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Japanese TV show includes reserach by NMSU professor

A four-person crew interviewed NMSU mechanical engineering professor Harry Hardee for a segment on Japanese television. From left, the cameraman films Hardee, who answered questions from the director.


(NMSU photo by Michael Kiernan)






New Mexico State University mechanical engineering professor Harry Hardee's research on magma energy as an alternative fuel has drawn worldwide attention and will be spotlighted on Japanese television Feb. 28.

A TV crew from Tokyo interviewed Hardee and videotaped some photos and films of his research for a segment on the show, "Space Ship Earth," an informational family-oriented program that explains scientific facts in simple language. The show, which is currently broadcast exclusively in Japan, introduces a different subject pertaining to science and nature each week.

"Space Ship Earth" is produced by East Company, a television production company located in Tokyo that has produced entertainment and educational programming for such major networks as Tokyo Broadcasting (TBS), Fuji Television and Nippo Television for the past 25 years.

Hardee performed most of his research on the scientific feasibility of magma energy while at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. He worked to determine if molten rock, or magma, bodies in the upper 10 kilometers of the crust can be tapped for power generation. "That would provide a power source somewhat similar to conventional geothermal power, but potentially much larger in magnitude," Hardee said.

Hardee has continued some work on the topic while teaching at NMSU. He also authored two chapters in the book "Active Lavas: Monitoring and Modeling," and continues to do consulting work in the geophysics/magma energy and electrical interconnection areas.

This is not the first time Hardee's magma energy research has drawn an international spotlight. In February 1998 researchers from Shell International Exploration and Production in the Netherlands visited Las Cruces to discuss the topic with Hardee.