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The University of Wyoming (UW) board of trustees has approved the first phase of a planning process for a building that will house a large, closed-loop wind tunnel within a center focused on wind energy research.

The Wind Energy Research Center, created by the College of Engineering and Applied Science in affiliation with the School for Energy Resources, benefits from a gift from BP America to support the center's research and education plans. The trustees' action also makes the project eligible for matching funds authorized by the Wyoming State Legislature for academic facilities.

The center seeks to become a leading national, university-based interdisciplinary research group focused on wind energy research, says William Gern, UW's vice president for research and economic development. He says the efforts will be accompanied by educational programs to provide a well-qualified workforce to industry and to educate the next generation of technical leaders in the field. The center will also provide outreach programs to inform interested parties statewide about wind technologies.

"The proximity of the Laramie campus to the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colo.) and to the wind-rich sites in the Northern Great Plains, combined with the limited efforts elsewhere in the nation, also provide unique opportunities for the center," says Jonathan Naughton, center director and an associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering.

SOURCE: The University of Wyoming

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