Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation (2019-2020)


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 aims to identify, design and prototype new energy technologies, systems or approaches. Recent focus areas include island grid resilience and emergency backup power, a folding electric skateboard, alternative refrigeration, the potential of incorporating green building concepts into college dorms, alternative use cases for flywheel energy storage and renewable microgrids in South Africa. Other previous projects have included a strategy proposal for encouraging growth in the hydrogen economy, a human-powered bicycle to filter urban water systems, electric and solar-powered vehicles, a biogas-powered generator and a green emergency power system.

Subteams 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 semester and completed during the spring semester.

While some subteams 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 Outputs

Prototypes (physical or conceptual) and accompanying evaluation of environmental and social benefits, target market and basic business plan; presentation of results in the form of poster session as well as class presentations and final report


Fall 2019 – Spring 2020 

  • Fall 2019: Select and define projects; form subteams
  • Spring 2020: Complete prototypes and evaluation of environmental benefits and viability; submit final report; present results

See earlier related team, Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation (2018-2019).


Image: Flywheel energy storage design

Flywheel energy storage design

Team Leaders

  • Emily Klein, Nicholas School of the Environment-Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Josiah Knight, Pratt School of Engineering-Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

/graduate Team Members

  • Edward Lins, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics/Policy

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Anjali Arora, Mechanical Engineering (BSE), Computer Science (AB2)
  • Kaela Basmajian
  • Scott Burstein
  • Mary Cobb
  • Adesemi Elumaro
  • Max Issokson, Environmental Sciences (BS)
  • Tanisha Nalavadi,
  • Samuel Osheroff, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
  • Allen Qiu, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE), Computer Science (BSE2)
  • Carolyn Rossman, Civil Engineering (BSE)
  • Ryan Savell, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Alejandro Sevilla, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
  • Vedant Singh, Mechanical Engineering (BSE), Economics (BS2)
  • Krista Stark, Environmental Sciences (BS)
  • Matthew Treiber, Economics (BS)
  • Alexander Weck, Civil Engineering (BSE)
  • Kathryn White, Civil Engineering (BSE)