Posts Tagged 'Sustainability'

Invisible Ink to (Eventually) “Invisible Pens”

Paper Mate Launches Line Of Biodegradable Pens.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle (5/4) reported Paper Mate has launched “a line of biodegradable pens and mechanical pencils that break down in soil or home compost in about a year.  The Paper Mate Biodegradable series looks and feels like conventional plastic, but its compostable components are a bio-plastic made from plant-derived sugar.”

Reposted from the May 5, 2010 ASEE First Bell.

Student Sustainability Project Competition

SEAS Undergraduate and Graduate Students–

Please consider participating in the 2nd Annual Student Sustainability Project Competition described below.  The top 20 submissions will be selected to present their work in the Dome Room of the Rotunda, and a team of judges will select the top three presentations.  Last year’s winner was a SEAS student!

Student Sustainability Competition Poster

More information at

Picky about Trash

Robot Sorts Plastic Recyclables From Trash.

The Daily Telegraph (UK) (3/2, Demetriou) reported on a “device, created by Mitsubishi Electric Engineering Corp and Osaka University researchers, [that] identifies different plastic materials among rubbish and sorts them into piles.” The robot “uses five laser beams and sensors to detect a range of different plastics for recycling purposes.” Plastic recycling in Japan is comparatively limited, and the new device “aims to boost plastic recycling levels by identifying six different types of plastics that can be recycled and sorted from general rubbish collections.”

Reposted from the March 3, 2010 ASEE First Bell.

Sustainable Engineering Lecture

Engineering a Sustainable World

From Rodman Scholars Program

Lecture Series sponsored by the Rodman Scholars Program at the University of Virginia, open to the University community and general public. Lockheed Martin has generously sponsored this years lecture series as a part of the larger Lockheed Martin Sustainability Grant to the Rodman Scholars Program.

Lectures will generally be held on Tuesday nights at 5. All lectures will take place in Jefferson Hall (Hotel C) on the West Range.

  • Orange, Blue, and Green: Challenges and Opportunities in Reducing UVA’s Environmental Footprint
    • Andrew Greene (Sustainability Planner, Office of the Architect)
    • 2/23
    • 5:00 PM, Jefferson Hall (Hotel C)
    • Curious how UVA is designing with sustainability in mind? Come hear Andrew Greene talk about UVA’s plans for reducing its environmental impact. From several hundred year old Lawn rooms to the brand new South Lawn Project the university faces many challenges in engineering and designing a more environmentally friendly university.

Sustainability Research Grants

Sustainability Research Grants

Courtesy of the Rodman Scholars Program

Are you an undergrad doing research and need money?  We will provide $3,000 each for up to five sustainability-themed projects.  Please visit our website and apply today!  Deadline for submission is December 4th.

Blair Taylor Stocks
University of Virginia
SEAS Undergraduate Class of 2010
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Rodman Scholars President
(703) 772-4739

Carbon Footprint Calculator

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has unveiled Green Footstep, a free online carbon calculator for reducing carbon emissions in building construction and retrofit projects. 

While many carbon calculators are available online, none address multiple building emissions over the building lifetime. “Green Footstep makes it easier for design professionals to set the design targets theyll need to achieve a carbon neutrality that includes not just operation, but also embodied carbon and others,” said Victor Olgyay, AIA, principal at RMI.  “Just as a life cycle cost analysis of a green building design shows the operating costs you are saving over time, Green Footstep shows you the saved carbon.” 

Green Footstep also shows designers how to comply with specific design goals such as LEEDs energy credits and the 2030 Challenge, the organization that has challenged designers to make all new buildings carbon neutral by 2030.  Edward Mazria , founder and executive director of Architecture 2030, says, “Rocky Mountain Institute’s Green Footstep is an extremely valuable goal-setting and evaluation tool that will help building designers assess a project’s carbon emission impacts with regard to site, construction, and operations.  Because the 2030 Challenge is integrated into the program, this tool can also help designers in their efforts to meet or exceed the 2030 Challenge targets.” 

The Green Footstep tool can be used on residential and commercial new and retrofit building construction projects, from pre-design through occupancy. The tool 

  • Assesses your design’s total carbon footprint due to site development, construction, and operation
  • Helps designers and other project stakeholders set carbon emissions goals and design targets
  • Reveals the most effective levers that you can use to meet the Architecture 2030 Challenge, earn credits in green building rating systems, and achieve other goals
  • Compliments a financial model (based on life cycle cost analysis) to provide the most comprehensive support for building design decisions.

Try out Green Footstep or learn more about its capabilities at

(Portions of this post excerpted from a November 11, 2009 ACRL Science and Technology Discussion List posting by Frederick Stoss.)

Sustainability Talk

As part of the U.Va  Engineering School’s alliance with SAIC– Science Applications International Corporation- we are hosting a speaker series featuring SAIC leaders discussing the needs and constraints of the energy field.   

Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the fourth lecture in the SAIC Sustainable Energy Future Speaker Series – Friday, Nov. 6  at 3 p.m. in the Mechanical Engineering building, room 205. 

A Renewable Energy Future: Facts, Fiction and Potential by Joe Cohen

Many different predictions and projections of the future use of renewable energy have been developed since the 1970s, spurred by various geopolitical conditions and environmental concerns.  Meanwhile, renewable energy technologies matured to different degrees over that period, and market modeling capabilities have improved as well.  As momentum has recently increased toward building a greener and more secure energy future, a new generation of analyses has been conducted to look at the future potential for different renewable energy technologies and scenarios of energy supply and end use. 

The final energy lecture in this series will be held Dec. 4 in Rm. 50 at the Darden School of Business. For more information, call 924-3310.

This event is FREE and open to the public.  Refreshments will be provided.

Real Time Energy Monitoring at UVa

This from the October 29 UVatoday Daily Report:

Monitor Tracks Utility Consumption at U.Va. in Real Time
Sustainability officials at the University of Virginia believe that supplying people with information can change their habits. Their latest tool is a “building dashboard,” a kiosk that publicly displays utility consumption numbers in Newcomb Hall in real time.  (Click above link for complete article)

Or visit the Newcomb Hall Real-Time Energy Monitor directly at this address.

Sustainable Transportation Seminar


Maglev: Sustainable Transport For The 21st Century & Beyond

Kevin C. Coates

Executive Director, North American Maglev Transport Institute (NAMTI)

Friday, October 30, 2009

120 Olsson Hall

2:00 PM 


America’s highways and airports are overcrowded. Suburban sprawl continues unabated. Oil, gas and electricity prices spike and then plummet, throwing world economies into uncertainty.  This cycle will continue, and likely intensify as long as political and industry leaders attempt to apply old solutions in the face of continued explosive growth.   The nearly simultaneous convergence of rapidly increasing world demand for energy and increasing demands on transportation systems will eventually force America to reassess its present land development and transportation policies. America must find ways to link any new policy with more sustainable energy and transportation solutions.

Augmenting the existing car/air travel duopoly will not be easy, but without high capacity passenger (rail or maglev) modes between cities, intercity travel will continue to become more and more difficult. For many cities in the U.S., traffic levels are already unacceptable and the situation continues to deteriorate. If America is to regain its competitive edge, an important step must be to adopt more workable and sustainable transportation solutions.

High-speed magnetic levitation transportation is the first logical step industrialized countries can take to free themselves from short haul air travel between city pairs and reliance on oil for intercity travel.  Non-contact maglev technology is a faster, safer, and more cost effective alternative to steel wheel rail technology. The technology lasts longer, costs less, and has much lower environmental impact than traditional high-speed rail or short haul air travel.

The CEE seminar series is open to the University community.  CE undergraduate students are especially invited to attend.

Refreshments served at 3:00 PM in THN D204 (CEE Lounge)

The Fun Theory

Is it possible to change people’s behavior for the better by making something fun?  Take a look at The Fun Theory site and judge for yourself — it might just be fun!  This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.  Be it for yourself, for the environment, or something entirely different, just so long as it’s change for the better.  Current examples include:

  • Bottle Bank Arcade Machine
  • Piano Staircase
  • World’s Deepest Trash Bin

And between now and November 15th you can enter The Fun Theory competition to submit YOUR fun, behavior-changing idea — and possibly win 2,500 euros!  See The Fun Theory Award web page for details and entry form.

Have fun!

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July 2020