Monday, January 27, 2014

In Case You Missed It: Dr. John Regalbuto at Science Cafe

Dr. John Regalbuto, of the University of South Carolina, joined us for October 8, 2013 to talk "Green Gasoline and U.S. Energy Independence" as part of Energy Action Month.

There is tremendous global interest focused on renewable fuel sources for transportation. Dr. John Regalbuto’s research is aimed at developing new catalysts for the production of hydrogen and alternative fuels from renewable sources for the transportation sector, of which he gave us plenty of insights in our October '13 installment of Science Cafe. 


He joined the University of South Carolina (USC) from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Chemical Engineering, where he had been for 25 years. During that time, Dr. Regalbuto also served as Catalysis and Biocatalysis Program Director for the National Science Foundation, Directorate for Engineering, where he was intimately involved in the promotion of catalysis and biocatalysis for hydrocarbon biofuels.

Dr. Regalbuto has extensive industry experience. While on sabbatical leaves, he has worked with the Honeywell, Division of Catalysis and Separations and the UOP Research Center. He led Summer Faculty Research Programs at the Argonne National Laboratory and the University Methane Utilization Program at Amoco Oil Company. 

Dr. Regalbuto has been or is currently serving as a consultant to numerous organizations, including BP Chemical Company; the Korean Institute of Energy Research, Taejon, Korea; the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Vienna, Austria; Shell Chemical Company; and the Gas Research Institute, Chicago, Ill.

View his presentation:

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In Case You Missed It: Dr. Jochen Lauterbach at Science Cafe

Dr. Jochen Lauterbach, the endowed chair in Strategic Approaches to the Generation of Electricity (SAGE) joined us December 10, 2013 to discuss the secret nanotechnology of our motor economy. 

Dr. Jochen Lauterbach discussed heterogeneous catalysis, the acceleration of chemical reactions using designed nano-materials. Four out of five of the top chemicals in the United States are made with heterogeneous catalysts, making it extremely important to chemical and energy industries. Specifically, Dr. Lauterbach will discuss how catalysis cleans our air, it's economic and environmental significance and how it's impacting the world's population.


Dr. Jochen Lauterbach holds the SmartState Endowed Chair in the Center for Strategic Approaches to the Generation of Electricity (SAGE), one of six energy-related Centers of Economic Excellence at the University of South Carolina (USC) encompassing fuel cell, nuclear energy and fossil fuel technologies.

Dr. Lauterbach is working to reduce the harmful environmental effects of burning coal to produce electricity. Coal is currently the cheapest and most widely available energy source, and it will remain in use for several more decades at least. Stricter regulations on coal plant emissions have created a great need for research in this field, hence the demand for Dr. Lauterbach’s research.

Dr. Lauterbach is a highly recognized chemical engineer known for his expertise in using chemical engineering principles to solve industrial problems. Working closely with industry partners, he and his team are focused on improving environmental control technologies for coal power plants, including improving mercury and gas emission controls and developing new materials and processes to capture and store or find a use for carbon emissions.

His research has high-level support. Funders include the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as industries such as Ford Motor Co., Union Carbide, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Shell, and Toyota.

Check out more info on Science Cafe and upcoming speakers at the Science Cafe page!

In Case You Missed It: Dr. Gary Aston-Jones at Science Cafe

Dr. Gary Aston-Jones joines us January 14, 2014 to present "What Will You Do Next? Brain Norepinephrine & Goldilocks" for our first Science Cafe installment of 2014.

Dr. Aston-Jones is the William E. Murray SmartState Endowed Chair of Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina, the Director of the Cognitive Neuro Center, and the Co-Director of the Neuroscience Institute. 

Brain mechanisms of motivation and cognitive processes are at the center of Dr. Gary Aston-Jones’ work, with particular emphasis on attentional deficits in certain mental disorders. Problems with brain attentional functions are believed to be behind conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and autism. Dr. Aston-Jones discussed these brain mechanisms at Science Cafe.


His research has led to a new drug treatment for ADD. Some of his other research efforts have applications for better determining the specific processes involved in learning, dementia, addiction and depression.
His Laboratory of Neuromodulation and Behavior “studies brain function at the level of neuronal circuits and systems that underlie specific behaviors. [His] main interests revolve around neuronal circuits that underlie motivated behavior and reward-based learning and memory. We have two major research programs that use a variety of techniques: addiction and cognitive neuroscience.”

Check out more info on Science Cafe and upcoming speakers at the Science Cafe page!