Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation (2016-2017)


To explore the breadth of issues that confront our society in its need for clean, affordable and reliable energy, students will work with faculty as a team on a year-long project to identify, design and prototype a new energy technology, system or approach.

Project Description

Students will work with faculty as a team on a year-long project to identify, design and prototype a new energy technology, system, or approach. Recent projects have included creating a solar-powered vehicle, a biogas-powered generator and a green emergency power system.

Sub-teams will address the trade-offs among technological design choices, environmental impacts, economic viability and other issues related to use. The goal of the project is to produce a useful prototype and evaluate its environmental benefits and viability. Projects will be selected and defined during the fall term and completed during the spring term.

Anticipated Outcomes

While some sub-teams may concentrate on building a physical prototype, alternatives that include statistical analysis, mathematical modeling or computer simulation are also possible. Ideas for projects will come from students, with input from faculty, companies, organizations or competitions.


Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

Project meetings will be Mondays 5:00-6:30 p.m. during both the Fall and Spring semesters.


Independent study credit available for Fall (half credit) and Spring (full credit) semesters; this project also satisfies the capstone project course for the undergraduate Certificate in Energy and the Environment

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


Faculty/Staff Team Members

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

Graduate Team Members

Joseph Moss, Nicholas School, Master of Environmental Mgmt.
Rui Shan, Nicholas School, Master of Environment Management

Undergraduate Team Members

Caroline Ayanian, Mechanical Engineering
Suman Bajgain, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Emilia Chojkiewicz
Alan Davis, Economics (AB)
Randolph Frank, Mechanical Engineering
Daniel Herron
Ryan Hussey, Environmental Sciences (BS)
Christopher Jernigan, Chemistry (AB)
Nicolas Kardous
Cassidee Kido, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Sam Korol
Jessica Matthys, Mechanical Engineering
Ashley Meuser, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science (AB2)
Savini Prematilleke
Cameron Simpson
Nathaniel Sizemore, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Brigitte von Oppenfeld
Jiayi Yuan, Environmental Sciences (BS)

* denotes team leader