Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons has appointed University Associate Professor Hatice Gecol as his energy/science adviser and director of the Nevada State Office of Energy.
Gecol has been with the University for nearly seven years and is well-known in her field for her research in biodiesel fuels. Her work with alternative energy programs brought her national recognition from the EPA and other organizations seeking new technology solutions.
The professor has demonstrated her process to produce clean-burning diesel fuel from waste cooking oil and bio-mass produced ethanol to many organizations and companies. University shuttle buses and other vehicles have used biodiesel, and that work has been funded in part by both the EPA and Washoe County.
A press release from the Governor's office notes that Gecol will serve on the Governor's executive staff and will advise him on all aspects of energy policy and development. She will also work closely with the Nevada Department of Energy to promote greater energy independence throughout the state.
A recipient of 10 research grants, Gecol has extensive knowledge in alternative energy development. In Nevada, a predominant number of the grants she received focused on developing and implementing a novel biodiesel production technology and biodiesel feedstocks, studies for NOx emission reduction and the conversion of the campus fleet at the University of Nevada, Reno from Petroleum Diesel to B20 Biodiesel.
Gecol's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey; Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO and a Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.
While she serves as the Governor's energy advisor, Gecol will be on leave from her position as an associate professor in the department of chemical & metallurgical engineering. She will still be involved in her research projects that are continuing and may teach a course at the University during the fall semester.