Ohio State Energy in the News

Attack in Nice exposes once again that our modern society lacks resilience

The Conversation

July 20, 2016

The horrific attack in Nice that led to the deaths of at least 84 is just the latest event to expose the vulnerability of Western societies.

While the motives of the 31-year-old man who mowed down dozens of people celebrating Bastille Day along the promenade on July 14 will aren’t clear, one thing surely is: our complex global society lacks resilience.

Featured expert: Joseph Fiksel, executive director, sustainable & resilient economy

#SmartCity: Columbus plans to use track at former Cooper Stadium to test driverless vehicles

Business First

July 19, 2016

Columbus wants to partner with the proposed test track at the site of the former Cooper Stadium to try out Smart City Challenge technologies.

…Staff from Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research and the Transportation Research Center in Marysville also would be available to help at Sparc, which pledged to donate $400,000 of in-kind support toward the Smart City Challenge.

Ohio State Builds CNG Station to Further Sustainability Efforts

NGT News

July 18, 2016

Ohio State University (OSU) says it has broken ground on a new compressed natural gas (CNG) station on-site to serve the university’s Department of Transportation and Traffic Management and the City of Columbus, according to a university report.

OSU adds that other university, state agency and Ohio municipalities may also use the new fueling station, which is estimated to cost approximately $3 million.

Ohio State electric motorcycle team takes project to new heights


July 15, 2016

Three days before the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in late June, Ohio’s State student electric motorcycle team, named Buckeye Current, wondered if they would ever get off the ground.

Fortunately, the 30-member team composed of students from across the academic spectrum was able to overcome problems with the cooling system and motor issues in time for a highly successful 11-minute 16-second run on a course that sits at an elevation a little more than 14,000 feet.

Ohio State to study pipelines’ impact on farmland

Farm and Dairy

July 15, 2016

A study of how natural gas pipeline installations affect Ohio cropland productivity will begin this fall.

The study, to be overseen by The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, focuses on soil disturbance caused by statewide pipeline installations. A $200,000 donation from Kinder Morgan Inc. allows the college to begin identifying and sampling soil from farmer fields this fall.

Educational facility could be complete by late fall


July 12, 2016

The New Albany-Plain Local School District's solar house could be completed by winter.

Corna Kokosing is assembling the house, and the company estimates the construction time should be about six months, district spokesman Patrick Gallaway said.

"We are hopeful that the facility may be operational by late fall," he said.

The house was donated to the district by Ohio State University, and the school community has raised $153,000 over the past three years to reassemble and support the house.

Ohio State building CNG fueling station; will exceed initial cost estimate

Business First

July 11, 2016

Ohio State University has started construction on a compressed natural gas fueling station on campus, a project estimated to begin last February and cost $2.5 million, but will now cost $3 million.

The station will serve a portion of the university's Campus Area Bus Service fleet and Columbus city, and might serve additional state or city agencies.

University a mover in transportation

The Columbus Dispatch (editorial)

July 2, 2016

Ohio State also will play a vital role in the Columbus’ Smart City project. The city this month beat out others, including San Francisco and Denver, to research, develop and test a futuristic “ intelligent” transportation system. This includes innovations that could help the poor reach doctors and jobs and ferry workers to employers.

Columbus nabbed a $40 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant, along with $10 million from Vulcan, Inc., and $90 million pledged in local dollars — including $15 million from OSU.

OSU was the primary research partner in the grant proposal. A news release notes that “through its expertise in sensors, for example, Ohio State will play a major role in developing the initiative for a publicly available, real-time traffic-condition database.”

More Columbus executives to drive electric vehicles as part of Smart City Challenge win

Business First

Jun 30, 2016

There may be a lot more electric vehicles driven by Columbus executives because of the city's Smart City Challenge win.

The Columbus Partnership, the influential group of Central Ohio CEOs, will launch a new initiative urging executives to convert their personal vehicles to electric vehicles, or EVs.

…The city and Ohio State University, another major funder with $15 million, are converting some vehicles in their fleets. OSU President Michael Drake drives a plug-in hybrid Ford Fusion Energi and says he's refilled the fuel tank twice in two years.

Ohio State president: City's smart-city bid 'directly connected with our founding principles'

Business First

June 27, 2016

Ohio State University President Michael Drake recently rode in the back seat of a self-driving car, which didn't navigate the streets of Mountain View, California, home to Google Inc., all that perfectly.

"It was like driving with your 15-year-old daughter who was learning to drive," Drake said. "A little hyper-safe and a little bit hyper-aggressive. Accelerating a little too quickly, braking a little to quickly. So it didn't have the confidence and balance or the refined judgment."

Smart City: How private-sector aid helped Columbus win fed's millions

Business First

June 24, 2016

If an underdog must set itself apart to compete with established favorites, Columbus did just that in its pursuit of $50 million up for grabs in the national Smart City Challenge.

Hoping to be selected for the money that will help address public transportation and mobility in growing cities, Columbus’ bid included $90 million in commitments from area companies and organizations.

…Ohio State University will give $15 million and Honda of America will chip in $2.6 million. Battelle Memorial Institute gave $1 million and provided grant-writing expertise.

Scientists, boaters make use of buoy

Associated Press

June 14, 2016

A high-tech buoy was placed eight miles offshore in Lake Erie in preparation for construction of a wind farm, but it’s proving to be a treasure trove of environmental information for boaters, fishermen and scientists.

…Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory is conducting studies on juvenile fish in that part of the lake and they will use environmental measurements and dissolved oxygen data from the buoy, Wagner said.

Scientists Turn Carbon Dioxide Emissions into Stone [Video]

Scientific American

June 9, 2016

For the first time, carbon dioxide emissions from an electric power plant have been captured, pumped underground and solidified—the first step toward safe carbon capture and storage, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Science. 

Watch the video here. 

Featured expert: Jeff Bielicki, professor of civil engineering

ALSO: Climatecentral.org: Scientists Turn Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Stone

Increasing Carbon in Soil Could Be Key to California Drought


June 7, 2016

Sacramento liberals have tried to starve agriculture during California's ongoing drought through water restrictions. But farmers could increase production, while decreasing water usage by 25,000 gallons per acre, if they increase the concentration of organic matter in the soil by one percent. 

Featured expert: Rattan Lal, professor of soil science

Healthy Food Access Limited In Some Franklin County Neighborhoods Due To Store Hours


June 6, 2016

Access to grocery stores and fresh produce remains a problem for some residents of Franklin County. People who live in some low-income neighborhoods don’t have a big grocery store, and a new study says even if there is one, it may be closed when they want to shop.

Featured expert: Jill Clark, professor of public affairs

Ohio State considering proposal to privatize utility system

Associated Press

June 6, 2016

Ohio State University is considering a proposal to privatize the utility system that heats, cools and powers more than 400 buildings on the school's main campus in Columbus.

The Dayton Daily News reports OSU would become the largest public institution in the country to privatize its utility system on such a wide scale if the plan is approved.

OSU weighing controversial energy contract

Dayton Daily News

June 5, 2016

Four years after a controversial deal to lease its parking spaces to an outside vendor, Ohio State University is once again looking to the private sector for a cash infusion in exchange for control over critical assets: the utility system that heats, cools and powers more than 400 buildings on the main campus.

If the plan is implemented, Ohio State would be the largest public institution in the United States to privatize its utility system on such a broad scale.

The deal is not without risks, however.

In exchange for an undetermined amount of upfront cash, Ohio State would turn over control of its heating, cooling and electricity assets and agree to buy energy from the vendor for 50 years.

OSU engineers lead the way

The Columbus Dispatch (editorial)

June 4, 2016

Those ingenious students at Ohio State University once again have bested their competition from other 15 other top schools in designing a more environmentally friendly car.

The OSU team, for the third year in a row, captured a first-place win in the EcoCar competition. Each cycle of the program spans three years, with an annual competition that presents a different set of challenges for a team. The overall goal is to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro with leading-edge technologies that reduce fuel consumption and emissions, all while maintaining the car’s performance.

Ohio State to sell fracking rights in West Virginia

Business First

June 2, 2016

Ohio State University wants to sell mineral rights it owns in the heart of West Virginia's shale oil and gas region. The university plans to sell rights to about 28 acres in Doddridge County, near the eastern Ohio border and 130 miles from Columbus. An unidentified estate willed the real estate to Ohio State, and proceeds will benefit the College of Engineering.

Investigating climate change the hard way at Earth’s icy ‘third pole’

Scientific American

June 2, 2016

Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist at The Ohio State University (O.S.U.) in Columbus, does not believe in the impossible. More than three decades ago he led an expedition that retrieved ice cores from the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru at 5,670 meters above sea level, which most glaciologists at the time considered too high for humans to conduct this kind of work.

The exquisitely preserved layers of dust and air bubbles in the cores provided an unprecedented climate history of the tropics, and Thompson’s work has come to focus on the increasingly important climate change lessons to be learned from Earth’s so-called “third pole”—the ancient and massive buildup of glacial ice straddling the subtropics in Tibet.

Featured expert: Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor, earth sciences

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