Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation (2014-2015)

To explore the breadth of issues that confront our society in its need for clean, affordable and reliable energy, students worked with faculty as a team on a year-long project to identify, design and prototype a new energy technology, system or approach. Small groups addressed the trade-offs among technological design choices, environmental impacts, economic viability and other issues related to use. The goal of the project was to produce a useful prototype and evaluation of its benefits and viability.

Group projects included an inexpensive, solar-powered autoclave that would sterilize medical instruments; a way to collect flare gas, clean it and turn it into natural gas to power a fleet of FedEx vehicles in the Bakken oil fields region in North Dakota; a novel approach of using methane from flare gas to grow animal food stock; and a solar refrigerator.

The graduating seniors who participated on this project team were able to leverage their experience in their search for employment, with more than 70% accepting a job or graduate study offer related to energy.

Timing

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015

Team Outcomes

Driving Renewable Energy Growth Through Effective Public Policy: A Financial and Policy Analysis of Cash Grants, Tax Credits and Pass-Through Tax Structures (MLPs and YieldCos) (Ryan Ross Buxbaum, honors thesis for graduation with distinction in Public Policy)

Solar Hydrogen Production (Danielle Colson, honors thesis for graduation with distinction in Mechanical Engineering)

This Team in the News

Meet the Members of the Bass Connections Student Advisory Council

Faculty Perspectives: Emily M. Klein

Interdisciplinary Teams Take a Hands-on Approach to Energy Innovations

Creating Value from Flare Gas

Fall Semester Overview of Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation Solar Autoclave Project

See related teams, Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation (2015-2016) and Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation (2016-2017).

Themes

Faculty/Staff Team Members

Emily Klein, Nicholas School - Earth & Ocean Sciences*
Josiah Knight, Pratt School - Mechanical Engineering & Material Sciences*

Graduate Team Members

James BurgessMaster of Environmental Management, Energy and Environment
Elena KazarovMaster of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics/Policy

Undergraduate Team Members

Jessica Allen, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Ryan Bartoszek, Biology (BS)
Dylan Brown, Economics (BS)
Ryan Buxbaum, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Victoria Cheng, Mathematics (BS)
Danielle Colson, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Samip Desai, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Duncan Dodson, Environmental Sciences (BS)
Katherine Ernst, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Isa Ferrall, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Robinson Ford, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
John Gitau, Civil Engineering (BSE), Environmental Engineering BSE2
Jacob Goyne
Garrett Harmsen, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Victor Holten, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Taylor Lane, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Max Orenstein, Civil Engineering (BSE), Environmental Engineering BSE2
Philip Press, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Ryder Quigley, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Mehmet Savut, Chemistry (AB)
Zachary Wiener, Civil Engineering (BSE)
Meron Wolde-Tensae, Civil Engineering (BSE)

* denotes team leader

Status

Completed, Archived