Science Communicators of NC (SCONC) Pizza Lunch Sept 25

Please join us for our first SCONC co-organized pizza lunch at Sigma Xi!

The first pizza lunch of this season is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25, starting at noon.  Sukanta Basu, associate professor in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at NC State, will speak about wind power and his associated research.  An abstract of his talk is below.

Thanks to a grant from the N.C. Biotechnology Center, American Scientist’s noontime Pizza Lunch speaker series is free and open to science journalists and science communicators of all stripes, as well as any interested member of the public. Feel free to forward this message to anyone who might want to attend. RSVPs are required (for the slice count) to

Directions to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, in RTP are here:

FYI, pizza lunches will follow on October 9 and November 29, for your advanced scheduling.

See you then!

Fenella Saunders
Managing Editor

American Scientist, the magazine of
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
3106 E. NC Highway 54
P.O. Box 13975
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3975

PS – If you received this notice as a forward from someone else and want to be put on the email list for notifications of upcoming pizza lunches, please include in your RSVP that you want to be added to the pizza lunch list. We don’t automatically sign up attendees for emails. We don’t send any emails to this list other than for pizza lunches, and we never share email addresses with anyone else.

Addressing a few Emergent Challenges in Wind Power Meteorology

The two prominent challenges facing society today – energy and the environment – hardly need any introduction. In response to these issues, and spurred by economic considerations, the growth of wind energy is expected to remain robust well into the future. According to American Wind Energy Association, the cumulative wind power capacity installations in the US increased by 72% in the past three years. By 2030, wind power is anticipated to support 500,000 new jobs and save consumers $128 billion while reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 140 million automobiles off the road.

While this is encouraging news, numerous challenges are also surfacing in many spheres of wind power meteorology. For instance: (i) we now undoubtedly need higher accuracy and better reliability in wind resource assessment and turbine micro-siting in view of the fact that the next-generation wind farms will likely be developed over complex terrains; (ii) our capability of short-term wind forecasting ought to be significantly improved in order to transform intermittent wind into not only an alternative energy source but a profitable one; and (iii) future turbine design codes must include critical atmospheric events such as low-level jets to avoid premature fatigue failures.

My research group tries to address some of these emergent challenges by synergistically combining new-generation modeling approaches (e.g., large-eddy simulation), observational techniques (e.g., sodar), satellite remote sensing, and by borrowing a suite of tools from the field of complex systems. In this presentation, I present a mÈlange of ongoing research projects ranging from multi-physics ensemble forecasting of wind to offshore wind resource assessment, and from large-eddy simulation of low-level jets to synthetic inflow generation for wind turbine design.