Outreach & Engagement

UK CAER is known for its research. But the Center’s commitment to the Commonwealth extends far beyond our laboratories. UK CAER scientists and researchers can be found in elementary, middle and high school classrooms across Kentucky, helping to inspire the next generation of STEM students. The Center also takes great pride in partnering with Kentucky companies to add value to their operations, helping to solve the tough problems facing industry today.



Outreach & Engagement

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Many Universities talk about working with industry; UK CAER actually does it. In the past three years, UK CAER researchers have partnered with industry on 185 different projects. That resolve and commitment to Kentucky industry is how the Center lives up to the “applied” portion of our name.


UK CAER takes pride in offering high school, undergraduate and graduate students authentic, hands-on research experiences at one of the world’s leading energy research and development institutes. UK CAER student researchers get a chance to lead their own experiments under the tutelage of experienced mentors. These experiential opportunities allow students to publish in refereed publications, present posters at international conferences, and, in some cases, earn U.S. patents.


The Center’s event planning and technical teams collaborate to host some of science’s largest conferences, including the world’s premier meeting on carbon and coal ash. These meetings provide UK CAER scientists and researchers – as well as colleagues at UK and throughout Kentucky – to interact with, learn from, and share their knowledge with the best scientists in the field.



Local Government Energy Retrofit Program

Greg Copley works for the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) but you are more likely to run into him in Hazard or Hopkinsville than you are in Lexington. Energy savings, as he notes, is important to every community across the state, and Copley is determined to make sure that message is delivered — personally — to as many communities as he can.

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Welcome to CAER 101.

The CAER 101 project brings scientists and children together in a classroom setting. The scientists create lessons for local 4th and 5th graders, allowing them the opportunity to learn about energy science concepts, hands-on. UK CAER is committed to helping to make math and science fun and relevant to the next generation of Kentuckians.

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A new, hands-on STEM education program will be racing its way in fourth, fifth and sixth -grade classrooms across Kentucky.

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER), in partnership with GreenpowerUSA and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) have created a new program to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) in Kentucky’s schools.

The program is officially called STEM Education through Electric Vehicles. That’s a mouthful, so we came up with a shorthand –GEN-EV. GEN-EV is offering this next generation of Kentucky’s students an opportunity to design, construct, and competitively race a one-person electric vehicle.

Participating teachers will receive program training at UK CAER in Lexington on the GreenpowerUSA program kit, which includes curriculum materials, the vehicle base, and associated parts. Students will develop their vehicles throughout the academic year and compete in a race during the spring semester

GreenpowerUSA is a non-profit organization serving schools across the United States to demonstrate the importance of engineering and associated STEM subjects.

If you are interested in learning more about Gen-EV, please contact Shiela Medina, University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, at Shiela.Medina@uky.edu.

Gen-EV Race Video



The World of Coal Ash

WOCA is a joint meeting combining separate symposia previously held by the American Coal Ash Association and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research. WOCA also incorporates ‘satellite’ meetings sponsored by government and private organizations as well as an educational short courses.

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Young business people in office


EnergyTech UP

The University of Kentucky has been selected to serve as a regional convenor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) national EnergyTech University Prize competition.

Sponsored by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is a collegiate competition challenging multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages laboratory-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. EnergyTech UP awards cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization.

Student teams will compete for a total of $250,000 in cash prizes. Throughout the competition, they receive mentorship and materials to help them succeed.

UK’s EnergyTech UP page can be found here.


TekCrete Fast™ and TekCrete Fast M™

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and Minova North America developed a new fast-drying, ultra-quick setting concrete product. Trademarked as Tekcrete Fast and Tekcrete Fast M, the product will be used by the mining industry and civil engineers to immediately stabilize damaged infrastructure.

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Pilot-Scale Algae System at Duke Energy’s East Bend Station

CAER researchers are exploring the potential of capturing carbon emissions from a coal-fired power plant to cultivate algae, which can then be processed into value-added products like biodiesel, animal feed, fertilizer, and chemicals.

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