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Dr. Tomasz Wiltowski, director of the Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center at SIU, discusses the future of coal and energy.

CARBONDALE — A faculty member and leading scholar in energy technology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will serve on a national advisory organization dealing with the future of coal.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry invited Tomasz Wiltowski, professor of mechanical engineering and energy processes, to serve on the National Coal Council.

Wiltowski, who also serves as director of the Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center at SIU, said he is honored to have been selected to serve on the council.

“Serving on this council would give me the opportunity to build new avenues for coal utilization that are environmentally acceptable,” he said. “But also, what is important from my perspective is to represent SIU across the nation in a positive and productive way.”

SIU’s Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center assists faculty, students and others in the campus research community in engaging in advanced coal and energy-related research and service opportunities as it looks for long-term, environmentally friendly solutions to energy needs.

Chartered in 1984, the council makes recommendations on the coal industry and the future of coal to the energy secretary. In a letter to Wiltowski, Perry said he is appointing him to represent the viewpoints of academics involved in research “relating to coal characterization and its transformation to value-added chemicals and materials.”

“The work of the council is extremely important to the nation, and I’m certain you will find your association with this organization both challenging and productive,” Perry wrote.

Members of the council serve without compensation and are to recuse themselves from any potential financial conflict of interest.

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