Summer Research Students Visit TVA's Bull Run Fossil Plant
July 3rd, 2013
CURENT's summer research students recently took a break from their labs and visited a local coal-fired power plant. The group went on an in-depth tour of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Bull Run fossil plant, and they were able to interact with managers and engineers that oversee the plant's daily operations.
Many of the high school and undergraduate students working at CURENT this summer have a strong interest in power generation, so the trip was an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look into one of the most efficient coal-fired plants in the nation. Bull Run has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into cleaner operations, and has reduced their sulfur dioxide emissions by about 95 percent.
Besides touring the facility itself, the students also spent an hour asking questions and getting in-depth information from Jason Melton, Bull Run's Operations Manager. Since the plant was temporarily offline, Mr. Melton and his team were able to devote more time to help educate the group.
The visit was led by Melton, John Moore, Eric Hamby, and Stephen West from TVA. The tour was also organized by Adam Hardebeck, Dr. Chien-fei Chen, and Erin Wills from CURENT. The summer research programs at CURENT are part of the National Science Foundation's mission of Engineering Research Centers to provide students with wide-ranging cross-disciplinary research and engineering education experiences.