SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience & Design)
The award-winning SPEED program makes project-based team learning experiences available to all undergraduate students. The program also works to increase diversity in project involvement.
Many of the SPEED project opportunities stem from national engineering design competitions, like FIRST Robotics. In these competitions, students conceptualize, design, build and test products such as the multi-terrain vehicle, Mini-Baja, a Zero Emission Snowmobile and a steel bridge. Most of the projects are multidisciplinary in nature, with contributions from students representing many academic disciplines, including engineering, business, science and liberal arts.
Industrial giants Alcoa, Corning, General Electric, Kodak and Procter & Gamble are sponsors of SPEED.
On July 1, 2010, Clarkson University formally recognized the establishment of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE).
The goal of the Center is to advance interdisciplinary research among engineers, scientists and policy experts. Philip K. Hopke, the Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, has been named the inaugural director of the new institute.
The Institute provides a structure for scientists, engineers, policy experts and economists to work together to tackle environmental and energy problems, as well as the health and economic challenges they pose.
Civil & Environmental Engineering Prof. Poojitha Yapa was honored by the U.S. government for his work during last year’s Deepwater Horizon crisis.
Yapa received the Director’s Award from the U.S. Geological Survey of the Department of the Interior for “exemplary service to the nation” during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire.
A computer model developed by Yapa was used to predict the flow of oil and natural gas released into the Gulf of Mexico. He advised officials based on his insight into the problem and simulations using his Comprehensive Deepwater Oil and Gas (CDOG) blowout model to predict where the natural gas and oil released by the explosion might end up.
In 1980, Clarkson was the first university to initiate a collegiate chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). An AISES chapter has existed at Clarkson for the last 31 years.
Strong ties have been forged between Clarkson and various Native communities including the Mohawk people at Akwesasne, located within a 35-minute drive from the University.
The Clarkson AISES chapter currently partners on various projects with the Akwesasne AISES Affiliate Chapter and the Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club.
Environmental engineering major Eileen Stachowski ’11 has put sustainability front and center of her Clarkson education. She has served as an intern with Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment, taking a lead role in compiling data for the University’s first greenhouse gas inventory. She is also working with other Clarkson students on an EPA-funded project, “Sustainable Year-Round Food Production in Cold Climates,” under the direction of Susan Powers, the Jean ’79 and Robert ’79 Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems.
With funding from a NASA global climate change education grant, Stachowski assisted with the development of learning modules to help teachers learn about climate change science. She was also a participant in Clarkson’s NSF-sponsored REU program in Environmental Science and Engineering.
Chemical engineering major Kevin Fisher ’12 has spent his time at Clarkson preparing to make a difference in the world through the outside-the-classroom opportunities he has had with Honors Program research, hands-on internships, and SPEED teams.
After his first year at Clarkson, Fisher spent the summer getting experience in the lab while performing research under Prof. Richard Partch on the conversion of organic waste to oil.
Last year, Fisher was chosen by the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) to be a SCI Scholar, which provided him with a 10-week internship at Arch Chemicals Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. He worked in the production department with senior chemical engineers, performing calculations to determine the energy savings of a variety of process improvements.
Outside the classrooms and labs, Fisher is president of the ChemE Car SPEED team. The team must design and build a shoebox-sized car that is powered and stopped by chemical reactions. Last year, his team competed at a regional collegiate competition at the University of Maine with their aluminum air fuel cell car.