Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

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.

Edgewood Junior-Senior High Fuel Cell Team Successful

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Four students from Edgewood Junior-Senior High School in Merritt Island recently represented the United States at the International Youth Fuel Cell Competition in Hawaii. They were one of only two teams representing the United States at the competition, which was held in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary Fuel Cell Seminar.

Florida Solar Energy Center/University of Central Florida (FSEC/UCF) faculty and staff helped to mentor the team, which includes students Michael Granatosky, Melissa Ingram, Martin Moneysmith and Taylor Munsey and instructor Ryan Cilsick.

The team received received the Ovonics Special Award for the Most Insight into the Future of Hydrogen Storage. They were also first-place Winners of the Quiz Bowl and received first place in Car Engineering. They placed second in the Timepiece Artistic competition and were second to the Japanese team in the race of the hydrogen model cars. (more…)

Applications Now Open for the 2006 Florida Energy Achievement Award

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Applications are now being accepted for the 2006 “Florida Energy Achievement Award” that 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 award is presented annually by the Florida Solar Energy Center to recognize statewide leadership in sustainable energy savings. The selected winner will have achieved significant results in energy efficiency, conservation, energy education or the use of renewable energy in their facility or program. Sarasota County Government received the first award that was presented in 2005. (more…)

EPEC Awards Program to be Held May 4

Monday, May 1st, 2006

The public is invited to attend a reception and awards ceremony for the Exemplary Projects in Energy and Conservation (EPEC) Awards program on Thursday, May 4, at 5 p.m. at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) at 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa.

The program was started three years ago as a joint effort between the National Energy Foundation, Johnson Controls and FSEC to recognize Brevard County students who have produced outstanding research relating to renewable energy or energy conservation. This year, 22 students will be honored for their individual projects, along with the top three Energy Patrols from Brevard schools. Three exceptional transportation-related projects will also be recognized by the Space Coast Clean Cities Coalition. (more…)