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ISSUE: Volume 47, Number 18: December 23, 2009

Top Stories
Research and Economic Development hosts faculty forums
Events to Note
Old Main Marketplace will host Sbarro pizza buffet
John S. Penn memorial service is Dec. 29
Retirement reception will honor Diane Brenno
OLLI@UND hosts "Winter Escapade" social and course preview
Staff Senate organizes Emerald and Ice Gala for Feb. 6
Advancement of College Teaching & Learning spring conference is Feb. 19-20
U.S. military mandate for diesel and jet fuel from renewable sources highlights UND-EERC-Accelergy partnership
Rural hospitals receive grants through UND Center for Rural Health program
Aviation helps rank Grand Forks airport as one of the busiest
Campus Connection online payment available for UND faculty and staff
UND announces Ben and Ruth Gustafson Continuing Education Scholarship winners
University Within the University (U2) lists new classes
University is closed Christmas Eve at noon, Christmas Day
Law Library announces holiday hours
ITSS holiday closing hours listed
Donated leave sought for Catherine Olson
Staff Senate announces 31 Days of Glory winners
United Way thanks volunteers and donors
Remember to keep windows, doors closed
Internal job openings listed
In the News
Mary Amundson, Medicine and Health Sciences, garners two board appointments
EERC's groundbreaking cellulosic biofuel technology moves toward commercialization
In Remembrance
Remembering Patricia Berntsen
Research and Economic Development hosts faculty forums

The Division of Research and Economic Development announces a series of faculty forums that will provide critical input into the development of a strategic plan for the Division.

Four forums, on Jan 14, Feb 11, March 11 and April 15, will provide faculty an opportunity to have input into identifying the important questions in their disciplines and the strengths that UND has to address them. Outlining a vision for the future will be critical; we do not want to have a plan that will just maintain the status quo. Although each session has a major area of disciplinary emphasis, we hope to have broad interdisciplinary participation at every forum. While we will invite key people, such as department chairs, to specific forums, every session is open to faculty from any department. Faculty who participate will be eligible for a drawing at each forum, with the prize being a stipend of up to $2,000 for travel related to research or scholarly work.

Because of special funding made available to us, we will also have a session on Jan. 28 involving both faculty and private sector participants to discuss the future of life science-related business in the Grand Forks region.

These will be professionally facilitated forums. Lunch and other refreshments will be provided at no cost to participants. Pre-registration will be required to ensure we have enough food for everyone.

The information derived from these forums will be an important part of the information used in the development of a draft strategic plan for the Division of Research and Economic Development, and more generally, for the entire research enterprise at UND. This plan will be posted on the Division’s website for your feedback before it is finalized and submitted to the President.

Schedule of Sessions -
Jan. 14: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Life Sciences for the 21st Century - Memorial Union/Ballroom - A faculty forum
Jan. 28: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Life Sciences Enterprise for the 21st Century - Memorial Union/Ballroom - Faculty and representatives from regional life sciences companies and economic development agencies
Feb. 11: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Physical Sciences and Engineering for the 21st Century - Hilton Garden Inn - Faculty forum
March 11: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Social and Behavioral Sciences for the 21st Century - Memorial Union Ballroom - Faculty forum
April 15: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Creative and Scholarly Work in the Arts and Humanities for the 21st Century – Hilton Garden Inn - Faculty forum
-- Rosemary R. Thue, assistant to the VP for Research & Economic Development, Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development,, 777-4915

Old Main Marketplace will host Sbarro pizza buffet

Sbarro Pizzeria in the Old Main Marketplace Food Court in the Memorial Union has organized another pizza buffet over the holiday break. Faculty and staff are invited to enjoy the pizza buffet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Thursday, Dec. 31. Everyone is welcome to all-you-care-to-eat pizza and salad for only $4.99.
-- Jason Gallagher, general manager, Dining Memorial Union,, 777-3823

John S. Penn memorial service is Dec. 29

A Memorial Service for John S. Penn will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29, in the Federated Church (2122 17th Ave S, Grand Forks). Lunch will be served following the service. Penn served as professor of speech and chairman of the UND department of Speech. He was also an advisor to former University Presidents John West, George Starcher and Thomas Clifford.

Retirement reception will honor Diane Brenno

Join us for a retirement party for campus catering manager, Diane Brenno from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, in the Terrace Dining Center. She has served UND and Dining Services for over 29 years. Stop by and wish her well in her retirement.
-- Jeffrey St. Michel, assistant director, Dining Services,, 777-3823

OLLI@UND hosts "Winter Escapade" social and course preview

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) will host a “Winter Escapade” social and course preview from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5. OLLI@UND is for individuals age 50 and better who want to experience cultural and social growth through learning and sharing ideas, opinions and talents. The event will be held in the social hall at Sharon Lutheran Church, located at 1710 17th St. S, Grand Forks, N.D. Here you can preview upcoming winter courses, meet the instructors, and enjoy refreshments with other OLLI members. Staff will be available to answer questions and guide new and existing OLLI members through the process of online registration.

If you are a current OLLI member who brings a friend and that friend becomes a new member and signs up for a winter course, you will receive a $25 scholarship towards a 2010 summer course (June 7–June 25) of your choice.

If you or someone you know loves learning, growing and making new friends, stop by and visit with OLLI members, staff and instructors at the social. The event is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UND. For more information, visit the Web at: or call 777-3000.
-- Connie Hodgson, coordinator, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute,, 777-4840

Staff Senate organizes Emerald and Ice Gala for Feb. 6

All benefited UND and related foundation employees and a guest are invited to the Emerald and Ice Gala from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, in the Alerus Center Ballroom.

There will be a social hour from 7 to 8 p.m. featuring free appetizers and a cash bar. Downtown Horns will play live music from 8 p.m. to midnight, and guests may participate in a Mock Casino night provided by the Grand Forks Jaycees. Participants can use their casino winnings to bid on prizes at the end of the evening. The event will also feature a silent auction, with proceeds used to fund scholarships given by the Staff Senate.

Admission is $20 per person. Tickets may be purchased from any UND Staff Senator or at the following locations: Aerospace Human Resources, Sheri Sponsler; Ralph Englestad Arena, Main Office; Twamley Hall, Human Resources Office; Alumni Center, Stone House 2nd floor, Sigrid Letcher; Memorial Union, Information Desk; EERC, Human Resources Office; and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Office of Public Affairs.

For more information, visit the Staff Senate Web site at or contact any UND Staff Senator.
-- Shelley Pohlman, assistant to the director of Communications, Office of Public Affaris,, 777-4305

Advancement of College Teaching & Learning spring conference is Feb. 19-20

The Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching & Learning semi-annual conferences provide crucial information on cutting-edge topics related to issues in teaching and learning. “Assessment for the Changing Learning Environment” is the theme of this spring’s conference, which will take place Feb. 19-20 in Bloomington, Minn. The conference will feature nearly thirty concurrent sessions, and keynotes by L. Dee Fink and Peggy Maki, on today’s best practices for assessment. Fink will focus on assessment methods for the learning-centered institution. Maki will address best practices for technology-based assessment. The program includes preconference workshops, disciplinary and special interest group sessions, and showcases.

For more information, including speaker bios and concurrent session titles, visit the web and download a copy of the conference brochure at

The early bird registration deadline is Jan. 27, 2010. If you are interested in attending, apply to the Office of Instructional Development for FIDC grant support prior to Jan. 1. Call 777-3325 for details.
-- Anne Kelsch, director of Instructional Development, Office of Instructional Development,, 777-4233

U.S. military mandate for diesel and jet fuel from renewable sources highlights UND-EERC-Accelergy partnership

Accelergy Corporation, a global leader in the production of high-value domestically sourced liquid fuels, is partnering with the UND Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC). Under the terms of the agreement, Accelergy will license EERC's proprietary technology as part of its coal biomass-to-liquids (CBTL) process to accelerate the development of specialty liquid jet fuels used by the military from cleaner and non-petroleum sources.

This news follows a recent $4.7 million contract between the EERC and the U.S. Department of Defense Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the development of the first completely renewable JP-8 jet fuel. The U.S.Air Force uses JP-8 in all its aircraft and has been researching alternative sources to petroleum-based fuels following a mandate to procure 50 percent of its fuel domestically and from greener sources.

"This partnership is good news for North Dakota and another Red River Valley Research Corridor success story," said Senator Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. "I've worked vigorously to help the EERC develop into a world-class research center. Clearly, the EERC's cutting-edge capabilities are now in high demand."

"For decades, the EERC has been dedicated to creating cost-effective environmental solutions for our country's energy challenges, and we have long recognized that smart public-private sector partnerships are key to commercializing promising technologies," said Gerald H. Groenewold, director of the EERC. "We believe Accelergy's integrated production process is paramount to the rapid adoption of domestically produced specialty fuels, and we fully expect to help drive this endeavor forward with our technology."

With the capabilities to produce a cleaner, non-petroleum based fuel that exceeds JP-8 specs, Accelergy utilizes proprietary micro-catalytic conversion technologies licensed from ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. Accelergy's integrated CBTL process domestically produces a tunable range of low net-carbon fuels including premium gasoline, diesel, Jet-A, and military JP-5, JP-8, and JP-9 jet fuels. The CBTL process is unique in its ability to maintain a high overall thermal efficiency while significantly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with comparable refining methods.

"Partnering with a demonstrated leader in clean energy research and technology uniquely positions Accelergy to domestically produce high volumes of cleaner fuels to meet ever-increasing needs for our nation's military aircraft," said Tim Vail, CEO of Accelergy. "As global demand for transportation fuel grows, EERC's scalable, feedstock-flexible process provides a crucial element to our hybrid process, enabling cost-effective, next-generation liquid fuels."
-- Derek Walters, communications manager, EERC,, 777-5113

Rural hospitals receive grants through UND Center for Rural Health program

Fifteen rural North Dakota communities will benefit from grants provided to rural hospitals through the North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program administered through the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

This year, the North Dakota Flex Program distributed approximately $269,000 through 20 grants to help rural hospitals across the state improve emergency services, purchase diagnostic equipment, train staff and volunteers, educate community members, update health information systems, and improve the delivery of health care. Some hospitals will use the funds, for example, to provide critical training to emergency services staff and volunteers, purchase new equipment for emergency pediatric care or diagnostic scanners, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, conduct health screenings, educate students about health careers or develop plans to upgrade facilities.

Facilities that received grants include
• St. Andrew’s Health Center, Bottineau
• Southwest Healthcare Services, Bowman
• St. Luke’s Hospital, Crosby
• Garrison Memorial Hospital, Garrison
• St. Aloisius Medical Center, Harvey
• Sakakawea Medical Center, Hazen
• Union Hospital, Mayville
• Northwood Deaconess Health Center, Northwood
• First Care Health Center, Park River
• Presentation Medical Center, Rolla
• Heart of America Medical Center, Rugby
• Mountrail County Medical Center, Stanley
• Tioga Medical Center, Tioga
• Community Memorial Hospital, Turtle Lake
• McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Inc., Watford City

The North Dakota Flex Program, funded through a grant from the federal Office of Rural Health Policy (Health Resources and Services Administration), is a state-based partnership that works with and assists rural hospitals to stabilize and sustain their local health care infrastructure. In addition to grants, the CRH also uses North Dakota Flex Program funds to provide technical assistance to rural providers for community assessments, staff surveys and strategic planning.

To learn more about the ND Flex Program and its work with hospitals, visit To learn more about North Dakota’s rural hospitals and review individual hospital profiles visit

The CRH administers the North Dakota Flex Program, which also includes formal partnerships with the North Dakota Department of Health, the North Dakota Healthcare Review, Inc. and the North Dakota Healthcare Association.
-- Denis F. MacLeod, communications coordinator, Center for Rural Health,, 777-3300

Aviation helps rank Grand Forks airport as one of the busiest

Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver almost always post the country’s highest airport operations counts. But thanks to the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences’ aviation students, Grand Forks International Airport is posting flight statistics to rival those big airports, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In a story posted the FAA’s MyFAA employee Web site, the agency reported that on one day last summer, the controllers working in the Grand Forks tower handled 2,014 operations, surpassing both the Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver International’s flight counts. Not every day is so busy at Grand Forks. The average daily traffic count this year is closer to 1,000 operations, but that still represents a 45 percent jump in volume. Through November 2009, the tower managed 328,528 operations, about 90,000 more than in all of 2008, according to the FAA's official tally. That increase has come largely because of contracts UND signed with Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese airlines to train their pilots at the Odegard School.

For the complete FAA story on UND flight ops impact at the Grand Forks airport, see .
-- Juan Pedraza, writer/editor, University Relations,, 777-6571

Campus Connection online payment available for UND faculty and staff

UND Student Account Services is pleased to inform you that you now have the capability to make online payments to the University via Campus Connection. We hope that this will be more convenient for you. Listed below are charges you can pay for via Campus Connection: rent/housing; childcare; telecommunications; software; parking tickets; electricity; tuition and fees; meal plans; any charge that is posted to Campus Connection under your ID number.

Here is the navigation to access the online payment system via Campus Connection:
1. Log into your Campus Connection Account.
2. Select "Pay Charges Online" on the left hand side of the page.
3. Select "Make a Payment" or the "Deposits" tab at the top of the screen.
4. Follow payment or deposit instructions.

If you have any questions about this exciting new feature or making an online payment please contact UND Student Account Services at or 777-3911. Happy Holidays.
-- Matt Lukach, Student Account Services

UND announces Ben and Ruth Gustafson Continuing Education Scholarship winners

The UND Division of Continuing Education announced the winners of the Ben and Ruth Gustafson Continuing Education Scholarship, as follows:
* Julie Fleck, Mandan, N.D., $500 — Fleck is in UND’s online program for a Master’s Degree in instructional design and technology.
* Marsha Stanford, Newnan, Georgia, $350 — Stanford is a non-credit Continuing Education student taking UND’s online Advanced Hospital Coding & Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) prep course. She is completing her coursework this semester.

Ben and Ruth Gustafson dedicated their lives to higher education and left behind a legacy of learning. Ben, a native of Foxholm, N.D., served as superintendent of schools in several North Dakota communities before becoming a professor of chemistry at UND in 1941. From 1957 to 1964, Ben served as director of the General Extension Division on Continuing Education. After retiring as dean, Ben was coordinator of research and development until 1974.

Ben was named North Dakota Adult Educator of the Year and received the Julius M. Nolte Award for outstanding leadership from the National University Continuing Education Association. In May 1980, Gustafson Hall, which houses Continuing Education offices, was named in his honor. Ben died in 1982.

Ruth’s dedication to education, the University, music and the arts was apparent throughout her life. In addition to a 23-year career working in the UND Registrar’s Office and Alumni Office, Ruth played the violin with many musical groups, including 45 years with the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 95, she continued to show an interest in students and often asked, “How are things going at the Division of Continuing Education?”

Ruth died in June 2000, three months after officially signing the papers for the Ben and Ruth Gustafson Continuing Education Endowment for distance learners.
-- Division of Continuing Education

University Within the University (U2) lists new classes

Employee Self-Service Training
Dec. 30, 3 to 4 p.m., or Jan. 6, 9 to 10 a.m., or Jan. 13, 3 to 4 p.m., Memorial Union, Lecture Bowl
Attend one of these sessions to learn about the wealth of information that is available with Employee Self-Service and how you access, review and make changes to your employee information. Presenter: Pat Hanson

Microsoft Office Word 2007 Level 1
Jan. 4, 6 and 7, 1:30 to 4 p.m., Upson II, Room 361
Prerequisite: Basic understanding of computers, mouse, and file saving and retrieving skills.
Upon successful completion of this session, you will be able to; create a basic document by using Microsoft Word; edit documents by locating and modifying text; format text; format paragraphs; add tables to a document; add graphic elements to a document; control a document's page setup and its overall appearance; and proof documents to make them more accurate. Presenter: Heidi Strande
-- Patrica Young, U2 coordinator, Continuing Education,, 777-0720

University is closed Christmas Eve at noon, Christmas Day

Starting at noon Thursday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, the University will close. Christmas Day, Dec. 25, will be observed as a holiday by faculty and staff members of the University. Only those employees designated by their department heads will be required to work.

Law Library announces holiday hours

Holiday hours for the Law Library:
Friday, Dec. 18 - 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 19 through Sunday, Dec. 20 - Closed
Monday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Dec. 23 - 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 24 - 8 a.m. to noon
Friday, Dec. 25 - Closed
Saturday, Dec. 26 through Sunday, Dec. 27 - Closed
Monday, Dec. 28 through Thursday, Dec. 31 - 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 1 - Closed
Saturday, Jan. 2 through Sunday, Jan. 3 - Closed
Monday, Jan. 4 through Friday, Jan. 8 - 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 10 - Closed
Regular hours resume Monday, Jan. 11.
-- Jane Oakland, circulation manager, Law Library,, 777-3482

ITSS holiday closing hours listed

ITSS will close for the Christmas holiday at noon Thursday, Dec. 24, and will reopen at 5 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 26.
-- David Levenseller, help desk leader, ITSS,, 777-2222

Donated leave sought for Catherine Olson

Donations of annual leave are sought for Catherine Olson, Instructional Support Technologist at the Center for Instructional & Learning Technologies. She and her family thank you for your generosity. Please send a donated annual leave form to Diane Lundeen, CILT, Stop 7098. For a form, go to then click on forms.
-- Diane Lundeen, assistant director, Center for Instructional & Learning Technologies,, 777-2129

Staff Senate announces 31 Days of Glory winners

Congratulations to the 31 Days of Glory Winners thus far. Our lucky winners all won $100, except for those drawn on Sunday, who won $500. The winners are:
Dec. 1: Marsha Nelson
Dec. 2: Steve & Evelyn Slominski
Dec. 3: Lars Helgeson
Dec. 4: Peggy Lucke
Dec. 5: John Czapiewski
Dec. 6: Nathan Clough ($500)
Dec. 7: Ken Useldinger
Dec. 8: Jena Pierce
Dec. 9: Dave Knittel
Dec. 10: Rob D'Hilly
Dec. 11: Doug Norgard
Dec. 12: Doug Norgard
Dec. 13: Dawn Drake ($500)
Dec. 14: William Neuerberg
Dec. 15: Katrina Landman
Dec. 16: Alice Brekke
Dec. 17: Pat Campbell
Dec. 18: Celia Rosencrans
Dec. 19: Bob Denning
Dec. 20: Nancy Vogeltanz-Holm ($500)
Dec. 21: Linda Grinde
-- Shari Nelson, assistant director of Learning Services, Student Success Center,, 777-2117

United Way thanks volunteers and donors

On behalf of local health and human service agencies and their clients, United Way sends a big thank you out to all of UND's staff and faculty who contributed to our campaign this year. A total of $86,036 was raised, which represented a 4.4% increase over last year, and is the largest amount ever raised for a United Way campaign at UND. We also want to thank all of the campus volunteers who coordinated the campaign in their departments, and a special thank you to Alice Hoffert (associate vice president for Entollment Management), who was our campaign cabinet coordinator for the entire UND campus. Happy Holidays everyone.
-- Jill Fritel, United Way 2009 campaign chair

Remember to keep windows, doors closed

During the cold weather, it is critical that windows and doors are securely closed. Please report any windows or doors in your area that will not shut properly to the Facilities Management's Communication Center (777-2591). It would be very helpful if staff would check their area for open windows before leaving for the day. There have been several freeze ups late at night due to open windows. It doesn't take long for a pipe to freeze and burst. If we all work together, we can prevent this type of damage to our buildings.
-- Larry Zitzow, director of Facilities Management

Internal job openings listed

The following position vacancies are available only to regular UND staff employees who have successfully completed their six-month probation period, earn annual and sick leave, receive BC/BS health insurance and TIAA-CREF or ND PERS retirement benefits. Current UND faculty, please contact Human Resources for eligibility.

To apply: Please complete UND Application/Control Card form. Send letter of application and resume, referencing position name and number, to: Human Resources, University of North Dakota, Twamley Hall, Room 313, 264 Centennial Drive Stop 8010 Grand Forks, ND 58202-8010. Applications must be received by the deadline date.

Research Engineering Technician
Posting Number: #10-166
Closing Date: 12/30/2009
Minimum Salary: $30,000 plus/year
Position Status: Full-Time
Hours per week: 40
Benefits Eligibility: Benefitted
Department: Chemical Engineering

Account Technician
Posting Number: #10-167
Closing Date: 12/30/2009
Minimum Salary: $28,000 plus/year
Position Status: Full-Time
Hours per week: 40
Benefits Eligibility: Benefitted
Department: Admin Support Services

Building Services Technician
Posting Number: #10-170
Closing Date: (I) 1/4/2010
Minimum Salary: $20,000.00 plus/year
Position Status: Full-Time
Hours per week: 40
Benefits Eligibility: Benefitted
Department: Facilities - Housing Maintenance

PC Analyst
Posting Number: #10-169
Closing Date: (I) 1/4/2010
Minimum Salary: $34,000.00 plus/year
Position Status: Full-Time
Hours per week: 40
Benefits Eligibility: Benefitted
Department: Academic Support Services

Building Services Supervisor
Posting Number: #10-171
Closing Date: 1/7/2010
Minimum Salary: $29,000.00 plus/year
Position Status: Full-Time
Hours per week: 40
Benefits Eligibility: Benefitted
Department: Facilities - Housing Maintenance

Mary Amundson, Medicine and Health Sciences, garners two board appointments

Mary Amundson, assistant professor at The UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was elected to serve as a member of the Program Directors Constituency Group for the National Area Health Education Center (NAO) at their annual meeting, Nov. 4–6, in Washington, D.C. NAO is the national organization that supports and advances the Area Health Education Center network that works to improve the health of individuals and communities by transforming health care through education.

On Dec. 14, Amundson was appointed to serve on the board of director’s for the new Essentia Institute of Rural Health, which will begin work on Jan. 1, 2010. Headquartered in Duluth, Minn., the institute is affiliated with SMDC Health System, Innovis Health and Essentia Community Hospitals and Clinics. It is also a multi-state, not-for-profit health care system. Essentia Health is a leader in the development and advancement of business and clinical models for regional health care delivery. Essentia Health's strengths are in physician group practice, acute care delivery, and rural and critical access hospitals.

As part of Amundson’s work as a board member of the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network, she developed a series of national recruitment and retention workshops for the National Health Service Corps. The training is for community-based site administrators, Area Health Education Center administrators and Primary Care Office and Primary Care Association directors. Created in 1972, the National Health Service Corps collaborates with underserved rural areas and inner-city neighborhoods to develop and expand health care for underserved populations. The NHSC recruits and retains health care professionals through a combination of programs, including educational loan repayment and scholarships.
-- Denis F. MacLeod, communications coordinator, Center for Rural Health,, 777-3300

EERC's groundbreaking cellulosic biofuel technology moves toward commercialization

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) Foundation and Whole Energy Fuels Corporation, headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, are poised to commercialize a novel and groundbreaking cellulosic biofuel technology developed at the EERC at UND. Whole Energy is receiving global, exclusive licensing rights to EERC Foundation's technology, which converts biomass and other recycled material into liquid biofuels.

Utilizing cellulosic materials to produce biofuels has several advantages. Cellulosic materials such as wood, grasses, or the nonedible parts of crops, including wheat straw, soybean hulls, and corn cobs, are vast and diverse feedstocks compared to first-generation feedstocks like corn starch or sugarcane. In addition, cellulosic fuels promise to become the lowest-cost biofuel while at the same time provide large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum-derived fuels.

"This project presents an exciting opportunity for the EERC, as it is one of the very first involving production of advanced fuel additives from cellulosic feedstocks," said senior research advisor Ed Olson. "This technology will ultimately be used to improve engine performance using a renewable product, both in gasoline and diesel engines. In the case of diesel fuel, our additives will boost the cetane levels, improve flow properties and, most importantly, reduce particulate emissions."

The current federal Renewable Fuel Standard requires that 36 million gallons of biofuels must be used in transportation fuel by 2022, including at least 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels such as cellulosic biofuels. This creates a gigantic market for cellulosic biofuels.

Atul Deshmane, CEO and President of Whole Energy, is excited to capture this market opportunity and build on over 15 years' experience in the alternative fuels industry. "Partnering with the EERC and obtaining a technology license from the EERC Foundation will jump-start Mercurius Biofuels, a new company formed with our help to develop and commercialize advanced biofuel technologies," said Deshmane. "Mercurius is developing the technology with the intent of building and operating a pilot plant to demonstrate what may be the most energy- and carbon-efficient process for making a cellulosic fuel."

Karl Seck, President of Mercurius Biofuels, is looking forward to building a successful company with the EERC Foundation's technology as its centerpiece. "The EERC Foundation's biorefinery technology is superior to other technologies because it does not depend on enzymes, fermentation, or extreme operating conditions," said Seck. Based on experience in the petroleum refining industry, he continues, "This technology is more in line with the petroleum refining model and will benefit from many of the same efficiencies."

"The EERC is internationally recognized for its applied energy and environmental research programs, which translate to a never-ending stream of commercialization opportunities for our partners," said EERC director Gerald Groenewold. "Working with Whole Energy and Mercurius Biofuels is another testimony to the success of the EERC's business model."
-- Derek Walters, communications manager, EERC,, 777-5113

Remembering Patricia Berntsen

It is with regret that we announce the death of Patricia Berntsen, assistant director of the Chester Fritz Library. She passed away at home in Grand Forks on Saturday, Dec. 19, after battling multiple sclerosis (MS) for almost 28 years. She was 67.

Pat was born in Langdon, N.D., on March 16, 1942, the daughter of Adelaura and Thomas O'Connell. She had two brothers, Thomas "Jack" and William "Bill' O'Connell, both of Grand Forks. She began her education in Grafton and graduated from Grand Forks Central High School in 1960. She earned both undergraduate and master's degrees from UND. Pat met Don Berntsen at UND during sophomore year. They married Aug. 1, 1964 at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Grand Forks. Their first son, Craig, was born in 1976 and their second son, Brett, in 1979. The family has belonged to Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks, since 1969.

Pat and Don raised their family in Grand Forks and were active members in the community. Pat worked at the UND Library almost 38 years. She was a huge supporter of the University and wore her UND Proud pin every day at work. She was assistant director, had served as interim director, and was an active member of many committees. Her favorite was the American Disabilities Act Committee on campus. She also was a supporter of the MS Society, based in Sioux Falls, S.D.

She is survived by her husband Don; two brothers, Jack and Bill; sons, Craig, Grand Forks, and Brett, Sioux Falls. She was preceded in death by her parents, Adelaura and Tom O'Connell.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the MS Society North Central States Chapters in Pat's honor: North Central State's Chapter, 2508 South Carolyn Avenue, Sioux Falls, S.D., 57106, or Fargo Chapter Office, 5990 14th Street South, Fargo, N.D., 58104.

Mass of Christian Burial: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22, in Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks. Visitation: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday with a 4:30 p.m. rosary service and a 7 p.m. vigil service in Holy Family Catholic Church. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the funeral liturgy in the church on Tuesday. Burial: Calvary Cemetery, Grand Forks, N.D. in the spring.

The online memorial registry may be signed at . Information courtesy of Gregory J. Norman-Norman Funeral Home and the Grand Forks Herald.