The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments

UK blue Team Awarded 9th Place in 2009 Solar Decathlon!

Team members, Jonathan Lee and Ross Graham, set the mitered edges of the planters during the construction of the solar house in Washington D.C.

Earning 732.152 points out of 1,000 put the University of Kentucky in ninth place overall in the competition. The contest is a project of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests that center on all of the ways in which we use energy in our daily lives. A media intern from the the Vis Center’s Media Experience for Undergrads was presented with the team in Washington D.C. for the full three week experience. While our full documentary is currently in post-production, on-site videos are available on the blue website.
The Kentucky solar house was also featured recently on the Today Show.

Vis Center Media Intern Documenting Solar House in Washington, D.C.

Construction begins on the mall in Washington D.C.

Construction begins on the mall in Washington D.C.

The University of Kentucky is one of twenty universities worldwide invited to participate in Solar Decathlon sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Faculty and students from UK are now assembling their solar house on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The entire trip is being documented by a Vis Center Media for Research intern who is traveling with the group which is comprised of faculty, staff and students from the Colleges of Agriculture, Design and Engineering. Don Colliver, Professor of Biosystems and Agriculture Engineering, has been the principal investigator on the project with assistance from a number of engineering faculty and staff. Dozens of corporations and individuals provided contributions including a lead gift of $250,000 provided by E.ON U.S.

Once the competition is completed, the house will be transported back to the Kentucky Horse Park, where it will serve as the visitor’s center for the City of Lexington at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Eventually, the house will probably be located on the UK campus where it will continue to serve as a research facility and other as yet undetermined purposes.

The Vis Center Media Department will complete a half hour documentary which will chronicle the development and construction of the solar house in addition to videos being posted during the three week event.

Click here to watch videos following the team in Washington D.C. as they build the solar house.


Rending of the solar house completed.

Rending of the solar house completed.


Vis Center Documentary Showing at the Islamic Manuscript Association


During the summer of 2007 researchers from the University of Kentucky, University of Houston, College of the Holy Cross, Furman University, and Brandeis University gathered in Venice, Italy at the Marciana Library to digitally preserve the Venetus A, the oldest existing complete text of the Homeric Iliad. Meticulously crafted in Byzantium, the Venetus A has been stored for 500 years in the Marciana Library. Its thousand-year-old pages contain handwritten notes recording a tradition of scholarship going back to the Ptolemaic scholars of the second century BCE. In addition to digital photos, the text was also scanned in 3D with each page now fully preserved as a 3D model.

During this time the Vis Center produced a documentary entitled, Imaging the Iliad: A Digital Renaissance. The film premiered on the University of Kentucky campus in December 2008 and then was first broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television in January 2009. Since then at least 25 public television stations around the United States have aired the documentary. The film is showing this weekend, July 24-26, at the Islamic Manuscript Association at Christ’s College in Cambridge, England.

Please contact the Vis Center Media Department for more information or to request a DVD copy of the film:
Julie Martinez

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