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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2010-05-07 13:00:00
  • Article ID: 564253

Home Energy Education Project Wins Student Sustainability Competition

  • Credit: Sarah Oehl

    Student Sustainability Project Competition

Contact: Matt Kelly

General Assignments Writer

(434) 924-7291

mkelly@virginia.edu

Home Energy Education Project Wins Student Sustainability Competition

April 22, 2010 — Top honors in the second annual University of Virginia Student Sustainability Project Competition went to a proposal to better educate local homeowners on saving energy.

The winning trio – civil engineering student Elizabeth Engel and mechanical engineering students Matthew Jungclaus and Quinn Weber – presented a plan to partner with Charlottesville's Local Energy Assistance Program, and turn data gained from home energy audits and energy meters into effective educational materials and recommendations to homeowners on how they can improve energy efficiency.

The team will develop their project over the summer with the support of a Jefferson Public Citizens grant and their $750 prize money. They plan to showcase their ideas as part of U.Va.'s ecoREMOD project, a recently begun demonstration of energy-efficient renovation of a historic home.

"The judges were impressed with the Home Energy Education project scope in terms of impact, its affiliation with a local non-profit, and the awareness components," said event organizer Andrew Greene, a sustainability planner in U.Va.'s Office of the Architect.

The competition, sponsored by U.Va.'s Presidential Committee on Sustainability, drew 17 proposals to achieve a sustainable future through more responsible use of environmental resources, more equitable social communities and greater economic efficiency. The projects ranged from water filtration in Guatemala and South Africa to meatless Mondays at University dining halls. Project posters will be available online.

The top three teams each won $750. Second place went to a system designed to provide rural Cambodians with reliable energy and clean water by converting rice husks into electricity and utilizing the waste ashes to filter the local water supply. Team members were Darden School of Business student Ken Greer; graduate engineering student Trevor Wesolowski; Julia Midland, a Georgetown University master of foreign service student; and Karen Hartke, a business student at Simmons College in Boston.

Two proposals split the third-place prize. Rachel Maderijian, a biomedical engineering student, Joshua Thomas, an engineering student focused on nanomedicine, and Lindsey Jones, a civil engineering student, proposed a convenient and inexpensive recycling system to handle the waste from fraternity parties.

Graduate planning student Dana Smith and undergraduates Wynnie Long, Michelle Rehme, Hannah Barefoot and Maggie Graham of the U.Va. Community Garden aim to build on the agricultural traditions of University founder Thomas Jefferson through gardening workshops, film screenings, cooking classes and guest speakers, as well as harvesting rainwater and composting for the garden.

"The winning projects reflect the broad array of global sustainability challenges – from energy conservation and clean water to recycling and local foods," Greene said. "It was clear that U.Va. students are on the leading edge of recognizing the challenges, envisioning a sustainable world and designing the innovative solutions that will get us there."

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Cold and Bubbly: The Sensory Qualities that Best Quench Thirst

New research from the Monell Center finds that oral perceptions of coldness and carbonation help to reduce thirst. The findings could guide sensory approaches to increase fluid intake in populations at risk for dehydration, including the elderly, soldiers, and athletes.

J.R. Macdonald Lab receives nearly $8 million DOE grant renewal

MANHATTAN -- A nearly $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy is supporting the "bread and butter" physics research at Kansas State University's James R. Macdonald Laboratory. The grant is a three-year renewal award, "Structure and Dynamics of Atoms, Ions, Molecules and Surfaces." "This big operational grant is our bread-and-butter," said Itzik Ben-Itzhak, university distinguished professor of physics and director of the J.

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A number of Sac State artworks are joining Jeff Koons' "Coloring Book" in exhibits at the new Golden 1 Center. (Sacramento State/Rob Neep) More photosSac State Professor Rachel Clarke and alumnus Bryan Valenzuela check out the installation of Valenzuela's "Multitudes Converge" glass sculpture at the Golden 1 Center.

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New Method for Reporting Solar Data

A straightforward new way to calculate, compile, and graphically present solar radiation measurements in a format that is accessible to decision makers and the general public has been developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and is described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Trapped Sunlight Cleans Water

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The South could pay less for its electricity in 20 years than is currently projected if strong public policies are enacted to spur renewable energy production and use, according to a report released today by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Duke University.


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Citi Grant Helps University Students Succeed

Citi Community Development, part of the Citi family of businesses, supports an innovative Academic Success Program at South Dakota State University. The program is designed to help students who have been re-admitted to SDSU following suspension due to low academic achievement.

Iowa State Engineer and Goodrich Partner to Develop Fuel Nozzles

Hui Hu, an Iowa State University associate professor of aerospace engineering, is working with engineers from the Goodrich Corp. to test and characterize the next generation of fuel nozzles.

CSB to Hold Public Hearing Tomorrow, December 15, as Part of the CSB Deepwater Horizon Investigation

CSB Board Will Hear Testimony on how Offshore Drilling is Managed and Regulated in Other Countries

Cornell Joins Team Taking Head-first Plunge Into Algae Biofuels

Cornell University researchers have joined other scientists and a biofuel research company on a mission to develop a commercial-scale algae-to-fuel facility by 2015. The effort is backed by a $9 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Engineering Researchers Partner With Toyota; DOE Grant Will Further Work Toward a More Efficient Charger for Hybrid-Electric Vehicles

A $3.9 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy will allow electrical engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas to continue contributing to the development of a compact and highly efficient silicon-carbide charger for hybrid electric vehicles. The benefits of the project extend beyond vehicles into other areas, such as wind and solar power, and could lead to reduced energy consumption in the United States.

Research Looks at Alternative Power for Military

South Dakota State University has a major role in a $10 million project to deliver alternative power technologies to help the U.S. military supply power to units in the field. The three-year project began in May 2009.

Mixing Blood and Oil: Conference Tackles Similar Challenges from Two Major Industries

Scientists and engineers from two of the nation's largest industries - medicine and energy - came together this week to explore the synergies in moving oil and pumping blood.

Time Ripe to Move Energy Storage Idea Off Drawing Board

Need has caught up with Case Western Reserve University researcher Gerhard Welsch's design for a self-healing, high-energy capacitor he patented a decade ago. ARPA-E has granted Welsch $2.25 million to start producing the small and lightweight device for hybrid and electric cars and more.

Registration Open for Sandia-Sponsored 4th International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources

Registration is open for the 4th International Conference on the Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources, the premier event for technical discussion of electric integration of new energy resources.

Advanced Energy Conference To Illuminate Latest Technologies For 21st Century Clean Energy Economy

Leading Energy Organizations to Highlight Latest Job-Producing Energy Technologies at Nov. 8-9 Conference in N.Y.C.


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