We will… “build sustainability into everything we do at Clarkson.”
President Collins, April 2010
EVERYBODY needs to be involved to meet President Collins’ goal. This month’s newsletter celebrates the contributions of our students to support sustainability on our campus and beyond. There are a lot of student projects, only a few of which can be highlighted here. Several of our classes, student clubs and SPEED team projects contribute in many ways to our sustainability efforts!
Campus Sustainability Projects Lead to Energy Savings and Student Awards
A $25,000 annual Sustainability Project Fund was established last year to encourage community members to engage in the process of making the campus more environmentally, socially and fiscally sustainable. Project proposals were solicited in October, 2011 and selected for funding by the Sustainability Committee. Several teams presented their work at the NYSP2I Greening College Campuses Sustainability Competition in April of this year. The successful projects addressed energy efficiency, access to local food and bikes, and solid waste reduction efforts. A few examples include:
Residence Hall Motion Sensor Lighting
Graduate student Jeannie Piekarz and her team of students in the electrical engineering honor society helped to install light sensors in one of the Quad hallways. They found they could save 29% of the electric energy used in the hallways by turning lights off when no one is in the hallway. This team received the first place award from the NYSP2I sustainability competition and had an opportunity to be congratulated directly by N.Y. State Gov. Andrew Cuomo for their successful project.
Classroom Motion Sensor Lighting
Sophomore mechanical engineering major Jason Cocca helped to analyze the value of installing light sensors in classrooms. His design was integrated into the recently completed lighting upgrade throughout the CAMP and Rowley buildings.
Refrigerator Replacement Feasibility Study
Sophomores Lateefah Morse and Molly Ball surveyed and measured the energy consumption of refrigerators across campus. The student researchers used watt meters to measure the energy usage of the oldest refrigerators to find the most inefficient ones and replace them. By replacing just one large outdated refrigerator, our campus will save nearly $3,000 and reduce the CO2 emissions on campus by 1,635 kg per year. The ultimate goal of the project is to set up a replacement plan for the entire campus.
Water Bottle Refilling Stations
Members of the Synergy club lead by junior environmental engineering student Heather Masterson worked with facilities to install four water bottle refilling stations. Over the course of just four weeks in the spring semester, the equivalent of over 24,000 12-oz. water bottles were refilled from three of the new refill stations. A student survey suggests that additional refill stations are in demand across the campus.
Solicitations for the 2012-2013 academic year projects will be announced in September 2012. Read more ...
Graduate Students Win Awards for Research PresentationsGraduate Students Win Awards for Research Presentations
Chemical Engineering PhD student Basavaraju Agasanapura received a second place award in the student poster competition at this year’s annual meeting of the North American Membrane Society. He reported on research conducted with advisor Dr. Ruth Baltus related to the use of membranes to remove rod-shaped particles from water. This research could be used to treat drinking water contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Read more…
Dr. Ian M. Knack received the Best Student Paper Award for his presentation entitled “River Ice Modeling for Fish Habitat Analysis.” He recently completed this work at Clarkson as part of his PhD degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering. Knack and his advisor, Dr. Hung Tao Shen, traveled to Dalian, China for this conference. Read more…
Clarkson Students Receive Prestigious EPA Fellowships
Environmental Engineering student Jared Smith (’13) and Env. Science & Policy student Erin Corrigan (’14) both received EPA GRO Fellowships to cover tuition expenses and enable them to complete and a research project as part of their undergraduate experience at Clarkson. An EPA internship. Smith and Corrigan have also benefited from the Study Abroad program with semesters spent in Australia and New Zealand, respectively.
Jared’s summer internship for the EPA took him to Oregon to contribute to study human impacts on forest ecosystem services. He used data analysis, mathematical modeling and GIS skills learned at Clarkson as part of his research.
Erin intends to research the environmental impacts of our food systems, including the impacts of diet and local food sources on greenhouse gas emissions.
The application for EPA GRO Fellowships for undergraduate students in environmentally related disciplines is announced in the end of August and is due mid-December. Sophomore students apply for fellowship funding in their Junior and Senior years.
Community Service Helps to Sustain Local and International Communities
Several Clarkson organizations provide service to help support and sustain communities ranging from the Village of Potsdam to Africa. These projects not only help the communities we support, they are also a valuable aspect of college students’ education and their engagement and retention. A few examples are described here.
Sisters of Clarkson’s Colony of Kappa Delta Chi collect used clothing, diapers, toiletries and household goods and distribute them monthly to low income community members at the local Trinity Church. This is just one of the many projects the sisters of KDChi contribute too. They also raised over $2,000 last year for a variety of charitable organizations. Read more…
Students from the School of Business’ global business programs visited Uganda in May and are working with the Friends of Orphans (FRO) to help establish a community-based radio station in Pader. FRO works to reintegrate child soldiers into their home communities, train internally displaced persons in conflict management and resolution, increase food production, and foster sustainable development through enterprise. Read more…
Students Assess Energy Efficiency of Manufacturing Facilities
Three Clarkson engineering students were trained this summer to conduct energy efficiency audits at manufacturing facilities. They worked with Prof. Ken Visser as a satellite of the DOE-funded Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) at Syracuse University. The purpose of the center is to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers within New York State to evaluate their energy usage, manufacturing productivity, and waste generation, and to reduce their associated costs. At the same time, our students are trained to become the next generation of industrial efficiency experts.
Dan Barron, Mike DiLorenzo and Matt Russell completed two assessments of manufacturing plants in northern New York. Their assessments included the use of different instruments to measure energy consumption throughout the facilities. Analysis of these data led to recommendations provided to the plant managers to save energy and expenses. The DOE IAC program has helped manufacturing facilities save an average of $65,000 a year with implementation of student-developed recommendations. Read more…