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Is wind energy in your future?

Oct. 15, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Engineering professor Dr. John Patten will address "Wind Energy Potential in Michigan" in a free, public lecture and discussion from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, in Room 1260 of the Chemistry Building at Western Michigan University. The program is part of a series on alternative energy sponsored by the Friends of the WMU Libraries and is open to the public free of charge.

Global warming, peak oil, rising fossil fuel costs and geopolitics have raised public awareness and increased demand for the development of alternative sources of energy. Patton will detail why Michigan is well situatuated and suited for wind generation of electricity.

A recent study by Michigan State University indicates that 100,000 wind turbines off Michigan shores in the Great Lakes could generate enough electricity to power the entire Upper Midwest.

Patten is chair of WMU's Department of Manufacturing Engineering and director of its Manufacturing Research Center. He earned a doctorate in mechanical precision engineering. His other areas of interest include nanotechnology, computer integrated manufacturing, and electric vehicles. He is personally committed to the use of alternative and renewable energy, and his self-funded wind turbine lab is meant to serve as an important site demonstration for the potential of wind energy in Michigan.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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