NAFTC committee includes three with WVU ties; group helps educate America about electric drive vehicles
Roy Nutter of West Virginia University’s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Gerrill Griffith of the WVU Research Corporation and Lanny Adkins of the WVU Fire Service Extension have been named to the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium’s Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program Advisory Committee.
The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is a public-private partnership with the mission of “Educating America on Next Generation Vehicles,” specifically advanced electric drive vehicles. The program will feature curricula, training, outreach and education activities, web-driven simulators, a website and support of National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey. Nutter, Griffith and Adkins, are three of four committee members from West Virginia; the other is Gene Coulson from the West Virginia Department of Education. Each will serve for the next two years.
Funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is managed by the NAFTC, a program of WVU. The project will generate and disseminate a variety of outreach and education efforts including curricula for first responders, automotive technicians, educators, electrical infrastructure engineers, consumers and other related groups.
Nutter, a professor in WVU’s Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, leads a research group in digital forensics in the West Virginia Cyber Crime Consortium. In addition to his many roles in instruction and research, he has served WVU as a department chair, Faculty Senate chair and Board of Governors member as well as many other high level committees and task forces. He also is a registered professional engineer and does consulting within his broad knowledge and experience and holds 10 patents in multiple areas of engineering. Nutter was a faculty adviser to the first hybrid electric car built by WVU students in 1992. Since then, he has served as a consultant to the annual hybrid vehicle projects built by the engineering students at WVU. In 1994, Nutter began a new student project with the Formula Lightning electric race car, which was campaigned in national competitions at road courses and NASCAR tracks all over the U.S. until about 2005.
“I have been involved with the research and development of electric vehicles for a long time,” Nutter said, “so I am thrilled to be part of a project that promotes them and their benefits. Education and awareness are keys to the mainstream use of advanced electric drive vehicles. As a result of this program, more and more Americans will not only be familiar with these next generation cars and trucks, but they will also be intelligently driving and servicing them.”
Griffith, as the director of communications for the WVU Research Corporation, is responsible for coordinating research news across all disciplines of the University for local, regional and national press outlets and managing the university’s research web portal. He is also the WVU representative on the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Laboratory Regional University Alliance Communications Committee.
“I am excited by the challenges and opportunities that await us with this program,” Griffith said. “Just like solar and wind power are part of our solutions for clean energy in the residential and business sectors, electric drive vehicles are part of the solution for many of our needs in the transportation sector.”
Adkins has been program coordinator with the WVU Fire Service Extension since 2008 and has 36 years of experience as a company officer, training officer and safety officer at the Huntington Fire Department.
“As a first responder, I know that the differences between conventional gasoline-powered vehicles and advanced electric drive vehicles can be intimidating for emergency personnel,” Adkins said. “However, advanced electric drive vehicles are more common on our roads today, so it is critical that emergency personnel are prepared to respond to incidents involving them. Providing training to emergency personnel on how to respond to advanced electric drive vehicle accidents, as this project does, allows them to continue saving lives without being concerned with unfamiliar automotive components.”
Coulson is the executive director of the Office of Career and Technical Innovation with the WV Department of Education. He manages any new projects that need special attention and support until they are ready to be adopted into the WVDE structure.
“The West Virginia Department of Education is proud to partner with the NAFTC to expose secondary school administrators, teachers and students to the benefits of advanced electric drive vehicles,” Coulson said. “The young people who learn from the career and technical curriculum that is part of this project are our future mechanical engineers and automotive technicians, so it is critical that they begin to embrace the concept of using electricity for personal transportation.”
“Now more than ever, consumers, fleet managers, businesses and public sector decision makers need to be aware of viable alternatives to standard gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles,” said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron, the principal investigator for the program. “This is an energy security issue. The transportation sector represents this country’s largest area of energy usage, and more than half of that energy is imported. Also, alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles make sense because they are cleaner, which is so important for improving air quality, especially in our major cities.”
For more on the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program, see: http://www.naftc.wvu.edu/aedvehicleeducationprogram.
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CONTACT: Judy Moore, NAFTC
304-293-7882 (office), 304-669-4870 (cell)