Ing. Robert N. Farrugia of the Institute
for Energy Technology has just returned from a three-months Fulbright Scholarship
funded by the United States Department of State and the University of Malta,
with the support of the University's International Office and the Embassy
of the United States of America in Malta.
This grant enabled him to extend his applied wind research with the College of Integrated Science & Technology (CISAT) at James Madison University, Virginia. Over this period, Ing. Farrugia was instrumental in reinforcing JMU's drive in favour of wind power as a renewable energy resource. This research supported a number of wind initiatives currently being administered by CISAT. These included the State Based Anemometer Loan Program, the Wind Powering America Initiative, the Small Wind for Virginia Now proposal, and last but not least, a bid to install JMU's own grid-connected wind turbine for the University campus. These projects are sponsored by the US Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Ing. Farrugia applied his expertise in
wind data verification, archiving and database procedures as well as site
characterisation using computer simulation. He also collaborated
on a number of wind mast installs in Virginia. During the course
of his work he delivered occasional lectures and participated in exhibitions
and discussions aimed at generating more awareness in that same State.
A number of papers are pending publication as fruit of these efforts.
His final presentation entitled "Fostering Collaborative Efforts in Wind
Energy" was well attended and received. This scholarship has enabled
reinforcement of the existing technical and social ties between the two
institutions and is envisaged to generate new means of cooperation between
the two Universities in the near future. JMU already has an
established summer program in Malta, coordinated by the Foundation for
International Studies, in which several University centres and departments
collaborate. More information relating to the respective wind initiatives
may be accessed at: http://www.jmu.edu/sbalp/