green buzz

Last week, the Atlanta City Council approved $2.5 million in funding for bicycle projects during the next two years – many of which will directly border or feed into Georgia Tech’s campus.

Some things might get old when they happen five years in a row, but for Hyacinth Ide, Georgia Tech’s associate director of landscape services, having the Institute named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation isn't one of them.

“A beautiful campus provides a recruiting and retention tool for students, faculty and staff,” said Ide. “A great number of students selected Georgia Tech because of the beauty of the campus.”

Tim Lieuwen, executive director of the Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute, has been appointed to the National Petroleum Council (NPC) by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Lieuwen, who is also a professor of aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech, will serve on the council of about 20 people that advises the secretary on matters relating to oil and natural gas.

In 1974, then-student David D. Flanagan and a small group of other Georgia Tech students, traveling with now-retired physics professor, Miller Templeton, piloted the first ORGT (Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech) Expedition. They backpacked the Grand Canyon then rafted the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. For them it was an epic journey and the basis for valuable life lessons. Little did they know that their "experiment" would become the foundation for formative experiences for many Georgia Tech students.

This week, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, created to honor the Tech alumnus and sustainability leader who passed away in 2011, awarded the Institute two research grants, totaling more than $100,000, for sustainability-related work.

The Universitas Indonesia (UI) issued its 2012 GreenMetric ranking on Jan. 10, recognizing sustainability-minded universities around the world. Georgia Tech fell in line at number 48, the 13th-highest-ranked U.S. school included on the list; it ranked 25th among all urban campuses.

This year, Georgia Tech serves as host school for the 75th celebration of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship being held in Atlanta. Nearly 2,000 volunteers are needed during the Final Four and at ancillary and community events, including at a tree planting.

Dr. Kari (Edison) Watkins (CE ’97) thinks it might be a good thing for Americans to cool down their love affair with the automobile. Her research promises to make that separation a little less painful.

“A lot of people think of public transportation as a stinky old bus that you have to wait for,” says Watkins, an assistant professor of civil engineering whose work has focused on collective transit, alternative transportation, and real-time user information software.

"But if the service respects me, by being a nice, frequent, on-time vehicle, people change their attitude.”

Professor Craig Tovey has been appointed the David M. McKenney Family Professorship in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) for a three year term, beginning January 1, 2013. The David M. McKenney Family Professorship was created by David McKenney (BS Physics 1960, B IE 1964) and is designed to enhance ISyE’s ability to “attract and retain eminent teacher-scholars to this position of academic leadership in the field of sustainability, energy, and environmental initiatives.” 

The 2013 Earth Day celebration planning is already underway, and registration is now open for organizations and companies to sign up for booths.

Participants should focus their efforts on the theme "TECH for a Greener Future" and can request a booth slot at www.earthday.gatech.edu/registration.html. The event will take place Friday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This semester, a group of students in the College of Comuting worked with Tech's Office of Solid Waste Management and Recycling (OSWM&R) to develop a recycling app for Georgia Tech. Kyle Kukshtel, Madhura Bhave and Clay Garrett created “Bin There” as part of their senior design course Computing for Good. 

 

Tell us about the project you are working on and what the goals are. 

Around 80 people attended the first Student Government Association Sustainability Forum last month, getting answers from staff members to questions they had about sustainability issues on campus.

Read about the forum and news from sustainability student groups and research projects in the November/December issue of Up With the Green and Gold (download pdf at right).

If the 4.9 million barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deep Water Horizon spill was a ecological disaster, the two million gallons of dispersant used to clean it up apparently made it even worse – 52-times more toxic. That’s according to new research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Mexico.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have been awarded three grants totaling more than $9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to develop energy technology solutions.

The three new awards are for projects involving solar fuel generation, power generation from vortices of solar heated air and energy storage.

The average person consumes about 4,000 calories on Thanksgiving, two times the amount that an average person needs. And that’s just the start of a holiday season full of parties, dinners and get-togethers.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering with GE and Ford Motor Co. to study ways to add greater efficiencies to electric driving and charging performance.

GE recently announced its plans to purchase 2,000 new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids for its fleet. As part of the collaboration, Ford will jointly market GE’s alternative fuel infrastructure solutions to commercial customers and provide new alternative fuel vehicles for use at GE’s Vehicle Innovation Center

David Young, IM 63, has spent three decades cleaning up an abandoned historic cemetery in Chattanooga, Tenn. He works almost entirely alone, without help or publicity. He knows the work will outlive him—and he fears it will be what kills him. What keeps him going?

Steven Van Ginkel, a research engineer in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was walking his dog along Peachtree Creek in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood when he saw abandoned tires stuck in a sandbar. While some might have seen pollution, Van Ginkel saw building materials.

You don’t have to go far to find fresh food on campus. In fact, on the southeast side of the Instructional Center lawn, a plethora of fresh produce grows from six garden beds maintained by Students Organizing for Sustainability (SOS). 

Last spring, SOS took its community garden from a nook on East Campus to the new West Campus location. In a few weeks, the group will have its inaugural fall crop. 

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