Reducing UM Commuter Emissions

James Wooldridge
President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality Research Assistant, Dual Master Student in Studying Environment and Sustainability as well as Urban and Regional Planning

Griffin Barron
President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality Research Assistant, Environmental Engineeering Undergraduate Student

The University of Michigan

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, Thursday, February 27, 2020

Two representatives from the Commuting Emissions team on the President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality will be presenting their team’s work thus far. It will include the emissions modeling, assumptions, and potential policies. They are interested in a discussion with the audience about both their modeling and proposed policy choices.

The commuting team is one of 8 teams that are working on the University of Michigan President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality. The commuting team is developing an approach to measuring the carbon impact of the commute to the three University of Michigan campuses. They are studying approaches used by peer institutions for reducing the carbon impact of the commute and their effectiveness. They will discuss how they are adapting promising approaches used elsewhere to the specific conditions of the UM campuses and their surrounding areas. The study will conclude with prioritized recommendations for reducing the commute’s carbon footprint, including metrics and indicators for tracking progress.

Read the Carbon Neutrality Interim Report here.

How Green Teams Work

Jessi Cebulski
ECE Senior Administrative Assistant, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Brooke Sweeney
Office and Event Coordinator, Erb Institute

Melanie Ordway
Recruiting Coordinator, College of Engineering

The University of Michigan

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, Monday, November 11, 2019

Green Teams are groups of concerned people in a unit at the University who are working to make their unit more green. These teams work to identify areas where changes can be made to “business as usual” in order to help reduce waste and improve recycling and composting. Jessi, Brooke, and Melanie will describe their Green Team experiences, and how their team helped to educate others about sustainability, and improve their work spaces. Examples of what you can do to help in your unit will be given, and even how to start your own.

Jessi Cebulski Is an ECE Admin Senior at University of Michigan College of Engineering and in her spare time helps to make her workplace greener as part of her unit’s Green Team. She was also part of the Green Team at her former position in the Ross School of Business.
Brooke Sweeney leads administrative organization and event strategy for the Erb Institute. She works with internal and external stakeholders to deliver dynamic and impactful events to facilitate meaningful conversations and outputs. In her role, Brooke is focused on driving the institute’s events, affiliated events and office suite toward a more zero waste mentality.
Melanie Ordway organizes and manages job postings and prepares campus interview materials. She also identifies needs of employers and determines appropriate preparation measures for their visits to campus. And besides Managing reservations for interview rooms and other networking events, she also evaluates employer accounts and job postings. She is also in charge of creating weekly flyers to publicize office events (company events, workshops, etc.).

ppt presentation

The video of the meeting is below:

From Student (Hobbyist) to Professional- My Adventures in Urban Beekeeping and Bee Rescue

Samy Ali-Khodja
IT Applications Specialist & Systems Administrator, Integrative Systems and Design
The University of Michigan

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, Thursday, October 24, 2019

Are you concerned about the bee population? Do you want to help but are not sure how?
Please join us as Samy shares his knowledge and tips on urban beekeeping.

Samy Ali-Khodja Is an IT specialist with Integrative Systems and Design and in his spare time he keeps bees.

The video of the meeting is below:

The Health Impacts of Climate Change

Patricia Koman, MPP, Ph.D.
Research Investigator, Environmental Health Sciences
The University of Michigan

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, Thursday, March 28, 2019

Come join us to hear from Trish Koman on her research to help create healthier communities, the health effects of global climate change, and what we can do about it.

Trish Koman leads community-engaged research to create healthier communities. Trish draws on over 20 years of public service as a senior environmental scientist at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) working mainly to improve air quality. She was part of the leadership team for the US EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign, where she initiated a partnership to reduce diesel emissions at U.S. marine ports and helped create the Clean School Bus USA partnership program to protect children’s health. Trish managed multi-disciplinary benefit-cost analyses, regulatory programs, and technological innovation initiatives. Her air quality and policy analyses formed the rationale for setting landmark national ambient air quality standards for fine particulate matter, which withstood a challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has been recognized with four Gold Medals for exceptional service to the country and an EPA Administrator award for excellence.

In partnership with community groups, Trish led an environmental education effort in Flint, Michigan. Trish received a University of Michigan Provost award for innovation in teaching.

The video of the meeting is below:

Recycling and Composting: Why We Do It

Anya Dale, Sustainability Representative
Tracy Artley, Sustainability Programs Coordinator
Office of Campus Sustainability
The University of Michigan

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Bldg, Univ of Michigan, North Campus.
Noon, Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Come join us as the Office of Campus Sustainability shares an overview of waste reduction programs on campus, why it matters, and how you can be involved. Among other fascinating things, you’ll learn what goes into which (landfill, recycle, compost) bin and why! There will be plenty of time for Q & A, and maybe even some games and prizes!

Tracy Artley is the project manager for the President’s waste and recycling standardization initiative through the Office of Campus Sustainability. She develops and implement plans to roll out new standards to campus by partnering with students, faculty & staff to ensure compliance with regulations, recycling best practices and individual building requirements. Finally, she leads all project communication efforts to both the project stakeholder working group and targeted buildings.
Anya Dale is the Sustainability Rep at the University of Michigan Office for Campus Sustainability. She helps to coordinate campus partners to reduce synthetic chemical applications on campus grounds, promotes waste reduction and diversion across campus, and coordinates and leads the Zero Waste Events Program. She is also the liaison to Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) and helps to develop programs to encourage diversion of construction and demolition waste and track C & D data. Lastly, she helps to educate the university community on best practices in environmental sustainability.

The video of the meeting is below:

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.

The video of the meeting is below:

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.

The video of the meeting is below

Viewgraphs are here.

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

The video of the meeting is below:

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: