The University of Louisville’s J.B, Speed School of Engineering has been selected as one of 32 universities to participate in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Industrial Assessment Center program to help local manufacturers improve their energy efficiency. The DOE investment will aid in the transition to a clean energy economy, building the next-generation energy workforce, and propelling America toward a carbon-free future by 2050.
University of Louisville was awarded $2.2 million that funds the UofL Industrial Assessment Center (ULIAC) for Manufacturing Technical Assistance and Energy Engineering Workforce Development. As part of the largest-ever cohort of IACs, the University of Louisville IAC will provide services for improving energy management, productivity, enhancing cybersecurity, promoting decarbonization, electrification, and resiliency planning. The ULIAC will also develop and enhance post secondary energy engineering curriculum while providing outreach and training for small to medium size entities (SMEs). This will include SMEs located in disadvantaged communities. The project will utilize a multidisciplinary team of faculty, staff and students within the Speed School of Engineering to deliver impactful results for SMEs with this funding.
“I’m thrilled that the Department of Energy has chosen to invest in the University of Louisville and its students, selecting it as one of the newest sites for an Industrial Assessment Center,” said U.S. Representative John Yarmuth (KY-03). “The IAC program provides an immense value to students and businesses alike, harnessing the talent of our brightest minds to tackle the energy, environmental, and economic challenges of tomorrow. I’m so proud to support this effort and to know that Louisville will play such an important role in continuing to build the clean energy economy of the future.” – July 26, 2021 DOE announcement
The UofL project team is lead by Principal Investigator (PI) Mark McGinley, Civil & Environmental Engineering Professor; Co-PI and Chemical Engineering Professor Mahendra Sunkara; Ed Tackett, Director, Engineering Solutions & Industry Relations; and Lissa McCracken, Executive Director of the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC).
KPPC’s Role in the ULIAC
The ULIAC will utilize the knowledge and experience of the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center with conducting on-sight assessments.
“A primary role for KPPC is to incorporate IAC standards for assessment procedures, lead assessment efforts, recruitment and supervision of co-op students, and recruitment of new industry members,” said Lissa McCracken, Executive Director of KPPC.
KPPC technical staff will oversee the training and development of SSoE engineering students selected to participate in on-sight ULIAC energy assessments of regional SMEs. KPPC will also leverage its outreach capabilities to connect our past, present and future qualifying clients to this valuable no-cost service.
IAC Assessment Process
IAC assessments are in-depth evaluations of a facility conducted by engineering faculty with upper class and graduate students from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. After a remote survey of the plant, the team conducts a one or two-day site visit to take engineering measurements. The team performs a detailed process analysis to generate specific recommendations with estimates of costs, performance, and payback times. Within 60 days, the plant receives a confidential report detailing the analysis, findings, and recommendations. In six to nine months, the IAC team calls the plant manager to verify what recommendations have been implemented.
Since its inception, the DOE IAC program has provided nearly 20,000 no-cost assessments for small-and-medium-sized manufacturers and more than 147,000 recommendations for improvement measures. IACs typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunity for every manufacturer assessed, nearly $50,000 of which is implemented during the first year following the assessment.
- Within Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) 20-39
- Located less than 150 miles from Louisville, KY
- Gross annual sales below $100 million
- Fewer than 500 employees
- Annual utility bills totaling more than $100,000 but less than $3.5 million
- No in-house professional staff to perform the assessment
Qualifying manufacturers can contact the ULIAC about receiving an IAC assessment.