Oregon Institute of Technology announced Tuesday that it has appointed Dr. Mason Terry to lead the Oregon Renewable Energy Center (OREC) as its new director, according to a news release.
Although Oregon Tech has operated OREC mainly through grants since 2001, one-time funding provided by the Oregon legislature in 2017 has enabled OREC to expand into the applied research center it was created to be.
“We are grateful to our Legislature and the Governor for investing in the future of Oregon’s workforce. Oregon’s economy, particularly its rural areas, calls for the education and training of student entrepreneurs who learn in real-world laboratories and classrooms, creating an innovation culture that has a direct and positive return for all Oregonians,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, president of Oregon Tech.
A graduate of Oregon Tech, Terry worked as a lead of global researchers for DuPont, formerly Innovalight. His Ph.D. is in photovoltaic and renewable energy engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He also has an M.S. in electrical engineering from University of Washington and earned a bachelor of science in electronics engineering technology from Oregon Tech.
In his new role, Terry will support the key goals of OREC: energy generation, talent development, and applied research and technical assistance for companies and communities.
“I’m very excited to expand the reach of OREC through funding and grants,” said Terry. “This allows OREC to continue to support engineering education in the form of renewable energy labs, student projects and faculty-led applied research projects. I also plan to engage with Oregon Tech geothermal experts such as Dr. John Lund, Dr. James Zipay, and Dr. Eklas Hossain to expand OREC’s involvement in ongoing campus projects. There are also many opportunities to collaborate with the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center and I look forward to the partnerships that can be built.”
OREC was established in 2001 to integrate renewable energy technologies into energy systems for use by businesses and consumers. OREC works with faculty and students to conduct applied research, provide education and technical assistance, and work with industry and electric utilities in Oregon and the region.
“A lot of states, including Oregon, already have or are implementing a mandate for businesses to supply a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources,” said Terry. “States are taking the lead on a lot of the renewable energy demand and expanding the renewable aspect of how businesses operate. The more we collaborate with businesses to understand their needs at this point, the better prepared we are, and Oregon Tech students are, to respond to the demand that is being built.”
The state of Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement is to achieve 50 percent renewables to meet the state’s electricity by 2040.