The project is unusual in part because, as they were refining their ideas, the engineers joined with Shannon Gilley, then a Master of Fine Arts student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Bielicki worked with Gilley for more than a year to create the computer animated video titled “Geothermal Energy: Enhancing our Future”. Part of Gilley’s task was to communicate the more complex details of climate change, CO2 storage and geothermal energy to the general public.
“We built this concept of public outreach into our efforts not just to communicate our work, but also to explore new ways for scientists, engineers, economists and artists to work together,” Bielicki said.
Co-authors on the presentation also included Mingjie Chen, Yue Hao and Yunwei Sun, all of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Work at the University of Minnesota and Ohio State has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), while work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Heat Mining Co. LLC, a start-up company spun off from the University of Minnesota, expects to have an operational project, based on an earlier form of the approach, in 2016.