Perrin Roller: A volunteer who loves UMR

Whether he says it in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French or Arabic, Perrin Roller, GeoE’80, is ready to tell anyone who will listen why he loves UMR.
“Going to a technically oriented school like UMR is so different than going to a comprehensive university because it is so specialized,” Roller explains. “You’re immersed with people you’re going to work with the rest of your career, you make a lot of life-long friends.”

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Your own…personal…fuel cell

By 2015, drivers may be less concerned about gas mileage than about hydrogen storage. By 2030, the United States’ dependency on foreign oil to power our cars and trucks could be a thing of the past.
A few years later, homeowners might be able to drop off the grid, generating their own power from in-house fuel cells and leaving behind nothing but clean, potable water.
Yangchuan Xing, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, is working to bring these possibilities into reality using polymer electrolyte membrane (or PEM) fuel cells.
In a PEM fuel cell, electrons are conducted across two electrodes with a polymer membrane sandwiched between them. The anode is fueled with hydrogen to produce protons and electrons. The polymer membrane conducts the protons through to the cathode, where they recombine with electrons and oxygen to form water, the only byproduct of a PEM fuel cell. The process creates the electricity to power devices from laptop computers to cars to homes.
“It’s a very environmentally friendly process,” Xing says.

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Personal energy audit: What can YOU do?

The UMR Magazine staff caught up with John Sheffield of UMR’s Industrial Assessment Center to find out what the average consumer can do to conserve energy. The IAC conducts energy audits for companies to help them cut their energy costs. Sheffield says real energy savings come through the use of energy-efficient appliances. And apparently, it’s all about reading labels.

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Chevron: College graduates are valuable

When it comes to the future of energy production, Chevron Corp. sees college graduates – particularly UMR graduates – as one of its most valuable resources.
This summer, Chevron donated $1.5 million to UMR to establish an educational and research partnership that will help meet the needs of the energy industry.

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Michael Haas: Chasing the wind

Haas.jpgMichael Haas, AE’87, has always understood the importance of hard work and doing the best he can at whatever task he’s involved with. These days that task is chasing the wind.
Haas, who lives in Oakland, Calif., with his wife and three kids, is president and founder of Orion Energy, a wind energy company.

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Tuncay Akbas: It’s a small world after all

In today’s global economy, many companies outsource their service departments to countries where labor is cheap to be more cost-effective.“Since the world is getting smaller with all of the latest high-tech developments in communication technology, it is not hard to have a company work for you a thousand miles away to make you more competitive in the world market,” says entrepreneur Tuncay Akbas, CSci’98.

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The quest for a new chancellor

The quest to find a new UMR chancellor began just days after former Chancellor Gary Thomas’ Sept. 1, 2004, announcement that he would retire in August 2005.

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