UD wins 2015 Center of Excellence Award

By: Rose Rucoba – Staff Writer

This month, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded UD’s Industrial Assessment Center with the 2015 Center of Excellence Award.

The University of Dayton previously won the award back in 2003. Twelve years later, UD’s Industrial Assessment Center and its members are once again recognized for their efforts towards a cleaner world.

Kelly Kissock, Ph.D., is the director of UD’s IAC and is also chair of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department. The rest of the team at IAC includes four graduate students and some undergrads.

Together, the team of students and faculty at IAC do energy auditing for midsize industrial facilities. The center gets calls for audits then goes to the plant needing evaluating and spends the day talking to officials and helping the company save costs on energy. The IAC program is a Department of Energy club with 24 other programs at schools across the country.

The Department of Energy annually gives the Center of Excellence Award to the school that stands out in its efforts for energy efficiency, but the director, in this case Kissock, accepts the award.

With a growing competition in the science field in the U.S., the bar is being set higher and higher, as colleges nationwide are focusing more on how to use environmental science and engineering to solve world problems.

The Catholic University of America, located in Washington D.C., is proof of how colleges are now investing more into the environment and are being recognized for their efforts.

According to the university’s official website, “With the largest solar installation in the Washington D.C., metropolitan area, and 100 percent of its electricity purchased with Green e-Certificates, CUA has been recognized as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in North America.”

Another example is Stonehill University, located in Massachusetts. Stonehill’s website stated the university “has taken a commitment to reduce energy usage by 20% by FU2018.” It also described how the school is working hard to reach its goal by taking up solar farming and setting management systems to gauge its energy usage.

UD beat out these schools. This award, however, is not just an accomplishment for the university as a whole.
One individual particularly excited by the IAC’s win is Kathleen Sturtevant, a student leader of IAC.

“I’ve been a part of IAC since I was an undergrad in November 2014. I’ve loved learning and getting better every year,” Sturtevant said.

Sturtevant is in her second semester of graduate school for mechanical engineering: renewable and clean energy. She started as an undergrad in the program and now helps lead it.

In a recent interview with Flyer News, Sturtevant talked about the IAC members’ “great mentor,” Kissock, and their persistent research and teamwork that enabled the program to grow over the years.

Another leader of IAC, Zack Valigosky, also pursing his master’s in renewable and clean energy, said that Kissock challenges his students to “push the envelope” in everything they do.

“The award raises awareness of the great mechanical engineering program that we have here at UD. The IAC program reaches about 300 students per year. So at least 300 students at 23 other universities are aware of the great work of the UD IAC,” Valigosky said. “Personally, this award provides much needed recognition for the hard work that other team members have put into the program to make it what it is today.”