Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation (2017-2018)

Background

To explore the breadth of issues that confront our society in its need for clean, affordable and reliable energy, students partner with faculty on a year-long project resulting in prototypes of new energy technologies, systems or approaches.

Project Description

This Bass Connections project team involves identifying, designing and prototyping new energy technologies, systems or approaches. The 2016-2017 projects included The Hydrogen Economy: A Strategy Proposal for Encouraging Growth; Healthy Harbor: A Human-powered Bicycle to Filter Urban Water Systems; and Electric Vehicle (as part of an ongoing Duke electric vehicle prototype competition). Earlier projects have included a solar-powered vehicle, a biogas-powered generator and a green emergency power system.

Sub-teams will address the tradeoffs 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 semester and completed during the spring semester.

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.

Anticipated Outcomes

Prototypes and accompanying evaluation of environmental benefits and viability; final reports; presentations of results

Student Opportunities

The team will likely be comprised of 15-20 students. Approximately three graduate students are sought as project managers for each of the sub-teams. Undergraduate backgrounds could include mechanical engineering, public policy, environmental sciences and policy, environmental sciences, economics and international comparative studies; however, students in all majors are welcome to apply.

Timing

Fall 2017 – Spring 2018

Team meetings will take place on Mondays in Fall, 5:00-6:30 p.m. (half credit) and on Mondays in Spring, 5:00-7:30 p.m. (full credit).

  • Fall 2017: Select and define projects; form sub-teams
  • Spring 2018: Complete prototypes and evaluation of environmental benefits and viability; submit final report; present results

Crediting

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 (2016-2017).

Themes

Faculty/Staff Team Members

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

* denotes team leader

Status

Active