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Center for Advanced Energy Studies

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies is a research and education consortium between Boise State University, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and University of Wyoming. 

CAES consortium member INL demonstrates power grid simulation at a distance with NREL

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have successfully demonstrated the capability to connect grid simulations at their two labs for real time interaction via the Internet. This new inter-lab capability enables the modeling of power grids in greater detail by allowing software and equipment anywhere in the world to establish a real-time connection to the unique facilities and capabilities available within the DOE national laboratory complex.

The two national laboratories were able to connect their "Real-Time Digital Simulators" (RTDS) and achieve grid simulation so hardware or software in one lab can directly interact with the hardware or software at the other lab. While connected, the local power grids handle any actual power flows into and out of the hardware. INL has multiple RTDS racks that can be interfaced to NREL's grid simulator, allowing the simultaneous simulation of complex power systems with many electrical buses and multiple distribution feeders.

Read the full article at

Boise State University Wins Collegiate Wind Competition 2015

Seven teams of students from across the country gathered at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) for a fierce blade-to-blade wind turbine rematch. At the Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2015 Engineering Contest, teams of undergraduates tested original designs of model wind turbines in an on-site wind tunnel and presented their technical designs to wind technology experts.

Read the full news release on the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website.

CAES collaborative geothermal energy team receives FORGE award

Idaho National Laboratory, in coordination with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, leads the Snake River Geothermal Consortium team, and was among five teams chosen to examine sites across the United States.

IDAHO FALLS – On April 27, the United States Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) announced that the Snake River Geothermal Consortium (SRGC) was selected for a Phase 1 award to study the feasibility of establishing an enhanced geothermal system (EGS) field laboratory on the INL site under the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) program. Idaho National Laboratory (INL), in coordination with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), leads the SRGC team, and was among five teams chosen to examine sites across the United States.
Award funding will allow the SRGC team to develop plans to advance the proposed EGS laboratory site on Idaho National Laboratory’s lands. The field site is located along the Yellowstone Hotspot and will allow the team to capitalize on the favorable geologic conditions found on the Snake River Plain, including world-class subsurface heat flow and favorable geologic stress conditions. 

Dr. Robert Podgorney, INL researcher and Director of the Snake River Geothermal Consortium, heads the INL-led team. “Monday’s announcement was an important first step for enhancing U.S. renewable energy options. It is also an opportunity for Idaho to once again provide leadership in geothermal energy research and development. We’re excited to pursue this influential research right here in the region,” said Podgorney.

The potential for collaborative partnerships is also a promising aspect of the award. “This is a great example of how the national labs will operate in the future, developing highly competitive industry, academic, government and laboratory partnerships that increase US energy security and economic competitiveness; INL and CAES are national leaders in this regard, and FORGE is a great example of what we can do in the future” said Steven Aumeier, INL Associate Laboratory Director and Director of CAES.

Read more in the EERE news release.
Idaho Commerce Announces Idaho Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence in Partnership with CAES
On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Idaho Department of Commerce – in partnership with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies – announced the establishment of the Idaho Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence (ASCE, pronounced “ace”). The Center of Excellence will be based in Idaho Falls at the CAES facility.
CAES is providing technical leadership for ASCE and brings to the partnership expertise in data science, systems engineering, and policy and regulation.

The Idaho Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence will begin operations in May. The Center of Excellence will provide a range of products and service opportunities for developers, researchers and UAS users in need of access to test ranges, facilities, and most importantly the equipment and personnel to acquire, analyze and visualize large complex data sets. Core product and service offerings will focus on data collection, analysis, visualization, performance testing, system validation, education and training.

Read the full Idaho Commerce news release.

First Installment of Quadrennial Energy Review Released

On April 22, 2015 the White House released the first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). This installment focuses on transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure that links energy supplies to intermediate and end-users. The QER provides a roadmap for federal energy policy objectives, legislative proposals to congress, executive actions, and financing and incentive programs.

Click here to download the full report or learn more about the QER.


Congratulations to Center for Advanced Energy Studies Associate Director and Boise State Distinguished Professor Darryl Butt for being selected for the PENN STATE RE TRESSLER AWARD AND LECTURE. Dr. Butt gave an invited Tressler Lecture to Penn State on March 26, 2015 titled, “Phase Transformations and Stability of Oxygen Ion Conducting Membranes for Syngas Production.”

The Richard E. Tressler Lectures in Materials honors the very important work of Professor Richard E. Tressler who was head of Penn State’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering from 1991-2001. During Professor Tressler’s 10 year tenure as department head, he sought to enhance Penn State’s reputation for excellence in materials by hiring over 15 new faculty members and by reorganizing the department from an option-focused organization into a global materials organization being emulated by the leading materials departments across the world. Professor Tressler retired as Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering in 2001 and received the Hosler Alumni Scholar Award from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as recognition for his contributions and accomplishments.

2015 CAES Competitive Graduate Assistantship Program, University of Idaho, Applications Due May 1, 2015

The University of Idaho, in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), is pleased to announce the creation of a CAES Competitive Graduate Assistantship Program. This program will support for up to 2 years UI graduate students at the M.S. or Ph.D. level to catalyze interdisciplinary, cooperative energy research and academic programs, promote workforce development, and engage industry partners in transformational energy programs.

To be considered, a brief proposal from the faculty member requesting the graduate assistantship to support their research and developed in accordance with the specified requirements must be submitted by May 1, 2015. Because one of the goals of this program is to promote enhanced faculty–to-faculty inter-institutional collaboration, all proposal must demonstrate a minimum authentic participation of 2 CAES institutions (Boise State University, Idaho State University, Idaho National Laboratory, UI, and University of Wyoming).

If you have any question please contact Dr. Tom Wood  (phone: 208-533-8164; email:, UI Associate Director for CAES.

2015 CAES Competitive Graduate Assistantship Program, University of Wyoming, Applications Due by May 1, 2015

The central mission of the Center for Advanced Energy is to catalyze interdisciplinary, cooperative energy research and academic programs, promote workforce development, and engage industry partners in transformational energy programs.

In support of this mission and to enhance recruitment of a diverse population of graduate students with exceptional potential, UW is sponsoring a competitive graduate assistantship (GA) program targeted to CAES members. This competitive allocation program is guided by four overarching principles.

  1. Proposals must contribute directly to the CAES mission.
  2. GAs will promote inter-institutional, interdisciplinary engagement and sustained faculty interaction leading to external grant capture.
  3. GA allocations will be awarded on a competitive basis, be accountable with specific deliverables and require a culminating report.
  4. The graduate student program be centered at UW but consist of joint committees with faculty/staff from CAES members.

More Details

The Path to the Dairies of the Future – Dairy Environment Workshop

The University of Idaho and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) hosted the Western Initiative for the Dairy Environment workshop Feb. 25-26. The workshop was the second conference organized by UI to engage academics and industry for building a foundation for the initiative, known as WIDE. 
WIDE seeks to support the sustainability of Idaho’s dairy and related industries by developing environmentally friendly dairy technologies; providing education to students and communities; and improving the economic viability of Western dairies by exploring alternate uses of dairy by-products. The ultimate goal is to create the science and engineering underpinnings toward designing the dairies of the future that will have a “net-zero” impact on the environment. 
“The University of Idaho is dedicated to supporting Idaho’s agriculture industry, including the vital and growing dairy industry,” said Jack McIver, UI vice president for research and economic development. “We are excited to collaborate with partners statewide and across the West as we seek solutions and innovations to help dairies and related food industries grow stronger and more sustainable.”
The WIDE effort has been catalyzed by UI faculty Dr. Dennis Keiser, based at CAES in Idaho Falls, who has been working with the agricultural industry for 40 years. Keiser’s long experience in the energy sector has often focused on finding creative solutions to some of the most daunting problems facing the nuclear, fossil and renewable energy sectors. Formerly he was the executive manager of the 300+ employee Science and Technology Research Organization at the Idaho National Laboratory. More recently, before joining UI, he was president/CEO of Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc. His passion is renewable energy research involving the conversion of farm waste and food by-products into energy. For more information on WIDE, Please contact the Office of Research & Economic Development (, phone: 208-885-6689).

CAES Energy Storage Researcher Wins National Science Foundation CAREER Award 

Claire Xiong, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Boise State University and Advanced Energy Storage capability lead at CAES, is the latest CAES affiliate researcher to win a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation. Xiong’s five-year, $528,027 award, will allow her “to develop a battery that will last longer and provide more power.”
Read the full article.

Howard Grimes joins CAES as Director for Innovation in Industry Partnerships

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies welcomes Howard Grimes to the position of director for innovation in industry partnerships.
His position is joined both with INL’s Energy and Environmental Science and Technology Directorate and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies. Grimes will work to better connect private-public partnerships, to find more innovative ways to connect private sector needs with National Laboratory and public research, and to help U.S. companies be more competitive in rapidly changing fields.
Previously, Grimes had been Idaho State University’s vice president for research and economic development since November 2012. Prior to ISU, Grimes held several positions at Washington State University, including vice president for research, dean of the Graduate School and the director for the Center for the Environmental Research, Education and Outreach. Grimes began his position on February 23, 2015.
Learn more in the Idaho State Journal, Idaho State University Headlines, or the Post Register article.

Dr. Thomas Wood named as CAES University of Idaho Associate Director

On Tuesday, January 6, 2015, Dr. Thomas (Tom) Wood was named as the University of Idaho’s Associate Director to the regional, multi-institutional Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES)…Dr. Wood, a faculty member in the Department of Geological Sciences located in Idaho Falls, currently serves as the CAES Geofluids Energy Sciences Core Capability lead.Dr. Wood holds a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering-Metallurgy from UI and joined the university as a faculty member in 2013. 
Dr. Wood has long history of multi-institutional, interdisciplinary energy research that includes industry and national laboratory employment as both a scientist and manager, experiences which have prepared him for his new assignment to foster research collaborations and opportunities among investigators of the CAES member institutions. Dr. Wood will begin his new responsibilities effective January 11, 2015.
View the full article.

Center for Advanced Energy Studies a resource for Idaho (and beyond)

In this video, Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman goes on a tour of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls, a collaboration between Idaho National Laboratory, the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Boise State University and the University of Wyoming. Barker discusses how researchers at CAES are "working on all facets of energy research from geothermal, to transportation to nuclear to energy efficiency."

Empowering Entrepreneurial Labs: CAES Collaborator INL Participating in New Lab-Corps Program

The Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a new $2.3 million pilot program, “Lab-Corps,” to accelerate the transfer of innovative clean energy technologies from the National Laboratories into the commercial marketplace.
The program will focus on a specialized technology accelerator and training curriculum that will enable lab-based teams to gain direct market feedback on their technologies and pursue the development of startup companies, industry partnerships, licensing agreements, and other business opportunities. Idaho National Laboratory will be heavily involved in the program and has won one of the pilot program projects to further the development of entrepreneurial and commercialization capability within the laboratory system.
Read more in the White House blog post or the DOE news release.

The Electricity Journal publishes research papers from CAES Energy Policy Institute’s annual energy policy research conference

The Electricity Journal released a symposium issue in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies’ Energy Policy Institute (EPI) and its recent Fourth Annual Energy Policy Research Conference.
Over two early-September days in San Francisco, more than 125 attendees from industry, national laboratories, academia, the government, and non-profits came together to hear a keynote address from former Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and 66 paper presentations. Participants delved into topics such as the future of the electric utility, risk and resilience, grid governance and planning, regional electricity markets and issues with state-level climate policies, renewables integration and curtailment, and real-time pricing for electric vehicles. From this rich trove of papers, we have selected nine that we feel are especially pertinent for publication in this special issue. We offer our special thanks to EPI director David Solan for his invaluable assistance in pulling this together.
Read the full articles in the November 2014 issue of The Electricity Journal.

Center for Advanced Energy Studies Associate Director Harris to address United Nations committee Nov. 17 on nuclear security

Center for Advanced Energy Studies Associate Director and Idaho State University Associate Professor of Health Physics Jason Harris will address the United Nations 1540 Committee at U.N. headquarters in New York City on the topic of nuclear security on Nov. 17.
The 1540 Committee is under the U.N.’s Security Council. Harris will deliver a half-hour talk devoted specifically on the activities of the International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN), which is a partnership between educational institutions and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Harris served as chair of the INSEN 2012-14. He stepped down in August, but is still active with the INSEN.
View full article or watch the KVPI News 6 broadcast here.

CAES Affiliates’ Paper Wins Charles Redd Award

Energy Policy Institute researchers Juliet Carlisle (Univ. of Idaho), Stephanie Kane (Washington State Univ.), David Solan (Boise State Univ.), and Jeffrey Joe (Idaho National Lab) have won the Charles Redd Award for the Best Paper on the Politics of the American West.  The paper was recently published in the September issue of Energy Research & Social Science as Support for Solar Energy: Examining Sense of Place and Utility-scale Development in California. The authors will receive the award at the next Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting in April 2015.
Work on the paper was supported by a DOE Cooperative Agreement - Sunshot:  Development of an Open Source Utility-scale Solar Project Siting Tool, US Department of Energy, Award:  DE-EE005351.
View Boise State University announcement.

University of Wyoming Joins the Center for Advanced Energy Studies

On October 10, 2014, Idaho’s Governor Otter announced that University of Wyoming (UW) is joining the Center for Advanced Energy Studies consortium. UW is the first regional partner outside of the state of Idaho to join the research and education consortium between Idaho National Laboratory, Boise State University, Idaho State University, and University of Idaho. Read more in the official news release.

American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) highlights Center for Advanced Energy Studies Research

An article published in the American Society for Mechanical Engineers discusses research being done by CAES affiliate and University of Idaho assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering Dr. Fatih Aydogan on passive safety systems in nuclear reactors.
“As the nuclear industry begins to shift toward small modular reactors as the best solution for low-carbon power for future generations, nuclear engineers at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) in Idaho Falls are hard at work on new passive safety systems.” View full article