Overland Park, KS, United States
Overland Park, KS, United States

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Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.73M | Year: 2011

National infrastructure (NI) systems (energy, transport, water, waste and ICT) in the UK and in advanced economies globally face serious challenges. The 2009 Council for Science and Technology (CST) report on NI in the UK identified significant vulnerabilities, capacity limitations and a number of NI components nearing the end of their useful life. It also highlighted serious fragmentation in the arrangements for infrastructure provision in the UK. There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from infrastructure, to respond to future demographic, social and lifestyle changes and to build resilience to intensifying impacts of climate change. If this process of transforming NI is to take place efficiently, whilst also minimising the associated risks, it will need to be underpinned by a long-term, cross-sectoral approach to understanding NI performance under a range of possible futures. The systems of systems analysis that must form the basis for such a strategic approach does not yet exist - this inter-disciplinary research programme will provide it.The aim of the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium is to develop and demonstrate a new generation of system simulation models and tools to inform analysis, planning and design of NI. The research will deal with energy, transport, water, waste and ICT systems at a national scale, developing new methods for analysing their performance, risks and interdependencies. It will provide a virtual environment in which we will test strategies for long term investment in NI and understand how alternative strategies perform with respect to policy constraints such as reliability and security of supply, cost, carbon emissions, and adaptability to demographic and climate change.The research programme is structured around four major challenges:1. How can infrastructure capacity and demand be balanced in an uncertain future? We will develop methods for modelling capacity, demand and interdependence in NI systems in a compatible way under a wide range of technological, socio-economic and climate futures. We will thereby provide the tools needed to identify robust strategies for sustainably balancing capacity and demand.2. What are the risks of infrastructure failure and how can we adapt NI to make it more resilient?We will analyse the risks of interdependent infrastructure failure by establishing network models of NI and analysing the consequences of failure for people and the economy. Information on key vulnerabilities and risks will be used to identify ways of adapting infrastructure systems to reduce risks in future.3. How do infrastructure systems evolve and interact with society and the economy? Starting with idealised simulations and working up to the national scale, we will develop new models of how infrastructure, society and the economy evolve in the long term. We will use the simulation models to demonstrate alternative long term futures for infrastructure provision and how they might be reached.4. What should the UKs strategy be for integrated provision of NI in the long term? Working with a remarkable group of project partners in government and industry, we will use our new methods to develop and test alternative strategies for Britains NI, building an evidence-based case for a transition to sustainability. We will analyse the governance arrangements necessary to ensure that this transition is realisable in practice.A Programme Grant provides the opportunity to work flexibly with key partners in government and industry to address research challenges of national importance in a sustained way over five years. Our ambition is that through development of a new generation of tools, in concert with our government and industry partners, we will enable a revolution in the strategic analysis of NI provision in the UK, whilst at the same time becoming an international landmark programme recognised for novelty, research excellence and impact.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Teams of students from eight area schools and the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization will compete on March 4 in the Division 1 Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest® at the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park. Sponsored by Black & Veatch, middle school age students will build a Rube Goldberg Machine™. It’s a crazy contraption which accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated and funniest way possible. This year’s task is: Apply a Band-Aid®. The contest is free and open to the public. This is the second year in a row that Black & Veatch has sponsored the competition. The company is the exclusive engineering partner for the 2017 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC). “This contest is an entertaining way for students to apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills,” said Lori Kelleher, Chief Human Resources Officer for Black & Veatch. “This hands-on learning opportunity is very applicable for students interested in careers in STEM-related areas including vital infrastructure projects and smart cities development.” Kansas City area teams are competing in the Division 1 competition for students ages 11-14. They are from Indian Woods Middle School, Harmony Middle School and Oxford Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas; Big Brothers Big Sisters, New Mark Middle School and Center School District in Kansas City, Missouri; Trail Ridge Middle School in Gardner, Kansas; Mill Creek Middle School in Lenexa, Kansas; and Merriam Park Elementary in Merriam, Kansas. Team sizes range from four to 10 students. The competition begins at 9 a.m. in the Museum at Prairiefire, 5801 W. 135th Street. The winner of the Black & Veatch regional competition is eligible to compete, with all other regional winners, in the Live Finals for the RGMC Division 1 Championship title on March 25 in Columbus, Ohio. About Black & Veatch Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2015 were US$3 billion. Follow us at www.bv.com and on social media. About the Museum at Prairiefire Through a unique collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, as well as with other cultural and educational institutions in the Kansas City area, the Museum at Prairiefire is a place to understand and celebrate natural history and culture in our region and around the world. The Museum engages visitors and area students with world-class exhibitions, important programming and significant educational opportunities. It is the nation’s first permanent venue hosting continuous traveling American Museum of Natural History exhibitions. 5801 W. 135th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66223 - Phone: (913) 333-3500 - museumatpf.org


Patent
Black and Veatch Corporation | Date: 2011-06-30

A process and system is provided for separating a feed gas stream containing methane, at least one C_(2 )component, at least one C_(3 )component, and optionally heavier components, into a volatile gas stream containing a major portion of the methane and at least one C_(2 )component and a less volatile stream containing a major portion of the at least one C_(3 )and heavier components. The feed stream is cooled, at least partially condensed, and fed to a fractionation column wherein the feed stream is separated into an overhead vapor stream comprising primarily the lighter components of the feed stream and a bottoms liquid stream comprising primarily the heavier components of the feed stream. The introduction of a reboiler onto the fractionation column assists in removing co-absorbed C_(2 )and lighter components from the fractionation column bottoms thereby facilitating more efficient operation of a downstream deethanizer column. Addition of residue recycle can further supplement recovery of desired components.


Patent
Black and Veatch Corporation | Date: 2012-02-22

An NGL recovery facility for separating ethane and heavier (C_(2)+) components from a hydrocarbon-containing feed gas stream that utilizes a single, closed-loop mixed refrigerant cycle. The vapor and liquid portions of the feed gas stream are isenthalpically flashed and the resulting expanded streams are introduced into the NGL recovery column. Optionally, a second vapor stream can be flashed and then introduced into the recovery column at the same or lower separation stage than the flashed liquid stream. As a result, the NGL recovery facility can optimize C_(2)+ recovery with compression costs.


Patent
Black and Veatch Corporation | Date: 2014-02-17

Processes and systems are provided for recovering a liquid natural gas (LNG) stream from a hydrocarbon-containing feed gas stream using a single closed-loop mixed refrigerant cycle. In particular, the processes and systems described herein can be used to separate methane from carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which are common components in synthesis gas and other hydrocarbon-containing gases.


Patent
Black and Veatch Corporation | Date: 2014-03-17

Processes and systems for producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) with a single mixed refrigerant, closed-loop refrigeration cycle are provided. Liquefied natural gas facilities configured according to embodiments of the present invention include refrigeration cycles optimized to provide increased efficiency and enhanced operability, with minimal additional equipment or expense.


Patent
Black and Veatch Corporation | Date: 2013-04-17

A process for removing sulfur from a gas stream is provided in which a plurality of reactor units, each comprising a condenser and reactor, are selectively operable under Claus reaction and cold bed adsorption conditions. The arrangement of reactor units within the plant is periodically changed following a front-middle-back sequencing scheme. This ensures that the final reactor unit in the series utilizes fully cooled catalyst which is most efficient for operation under cold bed adsorption conditions. In addition, the condenser of the final reactor unit in the series operates at or below the freezing point of sulfur thereby permitting even greater sulfur recovery.


Patent
Black and Veatch Corporation | Date: 2014-06-30

Processes and systems are provided for removing nitrogen from a hydrocarbon-containing gas to thereby recover a liquid natural gas (LNG) stream. In particular, the processes and systems described herein can be used to efficiently separate methane from nitrogen, which is an undesirable byproduct found in many hydrocarbon-containing gases used to produce LNG. The processes and systems described herein can utilize various refrigerant systems to separate and produce the LNG.


Patent
Black and Veatch Corporation | Date: 2011-12-01

An NGL recovery facility utilizing a single, closed-loop mixed refrigerant cycle for recovering a substantial portion of the C_(2 )and heavier or C_(3 )and heavier NGL components from the incoming gas stream. Less severe operating conditions, including a warmer refrigerant temperature and a lower feed gas pressure, contribute to a more economical and efficient NGL recovery system.


News Article | January 24, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jan. 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cities and utilities are increasingly relying on data analytics tools to advance their smart systems, even as municipal leaders grapple with how to pay for these upgrades. Fulfilling the smart city promise will require integrating communication technology and increasing stakeholder engagement. This combination will help transform cities and infrastructure, according to Black & Veatch’s just-released 2017 Strategic Directions: Smart City/Smart Utility Report.   This year’s report addresses the interlocking pieces of the smart city ecosystem and their effects on public safety, sustainability and quality of life. Technology is changing how first responders, government officials, public agencies and transportation fleets operate. Alternative fuel sources and electric vehicle programs are transforming the movement of people and goods, while smart street systems create opportunities to generate value from existing municipal assets. Utilities are making significant strides in modernizing grid infrastructure. Exploring the integration of distributed energy resources (DER) will be key to master planning as more renewable energy makes its way onto the grid. “Cities are poised to be the centers of technological deployment,” said Fred Ellermeier, Vice President and Managing Director of Black & Veatch’s Smart Integrated Infrastructure (SII) business. “Many are already driving advancements in intelligent transportation systems and initiatives. They are rapidly moving past pilot phases to use advanced data networks to improve resident experiences across municipal departments and services.” “Maintaining this momentum, however, will require the ability to see the larger nexus connecting data with critical infrastructure,” Ellermeier added. Many cities, he notes, have appointed “Chief Innovation Officers” charged with understanding the technology landscape and championing smarter solutions. While municipalities see the benefits of smart city initiatives and endorse long-term planning, the report found that they continue to face financial barriers. Alternative strategies such as public private partnerships, generating tax revenue from increased economic development, monetizing data and leasing access to community-owned assets are becoming reality. Utilities, with their vast communications networks and automated systems, are betting on digitization to deliver reliable and efficient service going forward. Increased network connectivity can help optimize smart grid deployments by allowing for proactive system monitoring. DER continues to change the game as utilities consider long-term system planning and real-time load balancing to support future technology investments. “Utility leaders are keenly aware that investing in assets that generate actionable data will allow them to ward off obsolescence and improve customer service,” said John Chevrette, President of Black & Veatch’s management consulting business. “Critical to this is the analysis of investments from a cost-benefit perspective, and evaluating customer need to better target investments.” About Black & Veatch Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2015 were US$3 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.

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