Professor Kent Udell works with the elements to seek energy innovations

August 2, 2012

Kent Udell, left, a University of Utah mechanical engineering professor, talks with graduate student Michael Beeman BS’10 MS’10, who has been helping with work on Udell’s ice-ball experiment at the Sill Center.

Under the lawn behind the University of Utah’s Sterling Sill Center, mechanical engineering professor Kent Udell MS’78 PhD’80 has buried a 35-foot-wide by 40-foot-deep “ice ball” about 10 feet below the surface. On a spring afternoon, he stops to sit on a patch of grass marked by a web of shallow trenches as he checks the tubing covered by green valve boxes that provide the only evidence above ground of his experiment in testing how heat and cold can be stored for later use.


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By Marcia Dibble | Photographs by August Miller | Published 2012 Summer Continuum, Magazine of the University of Utah