest that exists between the DOE and the NCERC.
Yan Zhang (Analytical Research) receives word that three of her recent Research Funding Proposals will indeed be funded. Yan has become a "Research Funding Rock star" of the NCERC. Tell me where to find more people like Yan, they will be hired!
The NCERC Analytical Laboratory receives confirmation to conduct analysis on DDGS samples on behalf of University of Illinois. This "commercial type work" was successfully negotiated by Dr. Yan Zhang. Great Job!
Until next time, have a good, productive and safe month.
National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center
Phone: 618-659-6737 Ext 226