The Times West Virginian


October 6, 2013

Science, Technology and Research Symposium scheduled for Morgantown

FAIRMONT — An upcoming Morgantown conference is giving people the chance to learn about the energy future of West Virginia.

The Science, Technology and Research, or STaR, Symposium is coming up Oct. 22 and 23 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown.

The event, organized by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research, takes place every 18 months in either the fall or spring. The conference, being held for the fifth time, rotates locations and is typically held in either Huntington, Charleston or Morgantown.

Dr. Jan Taylor has been working with the state Higher Education Policy Commission for 10 years and has served as director of the Division of Science and Research for about a year and a half.

One of the Division of Science and Research’s tasks is to manage the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program in West Virginia, she said. Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the division is able to hold the STaR Symposium.

“We were interested in sharing the research or information about science topics that were in the news or important to West Virginia,” Taylor said of the origins of the conference. “We developed the symposium to highlight not only our faculty but student work as well.”

She explained that part of the division’s mission is to help faculty at state and private higher education institutions who are in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields become more competitive for federal funding and money from foundations. The entity provides seed grants to individual faculty, and its largest grant program is the Research Challenge Fund.

“We look for really good science and economic development potential when we have those proposals reviewed,” Taylor said. “All of our grant programs are competitive.”

Everyone is invited to attend the conference later this month to learn about research in West Virginia. The STaR Symposium is an excellent way to inform the public of the great research and educational programs going on around the state, she said.

The theme of this year’s event is “The Evolution of Energy: From Scarcity to Abundance.”

“With the development of both traditional fuels — coal and shale gas — and the increasing development of alternative fuels — wind and solar — and with the importance of energy in the national conversations, we felt it would be a timely topic for our STaR Symposium,” Taylor said.

“We do have several folks in West Virginia who are focusing on energy, and we thought this was a good time to take a look at their research and what is going on statewide in both traditional and alternative energy.”

The keynote speaker will be David Pogue, science author, New York Times columnist and host of PBS’s “Nova Science Now.” People will have the opportunity to interact with him during a reception following his presentation on Oct. 22.

“We’ve had some really interesting speakers over the years, and I expect David Pogue to be among them,” Taylor said.

She said the conference will feature several panels on various topics, including energy research in West Virginia, the realistic long-term future for coal, the opportunities and challenges of the state’s abundant energy, the impact of the shale gas boom, energy and the response to climate change, energy efficiency, and the energy workforce.

About 90 percent of the speakers are West Virginians. The STaR Symposium strives to focus primarily on colleagues and stakeholders in the state and highlight the work that they are doing here, Taylor said.

During the symposium, the Division of Science and Research will conclude its new science video competition for college students.

The division announced the competition in May of this year, and Sept. 22 was the deadline for students to submit their videos. There are 11 participants, from West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University and Alderson Broadus University, Taylor said.

She said a room will be set aside during the conference where the creative finished products will be played continuously. The division will give awards to the top two science videos in both the undergraduate and graduate categories, and a People’s Choice Award will also be presented.

The Division of Science and Research is interested in technology-based economic development, Taylor said. The group likes to see success that will lead to commercialization, and supports student programs that help young people become more interested in research and graduate education in the STEM fields.

The division publishes a quarterly journal called “The Neuron,” and a West Virginia regional edition of the kids journal “Nanooze” for eighth-graders.

The symposium targets faculty, administrators and universities, as well as business people and the general public. The event will give members of the community a good overview of the energy environment in West Virginia, Taylor said.

She encouraged anyone interested in energy development and energy use in West Virginia to come.

The cost to attend is $150. Interested persons can register online at through Oct. 14. Walk-in registration will also be accepted the day of the conference.

“I’m expecting this to be a very interesting symposium,” Taylor said.

Email Jessica Borders at or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

Text Only
  • ‘L-gov’ program of West Virginia Treasurer’s Office providing many benefits

    The “L-gov” program of the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office is providing many benefits to governmental entities across the state, including the City of Fairmont.
    L-gov, which is an abbreviation for local government, helps cities, towns, school boards, public service districts and other entities process their bills in a streamlined, efficient way.

    July 27, 2014

  • Cardinal Tax Services-JB.jpg Helping people focus of Cardinal Tax Services

    At Cardinal Tax Services LLC, Wendy Cutlip is doing what she enjoys — helping people.
    Cutlip, owner and Registered Tax Return Preparer, opened her new business in White Hall at the beginning of June. It is located in the Mountain Gate Business Park, which is along Route 250 South just past Fabric and Foam and next to the Sunoco.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 22, 2014

  • Morgantown’s housing expenses exceed national average

    The housing prices in Morgantown are driving the city’s cost of living above the national average, a new survey reports.
    John Deskins, director of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics’ Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), explained that the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) orchestrates data collection in 288 cities across the country.

    July 20, 2014

  • JA Used Furniture-JB.jpg J.A. Used Furniture has valuable variety

    J.A. Used Furniture in Fairmont carries items that people need — all at low prices.
    Owner Ron Dray officially opened the doors of his new business, located at 10 Locust Ave., toward the end of December. He explained that the “J.A.” initials in the store’s name stand for the names of his two granddaughters, Jordan and Adriauna.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Backbone Security, T&T Pump Co. among 37 state companies recognized

    Two Marion County companies were recently celebrated for their continued successes in exporting.
    Backbone Security and T&T Pump Co., both in Fairmont, were among the 37 West Virginia companies that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette, the West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia Export Council recently acknowledged for expanding their business to new parts of the world. An awards presentation was held in Charleston on June 24.

    July 13, 2014

  • All Things Herbal-JB.jpg All Things Herbal health and wellness shop

    All Things Herbal Local Market is a one-stop, health and wellness shop.
    Owner Christa Blais officially opened her new business in downtown Fairmont at 327 Adams St., across from Veterans’ Square, on June 6 during Main Street Fairmont’s First Friday event.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3-D printing continuing to revolutionize manufacturing

    As 3-D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing, the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing continues to stay at the forefront of this technology.
    RCBI has three Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers, located in Bridgeport, Charleston and Huntington.

    July 6, 2014

  • Blackheart International -JB.jpg Blackheart International bringing high-quality services

    Blackheart International, a firearms manufacturer and provider of logistics and training solutions, is bringing high-quality services to the local community.
    At the beginning of April, the company moved from Philippi, where it had been located since 2005, to its new home in Fairmont.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Business
House Ads