Green Buzz

How will we build the cities of the future in a sustainable way?

A metro Atlanta county is joining with School of Civil and Environmental Engineering researchers and engineering firm CDM Smith on a water reuse project that could be amodel for other communities around the country.

What can nature teach us about the way we engineer soil to strengthen the foundations of our buildings and infrastructure? What can we learn from ants and other burrowing insects to improve the efficiency of our underground tunneling efforts and make those tunnels safer?

Using a hybrid silica sol-gel material and self-assembled monolayers of a common fatty acid, researchers have developed a new capacitor dielectric material that provides an electrical energy storage capacity rivaling certain batteries, with both a high energy density and high power density.

The U.S. electric system faces an array of challenges. Sluggish demand growth and the rise of solar power challenge the ability of utilities to recover their costs. The digital economy requires reliable power quality, and growing cyber threats call for increased investments in grid security. On top of these issues, global climate disruption suggests that energy systems need to be transformed. As a result, most forecasts predict that electricity bills will rise significantly over the next several decades.

One of the world’s most prestigious honors will go to School of Civil and Environmental Engineering professor John Crittenden this fall.

A new group of Georgia Tech faculty has been tapped to serve as strategic advisors for the direction of sustainability research at Georgia Tech.

To commemorate a collaboration that spans nearly 20 years and has included more than 300 Georgia Tech students and professors, the Georgia Conservancy will award the College of Architecture with the 2015 Distinguished Conservationist award.

Dean French will accept the award on behalf of the college at the ecoBenefete on September 25.

A growing interest in thermoelectric materials – which convert waste heat to electricity – and pressure to improve heat transfer from increasingly powerful microelectronic devices have led to improved theoretical and experimental understanding of how heat is transported through nanometer-scale materials.

Plans to connect Atlanta to Chattanooga or Savannah or Charlotte via high-speed trains have been discussed for years, but no tangible progress has been made on any of those linkages.

Chattanooga’s mayor said recently the proposed line to his city likely won’t get the funding it needs from the federal government and is probably dead.

A smartphone app and related study for Atlanta bicyclists has won the first-ever Excellence in Innovation / Research of the Year Award from the Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT) organization.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year $300,000 grant for research in environmental sustainablility. The effort is led by School of Economics Assistant Professor Juan Moreno-Cruz with John Crittenden, Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Director, serving as Co-PI.

Georgia Tech and Sandia sign a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) that formally establishes a strategic collaboration between the university and the Department of Energy’s National Security Lab. The partnership aligns the two institutions’ shared goal of solving science and technology challenges of national importance.

Georgia Tech recently chose to make creating sustainable communities a pillar of its undergraduate curriculum through the new Serve•Learn•Sustain initiative, but it’s not the only university in the city working to expand this aspect of undergraduate learning. 

The National Science Foundation recently awarded a Georgia Tech team led by School of Economics Assistant Professor Juan Moreno-Cruz and BBISS Director John Crittenden a three year, $300,000-grant to understand how regional economic activities and energy

The Sino-U.S. Eco Urban Lab, a joint laboratory of Georgia Tech and Tongji University, is organizing the 2015 International Symposium on Eco Urban Design. The Symposium will take place in Shanghai on June 5-6, 2015. Georgia Tech faculty members Alan Balfour, John Crittenden, Catherine Ross, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Subhro Guhathakurta, and Perry Yang will participate. They hope to initiate dialogue on the future research of ecological urban systems in the context of China’s rapid urbanization and its potential global impact.

Georgia Tech’s campus is home to many research laboratories, but how often is Tech itself the subject?

The Smart Energy Campus Program uses Georgia Tech as a living laboratory and collects data from energy utility systems all over campus. Through collaboration among multiple campus departments, insights from this project will directly impact energy planning and consumption on campus in many ways, with the hope of making Tech’s energy utility systems more efficient.

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.

 

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