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12-30-2011

Clarkson University Receives Grant from Dominion Foundation to Support Local Energy Efficient Food Facility

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/dominion2011.jpg .]

Clarkson University is the recipient of a $40,000 Educational Partnership grant from the Dominion Foundation to support the University’s Local Energy Efficient Food Facility (LEEFF). This program aims to provide Clarkson students with opportunities to apply their engineering, science, and business skills to a project that addresses a real-world problem.

Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor Philip K. Hopke, director of Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment; Professor Stefan Grimberg, chair of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems Susan E. Powers, associate director for sustainability; and Stan Ossowski and Kevin Zink of Dominion Transmission, Inc.The grant from the Dominion Foundation will be used to integrate a pilot greenhouse, using the technology of aeroponics to grow plants year round utilizing a biomass-solar thermal heating system, and an anaerobic digester into a “living laboratory” facility, LEEFF.

This living laboratory has the capacity to capture real-time data for analysis and system monitoring. An environmental engineering graduate student will take the lead in facilitating and designing the monitoring systems needed to successfully complete this integration process. Once completed, the data generated by LEEFF will be used in classrooms across campus.

“Clarkson is dedicated to integrating the principles of sustainability into everything we do,” says Clarkson President Tony Collins. “This generous grant from the Dominion Foundation will allow Clarkson to expand the number and kinds of projects available to students who want real-world experience in green engineering and business practices.”

The project will be overseen by the Institute for a Sustainable Environment and coordinated by Associate Director for Sustainability Susan E. Powers, the Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems. 

“LEEFF is an example of the kind of project that allows our students to span the boundaries between their academic endeavors and campus operations in a way that effectively brings sustainability and energy efficiency to a very visible and central role on our campus,” says Powers. “We are excited by the possibilities of this project, both for our students and as a way to engage the community in new technology in sustainability.”

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 28,200 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines. It practices environmental stewardship and contributes more than $20 million annually to the environment, education, arts and culture, and health and human services.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University is the recipient of a $40,000 Educational Partnership grant from the Dominion Foundation to support the University’s Local Energy Efficient Food Facility. Left to right: Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor Philip K. Hopke, director of Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment; Professor Stefan Grimberg, chair of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems Susan E. Powers, associate director for sustainability; Stan Ossowski, superintendent, Northeastern Area, Dominion Transmission, Inc; and Kevin Zink, director, area operations, Northeastern Area, Dominion Transmission, Inc.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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