2015 Summer Research Camp - Conn Center for Renewable

2015 Summer Research Camp
July 20 – 24, 9am – 5pm
Ernst Hall Room 212
$200, includes daily lunches and a Conn Center lab coat
High School Students!
Do you have an interest in materials and renewable energy research?
Do you want to compete in state and regional science fairs?
The UofL Conn Center’s Summer Research Camp is for you!
Each day, students will learn the driving principles behind cutting edge renewable energy research
from the Conn Center’s research staff, then work in the labs on real hands on projects using state-ofthe-art analytical tools and research methods.
9am – noon Daily lectures and process information
noon – 1pm Box lunch (provided)
1:00 – 5:00
Lab exercises and demonstration projects
Day 1: Lab safety. Overview of energy challenges, and material needs for energy technologies
Day 2: Concepts of solar energy conversion to electricity and fuels
Day 3: Physics and chemistry of advanced energy materials
Day 4: Energy storage and biofuels concepts
Day 5: Group presentations, networking
Summer Research Camp is limited to 30 students. Applications must be received at
[email protected] by 5:00pm on Monday, June 8. Give a brief statement of interest on
science fair and research goals (250 words max) plus GPA, prior accomplishments, science teacher
contact info, and parent/guardian contact info.
Selections will be announced Friday, June 12, via email. Objectives of Summer Research Camp are
for students to develop a rough outline for science fair projects, jump start their progress toward state
and regional competitions, and spur interest in higher education STEM studies. All participants will be
required to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow lab procedures as directed.
Conn Center Summer Research Camp Modules:
Solar Manufacturing. Solar energy is fast becoming an important part of the world’s supply of
energy. This module will cover the significance of solar energy and the underlying concepts of solar
power. It will also include an introduction to the solar panel manufacturing process and participants
will take part in making a solar cell. Dr. Thad Druffel, Theme Leader, Solar Manfacturing R&D
Solar Fuels. Capturing sunlight in the form of chemical fuels is one of the most promising approaches
to store intermittent renewable energy and increase its utility. This module will introduce the
fundamentals of photoelectrochemical fuel production. Participants will make a photoelectrode and
learn how to characterize it as a component of a solar water-splitting device, and also evaluate a
demonstration system in action. Dr. Josh Spurgeon, Theme Leader, Photovoltaic &
Photoelectrochemical Device R&D
Advanced Energy Materials. Majority of grand challenges in energy depend upon our ability to
discover new materials and make advanced materials. In this module, students will learn concepts of
making two kinds of materials: (a) make diamond using biogas (methane); and (b) make rust
nanowires on iron foils. They will view the samples using a scanning electron microscope and Raman
spectroscopy. Dr. Mahendra Sunkara, Director, Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research
Energy Storage. Electrochemical energy conversion is a field of technology that includes electrical
storage devices such as batteries and supercapacitors. They have become increasingly important for
electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. This module will cover various energy storage and
power delivery concepts. Participants will take part in making Li-ion batteries, Li-Sulphur batteries and
supercapacitors. Dr. Gamini Sumanasekera, Theme Leader, Energy Storage
Biomass and Biofuels. The current commercial sources of fuels and organic chemicals are coal, oil,
and natural gas. There have been multiple efforts worldwide to replace these sources with renewable
carbohydrate-rich biomass resources for environmental reasons. In this module, students will learn
basics about lignocellulosic biomass, its conversion to bioproducts, and waste to energy technologies.
The students will also take a tour of the labs and see the equipment used for biomass conversion. Dr.
Jagannadh Satyavolu, Theme Leader, Biofuels & Biomass Conversion
Materials Characterization. New advances in energy efficiency and better energy production and
storage require new materials with improved properties and performance. The R&D towards such
materials relies heavily on the ability to efficiently characterize and understand materials’ properties
and structures. This module will introduce fundamentals of several materials characterization
techniques such as electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy. Inclass lectures as well as lab demos and hands-on exercises are planned. Dr. Jacek Jasinski, Theme
Leader, Materials Characterization
For more information, contact:
Andrew Marsh, Assistant Director
Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research
University of Louisville
[email protected]