WVU hosted two important National figures during the month of July. On July 4th, President Bush visited the historic Woodburn Circle for his annual national address. Then, on July 7 th, Secretary Bodman toured West Virginia University’s National Research Center for Coal & Energy (NRCCE).

During his national address, President Bush spoke about American patriotism and spirit, as well as, the sacrifices American men and women have made in the ongoing war on terror and in past wars.

President Bush WVU

President Bush greets members of the armed forces. NAFTC Photo

Around 5,000 spectators came to WVU’s downtown campus to hear Bush’s address. This was the third July 4th visit to West Virginia for President Bush. In the President’s address, he mentioned, “Coming to West Virginia is becoming a Fourth of July tradition for me. And every time I come here, I appreciate the beauty of West Virginia, and I appreciate being with decent, hardworking, patriotic Americans who call the Mountain State home.”

During the July 7th visit by Secretary Bodman, he outlined the administration’s plans for increasing the domestic production of coal and expanding the use of clean coal technology. The conversion of coal gas into liquid motor fuels (GTL technology) is one of the alternative fuel strategies outlined by Congress in the Energy Policy Act. (EPAct)

Energy Secretary NRCCE

U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman (third from left) is greeted by Dr. Richard Bajura, Director, NRCCE, Dr. David Hardesty, President of WVU and Dr. John D. Weete, President, WVU Research Corp. NAFTC Photo

While attending a reception at the NRCCE the Secretary announced that West Virginia University had been awarded a grant from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) University Coal Research Program. The three year grant is worth $200,000.00. WVU and the NRCCE will contribute an additional $78,000.00 toward this clean coal research project.

The DOE grant will allow WVU to proceed with computer modeling and small scale production of a new, nano based material. WVU researchers have proposed using nano-technology developed at WVU to improve the metallurgy of turbine blades.

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