HARTFORD – The University of Connecticut’s Steven Suib received the 2011 Connecticut Medal of Science for his work in the fields of catalysis and materials science over the past 30 years.
Suib is head of UConn’s chemistry department and is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. His work involves synthesis of novel porous semiconductors used to make new chemicals for use in lithium batteries and oil spills, among other applications. He and his team are investigating ways reduce greenhouse gases and develop alternative energy sources using carbon dioxide, itself a greenhouse gas.
His team is also working with VeruTEK Technologies Inc., to clean up contaminated industrial and commercial properties and landfills using microemulsion catalysis that converts hazardous compounds into harmless materials. He also is researching synthesis of high temperature ceramic fiber composites used for aircraft engine parts.
He has collaborated with companies such as United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand, Olin, Yardney Technical Products, Pfizer and others.
The Connecticut Medal of Science is the state’s highest honor for scientists and engineers. Suib is the award’s sixth recipient.
HARTFORD — Illinois-based online encyclopedia and reference guide Juggle.com has given Hartford.gov its Top Local Government Website Award, citing its use of Web technology to provide overviews of local programs and businesses in the community, and its easy access to usable information.
Juggle.com editors evaluated government Web sites on functionality and usability, timely content, access to e-government services and technological innovation.
“Popularity within our site changes in accordance with seasonal demands,” Hartford communications director Sarah Barr said. “If it is tax time, the finance pages are the most used. If it is back to school, Hartford.gov is the go-to portal to get to our school system’s Web site. We highlight parking bans, so if there is a snowstorm, we are an outlet for that information as well.”
Hartford’s spotlight at Juggle is located at juggle.com/hartford-connecticut-top-city-government-website.
Cox Communications is now offering wireless mobile phone service in Connecticut this month as part of its bundled services, which include cable television, Internet and landline telephone service.
Three Cox Wireless Solution stores opened in Manchester, Meriden and Enfield this month that sell mobile phone handsets, contracts and other services.
Cox will offer two-year mobile phone contracts started at about $30 per month, and will provide cash back for unused minutes up to $20 per month.
“Our primary audience is our existing customer base,” spokeswoman Amy Quinn said. Those who have at least one service with Cox are eligible for the bundle benefit. Those who add wireless service to their bundle will be eligible for upgrades to their cable television, Internet or home phone services.
“One of the reasons cable companies are jumping into the wireless market is because of 4G data capabilities, and video is a key driver,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of the market research firm NPD Group.
According to industry reports, Cox will use CDMA technology and its own wireless spectrum covering 76 percent of its wireline services area. It will use Sprint/Nextel’s networks on a roaming agreement for the rest of the coverage.
Cox is the first cable provider to launch wireless phone services, which debuted last year in California, Nebraska and Virginia. Along with Connecticut, the company is also launching service in Providence, R.I., and Cleveland.
BETHEL — Bethel-based Bite-Lite has debuted mosquito-repelling candles that use new "Cloak & Scatter" technology developed by Bedoukian Research Inc. of Danbury. The candles were debuted at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.
Bite-Lite’s candles use a proprietary blend of essential oils designed to attack mosquito sensors and hide human users from insects the same way animals in the wild use natural scents to attack or deter pests. The company intends the candles to be a natural alternative to chemical or Citronella mosquito repellant methods.
Bite-Lite candles will be sold in stores and through its website, bite-lite.com.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced his co-sponsorship of the PROTECT IP (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property) Act of 2011 to crack down on websites selling counterfeit goods and illegally streaming media. The proposal includes a provision allowing rights holders to directly enforce violations of their intellectual property rights.
“While the Internet has revolutionized the way we do business, it is imperative that our laws keep pace with online commerce to crack down on unscrupulous criminals who flagrantly violate copyright law at the expense of American consumers and businesses,” Blumenthal said.
The PROTECT IP Act is supported by numerous businesses, creative industry associations and unions across the country, in hopes it would protect both consumers and jobs from the effects of property infringement.
The industry estimates that copyright infringement and the sale of counterfeit goods online has cost American creators and producers billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. One problem for law enforcements is that many of the sites in question are foreign-owned and outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement.
As a U.S. senator, Blumenthal is following up on his scolding of Google as Connecticut’s Attorney General for the collection and use of wireless data from millions across the world during operation of its Street View program.
Blumenthal referred to patents filed by Google going back to 2008 that describe a process of pinpointing locations of wireless routers by intercepting data transmitted by users over unsecured networks. He said the data collection and storage companies like Google and Apple employ to build and refine wireless network maps should be done with consent.
“For three years, Google intercepted and collected bits of user information, payload data — e-mails, passwords, browsing history and other personal information — while driving around taking pictures of people’s homes on the streets in the Street View program,” said Blumenthal. “The company first denied that it was collecting this information…and then it denied that it was collecting it intentionally.”
Blumenthal has called for Google to disclose whether information was obtained illegally and what its plans are for the data. He also wants customers to have the ability to refuse sharing personal information.
The citations for the patent applications are U.S. Patent Application 20100020776 and International Publication No. WO 2010/044872.
New Apple store a-building next to Barnes & Noble
NEW HAVEN — Just about the trendiest bricks-and-mortal retail destination anywhere, an Apple store is coming to Broadway.
Yale is embarking on a $5 million renovation of 65-77 Broadway, which is owned by University Properties. Until February the building was occupied by Barnes & Noble, which continues to operate the Yale Bookstore next door at 77 Broadway.
Although at press time neither Apple Computer nor Yale have confirmed the opening or location of the store, the Apple website list job openings including “store leader” (equivalent to store manager) and “manager” (assistant manager) for “New Haven 06511,” which corresponds to the ZIP code of Broadway. Apple also has Connecticut stores in Danbury Fair Mall, Farmington’s Westfarms Mall, Stamford and Greenwich, among 323 stores worldwide, according to Apple Computer’s most recent quarterly report.
The work is being done by Shawmut Construction, a Boston company that has constructed a number of Apple stores, including their flagship outlet in New York City. The architect for the project is Seattle-based Callison, LLC.
BERLIN — Four municipalities and a global financial services leader are joining with Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) to install charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), as part of a research project with CL&P parent Northeast Utilities (NU).
NU’s press release says that “Approximately 20 municipalities and businesses served by CL&P are expected to participate in the research effort.”
Early signers-on include UBS in Stamford, the city of Torrington and the towns of Westport and Mansfield. West Hartford is expected to join the project shortly and will install and maintain EV-charging equipment.
“We’ve worked hard to make Connecticut an early market for electric vehicles, so we’re excited to launch New England’s first comprehensive, hands-on EV study,” said Jeff Butler, CL&P’s president and chief operating officer. “By gathering information from municipal and business customers, we can gain tangible experience to help guide future decisions about our infrastructure, our policies and how we will ultimately serve all of our customers as EVs become more common.”
Said Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham: "It's the technology of the future and it's a great opportunity that comes to us at a very minimal cost. It may also give someone who lives locally the incentive to purchase an electric vehicle."
NU has already installed charging stations at company offices in Berlin and Hartford as well as Springfield, Mass. and Manchester, N.H. Additionally, NU’s Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECo) has one customer site installed and another planned.
“By year-end, we expect to have a network of more than 30 charging stations in place and generating detailed meter data,” said Watson Collins, EV project manager for NU. “We’ll have a robust picture of away-from-home charging levels, to study along with home-based use as more EV drivers recharge overnight.”
The NU companies are also testing Chevy Volts in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, Calif., according to Collins. “It’s all about understanding how EV recharging impacts the electric utility system under a variety of conditions,” he added.
STORRS — After graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1992 with a BS in computer science and engineering, Timothy (Scott) Case went on to become a co-founder of Priceline.com and its chief technology officer. Now Case is president of the Startup America Partnership. Case returns to UConn as keynote speaker at Connecting Opportunities: Driving Innovation through University Resources May 25. Sponsored by the Connecticut Venture Group, the Association for Corporate Growth, Connecticut chapter and the Connecticut Technology Council, the event seeks to bring together entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators and R&D professionals. Breakout sessions will include presentations from early state companies Nzymsys and MysticMD.
Nzymsys has developed proteins to catalyze the breakup of molds, odors and stains without the use of “toxic hydrocarbons and bacteriostats” that may pose a harm to the environment
MysticMD is an advanced materials company “developing proprietary nano-coatings and nano-films to dramatically improve products, making them better, less expensive and easier to manufacture.”
Other breakouts will include ventures allied with Pratt & Whitney and Danbury pharmaceutical giant Boehringer-Ingelheim.
The event will include a networking reception and has a fee of $50 for non- sponsor group members and $40 for members. Students attend free. For more information visit cvg.org.
Connecticut was well represented at the Fuel Cell Expo, the “world’s largest international exhibition specializing in hydrogen and fuel cell technology” in Tokyo, Japan March 2-4. The Nutmeg State exhibit was manned by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) and the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development.
The event attracted 90,000 attendees. CCAT exhibited in the U.S. pavilion along with Avalence, LLC of Milford, and UTC Power of South Windsor.
CCAT has been gathering data on the hydrogen and fuel cell industry in the Northeast region, which includes Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York. According to CCAT’s energy director, Joel Rinebold, “Preliminary findings indicate that the industry is comprised of 25 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that employ over 2,200 workers, and over 1,000 companies in the OEM supply chain.”
For more information about CCAT’s role regarding Connecticut’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry, visit chfcc.org or NEESC.org.
The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest single user of energy in the U.S., accounting for almost one percent of total U.S. energy consumption with approximately one-half of this energy consumption in the form of jet fuel — approximately 250,000 barrels per day.
Now the DoD is examining alternative fuels including coal-to-liquids (CTL) technology, a technology that has been used since the 1920s. The South African government used this technology to obtain fuel during the embargoes imposed by countries in opposition to apartheid.
The DoD and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) have partnered with Arcadis-Malcolm Pirnie and Avetec to assemble a team of “subject matter experts” from the federal Department of Energy, Harvard University, MIT, University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, Yale University.
Environmentalists have expressed concerns about the large amount of carbon dioxide released by conversion. In response the team is seeking experts in carbon capture, sequestration and reuse.