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While working as global vice president of integrated marketing communications for Coca-Cola, Omar Rodriguez-Vila spent several years living in China in preparation for the company’s sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Earth’s air pollution and climate change issues are linked to combustion and its detrimental byproducts: greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and gases that pollute the atmosphere such as nitrogen oxides.

Researchers have made significant strides in new energy generation technologies. Yet, before renewable sources can make a significant contribution to our energy supply, similar strides will be needed in energy storage, making it the new holy grail.

A feature article in Research Horizons magazine highlights some of the projects, led by Georgia Tech faculty and researchers, that will improve the capture, storage, management, and delivery of renewable energy.

In collaboration with Shanghai’s Tongji University, students in the dual Urban Design Studio have spent the last semester conceptualizing a new framework for Eco-City Design in the context of Chongming Island, Shanghai. The design groups from Georgia Tech and Tongji University traveled to the largely rural island at the mouth of the Yangtze River to conduct field studies with the locals and identify key challenges. After their visit, students and faculty took part in a week long workshop that included 11 Georgia Tech students, professors Perry Yang and Richard Dagenhart, Ph.D.

Georgia Tech will host its second Energy Expo next week, continuing to position itself as a leader and hub of energy-related activity in the region and nation.

Hosted by the Energy Club, the Expo will take place April 2–3 at the Student Center, bringing students and others in the energy community together to focus on the scientific, policy, and business elements surrounding the greater issue of energy. The two-day event includes sessions on topics such as legal and regulatory framework, entrepreneurship and access to capital in the energy field, and new technologies.

It's not the planes, trains or automobiles that Assistant Professor Kari Watkins is focusing on these days. It's the bikes. Her research is helping to keep them safer and guiding the City of Atlanta on how to be more bike-friendly.

 

Each year the Earth Day celebration at Georgia Tech attracts people from not only campus, but also from Atlanta and the entire Southeast. Right now, donations are being accepted for the event’s clothing swap and volunteers are wanted for day-of assistance.

While many students left campus last Friday for a well-deserved break from classes, one group boarded a plane for South America, where they’ll spend the week applying their research in remote communities in Bolivia.

The students in CEE 4803 — a course called Environmental Technology in the Developing World — have spent the semester preparing for the 10-day trip. They’ll be evaluating different methods for testing air and water quality but will have to do so outside the comfort of their usual lab and equipment.

A multi-disciplinary team of CoA graduate students from Georgia Tech earned honorable mention at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Student Urban Design competition. The team is made up of Desmond Johnson (M.Arch), Mario Rodas (M.Arch), Nathan Shi (MSUD), Elizabeth Vason (MCRP) and Ai-Lien Vuong, (M.Arch/MCRP).

The renovations of Harrison Square and Hinman Courtyard, beginning March 16, will provide ecological improvements and more open spaces to unify the Georgia Tech campus. Both plaza renovation projects will focus on enhancing pedestrian and bicyclist mobility, for instance. By eliminating curbs and gutters, pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to move easily through the corridors. Improved lighting, brick pavers, and re-grading of Harrison Square will also allow clear access east of Cherry Street and improve connectivity between Tech Tower and Harrison Square.

La Niña-like conditions associated with 2,500-year-long shutdown of coral reef growth

A new study has found that La Niña-like conditions in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Panamá were closely associated with an abrupt shutdown in coral reef growth that lasted 2,500 years. The study suggests that future changes in climate similar to those in the study could cause coral reefs to collapse in the future.

Georgia Tech’s NextBuzz system, developed by ISyE Professor John Bartholdi and team in conjunction with Georgia Tech’s Parking and Transportation Services office, received the prestigious Innovation award by the Georgia Transit Association for its implemented innovative ideas and problem-solving techniques in its transit system.

The Georgia Tech Earth Day Committee is now accepting submissions for its annual Leadership and Sustainable Initiatives awards.

Nominations are sought for individuals or groups who are making a positive environmental impact both on campus and beyond, either through a new initiative or a body of work. The deadline for nominations is Monday, March 10.

The Georgia Institute of Technology earned three out of a possible four stars from the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation program. PGMS accreditation focuses on three categories: environmental stewardship, economic performance and social responsibilities.

Dagmar Epsten, Georgia Tech master of architecture alumna and president of Atlanta-based Epsten Group, established the annual Epsten Environmental Vision competition at the School of Architecture in late 2014.

The 2015 competition will be held this spring in a senior studio that teaches students LEED principles along with a focus on sustainability and environmental issues. Students will work as teams to upcycle an early 20th-century single-story attached commercial building in downtown Atlanta for Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery, an artist-run non-profit.

Georgia Tech is laying the groundwork for its next undergraduate learning focus, which will provide students the opportunities to learn and serve around the theme “creating sustainable communities.”

The initiative known as Serve•Learn•Sustain is Tech’s newest Quality Enhancement Plan, an essential component for reaffirmation of accreditation where a university must develop a long-term plan of action that tangibly supports student learning and reflects the institute’s mission.

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business has received a $5 million commitment from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation to rename the Center for Business Strategies for Sustainability. To honor this commitment and Ray Anderson’s legacy, the Center will now be known as the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business.

A 1956 Industrial Engineering graduate of Georgia Tech, Anderson was a loyal and devoted supporter of his alma mater for more than five decades. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Institute in 2011.

In the Jan. 23, 2015 issue of The Technique, Georgia Tech faculty Beril Toktay, Ellen Zegura, and Colin Potts explain a new core learning element for undergraduates, centered on the theme of "creating sustainable communities"

Before enrolling in Georgia Tech’s MBA Program, Brian Edgerton had long been interested in sustainability. “But when I came to Tech, I had the opportunity to embrace it,” he says.

Edgerton, MBA 2013, served as president of Georgia Tech’s Net Impact chapter during his studies. The Tech chapter, which earned Gold Standing from the national organization in 2013, is one of more than 300 worldwide, including 40,000 students and professional leaders who are focused on creating positive social and environmental change in the workplace and around the world.

At Georgia Tech, Decie Autin studied and trained to be an engineer, not a community relations expert. But when ExxonMobil selected her in 2008 to be the supervising project executive for the construction of a major new liquid natural gas pipeline, Autin knew that to be successful, she’d have to work closely with local families and landowners. It’s one of the many skills Autin has had to learn while moving up from front-line engineering to management.

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