Wednesday December 14, 2016

Masters of Energy

Two University of Dayton graduate students received $50,000 each to work in a U.S. Department of Energy program with researchers at Emerson's Helix Innovation Center on the University of Dayton campus.

Kefan Huang, in the renewable and clean energy program, is focused on enhancing Department of Energy software to better distribute heating, ventilation and air conditioning loads in light commercial buildings and residences using renewable energy power systems. Optimizing energy loads in real time will reduce energy costs.

Electrical engineering student Ashish Gogia is attempting to achieve a zero-energy smart home with green technologies and storage and energy management systems.

Both are using The Helix as a laboratory for their work in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Building Technologies Program administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

The Building Technologies Office works with universities through the Building-Grid Integration Research and Development Innovators Program to improve the efficiency of buildings and increase renewable energy generation, leading to more efficient buildings and cleaner generation of electricity. The program engages university professors and students to support the Building Technology Office's goals and links faculty, graduate students, Department of Energy national laboratory scientists and engineers to bring the innovation and discovery process of universities together with unmet needs in the building-grid integration marketplace.

The 40,000 square-foot Helix contains six simulated environments that will provide University of Dayton students a real-world research playground — a fully functioning and furnished home, a model supermarket, a light commercial environment, a commercial kitchen, a data center and an industrial chiller.

"This is yet another example of the University's partnership with Emerson providing a real-world laboratory for our students and helping secure funding like this to continue their work," said Kevin Hallinan, a professor in the University's renewable and clean energy master's program who is overseeing the students' projects.

The University of Dayton School of Engineering graduate programs are ranked 65th nationally — tied with Brown University and ahead of schools like the University of North Carolina, Syracuse University and the Rochester Institute of Technology — according to U.S. News & World Report. The University ranks second among Catholic universities and third in Ohio.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.

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