A researcher at West Virginia University will provide hands-on help to manufacturers who want to save money by reducing their energy costs.

BhaskaranGopalaGopalakrishnan is the first Energy Efficiency Research Fellow of the National Research Center for Coal and Energys Industries of the FutureWest Virginia (IOF-WV) program at WVU .

In his newly appointed position, Gopalakrishnan, a professor in the Department of Industrial Management and Systems Engineering, will be dedicating 80 percent of his time to growing research programs that support industrial energy efficiency. He will also serve as IOF -WV co-director.

There arent many companies in a globally competitive environment that can maintain research facilities, and we can help with that,he said.

The IOF -WV has conducted extensive research by teaming WVU faculty with partners from aluminum, steel, glass, chemicals and polymers, wood products and metal casting companies on federally-co-funded projects.

Right now, I am interested in the enormous untapped potential for capturing and reusing waste heat,said Gopalakrishnan about his current research.

Most small and medium-sized companies and commercial facilities cant justify purchasing a $50,000 thermal imaging camera, electrical and pressure data loggersor ultrasonic air leak, steam traps and bearing diagnostic equipmentthe kind of equipment we have at WVU ,he said.But we have that equipment, and we can set up it in a manufacturers facility to develop recommendations for reducing energy use. The knowledge we gain from the data we gather with the equipment, combined with U.S. Department of Energy best practices, are keys to minimizing energy costs.

Greater efficiency is good for the environment as well as for a companys bottom line,said Carl Irwin, director of IOF -WV.We are delighted to have someone of Dr. Gopalakrishnans stature and significant industry background join us as our first fellow.

Gopalakrishnan brings more than a decade of experience with the Industrial Assessment Center, located in the Department of Industrial Management and Systems Engineering. He was named director of the center in 2007.

Manufacturers who have used the centers recommendations saved on average 3,433 MMBtu. When combined with Gopalakrishnans waste and productivity suggestions, manufacturers have saved an average of $60,000 per year, Irwin said.

Gopalakrishnan is also an energy expert and qualified specialist in the U.S. Department of Energys Save Energy Now program. He has conducted energy assessments for large manufacturing facilities such as those of Chrysler, General Motors, Kraft Foods, Hormel Foods, Quad/Graphics and Saint Gobain.

Gopalakrishnan encouraged manufacturers to visit the IOF -WV Web site ( http://www.iofwv.wvu.edu ) for more information.