Coral Gables, FL (August 6, 2013) - The University of Miami Industrial Assessment Center (MIIAC), established in 2000, received the 2013 "Center of Excellence Award" from the U.S. Department of Energy, in recognition of the Center's contributions to industrial energy efficiency. There are 24 such centers around the US that were competing for this award. MIIAC was established utilizing research funds received as a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
In February, 2012, President Barack Obama chose the Industrial Assessment Center to tour and use as a backdrop for a speech on energy and conservation at the Bank United Center, on the UM campus. The Center, which was founded and directed by Dr. Shihab Asfour, professor of Industrial Engineering and Associate Dean at the UM College of Engineering, has received more $3 million of funding, and has helped 250 manufacturing companies in the southern United States and Puerto Rico become more energy efficient.
"The University of Miami Industrial Assessment Center is helping manufacturers in Florida save millions of dollars in energy bills by making their facilities more energy efficient," Dr. Asfour said. "The Center has conducted over 250 energy assessments in small and medium sized manufacturing companies over the past 13 years and helped these companies save on the average around 25% of their energy expenses."
The main objectives of the Center are as follows:
a) Develop a workforce of energy conscious engineers and placing these engineering graduates in energy-related careers as well as in other engineering careers. This is achieved by providing undergraduate and graduate engineering students with an educational experience as well as an extensive hands-on training in energy assessment practices, waste reduction, and productivity management.
b) Assist small and medium size local manufacturers better manage energy requirements, reduce waste and increase productivity associated with manufacturing processes.
"Associate Dean Shihab Asfour should be congratulated for not only initiating the MIIAC effort but also for sustaining the effort; it is now in its thirteenth year, in the middle of its second five-year renewal," said Dr. James M. Tien, Dean of the College of Engineering. "The fact that President Obama visited the College of Engineering to personally review MIIAC is indicative of its national visibility and success."
Currently, 20 undergraduate and graduate engineering students are employed by the Center.