From Polluted to Playground: It's Taken 25 Years to Clean Up the Cheat River

Story by Brittany Patterson, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On a recent sunny Wednesday, Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University, was standing on a bridge looking out at Big Sandy Creek. It was a balmy afternoon, perfect for kayaking, and the creek running the Cheat River was clear. But 25 years ago, this water was a shocking orange color -- from acid mine drainage.

Register for PTTC Workshop "Hydraulic Fracturing in Horizontal Wells,” July 17-18


This is a relevant, timely and academically exciting topic, and should be of great interest to the petroleum geological and engineering communities – anyone who deals with considerations such as optimal well-planning, production, economics and reservoir behavior – and to students and their professors.  With the recent Superior Court opinion in PA regarding “fracking trespass,” there should be additional interest from the legal community in how to reasonably measure the lateral extent of induced fractures. 

WVU signs expanded cooperation agreement with Chinese energy company

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University and Shanxi International Energy Group have signed an expanded agreement to cooperate on energy research, training and education through the U.S.-China Energy Center-Shanxi.

“Agreements such as these serve as another example of the types of relationships that WVU has been building in China for the past 18 years,” said Brian Anderson, WVU Energy Institute director.

West Virginia Water Research Institute to host state water conference; announces Call for Abstracts

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The 2018 West Virginia State Water Conference will take place September 27-28 at Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place in Morgantown.

The Conference Planning Committee is now accepting abstracts. To submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation, complete the form below by June 30. The theme for the conference is "WATER: Exploring the Understanding, Significance, and Power of Life's Critical Resource.” Researchers and educators from colleges and universities, state and federal agencies, private organizations, consulting firms, industry and students are invited to submit abstracts for consideration for oral and poster presentation. This year's conference will also have a strong environmental STEAM education component, so researchers and educators in the STEM/STEAM education field are encouraged to submit an abstract.

Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center helping to develop economic plan for Potomac Highlands region

John Deskins, director of the BBER, which is housed in the WVU College of Business and Economics, said the need for this study stems to a significant degree from the closure of the Sugar Grove Naval Base in Pendleton County. The U.S. Navy decommissioned Sugar Grove in 2015 after 60 years of military activity there, mostly related to communications and information gathering.

While Deskins said the closure certainly had an adverse economic impact on the region, it was part of a larger problem.

Assistance centers at WVU and Marshall help West Virginia communities secure $2.8M in US EPA brownfield funding

Morgantown, W.Va. - The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University and Marshall have helped six municipalities and organizations secure $2.8 million in grants to assess, clean up and redevelop environmentally contaminated sites across the Mountain State thanks to $2.8 million in grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“We know this investment from the EPA will help spark further investment from the public and private sectors,” said Patrick Kirby, director of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU.

WVU student wins chance to pitch clean energy technology to U.S. Department of Defense

David Smith pitched the inductive transmission technology at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2018 Allegheny Cleantech University Prize Collegiate Competition. Smith is the first WVU student to participate in a regional CUP event, which is held annually during Carnegie Mellon University’s Energy Week. The event provides the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs the chance to obtain funding and educational support for commercializing their innovations. 

He is the liaison between WVU and Square Line Products, the company that sought help defining industries in which they could place their products. Over the course of several months, WVU recommended three areas of manufacturing: electric vehicle charging, drone charging and personal device charging. Steve Cutright, director of B&E’s BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was instrumental in developing the partnership between Smith and Square Line Power.

WVU researchers win inaugural R&D grant from AVEVA

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University is one of only two universities worldwide selected to receive a research and development program award from AVEVA, a leader in engineering and industrial software. The first-of-its-kind award will be used to focus on the research and development of next-generation engineering design and simulation software.

The WVU team, led by Richard Turton, WVU Bolton Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, and Fernando Lima, assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, will use AVEVA’s Unified Simulation Platform or SimCentral platform, a process simulation tool for designing and operating power plants.