Wind Energy Initiative builds research, education programs

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University engineers, researchers and educators want to be part of America’s wind energy solution.

And so they’re building programs and partnerships to boost the university’s expertise in just about every aspect of the wind energy industry: aerodynamics, grid integration, manufacturing, meteorology, nacelles and blades, policy, reliability and towers.

So far, the College of Engineering’s Wind Energy Initiative has attracted more than $6 million in grants to support education and research projects.

“At the national level, wind energy is becoming very prominent,” said Sri Sritharan, Iowa State’s Wilson Engineering Professor; the College of Engineering’s associate chair for graduate study and research; and the leader of the Wind Energy Initiative. “The Department of Energy has proposed a scenario of 20 percent of electrical energy from wind by 2030. That means you have to increase wind energy production by at least 10 times over the next 18 years.”

The wind project is one of the three Dean’s Research Initiatives launched by Jonathan Wickert, dean of the College of Engineering and, effective July 30, Iowa State’s next senior vice president and provost. The initiatives in wind, a carbon-negative economyand computational biology were each launched in March 2011 with $500,000 to build interdisciplinary research teams that can compete for multi-million dollar grants and projects.

Already, for example, the wind initiative has attracted $3.2 million to develop the country’s first doctoral program in wind energy science, engineering and policy; $1.3 million to study the icing and de-icing of wind turbine blades; and $1 million for advanced manufacturing research.

Read the full article from the Iowa State News Service.