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University of Iowa News Release


March 19, 2008

UI engineering professor to speak about biofuels April 8 in Des Moines

The University of Iowa Alumni Association and the UI College of Engineering will host a presentation "Energy and Biofuels: the Good, the Bad, and the Unclear," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in Room 301 of the Pappajohn Education Center, 1200 Grand Ave., in Des Moines.

The presentation will be preceded by a reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. Participants should RSVP by Friday, April 4, at, or 800-469-2586. The event is free and open to the public.

Albert Ratner, an assistant UI professor of mechanical and industrial engineering who oversees the Combustion and High Speed Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, will present an interactive presentation to discuss the pros and cons of biofuels. He will also offer specific results and measurements that his laboratory has produced. Topics to be considered include light biomass gasification, material processing, biodiesel-derived glycerin and synthetic gas.

Ratner received a bachelor of science degree from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1995 and a doctorate in 2000 from the University of Michigan. From 2000 through 2003, he served as a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech, an appointment that included a Guggenheim Fellowship. In the past decade, he has published or presented more than 35 scientific papers.

The event is part of the Lifelong Learning series sponsored by the UI Alumni Association and developed in partnership with UI colleges and departments. The series features UI faculty and staff who share their expertise with alumni and friends of the university at events held in cities across Iowa.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: UI Alumni Association, 800-469-2586; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Gloria Hurtado