Kentucky Industrial Assessment Center (KIAC): Developing the Next Generation Energy Assessment Engineering Workforce

Grants and Contracts Details


University of Kentucky proposes to help provide the next generation energy assessment engineering workforce by creating the Kentucky Industrial Assessment Center (KIAC), a crossdisciplinary program educating an average of 16 graduate and undergraduate engineering students per year through classroom preparation, virtual assessments, and in-plant experiences in performing a minimum of 20 energy assessments per year of industrial processes and facilities that emphasize energy issues. Assessment training will include analysis of energy of manufacturing facilities and will provide identification, quantification, and recommendation of specific opportunities to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste, and improve productivity as it relates to energy impact. Industry will benefit from practical, implementable recommendations that will lead to significant energy savings. Students will gain valuable experience not only in the relevant technical areas but in working with industry through reports and briefings but also in "soft skills" needed for working successfully on multidisciplinary teams. Students will also be able to qualify through KIAC for energy assessment certification from Dept. of Energy and from UK Power and Energy Institute (PEIK). Strengths of the KIAC include ability to leverage long-established UK relationships with partner centers and regional industry, and ability to leverage existing UK power and energy education, including the recently-formed Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK), funded by DOE to quickly and efficiently increase the supply the specialized engineers needed by industry and the utilities. Faculty and key personnel involved bring expertise in energy and energy use, and experience in training student engineers in sustainable manufacturing, lean manufacturing and energy efficiency topics both in classrooms and industry problem-solving teams. Faculty have the relevant background to evaluate and teach students to evaluate both industrial processes and industrial facilities. Through relationships with other UK centers, KIAC can access faculty expertise as needed in industrial processes (e.g. smelting, painting, brazing, etc.) as well as in related energy and productivity specializations such as lean manufacturing and sustainable supply chain management. Innovative aspects of the KIAC include the use of two types of certification, one for educating a broad group of students, and one for students engaged deeply in industry assessment experiences. The first certificate is offered as a PEIK Power and Energy Certificate with a Specialization in Energy Assessment. This certificate is achieved through a sequence of courses on industrial energy use and assessment tools and methods. Through these classes, the students will engage in one (or more) in-plant assessments, after completing a series of virtual assessment modules, allowing new students to gain experience with field assessment challenges prior to their first real assessment. It is anticipated that these virtual modules will be developed and used in conjunction with the National Technical and Education Resource (NTER) system being developed by DOE, and will include videos and simulations base on industry visits. The second level of certification is the DOE IAC Certification. Students for this certification will also take the coursework on energy use and assessments, but will engage in 10 in-plant industrial assessments. The two track structure will use the DOE investment efficiently to achieve speed and scale: improved speed of assessment training due to the initial coursework and virtual training modules, and larger scale because of the larger number of students who can participate via the two certification tracks. Principal Investigator for KIAC is Lawrence E. Holloway, PhD, Director, Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK); Co-PIs are Donald G. Colliver, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Dusan P. Sekulic, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Tom Henninger, PhD, Lecturer, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Effective start/end date9/30/115/31/17


  • Department of Energy: $1,179,202.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.