March 25, 2016Ryan Milcarek ’14, a mechanical engineering Ph.D. student, has been chosen to receive an American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Graduate Student Grant-In-Aid. The $10,000 grant will support his research on flame-assisted fuel cells. Milcarek and fellow researchers are working to integrate flame-assisted fuel cells (FFCs) into fuel-fired furnaces or boilers already present in many homes. With the resources of Professor Jeongmin Ahn’s Combustion and Energy Research (COMER) lab, they aim to transform home furnaces into FFC combined heating and micro-power systems. Their research, largely funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, will ultimately provide resilience to the heating and power infrastructure of current buildings. Using resources from Professor Jensen Zhang’s Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory (BEESL), Milcarek also conducts system modeling and analysis to better understand the potential of micro-power systems in enhancing the energy efficiency and resilience of building systems. In addition to receiving this grant, Milcarek was named an ASHRAE “Life Member Club Grant Recipient” for being chosen as one of the top two applicants.