A West Virginia University engineering research center will receive $136,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for a project that will use the skills of faculty and students to help improve energy efficiency in the region’s manufacturing facilities.

Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan is director of the Industrial Assessment Center, housed in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, and the lead researcher on the project. Wafik Iskander, chair of the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, is assistant director of the IAC and also involved with the project.

“Improving energy efficiency is critical to helping American industry remain globally competitive,” Gopalakrishnan said. “These projects will help make energy efficiency technologies more accessible and affordable to industries in our region, while providing students with hands-on experience in an industrial setting. The end result will be a cleaner environment, a healthier economy, and a generation of engineers that is well prepared to lead us into the future.”

The IAC, founded in 1992, is one of 26 such centers located at universities around the nation and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The centers provide no-cost energy assessments to small and mid-sized manufacturers, using teams of faculty and students who go into the facilities, take measurements, and then make detailed recommendations to the companies on changes they can make to gain energy and cost savings.

“We will use these funds to provide technical support for regional businesses and manufacturing facilities in West Virginia and the surrounding region,” said Gopalakrishnan.

Gopalakrishnan is also the lead researcher on another research project slated to receive $500,000 in ARRA funding for a team project spearheaded by the West Virginia Division of Energy and aimed to working on ways to help businesses in a multi-state region save energy, improve the environment, and create and preserve jobs.



Contact: Susan Case, 304-293-4086