CORVALLIS - Stel Walker, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Oregon State University, leader in the development of wind energy and director of OSU's Energy Resources Research Laboratory, has been honored by the American Wind Energy Association.

Walker was given the Academic Achievement Award by this organization at Global Windpower 2004, the first worldwide wind industry event to be held in the United States.

"The success in developing America's growing wind energy market is due in large part to the leadership of these organizations and individuals who demonstrate their commitment to renewable energy every day in their actions," said Randall Swisher, executive director of the organization.

Walker was recognized for "exceptional and longstanding contributions to the advancement of wind energy technology and resource development" over a 30-year career, in such diverse work as rotor code development, wind turbine development and testing, wind measurement, and technical evaluation of wind power projects.

"Dr. Walker has been a major partner for BPA in the development of wind in the Pacific Northwest," said Peter West of the Oregon Energy Trust.

"Without Dr. Walker's tireless support of the BPA Long-Term Wind Monitoring Program for the last 20 years, and his sincere efforts to help BPA build and facilitate wind to meet the regional demand for alternative energy resources, wind would not exist as it does today in the mid-Columbia basin."

About $9 billion was invested in wind energy projects around the world last year.

Walker received his doctorate from OSU in 1976 and has been on the OSU faculty since 1984.

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Christine Real de Azua, 202-383-2508