Upcoming Presentations

Dates for upcoming presentations this semester:

Nov 29 Doug Kelbaugh: THE URBAN FIX: Cities in the War against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation
Dec 12 Sara Soderstrom: Enabling the Good Food Movement

All Presentations are from noon to 1PM in the Johnson rooms of the Lurie Engineering Center Bldg, on the North Campus of the University of Michigan.

THE URBAN FIX: Cities in the War against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation.

Doug Kelbaugh FAIA FCNU Topaz Laureate
Emil Lorch Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning and Dean Emeritus
Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning
The University of Michigan

 

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, November 29, 2018


The talk, the title of my latest book, explains and connects several dots: the first is climate change itself, with special focus on the negative role that the sprawling built environment plays in this global phenomenon. The second dot is the urban heat island, a lesser known local phenomenon, which is heating up most cities twice as fast as their surrounding countryside or the planet as a whole. Taken together, many cities suffer extreme heat. Dot 3 is fast, unsustainable population growth in developing countries, as well as excessive consumption and carbon footprints per capita in developed countries. The last dot is the city itself, which offers very effective social, cultural and physical ways to address the challenges represented by the first three dots.

Douglas S. Kelbaugh FAIA is Professor and former dean at the U. of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He received his BA degree Magna Cum Laude and Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University. His 1975 passive solar house in Princeton was the first to utilize a Trombe Wall, and one of his many pioneering and award-winning passive solar buildings designed by his firm Kelbaugh and Lee. A decade later, his practice moved to Seattle, where he was Architecture Chair at the U. of Washington. He partnered with Peter Calthorpe, another co-founder of both the passive solar and New Urbanism movements.

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Enabling the Good Food Movement

Sara Soderstrom
Assistant Professor,
Organizational Studies & Program in the Environment,
University of Michigan

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, December 12, 2018


In promoting social change, organizations benefit from diverse membership, yet diversity is difficult to achieve. Using data collected over a 15-month field study, we examined how a social movement organization (SMO), FoodLab, mobilized a diverse collective of entrepreneurs, aligned with the good food movement. FoodLab articulated a vision for an imagined future of a diverse good food economy in Detroit that aligned movement goals and entrepreneurs’ livelihoods. This vision supported diverse recruitment, and the organization facilitated dialogue among participants. These structured interactions with norms of questions, stories, and respectful interaction, helped build collective identity and foster diverse collective action. FoodLab’s substantive commitment to diversity enabled growth of the diverse collective through social networks.

Sara Soderstrom is an Assistant Professor in Organizational Studies & Program in the Environment at University of Michigan. She is core faculty at the Erb Institute. In her research, Sara aims to contribute an organizational perspective on how society develops solutions to critical global sustainability challenges. Sara studies how individuals within organizations mobilize others, develop coalitions, and access critical resources when they are trying to implement sustainability initiatives. Sara completed her PhD at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Erb Institute at UM. Prior to her graduate work at Kellogg, Sara worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and led a business transformation team at Auto Club Group. She holds MSE degrees in Chemical & Environmental Engineering and a BSE degree in Chemical Engineering from UM.

Sustainable Transportation: Solar Car and Hyperloop

Two Michigan student teams are presenting:

Michigan Solar Car: Andrew Dickinson, Project Manager

Michigan Hyperloop: Blaise Nugent, Alicia Lenci, Anindita Mukherjee, Jack Rademacher

 

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, November 6, 2018

Driving on the Sun: The Role of Solar Powered Cars in the Future of Transportation

Solar powered cars present a unique solution to the transportation problem. Because the car is able to generate its own energy, it is possible to be completely grid independent. Additionally, distribution losses are near zero because energy is generated right where it is needed. However, energy from solar panels is limited, and so it must be used efficiently. For this reason, cars constructed by the UM solar team have MPGe figures in the high 1000s. We will describe the benefits and limitations of solar powered cars and show where the technology is now by describing and comparing the capabilities of our most recent car: Novum to the best electric cars on the market today. read more…

Andrew Dickinson is a Junior studying Computer Science in the College of Engineering and the Project Manager for the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, one of the world’s premier solar racing teams. Widely recognized as the most successful solar racing team in North America, they hold nine national titles and have taken six podium finishes on the world stage. The team’s most recent vehicle, Novum, took 2nd in the 2017 World Solar Challenge. Presently, the team looks forward to the 2019 World Solar Challenge with the aim of taking home the gold.



Michigan Hyperloop: Sustainable Transportation for the Future

Hyperloop has the potential to become a sixth mode of transport, and to revolutionize the way people travel long distances, all while maintaining an unmatched level of efficiency. We at Michigan Hyperloop will share our vision for what the future has in store. read more…

Presenters: Blaise Nugent, Alicia Lenci, Anindita Mukherjee, Jack Rademacher

Air Quality: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Mary Lynam
Assistant Research Scientist,
Environmental Health Sciences,
Univ. of Michigan

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, October 24, 2018

Outdoor air pollution, episodic air pollution events and resulting health effects receive lots of attention and news coverage by the global media. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.2 million people die every year as a result of outdoor air pollution. This presentation will discuss the current state of air quality in the world with particular emphasis on the United States. It will focus on particulate matter (PM), ozone, methane and mercury pollutants. Using mercury as a case study, the long process leading to regulation from industrial, medical and electrical utility emissions sources in the United States will be examined. The role of citizens and the judiciary in interpreting air quality laws will be discussed especially in light of recent proposals to roll back regulations on mercury and methane emissions in the United States.

Dr. Lynam is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan. She holds a B.Sc. in chemistry and biology, an M.S. in chemistry and a Ph. D. in Environmental Health Sciences. She has completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Exposure Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, Durham, NC. Dr. Lynam’s research is focused on the characterization of atmospheric deposition of toxic air pollutants (trace metals and particulate matter) in rural an urban environments in order to assess fate and transport of these pollutants as well impacts to public health.

Viewgraphs from the presentation are here.

Are We Ready for the Power Grid Revolution?

Paul G. Rasmussen
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
Univ. of Michigan Depts. of Chemistry & Macromolecular Science & Engineering

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, October 4, 2018

What are AC and DC and why does it matter? We will trace a bit of history of Edison, Tesla, and the battle of the currents. We will show that this history still resonates into the modern era of energy transfer as it affects everything from cellphones to car batteries to LED’s to photovoltaic panels to the household power system. Where does the energy in our power grid come from? We will look at how generation, transmission and distribution have developed over the past hundred years and the revolutionary changes that are in progress.

Most states have initiatives to increase renewable resources into their distribution system which will make them more dynamic and interactive. They are looking into how to roll out Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as solar, storage, plug-in vehicles, demand response and any other resources that are behind the meter, in the most efficient way possible. We will give a local example of how much energy solar panels can provide in Michigan and describe how, in the coming years, plug-in electric vehicles and distributed power will evolve into the Smartgrid.

In the past history of the grid, no one has seriously contemplated storing grid level quantities of electrical energy. However, the DER grid of the future with its dependence on solar and wind power, will need storage. A special kind of battery called the Redox Flow Battery is being investigated to meet this need. We will describe this progress towards grid-level storage.

Paul G. Rasmussen is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus of the University of Michigan Department of Chemistry and the Macromolecular Science and Engineering program. He was Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Literature Science and Arts and his research experience includes synthesis and experimental characterization of polymers and electrochemical energy conversion systems. After retiring from teaching at UM he worked for several years with the Levi Thompson group in Chemical Engineering. He was a senior engineer at the China Lake Naval Base working on materials for super-capacitors. He is founder and president of Vinazene Inc., a Michigan corporation. His company has had over a $1M in grants from DOE and NSF for research on flow batteries and supercapacitors. He has engaged in contract and grant work with numerous corporations, including GM, Ford, Amoco, and Pharmacia Biotech. Dr. Rasmussen has numerous papers and patents in the fields of synthesis, polymer characterization and electrochemistry. He taught a course entitled “Cars, Energy & Chemistry” in the Program in the Environment, and has been active in promoting alternative energy resources.

The video of the meeting is below:

Solving Climate Change: A Simple, Fair, Effective and Feasible Plan

Ginny Rogers and Catherine Garton of the
Ann Arbor Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby



(image courtesy of NASA)
This presentation gave the details of a proposal by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) for a Carbon Fee and Dividend (CFD), intended to be a federal policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The presentation showed how this proposed legislation is the fairest, simplest and most politically viable solution. Also described was how CCL is effective at creating political will and  the momentum that is building in Congress. If you’re worried about leaving a livable world for future generations, this presentation showed how you can make a difference.

More information on the Citizens’ Climate Lobby
… and the Ann Arbor Chapter

How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate

Prof. Andrew Hoffman, The University of Michigan School of Business

Though the scientific community largely agrees that climate change is underway, debates about this issue remain fiercely polarized. These conversations have become a rhetorical contest, one where opposing sides try to achieve victory through playing on fear, distrust, and intolerance. At its heart, this split no longer concerns carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, or climate modeling; rather, it is the product of contrasting, deeply entrenched worldviews. This presentation examines what causes people to reject or accept the scientific consensus on climate change. Synthesizing evidence from sociology, psychology, and political science, Andrew J. Hoffman lays bare the opposing cultural lenses through which science is interpreted. He then extracts lessons from major cultural shifts in the past to engender a better understanding of the problem and motivate the public to take action. How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate makes a powerful case for a more scientifically literate public, a more socially engaged scientific community, and a more thoughtful mode of public discourse.


Andrew (Andy) Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, a position that holds joint appointments at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources & Environment. Andy also serves as Education Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute. In his research, Andy uses organizational, network and strategic analyses to assess the implications of environmental issues for business, and has published over a dozen books and over ninety articles and book chapters on the topic. Prior to academics, Andy worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency (Region 1), Metcalf & Eddy Environmental Consultants, T&T Construction & Design, and the Amoco Corporation.

Prof. Hoffman\’s website: http://www.andrewhoffman.net/

Book Flyer

Book Website

Video recordings of this talk appear below. A podcast can be downloaded here.

Recycling Myths Debunked

Tracey Artley, Coordinator of Waste and Recycling, The Univ. of Michigan
MacKenzie Maxwell, The Ecology Center of Ann Arbor

The meeting will be a panel comprised of Tracy Artley from U-M Waste Reduction & Recycling, and MacKenzie Maxwell from the Ecology Center. We will learn where our recycling goes after we put it in the bin, what happens to it at the recycling facility, hear common recycling myths debunked, and finish with a question and answer session.

Learn more about Tracy Artley from this University Record article

. Learn more about MacKenzie Maxwell from this webpage.

The Ecology Center of Ann Arbor also hosts Saturday Open House Events

Here is a video of the Materials Recovery Facility in action.

The video of the meeting is below

Light Pollution in Ann Arbor

Ben Greaves, CLASP Graduate Student, The Univ. of Michigan

There is a growing light pollution problem in the Ann Arbor area. Many factors are adversely affected by this over-saturation of light, and this presentation will discuss the steps people have taken around the country to help improve the problem. Specifically, the growing light pollution in Ann Arbor has affected people’s access to the night sky, especially considering that more than 80% of Americans live in urban areas. The night sky is a basic cultural heritage that connects us to the natural world, the stars, and the universe. It also causes serious problems for wildlife, as well as medical concerns for humans. Furthermore, all the light pointed into the sky is simply wasted energy, and the city’s lighting bill could be reduced by 30 – 50% by using well designed and placed lighting fixtures. There are some very simple steps we can take as a community that can save money, improve safety, and restore the natural environment and habitat.

More information on DarkSky.org
More information on Ben Greaves

A video from this talk appears below: