UNL electrical engineering professor Jerry Hudgins became associate director of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research effective Aug. 1.
Hudgins is developing, coordinating and evaluating NCESR’s physical sciences research. This is a part-time appointment and Hudgins will continue his research and serving as chair of electrical engineering.
NCESR director Ken Cassman said Hudgins provides leadership and expertise in solar, wind and geothermal energy; energy storage and distributed power systems; architectural engineering; and energy conservation for commercial buildings and residences. Hudgins also leads UNL’s efforts to connect with industry and government agencies in these areas.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Hudgins’ expertise to further develop UNL’s research capacity,” Cassman said. “He has been UNL’s go-to person for wind energy and has established strong working relationships with federal agencies.”
Since joining UNL in 2004, Hudgins’ research has focused on sustainable energy applications for transportation and electrical power systems. As chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, he also helped develop curriculum for UNL’s energy sciences minor.
In his new position, Hudgins said his goal is to build research teams to address sustainable energy projects and help faculty secure external funding.
Hudgins’ engineering expertise is an excellent complement to Cassman’s in agriculture and plant science, said Prem S. Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development.
“Energy sciences research is a high priority for UNL. Adding Dr. Hudgins to the leadership team demonstrates our commitment to the center’s success,” Paul said.
The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research was established in 2006 through a partnership between UNL and the Nebraska Public Power District. It supports promising research to develop renewable energy and enhance energy efficiency. NPPD provided $5 million in funding for the center.
“We greatly appreciate this highly productive collaboration with NPPD,” Paul said.
NPPD president and chief executive officer Ron Asche said, “Dr. Hudgins will bring additional technical strength to the center’s already capable leadership. NPPD is pleased with the results of this research collaboration with UNL.”