2014 Impact Awards

Leading Innovation

Our Impact Awards honor leaders and innovators in our four program areas; Bioenergy, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Education and Outreach. By working together and providing valuable resources, we are making an impact on our energy future. 

Leading Innovation: 2014 Impact Award Recipients from Iowa Energy Center on Vimeo.

Dr. Mufit Akinc | Energy Efficiency Impact Award

Supporting Revolutionary Ideas in Energy Efficiency

The more we can improve upon energy efficiency, the greater impact we’ll have in the state of Iowa on reducing energy consumption. That’s why the Iowa Energy Center is excited to partner with Dr. Mufit Akinc and his team at Iowa State University. They’re developing the next generation of insulation materials that will improve upon energy efficiency and revolutionize the industry as a whole.

Here at the Iowa Energy Center, it’s our commitment to support forward-thinking ideas that can be applied to reduce our energy consumption.

Mufit Akinc is professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Chemical & Biological Engineering. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from METU, Ankara, Turkey, and a Ph.D. in ceramic engineering from Iowa State University. Akinc has published over 180 articles and seven patents. He presented approximately 90 invited talks and lectures around the world.

Akinc’s main research is to develop novel nano-porous materials that can be used as core insulation material for VIPs having a thermal conductivity 10 times lower than the conventional polyurethane foam insulation. The proposed project aims to reduce the cost of the VIP to allow widespread use and reducing energy consumption. This study will directly contribute to major energy savings in the State of Iowa and beyond and will spur new industry for production of VIP panels.

To learn more about his story, watch our video “Supporting Revolutionary Ideas in Energy Efficiency” on our Vimeo Channel 

Dr. Hui Hu | Renewable Energy Impact Award

Commitment to Innovation in Renewable Energy

The Iowa Energy Center is committed to supporting individuals pursuing groundbreaking technology advances in renewable energy for the state of Iowa. At Iowa State University, we see the benefits of a dual-rotor wind turbine for improved wind farm performance through the work of Hui (who-wee) and Anupam (on-new-pam). 

At the Iowa Energy Center, it’s our responsibility to be a resource for innovation. Through these individuals, we are seeing the next evolution of renewable energy.

Dr Hu is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University. Dr. Hu’s technical background is in the field of experimental fluid dynamics and heat transfer with emphasis on developing and applying advanced flow diagnostic techniques to study various complex thermal flow problems.

Dr. Hu’s recent research interests include wind energy and wind turbine aeromechanics; icing physics, aircraft icing and wind turbine anti-icing/de-icing technology; film cooling, trailing edge cooling and thermal management of gas turbine blades; aerodynamics of low-speed airfoils and active flow controls; bio-inspired aerodynamic designs for micro-air-vehicle (MAV) applications; micro-flows and micro-scale heat transfer in microfluidics or “Lab-on-a-Chip” devices.

Anupam Sharma | Renewable Energy Impact Award

Anupam is an Assistant Professor and Walter W. Wilson faculty fellow in the department of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University. Anupam did his Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, and his Masters and Doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. After graduation, Anupam worked at the General Electric Global Research Center in New York for seven years before starting his career at Iowa State. His research focus is on aerodynamics and aeroacoustics of rotating machinery. He is a senior member of the AIAA and a member of ASME and until recently served on the AIAA Aeroacoustics technical committee

To learn more about their story, watch our video “Commitment To Innovation In Renewable Energy” on our Vimeo Channel 

Dr. Robert C. Brown | Bioenergy Impact Award

Investing in Partners in Bioenergy

At the Iowa Energy Center, we’ve had the privilege of collaborating with some of Iowa’s leading bioenergy experts. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with Robert Brown, the director of the Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State University. He has spent his career impacting the industry with innovative technologies. Here at the Iowa Energy Center, we not only invest in great ideas – we invest in the people generating them. 

Dr. Brown is Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU). He also holds courtesy academic appointments in the Departments of Chemical and biological engineering and Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering. He is the founding director of the Bioeconomy Institute at ISU. He has been recognized by Biofuels Digest as one of the “Top 100 People” in bioenergy for four consecutive years since 2010. His research focuses on the thermochemical processing of biomass and fossil fuels into energy, fuels, and chemicals.

To learn more about his story, watch our video “Investing in Partners in Bioenergy” on our Vimeo Channel

Larry Beall | Education and Outreach Impact Awards

Advancing Energy Education

Inspiring the next generation to engage in our energy future has long been a commitment of the Iowa Energy Center. Through our partnership with the Iowa Energy and Sustainability Academy at Central Campus in Des Moines, we’re providing students hands-on learning opportunities. In a few years, we’ll be depending on these young minds to continue to advance Iowa’s energy future. We’re proud to support the teachers and organizations that promote an interest in energy.

Larry Beall is the Director of the Iowa Energy and Sustainability Academy (IESA), Des Moines Public Schools. He’s also the 2013 Trailblazing Teacher by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council in recognition of his pioneering work on the Iowa Sustainability Academy. Larry Beall immerses students in environmental learning and action through a two-year program called the Iowa Energy and Sustainability Academy (IESA). Now in its fifth year, student demand for the program has risen from 18 to 100. Larry proudly points to graduates of the Iowa Energy and Sustainability Academy that have begun further study in wind technology training and Environmental Science majors at many universities.

To learn more about his story, watch our video on “Advancing Energy Education” on our Vimeo channel