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Gary Messing Awarded American Ceramic Society's Highest Honor

Gary L. Messing, Distinguished Professor and Head, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been selected as the recipient of the American Ceramic Society’s (ACerS) highest honor of Distinguished Life Member.  This is the highest honor accorded members of the scientific and technical organization.  <<MatSE News>>

Beese Receives Professorship

Allison Beese, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering has been selected to receive the Norris B. McFarlane Faculty Career Development Professorship.  The Professorship is part of a $1 million commitment from the estate of Cathleen McFarlane-Ross, longtime friend of Penn State. McFarlane-Ross's gift honors her late husband, industrialist Norris “Mac” McFarlane, who graduated from Penn State in 1934 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgy. <<MatSE News>>

Robinson Receives Corning Faculty Fellowship

Joshua Robinson, Assistant Professor of Materials Sciences and Enigneering has been selected to receive the Corning Faculty Fellowship in Materials Science and Engineering.  <<MatSE News>>

Carbon dioxide stored in Marcellus Shale wells could also boost gas production

Marcellus Shale and other natural gas plays are considered valuable for what can be extracted from them, but what if they could also be valuable and environmentally helpful after they are been depleted?

That is a question Penn State faculty are looking at as part of a research project the National Energy Technology Lab's Regional University Alliance is conducting. Seth Blumsack, John T. Ryan Jr. Faculty Fellow, and Turgay Ertekin, head of the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and holder of the George E. Trimble Chair in Earth and Mineral Sciences, are part of the group studying whether it would be possible and make economic sense to capture carbon dioxide produced at large point sources and pump it into existing natural gas wells. <Penn State News.>

MacDonald Awarded Frumkin Memorial Medal

Digby MacDonald, professor emeritus, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been awarded the Frumkin Memorial Medal.  The Frumkin Medal is the most prestigious award given by the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISEE).  <<MatSE News>>

Graduate certificate in geodesign to be offered online at Penn State

Designing land-based projects that are sustainable can be challenging with the numerous issues involved, including rising land costs, conservation factors and energy concerns. Today, it takes contributions from multiple professions to achieve successful design solutions. This trend is resulting in double-digit growth in professions involved in design and planning, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To prepare professionals to help lead complex sustainable design and planning projects, Penn State is launching a graduate certificate in geodesign, delivered entirealy online.  <<Penn State News>>

Focus on Research - A spectrometer sits in the stream collecting data as the water swirls past it leaving behind information about levels of carbon and nitrate.  That data can serve as clues for researchers trying to find out if drilling deep into black shale formations in the search for natural gas is also polluting nearby waterways.

Read more here:

Richard Alley and Michael Mann urge action on climate change in CDT opinion piece

President Barack Obama announced new measures to combat global warming. Vigorous discussions about whether these are the best policy responses are almost sure to follow. These discussions are likely to be more productive if they start from the solid scholarship showing that we will be better off if we respond wisely to the coupled challenges of energy and environment. <Click here to read the full opinion piece.>

MATSE Alum Receives Inagural Du-Co Ceramics Young Professional Award

Kevin M. Fox ('03 and '05 MATSE), Senior Scientist, Savannah River National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, was named the inaugural recipient of the Du-Co Ceramics Young Professional Award.  He was recognized for his exceptional leadership and service to the American Ceramic Society.  <<American Ceramic Society>>

Zi-Kui Liu Receives 2014 ASM International Gibbs Phase Equilibria Award

Dr. Zi-Kui Liu, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director, Center for Computational Materials Design has been chosen to receive the ASM International’s  2014 Medal for the J. Willard Gibbs Phase Equilibria Award for his contributions in computational thermodynamics through integrated first-principles calculations and the CALPHAD method and for the advancement of phase equilibria theory, database development, materials design and promotion of thermodynamics.  <<Award Details>>

Hunting for Clues to Why the Last Mammoths Disappeared

As the wind whips across the Bering Sea, for an instant it courses over a tiny speck of land called St. Paul Island, far off the coast of Alaska. At the peak of the last ice age some 21,000 years ago, this dot in the middle of the ocean was a volcanic mountain at the southern edge of the Bering Land Bridge, yet as the ice melted and seas rose, its black cliffs became shorelines, trapping ice age fauna on its landscape, the most massive of them the woolly mammoth.  <<Discover>>

Improving water quality monitoring in Marcellus Shale region focus of recent conference hosted by EESI

The Earth and Environmental Systems Institute recently hosted the 2013 ShaleNetwork conference, which drew scientists, volunteers and representatives from government agencies. The ShaleNetwork is a collaborative effort by faculty at Penn State and other universities and agencies to monitor water in the Marcellus Shale region. WPSU sent a reporter to cover the workshop. Click here to listen to the radio report.

Penn Stater named director of NOAA's Climate Program Office

Wayne Higgins ('83 MS; '87 Ph.D., METEO) was named director of NOAA's Climate Program Office.  Higgins, who has spent much of his career at the forefront of weather and climate prediction for NOAA's National Service, starts his new position July 28.  <<NOAA News>>

Energy Innovation 2013 Issue Available Online

The Summer 2013 issue of Energy Innovation is now available to read online. Energy Innovation is an annual publication from the EMS Energy Institute in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The EMS Energy Institute is a leading research and development organization focused on energy science and engineering. <<More>>

Couple gives $2.2 million to establish faculty chair in geosciences

Two anonymous donors have made a $2.2 million gift to the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' Department of Geosciences to create a faculty chair. Both hold doctorates and have an intimate understanding of the need for faculty support. The couple is remembering Penn State through a bequest that will leave a lasting legacy and support work in geochemistry.  Penn State News