Posts Tagged ‘Michael Newtown’

New SUNY Canton Grant Funded Research May Help Offset High Home-Heating Costs

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced new grant funding designated for wood pellet boiler research following an application by SUNY Canton.

Skylar P. Reynolds of Ogdensburg loads wood pellets into the hopper of a large wood pellet boiler.

Skylar P. Reynolds of Ogdensburg loads wood pellets into the hopper of a large wood pellet boiler.

Rural residents in upstate New York may be able to offset the high cost of fossil fuels by implementing new wood pellet boilers with large-capacity feeding capabilities.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced a $163,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for SUNY Canton to measure the efficiency of automatic-feeding wood pellet boilers.

“We will study all aspects of the combustion process of wood pellets and can determine how efficient a heating appliance will be when installed for residential or commercial use,” said Michael J. Newtown, interim dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “A component of this grant is to demonstrate the long term efficiencies and emissions from heating with wood pellets.”

Newtown and Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former Dean Arthur G. Hurlbut filed the grant to demonstrate how pellet boilers could replace conventional fuel-oil furnaces. Fuel oil costs have spiked recently and can cost in excess of $4 a gallon in some areas. It would take approximately $1.70 in wood pellets to produce equivalent heat of a gallon of fuel oil, approximately 130,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs), according to Hurlbut.

“We are setting up three boiler systems as demonstration sites at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Canton,” Hurlbut said. “One of the units we are installing will automatically vacuum feed the pellets into a hopper, making it as convenient to maintain as a fuel-oil boiler.”

The grant was designed to deliver findings to the public, including the benefits of heating with pelletized wood over traditional cordwood. Wood pellets are manufactured locally by Massena-based Curran Renewable Energy and can be delivered in bulk to the end user, similar to current delivery methods for fuel-oil users. Bulk pellets are easier for a consumer to use than conventional cordwood, because they take up less space and the large-capacity machines require fewer refills.

Nathan M. Christy of Canton and John C. Johnson of DeKalb test the emissions of a wood pellet boiler in SUNY Canton’s Harry E. King Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Laboratory.

Nathan M. Christy of Canton and John C. Johnson of DeKalb test the emissions of a wood pellet boiler in SUNY Canton’s Harry E. King Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Laboratory.

The College has previously tested the buildings for energy efficiency using Building Performance Institute energy audits. All three structures will respond similarly to many homes in the North Country. Heating costs from previous years are also available, so the demonstration will show actual savings. The heating systems can be monitored remotely and data findings will be made public.

Newtown and Hurlbut previously studied the combustion of switch grass pellets in pellet-burning stoves based on a 2009 NYSERDA grant. Two journal articles were published based on the findings in Energy and Fuels, an American Chemical Society publication.


About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier College for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The College delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management, and public service to students in the North Country, New York State, and beyond. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete in state-of-the-art facilities as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.

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SUNY Canton Receives National Recognition for Environmental Program

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

SUNY Canton joins Stanford, Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth as most environmentally friendly in U.S. 

SUNY Canton has been ranked among the top 50 colleges in the nation that are committed to saving the planet, according to a list published by The Online College Database website.

The list highlights schools that offer innovative academic programs aimed at preparing students for future environmental challenges. SUNY Canton’s four-year Alternative and Renewable Energy Systems program within the Canino School of Engineering Technology was specifically recognized for its appeal to technical students who are interested in pursuing a career in clean energy.

Students installing a solar panel.

Pictured are Paul E. Todd of Canton and Molly K. MacNeill of Potsdam installing solar panels for a class in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Systems program at SUNY Canton.

“The Alternative and Renewable Energy Systems program was launched in 2006 and focuses on imparting skills that allow students to respond to the dynamic needs of the alternative energy market,” said Interim Dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology Michael J. Newtown. “Students learn about the best way to employ wind, solar, geothermal and other emerging sources of energy.”

SUNY Canton was ranked 26thon the list and joins an elite group of schools, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Penn State University, Harvard University, Yale University and Dartmouth College.

“Tons of colleges have environmental science courses and programs,” said Wes Ricketts, vice president and general manager of The College Database. “However, those on our list stand out not only for unique concentration and scopeOnline College Database, but also for going beyond the classroom, turning lessons learned into long-term, life-changing results.”

The campus has pursued other ways to become more environmentally friendly through energy conservation and recycling efforts. The Grasse River Suites residence hall, the Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center, and the renovated Nevaldine Technology Center South received LEED Silver certification, and the College is developing a plan to build a wind turbine that would provide electricity to the campus.

“The College has been focusing on sustainability for several years, and it is gratifying to be recognized for our efforts,” said SUNY Canton Acting President Joseph C. Hoffman. “With the construction of a wind turbine in the works, we are hoping to continue to be the sustainability leaders in the SUNY System and beyond.”

The entire list of colleges can be found at

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SUNY Canton Schedules Public Forum on Proposed Wind Turbine Project, April 16

Monday, April 1st, 2013

SUNY Canton will host the first of three public informational sessions discussing a proposed wind turbine on the College campus beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s Intramural Gym.

The College openly invites the public, and refreshments will be served.

wind turbineThe College, in consultation with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Sustainable Energy Developments (SED), is considering the construction of a wind turbine that would provide electricity to the campus and provide support for academic programming, including Alternative and Renewable Energy Systems and Electrical Engineering Technology.

Representatives from SUNY Canton departments of Facilities and Planning and Public Relations will join Northland Associates, NYPA and SED to answer questions about the scope, purpose and outcomes of the proposed project. Additionally, Michael J. Newtown, Interim Dean of the School of Engineering Technology will speak about the educational benefits of having a wind turbine on campus.

From 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, two balloons will be floated at the proposed wind turbine location on campus to show its scale. The balloons will be representing the maximum height of the structure at the tip of a blade extending vertically, the other representing the position of the center of the blades. If weather conditions prohibit the balloon float on the 16th, the balloons will be floated at another time, according to SED.

Parking will be available in Lots 1 and 13. For directions, please refer to the campus maps

For further information, please contact the SUNY Canton office of Public Relations at 315-386-7300 or email

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SUNY Canton Honors Convocation Named for Former Dean

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Arthur G. Hurlbut of Canton will be the special guest at the College’s annual award ceremony and Scholarly Activity Celebration during the first week of May.

The 2011 SUNY Canton Honors Convocation has been named for a former Canino School of Engineering Technology dean who helped instill the College’s career-driven educational values.

The Arthur G. Hurlbut Honors Convocation will be held at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s Intramural Gym. More than 125 students will be honored for academic success and outstanding achievement at the event. Hurlbut will also be a guest speaker at the Scholarly Activities Celebration, with presentations beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 5, in the Kingston Theater, and a poster and artwork presentation beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, May 6, in the Southworth Library. All events are free and open to the public.

“Art helped students launch their careers straight out of college as both a professor and a dean in the Canino School of Engineering Technology,” noted Interim Provost Linda D. Pellett. “He assisted with or helped create several of the College’s four-year degrees, including the popular alternative and renewable energy systems program.”

Hurlbut is a 1965 Alumnus of SUNY Canton. He continued his education at Clarkson University earning his bachelor’s degree in 1969, master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1970, and his Ph.D. in engineering science in 1985. He was hired by the late Distinguished Professor Emeritus Harry E. King to work in the air conditioning engineering technology program in 1973.

Pictured is Distinguished Professor Emeritus and 2011 SUNY Canton Honors Convocation Namesake Arthur G. Hurlbut in his family-run sugar shack. Art and his son Andy run Hurlbut’s Maple Products in Canton.

“Art was one of the most dedicated well-liked faculty members in our school,” noted Michael J. Newtown, director of the alternative and renewable energy systems program. “He was always available to assist his students outside of class. Over the years he developed many industrial contacts to ensure excellent job placement for students after graduation.”

His educational philosophy was to make sure his students understood both the theory and the practical application of the subject matter. He emphasized open communications and teamwork while students created their professional projects. “As I was teaching, I was always learning,” Hurlbut said. “I learned a lot from my professional colleagues, the college’s administrators, and the students. I’m humbled to be recognized alongside the students at Honors Convocation.”

Hurlbut received the SUNY Canton Distinguished Faculty Award in 2002, and the E.K. Campbell Award of Merit from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc., (ASHRAE) in 2006.

He also advised SUNY Canton’s ASHRAE student chapter and the heating and air conditioning club. He co-advised the Beta Mu Chapter of the Tau Alpha Pi Engineering Technology National Honor Society.

Hurlbut’s community involvement matched his exemplary service to the College. He shared his expertise as a consultant with many local architects and has volunteered design work for SUNY Canton, the Canton Pavilion, Canton Central School, the Canton Library, Cooperative Extension Learning Center, and 4-H Camp Overlook. He designed and installed the air conditioning system in the College’s Alumni House on Stillman Drive.

Art lives in Canton with his wife, Diane. They have three grown children, Andrew, David, and Kimberly Trombly, and one newborn grandson, Noah Trombly. He enjoys maple sugaring, piloting his own plane, snowmobiling, hunting, and camping.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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SUNY Canton Experts Offer Building Analyst Trainings

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Click image to enlarge

Faculty experts from SUNY Canton’s Alternative and Renewable Energy Systems program will be providing valuable Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified Building Analyst training, beginning Feb. 23 in Watertown.

“Every building works as a system,” said Michael J. Newtown, an Assistant Professor in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Systems program and BPI Instructor. “We show contractors why some homes fail, why some excel, and how to resolve residential heating and cooling problems.”

Newtown said that the training uses a “whole house” performance-based approach with the end result of a more comfortable, safe, and durable home.

Upcoming SUNY Canton BPI trainings include courses beginning at:

  • 3 p.m., Feb. 23, at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Watertown.
  • 9 a.m., March 2, at ComLinks in Malone.
  • 9 a.m., March 15, at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh.
  • 3 p.m., April 19, at SUNY Canton.

Newtown and his staff of highly trained professionals will also be offering Envelope Professional training beginning at 9 a.m. April 5 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Watertown.

“The knowledge contained in the BPI trainings make contractors more marketable to prospective clients,” Newtown said. “As end consumers look to save money and be ‘greener,’ building efficiency is becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.”

The BPI training includes 24 hours of classroom instruction and 12 hours of field training. Topics include identifying building performance problems such as ice dams, air quality issues, calculating energy consumption and analysis, and analyzing buildings using “blower door” technology. Written and field exams for the Building Analyst Professional certification follow the trainings.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will reimburse 75 to 100 percent of the training program fee upon successful completion of the course.

For more information or to register, visit or contact Art Garno at SUNY Canton at 315.386.7197 or

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Enbridge Donates to SUNY Canton Solar Project

Friday, November 30th, 2007

WARMING DONATION - Pictured are Matthew Flynn, AREA Instructional Support Associate, and Greg LaPoint, Rental Program Manager for Enbridge Services in Massena.

Enbridge Services recently donated two hot water heaters to the Alternative and Renewable Energy Applications (AREA) program. Students will be using the two hot water heaters to design, install, and research a system that uses solar preheating as a way to decrease energy usage. Adding a solar thermal system to a conventional gas or electric hot water heater is one of the most cost effective renewable energy measures that a homeowner can utilize, according to Michael Newtown, AREA Program Director. AREA is one of the largest Bachelor’s degree programs at the college and is the largest in the Canino School of Engineering Technology.

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Alumnus Helps Fuel a Greener SUNY Canton

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

GREENER MACHINES — SUNY Canton Senior Grounds Worker Todd Flanagan stands with Shaun Jones, an Alternative and Renewable Energy Applications student who helped produce 500 gallons of B20 biodiesel fuel for the college's lawnmowers.

SUNY Canton is getting a bit greener with help from Alfred R. Place, a graduate of the class of 1949.

Place funds a scholarship that helps students research biodiesel solutions within the Alternative and Renewable Energy Applications (AREA) program. This year Place’s scholarship was given to Shaun Jones who provided 500 gallons of biodiesel for the college’s Maintenance and Ground crews to use in their lawn mowers. Jones created the biodiesel solution with waste cooking oil garnered from Chaney Dining Center.

“By running biodiesel, the college helped combat the rising price gasoline while decreasing our impact on the environment,” Jones said.

Alternative and Renewable Energy Application Assistant Professor Matthew Bullwinkel said that the real world application of biodiesel also helped test the fuel’s reliability. “Workers were asked to observe any changes in the mechanical operations of the equipment while they were using the B20 solution,” Bullwinkel said.

The only notable effect of using the alternative fuel source was the new scent of the exhaust. Evidently area pigeons and seagulls found the scent of French fries irresistible.

Ongoing biodiesel research is just one of many ways that the AREA program is seeking to create a greener campus. Students will soon be installing photovoltaic cells on top of Nevaldine Technology center to power the lighting in their classroom and placing a solar hot water heater for research. “When someone flips on the lights in Nevaldine (Room) 110 they will be using energy collected from solar panels on the roof,” said AREA Program Director Michael J. Newtown.

Newtown explained that the new installations will provide hands-on applications of the same renewable energy systems that the students are studying.

Outside of the AREA program, Physical Plant staff members have been implementing greener cleaning agents to combat unnecessary pollution and waste. Almost all of the college’s cleaning products now meet the highest New York State green standards.

“Every year I look for new products that we can use that are safer and more earth-friendly,” said Head Janitor Walter Holmes.

Holmes said many of the cleaning machines and devices that they employ are also becoming more environmentally friendly by utilizing components manufactured from recycled parts that introduce advanced filtration and water saving technologies.


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