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EERC Receives Lignite Energy Council Honors

Two Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) staff were honored by The Lignite Energy Council for their dedication and contributions to the lignite industry. Dan Daly and Josh Stanislowski received these honors during the Council’s 46th Annual Meeting on April 24, 2019, in Bismarck, ND.

Josh Stanislowski, Principal Engineer, received the Distinguished Service Award – Research and Development Program for his efforts to study the economic impacts of using carbon dioxide from lignite-based power plants for enhanced oil recovery.

Dan Daly, Geologist, received the Distinguished Service Award – Education for his participation in the annual teachers’ seminar. Daly gave a comprehensive presentation about natural and manmade sources of CO2 and how it can be stored in geological formations.

“Our theme was ‘Blueprint for the Future,’ and certainly leaders who share their time and talents to benefit the entire industry are key to building a better lignite industry that provides reliable, low-cost and increasingly clean electricity,” said Jason Bohrer, president & CEO of the Lignite Energy Council.

The EERC is a global leader in developing solutions to energy and environmental challenges, known for its ability to bring cutting edge science and energy technologies to commercialization.

EERC Welcomes Bao Jia

The EERC welcomes Dr. Bao Jia to the Reservoir Engineering group. As a Reservoir Engineer, Bao serves our clients by developing geophysical models of the subsurface and run simulations to determine the long-term fate of produced/injected hydrocarbons, CO2 storage, and brine. Bao’s current research focuses on the characterization of unconventional reservoirs, CO2/gas injection to improve shale oil recovery, and determining the fate of injected brine/oil/gas in the subsurface.

“Before joining the EERC, I had read a lot of articles authored by colleagues here when I was doing my Ph.D., so I knew it was an excellent institution focusing on addressing energy issues,” Bao noted. “There are cycles of ups and downs in the energy industry. As reservoir engineers, the important thing for us to do is to increase our capacities of various skills, teamwork, and communication.”

“The EERC is located in North Dakota, the second-largest petroleum-producing state, which means we have a lot of natural resources, and we have a very healthy management system, access to various facilities, and many hard-working professionals,” he added.

Bao earned his Ph.D. with honors in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Kansas, a Master’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering from China University of Petroleum (East China). Bao’s Ph.D. work involved working on characterization of shale reservoirs and CO2/natural gas injection to improve shale oil recovery. Bao is the 2019 recipient of the Frank Bowdish Outstanding Ph.D. award at the University of Kansas. He also serves as a technical reviewer for the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering and the Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal.

Originally from Shandong Province in China, Bao came to the United States in 2012. Shandong Province is also where Chinese philosopher/teacher Confucius was born in 551 BC.

Bao likes playing table tennis, watching a variety of movies and television shows, and listening to music. He admires Forrest’s spirit and character in his favorite movie, Forrest Gump. Bao also likes traveling to different places to appreciate different scenery and cultures.

EERC Welcomes Dan Kovarik

Dan Kovarik has joined the EERC as a Master Electrician. He installs, maintains, and repairs electrical systems and equipment for commercial and industrial applications in support of energy research projects for the EERC and their clients.
“Al Olson, the electrician I am replacing, had genuine dedication to safety, the people, his work, and the EERC. I hope to carry on those same values,” said Dan. “It’s great to be welcomed into an organization where I’m already seeing intriguing work and meeting great people. I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute, learn, and work with everyone involved with the EERC.”
In addition to being a licensed Master Electrician, Dan is A+ Hardware certified as a Microcomputer Specialist from the North Dakota State School of Science and brings a variety of work experience to the EERC. Based in Minneapolis for several years, he returned to Grand Forks to run Stan’s Electric with his dad, focusing primarily on industrial and commercial work.
After his father went on to teach electrical classes at the community college in East Grand Forks, Dan found himself spending too much time at work. The EERC is a good fit, as it leaves him with more time for family.
Dan and his wife have a son, age 7, who “can name any dinosaur by just looking at the picture,” and a daughter, age 6, who “dresses in the most beautiful and crazy-colored outfits.”
“I love to see them happy and having fun together,” said Dan. “Their hobbies are my hobbies, but I do enjoy UND hockey, and I love to be outdoors, hunting and trying to catch fish. I don’t really like crowds, but if you get to know me, I am hard to keep quiet!” 

EERC Welcomes Kyle Dye

Kyle Dye has joined the EERC as a Technology Development Operator, where he works on project teams to set up, operate, maintain, and repair bench-and pilot-scale equipment; modify standard equipment; and fabricate new equipment for nonstandard applications in support of energy research projects for EERC clients.

Kyle comes to the EERC with over 17 years of experience in the plumbing field where he worked as a Commercial Plumber/Foreman for Home Heating, Plumbing & A/C, Inc., in Fargo. He is a licensed master plumber in North Dakota and a licensed journeyman plumber in Minnesota.

Originally from Las Vegas, Kyle lives in Halstad, Minnesota, where his wife works as a Certified Public Accountant. They have four girls and a boy, ranging in age from 2 and a half to 15. Family time in the summer involves being outdoors, fishing, camping, barbequing, riding bike, jumping on the trampoline, and splashing around in the pool.

Kyle grew up playing baseball and hockey. His favorite hockey teams are the Minnesota Wild and the Vegas Golden Knights.

Red Trail Energy Hosts Open House Event in Richardton

RICHARDTON, N.D. – Red TrailEnergy, LLC (RTE) recently hosted an open house event at the American Legion in Richardton. Approximately 40 community members attended. Scientists and engineers from the University of North Dakota (UND) Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) joined RTE staff and provided information to attendees on a local carbon capture and storage project.

EERC Director of Subsurface R & D Charles Gorecki
discusses the project with community members.
With the support of the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), RTE is investigating carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology as a way to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with ethanol production. Reducing emissions enables energy producers to sell ethanol to states that have low-carbon fuel programs, such as California. CCUS technology captures and permanently stores carbon dioxide emissions.

“We are very excited to continue working with the EERC to investigate CCUS as an economical option for meeting low-carbon fuel program markets in other states,” said Gerald Bachmeier, RTE Chief Executive Officer. “Our community has been supportive of the effort, and we appreciate their time to attend our open house.”

EERC Geophysicist Amanda Livers-Douglas explains CCUS.
Questions about the project can be directed to:

Dustin Willett, RTE Chief Operating Officer
(701) 974-3308,

Nikki Massmann, EERC Communications Director
(701) 777-5428,