At the solar manufacturing R&D and the Conn Center we believe that it is necessary to engage the broader community. Our group is involved in mentoring, teaching, professional engagement and nonprofits.
- Water and Energy Nexus
- The expansion of global economies and populations increases the demand for both energy and water, where most of this will be from countries outside of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The relationship between energy and water (nexus) has always existed throughout the energy and water cycles of extraction, generation/treatment, distribution and waste. This relationship is only expected to grow with the pressures of improving economies and climate change prompting an invariable rise in the security of these resources. The increased demand from non-OECD countries and the need for improved security will push the nexus towards a more distributed model in which renewable energy becomes an enabler. Solar energy technologies will play an important role in decoupling the pressures and also providing relief through distributed systems.
- Dr. Druffel has taught several course through the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Louisville. ME 251 - Thermodynamics I ME 497 - Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design ME 575 - Engineering Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
- Science Fair
- The Conn Center hosts a week long summer workshop for high school students interested in doing research in renewable energy and energy efficiency. A number of these high school students do their research at the Conn Center and compete in the local, regional and international science fairs.Through the years students have consistently placed well in these competitions.