Purdue News

Purdue experts can discuss variety of energy-related topics

The Sen. Richard G. Lugar – Purdue University Summit on Energy Security brought more than 600 leaders to the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, Ind. to discuss national energy issues and policy.

Among those joining Lugar, R-Ind. for the daylong event were Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Purdue President Martin C. Jischke and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind.

The Aug. 29 summit included a panel discussion, "Implementing Strategies to Reduce Foreign Oil Dependence." Panelists were Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Co. vice president; Peggy Hudson, U.S. vice president for federal and international affairs for BP America Inc.; and Amy Myers Jaffe, Wallace S. Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University. Brian Lamb, president and CEO of C-SPAN, served as panel moderator.

A goal of the summit is to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and to develop new strategies for alternative fuels.

Purdue has a number of researchers who focus on alternative fuels such as biofuels, solar, electrochemical, hydrogen energy storage, clean coal, nuclear and wind turbines. For more information contact Cynthia Sequin, Purdue News Service, at (765) 494-4192, csequin@purdue.edu


The Purdue University experts listed below can address many topics related to energy.

Public policies

Otto C. Doering III

Professor of agricultural economics

• Doering is an expert in energy policy; resources and the environment; and agricultural policy. He has directed programs on energy policy and forecasting for Indiana and national advisory boards.

CONTACT: (765) 494-4226, doering@purdue.edu

Ethanol's impact on agriculture a mixed blessing

Doering's Web site


Leigh Raymond

Assistant professor of political science and associate director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center

• Raymond researches environmental policy and politics. His interests include climate change policy, the Endangered Species Act, environmental protections on private property, and market-based approaches to environmental problems such as emissions trading.

CONTACT: (765) 494-4182, leigh@purdue.edu

Energy research

John Abraham

Professor of mechanical engineering

• Abraham’s research focuses on hybrid-engine automotive technologies. Hybrid cars offer promise in reducing emissions and fuel consumption, and several cars equipped with the technology are on the market. New hybrid technologies will be needed to increase the efficiency of cars in the near future, Abraham says.

CONTACT: (765) 494-1505, jabraham@ecn.purdue.edu

Abraham's Web site


Jay Gore

Associate dean for research and entrepreneurship for the Purdue College of Engineering, Vincent P. Reilly Professor in Mechanical Engineering and interim director of the Energy Center at Purdue's Discovery Park

• Gore's research is focused on using hydrogen as a storage unit for various energy-related uses, including its potentially widespread use in future fuel cells for cars and homes. As director of the Energy Center, he can talk about the national need for alternative fuels.

CONTACT: (765) 494-2122, gore@purdue.edu

Purdue Energy Center news release

Gore's Web site


Nancy Y.W. Ho

Senior research scientist and group leader of molecular genetics

• Ho's research concerns the development of improved microorganisms by recombinant DNA techniques for industrial applications, particularly for the development of genetically engineered yeast for ethanol production from organic materials.

CONTACT: (765) 494-7045, nwyho@purdue.edu

Related news releases:

Purdue yeast makes ethanol from agricultural waste more effectively

Purdue to study making biofuel from corn residue


Michael R. Ladisch

Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering

• Ladisch's research addresses topics in bioprocess engineering, and his work has resulted in new industrial bioenergy processes and novel methods for transforming renewable resources into bioproducts. He is working with industry to make the ethanol production process more efficient.

CONTACT: (765) 494-7022, ladisch@purdue.edu

Related news releases:

Researchers use waste materials to get more mileage from ethanol

New Purdue center to energize the future thanks to Lilly Endowment, Lugar

Purdue to study making biofuel from corn residue

Ladisch's Web site


P.V. Ramachandran

Associate professor of organic chemistry, who oversees the Purdue Energy Center's hydrogen initiative

• Ramachandran's research is focused on harnessing hydrogen as a fuel storage unit for various energy-related uses, including transportation systems and buildings. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles emit water instead of gas fumes.

CONTACT: (765) 494-5303, chandran@purdue.edu

Related news release:

Purdue Energy Center symposium touts benefits of hydrogen fuel

Ramachandran's Web site


Richard Schwartz

Professor of electrical and computer engineering

• Schwartz has been conducting solar energy and solar cell research for more than 40 years. His research is focused on photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight directly into electricity. Nanotechnology represents a potential new tool in solar energy development and could make solar energy cost-efficient.

CONTACT: (765) 494-0619, Schwartz@purdue.edu

Schwartz's Web site


Bernard Y. Tao

Professor in soybean utilization research and a member of the Indiana Soybean Board

• Tao has expertise in development and utilization of bio-based renewable resources and products to replace non-renewable petrochemical products. He is currently working to develop a soy-based jet fuel.

CONTACT: (765) 494-1183, tao@purdue.edu

Related news releases:

Soybeans get alternative fuels off the ground

Purdue switches to soy biodiesel to fuel university fleet

Purdue researchers develop alternative heating oil using soybean blend

Plant oils will replace petroleum in coming years

Tao's Web site


Jerry Woodall

Distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering

• Woodall's research is focused on hydrogen as an energy storage unit that is easily transportable. He also has researched exploratory compound semiconductor materials and devices. His areas of interest are microelectronics and nanotechnology. He has also done research in hydrogen.

CONTACT: (765) 494-3479, woodall@ecn.purdue.edu

Woodall's Web site

Economics of energy

David Hummels

Associate professor of economics

• Hummels' teaching interest is in international economics. His research focuses on international trade, with an emphasis on product differentiation, barriers to trade and the effects of transportation and infrastructure on trade and economic development.

CONTACT: (765) 494-4495, hummelsd@mgmt.purdue.edu

Related news release:

International trade: It's not all about barriers, tariffs and taxes

Hummels' Web site


Christopher A. Hurt

Professor and Extension specialist in agricultural economics

• Hurt studies commodity prices and can comment on the effect of biofuel production on corn and soybean prices.

CONTACT: (765) 494-4273, hurtc@purdue.edu

Related news release:

Economists: Ethanol's impact on agriculture a mixed blessing

Hurt's Web site


Jerry Lynch

Professor of economics in the Krannert School of Management

• Lynch's areas of interest are international trade and finance. He specializes in macroeconomics and economics education.

CONTACT: (765) 494-4388, lynch@mgmt.purdue.edu

Related news release:

School reorganizes MBA, executive education programs


Tom Sparrow

Retired professor of industrial engineering and agricultural economics and director of the Coal Transformation Laboratory in Purdue's Discovery Park Energy Center.

• The laboratory focuses on finding ways to harness Indiana's largely untapped coal reserves. The coal reserves represent more energy than there is oil and gas in the entire United States. Sparrow says the country's major challenge will be installing power plants that use clean-coal technologies.

CONTACT: (765) 494-7043, fts@purdue.edu


Wallace E. Tyner

Professor of agricultural economics and public policy

• Tyner specializes in policy analysis related to resource economics and also has done extensive research on the economics of different energy sources. He has examined economic and policy issues related to ethanol and other renewable fuels from agricultural sources.

CONTACT: (765) 494-9176, wtyner@purdue.edu

Related news release:

Indiana well-placed to produce, profit from fuels of the future

Tyner's Web site

Public perception

Heather Cooper

Assistant professor, mechanical engineering technology

• Cooper oversees programs to educate the public about energy. Projects through Purdue's Energy Center include outreach efforts, such as workshops, energy displays in museums and community engagements.

CONTACT: (765) 494-2096, hcooper@purdue.edu

Related news release:

Purdue expert: Efficient driving can lessen pain at the pump

Cooper's Web site


Rakesh Agrawal

Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering

• Agrawal's research interests include finding more efficient ways to harvest and use hydrogen, which could be one of the keys to energy independence for the United States in the 21st century. Agrawal, an expert in the production and storage of hydrogen, has served on high-level federally funded panels to explore hydrogen's potential for fuel cells and other purposes.

CONTACT: (765) 494-2257, agrawalr@purdue.edu

Agrawal's Web site


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