Jim Hower, a 25-year veteran of the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, has won the prestigious Reinhardt Thiessen Medal, awarded annually to one outstanding petrologist. Hower is the 27th recipient of the medal and only the fifth American to receive the award, which was presented to him during the 2003 International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology conference.
Hower's research focuses on the history and chemical composition of coals, and the interaction between coal burned at a power plant and the mineral's combustion by-products. "I'm particularly interested in the quality of Kentucky coals," says Hower.
"We maintain active ties with the coal-burning utilities in the state and regularly conduct a survey on the amount of combustion by-products produced, the utilization of these products, the quality of the coal burned, and the quality of the by-products produced."
In addition to his research, Hower has served as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Coal Geology and as associate editor of Organic Geochemistry.
"It is an honor to get a career award when I feel that I still have much of my career ahead of me," Hower says, "and to have my work recognized as having had an impact beyond the borders of Kentucky."
Marybeth McAlister, Publications Manager, CAER