Utah State gets Senate appropriations

By Kim Burgess
The Herald Journal
July 1, 2007

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved two spending bills that would provide $1.5 million for Utah State University research.

USU’s Space Dynamics Lab (SDL) would receive $500,000; a study on the economic impact of renewable energy sources in rural Utah would get $1 million.

The former was one of the projects Sen. Bob Bennett requested for the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The latter was one of the senator’s requests on the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

Both bills are now on the Senate calendar and will be considered at a later date. Once approved by the Senate, the House and Senate will have to work out the differences between the two bills before voting on the final passage.

Though the money is not yet a done deal, SDL employee Alan Thurgood said he was enthusiastic.

Thurgood, who directs the calibration test and evaluation division, said that the funds would go toward examinations of how well equipment temperature sensors are calibrated. Their results will be used by NASA and the Department of Defense.

“There is a number of pieces of equipment that we’ve been working on,” Thurgood said. “We have been doing this with earlier funding and investment.”

In 2006, Bennett secured $1 million for the SDL. The lab is consistently one of USU’s most well-funded organizations.

Researchers from the renewable energy study were not available for comment Friday afternoon, but a press release from Bennett’s office said that, “The renowned program is a resource for experts who work to implement wind power and cleaner technologies throughout Utah and the West.”

© 2007 The Herald Journal