Ceramic Work Named Best-in-Show at Biorenewables Art Competition

[PHOTO]Almost AntiqueA set of ceramic “fuel containers” by Heather Whittlesey was named “best in show” for the 2015 Biorenewables Art Competition, held in the Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) on the Iowa State University campus. “‘Almost Antique’ is a humorous statement about how we store household fuels today,” Whittlesey wrote in her statement to accompany the piece. The work, which includes ceramic representations of a propane tank, gas can, and  hand torch, won $750 for Whittlesey, a graduate student in art and design at Iowa State. Her work becomes part of the BRL’s permanent art collection.

Other winners were Sarah Reagan for “Fricken’ Fracking Box,” a wooden piece that earned her first place and $350; Riley Eveleth for “Homage to Aaron Fink,” a collage that won second place and $250; and Madison Haws for “We Often Forget,” a mixed media piece that took third place and $150.

The jurors also gave honorable mention to Alyssa Campbell for “Horse and Snapping Turtle Skulls with Flowers,” a charcoal drawing; and Nicholas A. Martinez, for “Maus Redefined,” a stoneware piece. Although not prize winners, the jurors thought these two pieces merited special recognition.

Reflecting the Bioeconomy Institute’s Mission

The competition was open to Iowa State students enrolled in Integrated Studio Arts/Integrated Visual Arts ( ISA/IVA) courses. The goal of the event is to create artwork that reflects the Bioeconomy Institute’s mission, which is economic, environmental and social sustainability to advance development of biorenewable resources for the production of materials, fuels, energy, and chemicals. The prizes are sponsored by Robert C. Brown, BEI director.

[PHOTO]Heather Whittlesey

Heather Whittlsey with her best-in-show entry, “Almost Antique.”

Jurors for the 2015 competition were Sara Merritt, Mary Holze, and Patrick Johnston. Merritt is a educational specialist at Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens and is vice president of the Ames Community Arts Council. She has an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.  Holtze is an adjunct art professor at Des Moines Area Community College, where she teaches fundamentals in drawing and life drawing. She has also teaches adult drawing classes at the Des Moines Art Center.

Holtze has a B.S./Medical Technology degree from the University of Iowa and a BFA and an MFA/Integrated Visual Arts from Iowa State University. Johnston is a research scientist at the Bioeconomy Institute (BEI), with 15 years of experience in research and development of biorenewable products. He’s currently working on his Ph.D. at Iowa State.

Biorenewables Art on Exhibit Through March 2016

The winning works of art, along with all 20 entries in this year’s competition, will be displayed in the lobby of the BRL on the Iowa State campus until March 2016. You can view all of the artwork online in a presentation “Prezi.” The permanent BRL art collection can be viewed in the BRL administration offices, 1140 BRL.

Workshop to Focus on Mass Production of Biomass Refineries

[IMAGE]Energy ManufacturingA two-day workshop will bring together experts in the mass production of biomass processing facilities. “The next step to accelerate commercialization of biorefineries is the mass production of biomass processing modules,” said Mark Wright, a conference organizer and assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Iowa State University.

The workshop will take place May 11-12, 2015 in Broomfield, CO. It will include tracks on bioenergy and manufacturing. The second day of the workshop will feature a group effort to find consensus on the best path for collaboration between the bioenergy and manufacturing industries. Attendees will include representatives from academics, industry, and government.

Wright explains that biomass processing modules could be fabricated at a central construction facility with modern manufacturing practices, including automation, sensors and controls, and lean and agile manufacturing. This approach has proven successful in the airline, vehicle, and consumer product industries. “This concept has yet to take hold in the bioindustry and could be the missing piece to rapid growth in advanced biofuel production,” Wright said.

See the Energy Manufacturing Workshop 2015 page for more information.

Lecture | Green Savings: How Policies and Markets Drive Energy Efficiency

Marilyn Ann Brown
Professor, School of Public Policy and Brook Byers Chaired Professor of Sustainable Systems
Georgia Institute of Technol

April 16th, 2015, 11:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m.
Cardinal Room, Memorial Union
Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011

Energy and the environment are two of the most critical topics of the 21st century. Dr. Marilyn Brown of the Georgia Institute of Technology will introduce you to fresh perspectives on energy production, new technology, policymaking, user behavior, and how these features all play critical roles in determining the best plan of action to overcome the global energy crisis.

Brown will discuss her new book, “Green Savings – How Policies and Markets Drive Energy Efficiency,” which asserts that reducing energy consumption should be a frontline strategy to address global climate change, threats to energy security, and the challenge of grid reliability. Brown, along with co-author Yu Wang of Iowa State University, support two bold arguments: that policies motivating greater investment in high energy efficiency should be a priority, and that energy efficiency can help the nation in times of crisis.

Register and learn more at the Iowa Energy Center

Presented by the Iowa Energy Center

Biofuels Digest | Prominent Bioenergy Researcher Suggests Brown’s Book as a Must Read

George Huber, professor of chemical and biological engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison and a leading biofuels researcher, is interviewed by Jim Lane of Biofuels Digest for the publication’s “4 Minutes with… ” series.  Huber talks about his research, his background, and the state of advanced biofuels. When asked “what 3 books you’d want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island,” Huber cites Why are We Producing Biofuels by BEI Director Robert C. Brown and Tristan Brown. Read the article at Biofuels Digest