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Press Release
Bocci Engineering, LLC Pioneers Sustainable Energy Infrastructure Projects That Pay for Themselves
HOUSTON, Jan 03, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Bocci Engineering, LLC has been named to receive the nation's premier 2012 award for excellence by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as it completes its first decade providing sustainable energy and environmental engineering solutions..."Bocci Engineering is a valued partner in achieving our goals of improving human and ecosystem well-being through application of sustainability science and principles of sustainable development," says Dan Bullock, Principal Investigator, of Houston Advanced Research Center. [read more]

Houston Chronicle
Houston moving forward with longtime Luce Bayou project
Critics say the state plan promotes more pumps, pipes, dams and canals ahead of saving existing water. Although the plan calls for 12 percent of the supply in 2060 to come from conservation, they say more could be done. With Luce Bayou, "we will have capacity well into the future," said Jim Lester, a water policy expert at the Houston Advanced Research Center. "My fundamental problem with this is, we are doing so little on conservation." [read more]

State Impact Texas
Dallas Wastewater Keeps Trinity Flowing, Houston Drinking
Once called the “River of Death” because it was so polluted with sewage and waste from slaughterhouses, the Trinity River has defied the great drought and helped maintain one of Houston’s critical supplies of water. And much of the credit goes to what a century ago made the river so polluted: the wastewater from Dallas-Fort Worth... [read more]

First Movers in Eco-Drilling: Greener Results to be Clicks Away
The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and Petris Technology of Houston will be teaming together to commercialize a geographic information system (GIS) that will help predict and prevent ecological harm from drilling operations. The technology initially will be developed in the Eagle Ford shale play area. The work will complement prototype efforts underway by the University of Arkansas for the Haynesville and Fayetteville shale plays... [read more]

Midland Reporter-Telegram
Producers find environmentally-friendly technology can boost bottom line
From the sand, chemicals and water used in hydraulic fracturing to capturing the emissions from wellheads and storage tanks, the oil and gas industry is focusing on environmentally-friendly technology. Rich Haut, senior research scientist and principal investigator, environmentally-friendly drilling program at the Houston Advanced Research Center, attributed the focus on environmentally-friendly technology to three primary influences. [read more]

InsideClimate News
New Waterless Fracking Method Avoids Pollution Problems, But Drillers Slow to Embrace It
David Burnett, a professor of petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University, one of the nation's premier petroleum engineering schools, said fracking with propane makes sense. "From a reservoir engineering perspective, there is no reason this would not be effective," said Burnett, who runs the Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program, a project of the university and the Houston Advanced Research Center, a not-for-profit academic and business consortium. Supported by some of the nation's largest energy companies, as well as by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the drilling program seeks new technologies that develop gas and oil in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. [read more]

Culture Map
As prices drop 50 percent & red tape disappears, H-Town looks to become the Solar American City
Houston was designated a “Solar American City” by the Department of Energy in 2008 and recently applied with the Houston Advanced Research Center and the city of San Antonio for another grant to help streamline the approval process even more. [read more]


TCN: After exceptionally hot and dry 2011, more drought forecast for new yearTexas Climate News
After exceptionally hot and dry 2011, more drought forecast for new year
January 6, 2012 by Bill Dawson
After enduring the record-setting heat and dry conditions of 2011, drought-weary Texans are being greeted with forecasts of more of the same for the new year... [

George P. MitchellHARC's founder in the media
George Mitchell named one of "top global thinkers"

George Mitchell, the prominent Houston businessman who founded the Houston Advanced Research Center, has been in the media spotlight because of his achievements in the natural gas industry and his commitment to sustainability.

Mitchell was named by Foreign Policy magazine in its December issue as one of the most significant "global thinkers." He shares one of the 100 places on that list with two geologists:

The FP top 100 global thinkers / 36: Terry Engelder, George Lash, George P. Mitchell / For upending the geopolitics of energy

Nearly 30 years ago, a Texas oilman named George P. Mitchell threw his money behind an idea: that breaking apart dense underground shale formations could release vast reserves of natural gas. The bet took over a decade to pay off, but the wait was worth it, not only making Mitchell a billionaire, but also fundamentally reordering the global balance of energy and the political power that comes with it.

Only in the past several years has the extent of the shake-up become fully apparent. Thanks to investments made by Mitchell's industry heirs in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," U.S. shale gas production nearly quintupled between 2006 and 2010 to 4.8 trillion cubic feet -- almost a quarter of U.S. natural gas production -- and prices plummeted. Meanwhile, geologists have mapped eye-poppingly large shale gas reserves throughout Europe and the United States -- most notably Terry Engelder and Gary Lash, who in 2008 estimated the reserves of the U.S. Northeast's Marcellus Shale formation at a monstrous 500 trillion cubic feet, making it the world's largest unconventional natural gas reserve. [read more]

The Bryan-College Station Eagle reported on Foreign Policy's recognition of Mitchell, a major supporter of his alma mater, Texas A&M University:

Aggies George Mitchell, Terry Engelder hailed for fracking contributions

A pair of Aggies made a respected magazine's 2011 list of the top 100 global thinkers.

George Mitchell, who earned a bachelor's in petroleum engineering in 1940, and Terry Engelder, who earned a doctorate from A&M in geology in 1973, were selected by Foreign Policy's editors, who noted their role in the geopolitics of energy. [read more]

In August, the Philadelphia Inquirer profiled Mitchell:

Tapping shale, seeking sustainability / A rare oilman

HOUSTON - It wouldn't be a stretch to call George P. Mitchell the father of shale gas.

The billionaire tycoon is widely credited with developing the hydraulic-fracturing technique that has triggered a rush to tap into formations like Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale. Shale-gas discoveries have added decades of supply to the nation's reserves.


What may be more surprising - especially to those who associate hydraulic fracturing with charges of environmental degradation – is that the man who pioneered shale drilling regards his fossil-fuel discoveries as secondary to his work promoting a sustainable world.

"There's no doubt this nation is strong because of oil and gas," Mitchell, 91, said in an interview Wednesday in his downtown Houston office. "But sustainability is the most important thing I'm working on." [read more]

Request for Proposals
HARC is seeking a contactor to provide basic IT systems and user support to supplement, assist, and backup its full time IT staff.  Submission deadline: January 20, 2012  To review please download: IT Systems, LAN, and User Support RFP: IT Systems, LAN, and User Support
New Awards

Storm Risk Calculator Project Extension
Sponsor: Rice University
Period of Support: continuation through 9/30/12
Area of Focus: Ecosystems and Water/Environmental Health  
PI: Birnur Buzcu Guven
Support Team: Pam Gallagher, Victoria Henry, Linda Gresak
Short Project Description: Continuation of the Storm Risk Calculator Project that has been underway since June 2010.

Port of Galveston Solar Project
Sponsor: DOE/Port of Galveston
Period of Support: 9/26/11 - 12/31/12
Area of Focus: Clean Energy   
PI: Rich Haut/Liz Price
Support Team: Ginny Jahn, Bob Travis, Linda GresakShort Project Description: Will evaluate potential solar technology application at the Port of Galveston to determine the minimum terminal power needs then perform engineering, design and installation of a prototype system that can be tested to assist in a large scale installation.

Yates High School CAMERA Program (Collective Action to Mobilize against Environmental RAcism)
Sponsor: EPA
Period of Support: 10/01/11 - 9/30/12
Area of Focus: Other 
PI: Amy Webb
Support Team: Ginny Jahn, Victoria Henry, Linda Gresak
Short Project Description: This proposal is for a collaborative project with the talented students of photography at the Third Ward’s historic Jack Yates high school, their dynamic teacher, Mr. Ray Carrington, members of the Third Ward community, and a grassroots environmental justice advocacy group, called t.e.j.a.s. The students will capture images of Third Ward environmental risks and, through various methods of community engagement, will share these pictures to engage in a community conversation about environmental justice in the Third Ward and how it has impacted health, happiness, and general quality of life.

Industrial Outreach to Promote CHP in TX and LA
Sponsor: Energy Foundation
Period of Support: 10/01/11 - 9/30/12
Area of Focus: Clean Energy
PI: Dan Bullock
Support Team:  Krishnan, Ross Tomlin, Ginny Jahn, Bob Travis, Linda GresakShort Project Description: This proposal provides essential additional support for a multi-year strategic effort to advance CHP in Texas and Louisiana. Successful implementation of this strategy will improve the market uptake of CHP technologies in industrial (and non-industrial) applications.


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