Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

FSEC’s Cummings and Withers Receive Distinguished Awards from ASHRAE

Monday, August 17th, 2009
ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, Air-Conditioning Engineers

ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, Air-Conditioning Engineers

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recognized 56 members and one chapter for contributions to ASHRAE and the HVAC&R industry at the Society’s 2009 Annual Conference in June.

The Florida Solar Energy Center’s James Cummings and Charles (Chuck) Withers, Jr. received the 2008 Journal Paper Award for their article, Problems Related to Air Handler Leakage. The award honors the best paper or article published in ASHRAE Journal.


Students Shine at EnergyWhiz Olympics

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Florida students have creative ideas for solving some of our world’s greatest energy challenges, and their renewable energy solutions were demonstrated at the EnergyWhiz Olympics – a series of day-long activities dedicated to students with an interest in alternative fuel technologies.

Nearly 700 students throughout Florida converged at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa on Saturday, May 9, 2009 to compete in the seventh-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics. Events included the new Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff, a solar cooker and cooking contest; the Junior Solar Sprint, model-size solar car races; the High School Hydrogen Sprint, model-size hydrogen fuel cell car races; and Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design challenge.


Subrato Chandra Recognized by DOE Assistant Secretary Karsner

Friday, August 15th, 2008
Subrato Chandra is the project manager for the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership.

Subrato Chandra is the project manager for the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership.

As project manager for the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership (BAIHP), FSEC’s Subrato Chandra was recognized earlier this year by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary, Alexander Karsner, for his outstanding support during the development of the DOE Builders Challenge.

In February, the Builders Challenge called on the U.S. homebuilding industry to build at least 220,000 high-performance, energy-efficient homes by 2012. The initiative was announced at the 2008 International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Orlando, Fla., where Chandra and other FSEC researchers provided live technical assistance at the DOE booth. Out of the 40 pioneering builders that signed up for the challenge prior to its launch at the IBS, Chandra and the BAIHP team were responsible for recruiting 18 of these builders.

“Your enthusiasm and dedication are exceptional,” wrote Assistant Secretary Karsner in a letter to Chandra. “It is because of the hard work and dedication by individuals like you that America is able to meet the challenges of energy security and climate change head on at this critical time in our history.”

The Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership (BAIHP) team is the only university-based Building America team competitively funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy-Building Technologies program. BAIHP works with partners throughout the United States. The project focuses on effectively balancing cost, design, construction, and energy decisions to develop customized solutions for our team members. The BAIHP brings practical research expertise to America’s Home Building Industry.

University of Florida Professor Wins Florida Energy Achievement Award

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Dr. Ann C. Wilkie, associate professor at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), has been named winner of the third annual Florida Energy Achievement Award. The award, presented by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), recognizes a company, organization or individual that has made a significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in the state of Florida.

The FSEC award committee chose Wilkie for her extensive work in alternative energy -creating bio-energy from animal waste – and her leadership in promoting awareness and understanding of renewable energy and sustainable practices. (more…)

Florida Solar Energy Center Director, Dr. James Fenton, Recipient of 2008 UCF Award for Excellence in Distinguished Research

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Cocoa, Fla. – Dr. James Fenton, director of the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) and recognized expert in electrochemical engineering, received this year’s University of Central Florida Award for Excellence in Distinguished Research. This honor is awarded to researchers whose work has created an impact within their discipline and in society. Their work is recognized by research peers, has been published and presented on numerous occasions, and provides external grant and contract support for the research.

Fenton has led his team in a wide variety of hydrogen research activities, although he specializes in fuel cell applications. Fenton’s award-winning work focuses on the research and development of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. PEM fuel cells transform chemical energy released during the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to electrical energy, rather than producing mechanical energy as current internal combustion engines do. While PEM fuel cells are being developed primarily for the next-generation automobile engine, they are also being developed as sources for portable power and emergency backup power applications. (more…)

U.S. Department of Energy Awards Florida Solar Energy Center at UCF $2 Million for 'Green' Regional Project

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy recently named the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida as one of only two sites nationwide that will share a multi-million dollar grant to accelerate the adoption of new and developing energy-efficient technologies.

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) received $2 million from the Department of Energy (DOE) grant to be home to a regional building technology application center. The center, to be located at FSEC’s facility in Cocoa, will serve 12 states and produce projects that will substantially increase the deployment of high-performance “beyond-code” buildings across the Southeast. (more…)

EnergyWhiz Olympics at Florida Solar Energy Center-UCF

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

More than 300 students and teachers from throughout Florida participated in the 2007 EnergyWhiz Olympics at the Florida Solar Energy Center on Saturday, May 12. Events included solar car races, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle races, a photovoltaic design competition called “Energy Innovations” and a solar-powered boat demonstration.

Students from elementary through high schools took part in the alternative fuel competitions. The largest event, with 61 teams, was the Junior Solar Sprint. Middle-school students designed and built model-sized, solar-powered vehicles, which they raced during the competition. Awards were given to the top performing vehicles based on design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and speed. (more…)

EnergyWhiz Olympics to be Held at FSEC on Saturday May 12

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

More than 80 school teams featuring hundreds of students from around the state will participate in the fifth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics again this year at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

The 2007 event will be held Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m.  The center is located on the campus of Brevard Community College/UCF at 1679 Clearlake Road in Cocoa.

Each year, students from elementary through high school take part in the competitions that feature alternative fuels in the Junior Solar Sprint, Middle School Science Bowl Hands-on Hydrogen demonstration, High School Hydrogen Sprint and Energy Innovations competition. (more…)

Walt Disney World Co. Wins 2006 Florida Energy Achievement Award

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

The Walt Disney World Company’s “Strive for Five” energy reduction program has been named the winner of the second annual Florida Energy Achievement Award. The award is presented by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to a company, organization or individual that has made a significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in the state of Florida.

Jim Fenton, director of FSEC, explained that “Choosing the winner of this year’s competition was especially hard because we had a number of high-quality applications from private companies and utilities who are conducting energy-saving programs in the state and achieving significant results. Our committee felt, though, that Disney’s innovative company-wide program designed to reduce overall energy consumption by 5 percent by involving everyone from management to cast members stood out because of its wide impact as well as its individual components.” (more…)

Pinellas County Named State's First Certified Green County

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) has recognized Pinellas County’s outstanding environmental stewardship by designating it as the first Certified Green Local Government in Florida.

Developed and administered by researchers at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), the Florida Green Local Government Standard focuses on improving local governments’ environmental performance in the areas of energy, water, air, land and waste. The standard examines governments’ internal environmental practices, incentives, ordinances and educational activities that aim to improve the environment.

Several Pinellas County departments developed special programs to move toward being a Green County. In order to obtain the Green Local Government designation, Pinellas County demonstrated that its operations met the Florida Green Building Coalition’s criteria, organized in terms of local government department functions. Some of the outstanding departments and their programs include:

  • Utilities – focus on water conservation and their progressive solid waste collection
  • Public Works – use of LED traffic signal lights
  • Environmental Management & Parks and Recreation – efforts to preserve wildlife habitat and properly care for public lands
  • Community Development – use of EnergyStar appliances in affordable housing units
  • Fleet Management – use of Biodiesel in the county’s fleet of diesel-powered vehicles
  • The Planning Department – integration of green land management policies into the county’s overall plans

Pinellas County Parks and Recreation Department maintains more than 4,100 acres of natural Florida landscapes and beaches. Weedon Island Preserve represents 3,000 acres of specially designated lands, managed by the Department of Environmental Management, which oversees four preserves and eleven management areas, all set aside for environmental preservation and education through passive public uses.

“We are extremely proud to receive this designation and appreciate the recognition of the effort put forth by county departments,” said Mary Campbell, Pinellas County Extension director, who coordinates the program. “Pinellas County has worked diligently for many years to achieve this level of environmental stewardship.”

The Florida Green Local Government Standard designates Green Cities and Green Counties for outstanding environmental stewardship. The program was developed by FSEC under a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Florida Energy Office.

The Florida Green Local Government Standard is similar to other green standards used in Florida and many other states, yet unique since it targets local governments. There are two levels of the Florida Green Local Government Standard. Local governments that have applied for the designation are required to meet specific criteria. Each local government’s unique needs are considered in awarding credit points. When a city or county has met a minimum number of credit points, the local government earns the “registered” designation. If all appropriate credit points have been incorporated, the local government earns the “certified” designation.

The four registered governments, which intend to advance to certified status within three years, are Sarasota and Orange counties and the cities of St. Petersburg and Dunedin.

Since Certified Green Local Governments function in a more efficient manner through better internal communication, dollar savings, and effective risk and asset management, FGBC plans to develop grants and additional funding to encourage all of Florida’s local governments to follow the lead of Pinellas County.

Eric Martin, a senior research engineer at FSEC, spearheaded the development of this standard and served as FSEC’s evaluator for the designation process.

The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research center in the country. Current research activities include solar water and pool heating, solar electric and distributed generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel, fuel cells and other energy areas. For more information about the center, visit or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.