Monthly Archive for July, 2009

“Engineering Sustainable Engineers”

The College of Engineering has issued the following press release:

Engineering Students Learning to Address Sustainability

Beginning this fall, engineering students at The University of Texas at Arlington will be part of concerted efforts to improve their knowledge of and competency in addressing sustainability issues in engineering design and problem solving. Three engineering departments are collaborating to infuse their curricula with sustainability concepts from the freshman through the senior year.

Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Melanie Sattler is coordinating the “Engineering Sustainable Engineers” program, which is being underwritten by a $150,000 grant by the National Science Foundation. Her collaborators include Drs. Yvette Weatherton and Stephen Mattingly from Civil Engineering, Kambiz Alavi from Electrical Engineering, and Victoria Chen and Jamie Rogers from Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering.

“Sustainability is one of the global grand challenges of the 21st century,” said Dr. Sattler. “In order for future generations to enjoy a satisfactory quality of life, the current generation must find ways to meet humanity’s needs for energy, shelter, food and water in ways that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. This program will equip UT Arlington engineering students with sustainability concepts they can apply to real-world projects and problems.”

Sustainability concepts will be integrated via one-class modules into 12 core engineering courses, spanning from the “Introduction to Engineering” course that is required of all freshmen all the way up through senior design projects. Program developers predict that students will be conditioned to consider sustainability as an integral part of design and will carry this forward throughout their careers.

As part of the program, senior civil, electrical and industrial engineering students will have the opportunity to participate in a multi-disciplinary sustainable engineering senior design project. Seniors will collaborate to design, fabricate and assemble a portable biodiesel production refinery for the UT Arlington campus. Fuel produced by the refinery from dining hall waste grease could then be used by the campus’ fleet of diesel-powered vehicles.  A microreactor process to refine biodiesel has been developed by College of Engineering researchers.

A portion of the grant will be used to support five internships at area companies that have operational sustainability programs. “We will be conducting a survey to identify companies that can provide the best internship programs for our students,” Dr. Sattler stated. “We’re also hope to develop long-lasting relationships with these companies for the placement of more students.”

In addition to enlightening engineering students at UT Arlington, instructional elements developed as a part of the “Engineering Sustainable Engineers” project will have broad applicability at engineering schools across the country and to various engineering disciplines. “We’ll be developing a project website where we can post the course supplemental materials and comments on performance outcomes that faculty at other universities can use to develop similar programs,” said Dr. Sattler. “We will also be disseminating our program successes through education journal articles and conference presentations.”

Shorthorn story, August 28

Bad news from newly hired Sustainability Director

This morning PSC co-chair Don Lange circulated the following message to committee members:

KC Poulos has resigned her position of Sustainability Director.  It was a difficult decision for her to make and she was extremely apologetic.  John, Stacy and I will meet to discuss our options for filling the position.  It is important that we keep our focus and not let this minor setback affect our future progress.  If you have any recommendations for filling the position, please let Stacy or me know.

Thanks for your continued dedication and support with UT Arlington’s sustainable initiatives.

Shorthorn story, July 28

Introduction to Texas Smartscape

Have you noticed the planting arrangement in front of the MAC? This is a good example of Texas Smartscaping.

Are you interested in learning more about Texas native plants and their use in gardening?

The City of Arlington is hosting two upcoming classes at the Arlington Soutwest Library.

Wednesday, July 22, 6-8p.m.
Wednesday, August 12, 6-8 p.m.
S.W. Library, 3311 S.W. Green Oaks Blvd.

Please click on the flyer for details on how to register:
Introduction to Texas Smartscape Flyer

PSC budget for 2010

Building & Development — $0

Communications — $18,500

Curriculum & Research — $10,000

Dining Services — $300

Energy & Water — $0

Landscaping & Habitat — $2,700

Management Systems — $25,000

Purchasing — $9,350

Transportation — $10,000

Waste Reduction — $15,650

Discretionary fund — $10,000

          TOTAL — $101,500

These amounts do not include funds included in other parts of the university’s budget that are relevant to sustainability (e.g., construction of efficient buildings, enhancement of energy systems).