The Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and the Kentucky Industrial Assessment Center (KIAC) have received the 2020 Community Environmental Luminary Award from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC). The EEC’s annual environmental awards of excellence were announced by Governor Andy Beshear and EEC Secretary Rebecca Goodman. The Community Environmental Luminary Award is given in recognition of outstanding achievements in education and outreach.
“These awards represent significant achievements in keeping Kentuckians healthy through better stewardship of the environment,” said Governor Beshear. “This is a time when we all need to do more to take better care of each other and this beautiful state that we live in.”
Housed within the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, PEIK was established in 2010 with multi-million-dollar support from the Department of Energy and continues its work with contributions and in collaboration with industry and utilities, community, and University. PEIK’s multidisciplinary faculty group from different departments within UK’s College of Engineering includes Yang-Tse Cheng, Don Colliver, Aaron Cramer, Paul Dolloff, Zongming Fei, Jiangbiao He, Larry Holloway, who served as founding PEIK Director, Nicholas Jewell, Jeffrey Seay, Dusan Sekulic, Simone Silvestri, and Vijay Singh. The Directors of the PEIK undergraduate and graduate certificates in power and energy are Joseph Sottile and Yuan Liao, respectively. Dan M. Ionel, Professor of Electrical Engineering and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, currently serves as PEIK Director.
PEIK offers UK students the opportunity to earn undergraduate and graduate certificates in power and energy. The course offerings from several departments, which range from understanding global energy issues to alternative and renewable energy systems, provide technical knowledge and laboratory experience, as well as learning on the broader economic, environmental and social impacts of power. PEIK averages more than 1,000 enrollments in power and energy courses each year and has awarded a record number of certificates, more than 100 in the last two years alone, being one of the largest certificate programs within the UK College of Engineering.
KIAC, which is affiliated with PEIK, sends teams of faculty members and engineering students to conduct manufacturing plant energy assessments and make recommendations for potential savings opportunities. Through Department of Energy funding, the energy assessments are conducted entirely free of charge. KIAC has saved more than 95 businesses almost $20 million, while providing significant reductions in energy use and contributing to environmental improvements and conservation. KIAC received the “National IAC of the Year” award in 2016. Mr. Jason Souders is the Program Coordinator for both PEIK and KIAC and Don Colliver, Professor in the UK Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, serves as KIAC Director.