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Research Projects

The Regional Research Institute occupies a unique position on the WVU campus. While limited in research staff, its activities and influence extend across a large number of disciplines, colleges and research units. The core research staff includes the Director, a Research Associate Professor, a Research Assistant Professor, a Post-doctoral Research Fellow, and several Graduate Research Assistants. All RRI staff members are expected to participate in external funding activities, including the preparation and submission of external funding proposals and the conduct of funded research. The RRI strives to include faculty from across campus in collaborative research proposals initiated in-house and also participates, whenever appropriate and possible, in initiatives centered elsewhere. Likewise, we seek to build relationships with researchers from other institutions, including continuing collaborations with scholars at other institutions, which have included the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie-Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Washington in Seattle, George Mason University, Florida International University, Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Arizona State University and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Current Sponsored Research:

ARC Coal Industry Ecosystem (CIE) Analysis Extensions: Prospectus

Researchers: Randall Jackson, Peter Jarosi, John Deskins, Eric Bowen, Christiadi, Brian Lego, Heather Stephens, Elham Erfanian, West Virginia University;  Jilleah G. Welch, Matthew N. Murray, University of Tennessee

Start Date: July 1, 2019
End Date: September 30, 2020
Funding Agency: ARC, $500,000

Project Summary:

This project focuses on Appalachian coal-based employment, production data and forecasts using tables, maps, and diagrams. Through a conventional shift-share analysis on a subset of high-interest counties, the researchers will identify the unique characteristics of structural economic change in these regions and will perform an analysis for implementing a power industry ecosystem. Existing industrial clusters for five county or multi-county regions will be examined to identify industries and clusters with high potential for economic development in each region and while also evaluating gaps and strengths for these clusters  using location quotients, shift-share methods, and input-output methods. This project will also support the investigation of states’ efforts to empower treatment and recovery programs.To help the region target scarce resources to support regional prosperity, researchers will look at which industries or occupations contribute more to regional growth.

Economic Analysis of Natural Gas Markets

Researchers: Randall W. Jackson, John Deskins and Eric Bowen.

Start Date: May 1, 2019
End Date: December 31, 2019
Funding Agency: NETL, $15,255 (RRI portion $3,902)

Project Summary:

To enable the continued expansion of production of natural gas, oil and NGLs, additional infrastructure will be necessary. Market awareness and company awareness, along with detailed analysis shall support a better understanding of the potential for sustained or increased production of natural gas,oil and NGLs. We will discuss the potential for economic growth within the Appalachian region, including growth of natural as development, petrochemical and other related industries.

Marcellus Shale Energy Environmental Laboratory (MSEEL)

Researchers: WVU and The Ohio State University

Start Date: November 2014
End Date: Ongoing (5 year project)
Funding Agency: DOE/NETL and Northeast Natural Energy $7,770,226

Project Summary:

This information is taken from WVUToday.

“As the Appalachian Region feels the impact of the burgeoning shale-energy industry, a consortium of researchers and industrial partners led by West Virginia University, with the assistance of The Ohio State University, will conduct the first-ever long-term, comprehensive field study of a natural resource that has changed the country’s – and the world’s – energy supply. The team will identify and demonstrate technologies required for best practices in environmentally responsible shale development, from drilling to completion through production. The U.S. Department of Energy will allow the research team to create and manage the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory, a field site and dedicated research laboratory at the Morgantown Industrial Park. The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory will allow the team to address critical gaps of knowledge of the characterization, basic subsurface science, and completion and stimulation strategies that enable more efficient resource recovery from fewer wells with reduced environmental impact. The primary objectives of the project include providing a long-term research site with an existing well and documented production and environment baseline from two previously completed wells. A dedicated scientific-observation well will be used to collect detailed subsurface data and to monitor and test technologies in additional wells to be drilled periodically over the project lifetime. The site also offers a unique opportunity to enable an open, collaborative and integrated program of science and technology development and testing to minimize environmental impacts while maximizing economic benefits.”

ECIO Python Port and Updates: Supplements 2, 3, & 4

Researchers: Randall Jackson (PI) and Peter Jarosi, RRI West Virginia University.

Start Date: 1/1/2018
End Date:   12/31/2019
Funding Agency: NETL, $247,125

Project Summary:

Update the Python based ECIO tool and employ it to provide economic impact assessments of shock-cases relative to reference cases.The ECIO model will be used to evaluate the economic impacts of potential coal power plant retirements and the potential impacts of extending the life of existing units based on NEMS forecasts. The updates will include the following tasks:

  • Regional Modeling enhancements: Development and implementation of regional impacts forecasts
  • Development and implementation of region-specific power generation technology mix enhancements
  • ECIO Model Documentation