Highlights from BYU Colleges: BYU researchers use dead trees as biomass for power plants, journalism professor on how to seek heavenly help

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College of Life Sciences

BYU chemical engineering professor Andrew Fry, along with other BYU researchers have developed a new way to convert dead trees into fuel that can be used in coal power plants. (College of Life Sciences)

Bark beetles that burrow and reproduce under the bark of trees can eventually cause the tree to die. The increase of the deaths of trees is a contributing factor to wildfires becoming more prominent and prevalent in the Western United States, as dead trees are the perfect fuel for wildfires.

In order to solve the problem, BYU chemical engineering professor Andrew Fry, along with other BYU researchers have developed a new way to convert the dead trees into fuel that can be used in coal power plants.

“This project is really useful from two perspectives: if we can reduce the woodland fire potential and offset some carbon emissions, it has more advantages,” Fry said.

College of Humanities

BYU College of Humanities Language Assessment Coordinator Dave Nielsen received the Patriot award on Feb. 4 from the United States Department of Defense.

This award is presented to employers and supervisors who have been nominated by Service members of the National Guard Reserve for going above and beyond to support the employed Service member and their family.

“As employers, it’s really hard when you have to send an employee to school weekends, or when they are deployed for a year or two, and you have to have somebody to replace them. We’re grateful because of the support from BYU,” said Command Sergeant Major Randy Edwards, who attended the award ceremony as a representative for the Utah Department of Defense to present the award.

According to Nielsen’s students, the BYU professor makes his lessons interactive, always gives helpful suggestions, and makes them better people.

“We present awards like this quite often down here because a lot of your students are deployed and you really do take care of our veterans,” Edwards said.

College of Fine Arts and Communications

BYU journalism professor Kris Boyle gives a presentation on encompassing the attributes of faith, action, sacrifice and love, to enable access to the power of God. (College of Fine Arts and Communications)

BYU journalism professor Kris Boyle shared life experiences about times he faced challenges and how the Lord was alongside him through them all.

On Feb. 3, Boyle spoke at the Faith + Works Lecture Series about “Harnessing the Power of the Lord in Our Educational Journey.”

Some of the shared experiences include when Boyle’s father passed away and he later received a letter from his father’s kidney recipient, a trip to the Colombian island of San Andres where they shared love among the youth they worked with, and a visit to upstate New York to celebrate the First Vision.

“As we are willing to do the Lord’s work at BYU, He will make it so we will not be weary. He will make it so we will not faint,” Boyle said. “On occasion, we don’t have all the answers, we won’t be able to see the end from the beginning but instead, we need to step out of the light into the darkness, trusting that He will be there to guide us.”

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