Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

FSEC Affordable Housing Partners Recognized for DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

By Danielle Daniel
October 8, 2014

ZERO Energy Ready Home U.S. Department of Energy logo

The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Leading Builders awards are presented to builders who are changing the way homes are designed and constructed.

Southeast Volusia Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity of South Sarasota County—affordable housing partners of the University of Central Florida’s FSEC—were the honored recipients of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home Leading Affordable Builders awards in September. A total of 28 industry leaders (including six affordable builders) were recognized at the 2014 Housing Innovation Award ceremony at EEBA’s Excellence in Building Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. DOE Housing Innovation Awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of contractors and builders to design and construct high performance, zero energy ready homes.

Energy efficiency, comfort, and durability are key components of DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes. To qualify for this certification, homes must meet stringent requirements in seven categories. To reduce energy consumption and resulting energy costs, these high performance homes must achieve a very low score on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. The closer the score is to zero, the less energy is needed to run the home.

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FSEC Research Fuels Patents, Commercialization, and Wins R&D 100 Award

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

By Sherri Shields
September 25, 2014

A hydrogen safety technology that was developed as a result of a partnership between the University of Central Florida’s FSEC® and NASA, and then commercialized by a university startup company, has been internationally recognized by the R&D 100 Awards program as one of the most technologically significant products to enter the marketplace last year.

When NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center needed an easy-to-use, safe, effective and non-powered solution to visually detect dangerous hydrogen leaks on and near the shuttle launch pad, they reached out to FSEC’s Dr. Ali Raissi and his team of researchers, Drs. Nazim Muradov, Gary Bokerman, Nahid Mohajeri, and R. Paul Brooker. Together, NASA KSC and FSEC—a research institute of the University of Central Florida—designed a one-of-a-kind, tape-like solution that selectively changes color in the presence of hydrogen gas. Since hydrogen gas is odorless and colorless, visual detection means that the leak source can now be quickly pinpointed for repair.

Photo of Nazim Muradov, Nahid Mohajeri, Gary Bokerman, Ali Raissi.

FSEC’s Advanced Energy Division researchers, left to right, Nazim Muradov, Nahid Mohajeri, Gary Bokerman, Ali Raissi. Not pictured: R. Paul Brooker.

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UCF Professor Wins Research Incentive Award

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

By Danielle Daniel

Congratulations to Dr. Nahid Mohajeri, who received a University of Central Florida (UCF) 2012-2013 Research Incentive Award in recognition of her exceptional research efforts. Dr. Mohajeri is an associate research professor at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

Professor Nahid Mohajeri

Each year, UCF recognizes faculty members and research staff who have an outstanding research, scholarly, or creative record that advances the body of knowledge in their field.

“I did not get here all by myself,” states Mohajeri, in response to receiving the award. “I have been helped, guided, and given opportunities by many people during my tenure at FSEC that I will forever be grateful,” she explains.

Dr. Mohajeri’s recent contributions to the research community include the development of highly durable proton exchange composite membranes for fuel cells, a technology based on the addition of cerium oxide nanoparticles to the membrane. When tested, this innovative approach   improved fuel cells’ membrane stability and performance, resulting in a sevenfold decrease in the open circuit voltage decay rate compared to the baseline membrane. Membranes are at the heart of hydrogen fuel cell technology, and by increasing their durability, goals for developing fuel cells as a reliable, alternate energy source are attainable.

Other accomplishments include the creation of a chemochromic hydrogen leak detection tool known as “Smart Paint,” which was used by NASA to visually detect colorless and odorless hydrogen leaks. Furthermore, Dr. Mohajeri discovered a new class of catalysts for the hydrolytic cleavage of ammonia borane, one of the promising classes of chemical hydrides for hydrogen storage. She has authored and co-authored more than 30 scientific publications and has received seven patents (awarded and applied). In addition to her research endeavors, Dr. Mohajeri says she considers it an honor as a professor to educate and mentor “the next generation of scientists.”

Regarding future contributions to energy research, Dr. Mohajeri’s diverse background has enabled her to work in various energy research areas. However, one focus in particular has garnered her attention: “The area of soft materials, such as polymers, for energy storage or energy efficiency technologies holds a special place in my overall interests in energy research,” she states.

Renewable Energy Student Teams Energized Even on a Cloudy Day

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

COCOA, May 09, 2013— With clouds in the sky and all eyes on the weather, more than 600 elementary, middle and high school students were energized on Saturday, May 4th. Student teams—from Key West to as far away as North Carolina—gathered at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center on Saturday to demonstrate their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) skills by competing at the 11th annual EnergyWhiz Olympics.

Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish III speaks into megaphone.

Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish III welcomes crowd to EnergyWhiz Olympics.

The daylong event started out cloudy and posed challenges to the solar-dependent competitions, especially the Bright House Solar Energy Cook-off and the Junior Solar Sprint (solar-powered model car) teams. Although weather conditions were less than ideal, the sun managed to peek through the clouds and provide just enough energy for the teams to get through the solar competitions. And although Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design and marketing challenge, depend on the sun for their complete product demonstration, teams also created marketing pieces—such as brochures, fliers, and posters—to promote their product.

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2013 EnergyWhiz Olympics Winners

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 EnergyWhiz Olympics Winners:

 

B.A.T. (Battery Assisted Transport) Mobile Challenge

1st Place Race:  Race Girls, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

2nd Place Race:  Millennium Panther, Lewis E. Wadsworth Elementary, Palm Coast

3rd Place Race:  Salt & Pepper, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

 

1st Place Design :  Race Girls, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

2nd Place Design:  Millennium Panther, Lewis E. Wadsworth Elementary, Palm Coast

3rd Place Design:  The Anaxagoras, Montessori World Academy, Orlando

 

Energy Innovations

Middle Division

1st Place Design:  Sunny Circus Snacks, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

2nd Place Design:  Urban Garden, Howard Middle, Orlando

3rd Place Design:   Cooking Device, Hidden Oaks Middle, Palm City

 

High School Division

1st Place Design:  The Sunfisher, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

2nd Place Design:  Suk-A-Poop, Island Coast High, Cape Coral

3rd Place Design:  Solar Bike, Dunbar High, Fort Myers

 

All Divisions

WOW! Award:  The Sunfisher, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

 

Hydrogen Challenge

Middle Division

1st Place:   The Flying Fish, Stewart Middle, Tampa

2nd Place:  The Kit Kats, Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

3rd Place:  Child’s Play, Gifford Middle, Vero Beach

Most Accurate:  N.E.R.D.S. – New Energy Regeneration Device, Gulf Coast Academy, Spring Hill

 

High School Division

1st Place:  Tiger Engineering, Dunbar High, Fort Myers

2nd Place:  The Domino Theory, Edgewood Jr/ Sr High, Merritt Island

3rd Place:  Race Girls, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

Most Accurate :  Race Girls, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

 

All Divisions

WOW! Award:  The Flying Fish, Stewart Middle, Tampa

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FSEC Scientist Receives UCF Institutes and Centers Award for Excellence in Research

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Nazim Muradov, right, accepts award from UCF's Vice President of Research and Commercialization, M.J. Soileau.

COCOA, May 15, 2012 – A researcher who has developed a novel method that uses sponge-like carbon particles to clean up oil spills in water and among some other exciting work at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) has received one of UCF’s highest honors.

Nazim Muradov, a researcher at FSEC since 1990, recently received the UCF Institute and Centers Award for Excellence in Research.

Aside from the promising sponge-like carbon clean up method, Muradov also developed a novel high-energy density seawater-based hydrogen generator that can be used to propel Navy’s unmanned undersea vehicles.

“I am honored to receive this award because it underscores the high value and impact of research work conducted at FSEC,” states Muradov.

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UCF Receives $482,000 to Expand ‘Green’ Jobs Training Program

Friday, June 18th, 2010

COCOA, June 18, 2010 – More local workers can receive ‘green’ job training thanks to a $482,000 federal grant to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) at the University of Central Florida.

The grant, given under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will expand FSEC’s weatherization training program, which provides inspectors, contractors and other skilled workers training courses in energy efficiency retrofitting and weatherization services, such as house air sealing and air duct diagnoses and repair.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected 34 projects in 27 states to develop or expand weatherization training centers. FSEC is one of three training centers in Florida selected to receive part of the $29 million in funding.

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FSEC Scientist Earns Honorary Hydrogen Title

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Nazim Muradov, principal research scientist at UCF's Florida Solar Energy Center.

Nazim Muradov, a principal research scientist at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center, was awarded the honorary title of International Association for Hydrogen Energy Fellow at the organization’s 18th biennial World Hydrogen Energy Conference.

More than 1,000 scientists and decision-makers in politics, finance and research gathered last month in Essen, Germany, for presentations on cutting-edge research on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Muradov has been involved in hydrogen energy research for the past 30 years. He spearheaded U.S. Department of Energy-funded research efforts on the development, patenting and licensing of a novel process for producing hydrogen.  Under a NASA contract, he led a research and development program on the local production of hydrogen from renewable resources such as landfill gas and citrus waste.

Muradov is the author and co-author of 200 publications and 34 patents, and three of his technologies have been licensed to industry.  He recently received a patent for a new approach to cleaning up oil spills using carbon materials that can soak the oil up like a sponge. He is planning to collaborate with an industrial partner to determine the commercial potential of the technology.

Muradov’s areas of focus include hydrogen production, fuel reformers for fuel cells, catalytic solar energy conversion, hydrogen sensors, carbon nanostructures, fossil fuel decarbonization and hydrocarbon processing.

He is an associate editor of the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy and a member of the international editorial council of the Processes of Petrochemistry and Oil Refining. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy and the Board of Trustees and Scientific Council of the Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies (IMDEA Energia), Spain. He received a University of Central Florida Research Incentive Award in 2003, and he earned UCF’s Distinguished Researcher of the Year Award for institutes and centers in 1996.

Students Shine in Solar and Hydrogen Competitions

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

COCOA, May 4, 2010 – Florida students have creative ideas for solving some of the world’s greatest energy challenges, and their solutions were demonstrated Saturday at the eighth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics.

More than 500 students throughout Florida converged May 1 at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in

Students from Tallahassee to Miami participated in this year's EnergyWhiz Olympics.

Students from Tallahassee to Miami participated in this year's EnergyWhiz Olympics in Cocoa on May 1st.

Cocoa to compete in the day-long competition that showcased student projects in alternative fuel technologies.

Events included the Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff, a solar cooker design and cooking contest; the Junior Solar Sprint, model-size solar car races; the High School Hydrogen Sprint, model-size hydrogen-powered car races; and Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design challenge.

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FSEC’s Cromer Receives ASHRAE Fellow Award

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
Charles Cromer, center, was selected=

Gordon Holness, president of ASHRAE (left), and Jeff Littleton, executive vice president of ASHRAE (right), recognize Charles Cromer as an ASHRAE Fellow for his significant contributions in the HVAC field.

The Florida Solar Energy Center’s Charles Cromer was selected as a Fellow at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 2010 Winter Conference last month in Orlando.

The honor is granted to members who have attained unusual distinction in the field of heating, refrigeration, air conditioning or ventilation (HVAC).

Cromer, program director of the Appliance Laboratory at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center, has made significant contributions in the HVAC field. His invention of the Cromer Cycle air-conditioning system provides more energy-efficient dehumidification than standard air conditioners or dehumidifiers. (more…)