Kansas State University


A new environmentally friendly stormwater demonstration and training project is coming to Kansas State University.

Faculty and students at Kansas State will create “living laboratories” to monitor wet weather runoff at two campus sites… the rain garden at the university's International Student Center and a meadow near the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

The idea is to treat stormwater as a resource rather than a waste.

This “green infrastructure” project will use vegetation, soils, and natural processes to create sustainable stormwater management.

Jack Pearce, flickr Creative Commons

Researchers from Kansas, Michigan and Nebraska are modifying an oilseed for use as a potential diesel replacement.

Their work on Camelina sativa is focused on lowering its viscosity essentially, its resistance to flowing. Plant oils typically have a high enough viscosity that they build up in engines, limiting their use as petroleum product replacement, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

AgriLife Today (agrilifetoday) / Flickr.

Two Kansas State University researchers are developing a type of wheat that will tolerate hotter temperatures as the grain is developing.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that problem is kernels start to shrivel if temperatures are too high--the wheat grains begin to fill out. That happens in May and June in Kansas.

The transgenic wheat contains genetic material into which DNA from an unrelated organism has been artificially introduced.

In this case, the researchers added genetic material from rice to wheat.

First Amendment expert Mike Merriam says K-State's heavily redacted 11-page response to a newspaper's open records request highlights shortcomings in the state's open records law.

The Topeka Capital-Journal filed a request seeking more information on the process that went into crafting Governor Sam Brownback's budget proposal. The newspaper asked for all emails between K-State's Institute for Commercialization President Kent Glasscock and state budget director Shawn Sullivan from November through late January.

Sean Sandefur

Originally aired 9-12-14

Next week, the Kansas Board of Regents will examine the results of general education assessments, which evaluate communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills of current and former students throughout its system. This is the first time that state-supported universities, community colleges and technical schools have been required to provide these numbers to the board. This data has the potential to affect new state funding for these institutions.

Kansas State University officials say personal information from applicants for its graduate program in agronomy might have been exposed on the Internet.

The university says it notified 19 people yesterday who applied for the program between 2010 and 2013 about the possible problem, which did not involve outside hackers.

Information from 56 other applicants was exposed , but the school said that information wasn't likely to result in credit fraud.

Spokesman Jeff Morris says the error happened when student information was being moved into a central management system.

Kansas State University is considering a $150 million research facility that would focus on food and complement the planned National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility adjacent to the university.

K-State President Kirk Schulz has requested $5 million in state funding for next year to begin planning the Food Systems Research and Education Facility.

They discussed the proposal briefly at a Kansas Board of Regents budget session Thursday. Schulz says the project might be years down the road, but he wants to get legislators and other state officials familiar with the request.

Construction is underway in Salina on a new research center devoted to the science of moving and mixing bulk solids such as pellets, granules, powder and grain.

The Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center will be among only a few in the world. It’s a partnership of the city, the university and two Salina-based companies that design and make equipment for handling bulk materials.

Kansas State University has received a patent for a substance that helps convert straw and other grasses into a cleaner-burning fuel.

The patent was issued to the university's research foundation.

Kansas State says two former faculty members developed a substance that can be used in the production of syn-gas.

Syn-gas can be burned for energy and used to generate electricity.

However, converting biomass to syn-gas creates tar.

Research foundation vice president Marcia Molina says the newly developed substance is more effective at removing that tar.

Kansas State University researchers are working on a spacesuit that could monitor astronauts' health and use body heat to power electronics.

A team of students and professors are working with a model space suit.

It's made of several layers of material, including metalized fabrics, to model the layers in suits that protect astronauts and keep them warm.

University researchers say batteries are too dangerous to place in a spacesuit's oxygen-rich environment, so the team is developing new energy harvesting methods to gather energy.