2012 OK EPSCoR Annual State Conference Presentations

Friday, March 30, 2012

Researchers from across the state gathered to highlight Oklahoma’s bioenergy research efforts during the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Annual State Conference on Tuesday, April 10, at the Wes Watkins Conference Center on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater.

Leaders in the bioenergy field engaged conference participants through presentations and discussion during an opening plenary session. Special guest presenters and their topics included:

Conference attendees participated in a networking luncheon, where Kelvin Droegemeier, University of Oklahoma Vice President for Researach, and Uma D. Venkateswaran, National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR program director, shared information about NSF energy research directions and funding opportunities. (Watch videos of Dr. Droegemeier's and Dr. Venkateswaran's presentations.)

An afternoon panel session engaged audience members in a discussion of bioenergy sustainability in Oklahoma and the nation, led by speakers from throughout the day.

A scientific poster session and hybrid poster/oral presentation competition spotlighted research progress in the alternative energy field. Forty four posters were on display at the conference.

Hybrid poster competition winners were:

1st Place
Taiwo Omotoso, University of Oklahoma
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Steven Crossly, University of Oklahoma
Poster Topic:  Influence of Ruthenium Titania Catalyst Pretreatment Conditions on the Upgrading of Biomass Fast-Pyrolysis Oil Vapors

2nd Place
Xin Zeng, Oklahoma State University
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Ramamurthy Mahalingam, Oklahoma State University 
Poster Topic:  Gene Networks Associated with Tillering Traits in Switchgrass

3rd Place Runners-Up
David Ponder, University of Oklahoma
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Laura Bartley, University of Oklahoma 
Poster Topic:  Investigating the Cell Wall Changes During Grass Lateral Root Emergence

Prakash Bhoi, Oklahoma State University
Faculty Mentors:  Drs. Raymond Huhnke and Krushna Patil, Oklahoma State University 
Poster Topic:  Solubility of Major Producer Gas Tar Compounds in Water

Paula Zapata, University of Oklahoma
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Daniel Resasco, University of Oklahoma 
Poster Topic:  Hydrophobic Zeolites for Biofuel Upgrading Reactions at the Liquid-Liquid Interface in Water/Oil Emulsions

Bioenergy investigators from Oklahoma and nearby states, EPSCoR external advisory board members and program officers from federal granting agencies participated in the event, which was hosted by Oklahoma EPSCoR, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation.

Oklahoma EPSCoR’s central goal is to strengthen the state’s research competitiveness through strategic support of research instruments and facilities, multi-institutional research collaborations and integrated education and research programs. Through the EPSCoR program, researchers from Oklahoma State University, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and the University of Oklahoma are working together to transform native switchgrass into an efficient alternative fuel.

View videos of the conference on YouTube
View all conference photos on our Flickr account