An Environment of Answers

What’s in there? How do we get it out? And how do we do that without leaving any trace? This is a wild path, but it leads to the most important answers of our time.

Recent research by undergraduate students in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment:

Professor Tom Holsen working with studentsThe Understanding of Perfluorinated Compounds in Wastewater and the Activated Carbons (AC) that Absorb Them — sponsored by the Community of Underrepresented Professional Opportunities at Clarkson University
Emily Daniels
Dr. Thomas Holsen

Evidence shows human activity has resulted in the ubiquitous contamination of the environment with perfluorochemicals (PFCs). The purpose of this research is to assist in the development of a predictable and low-cost, in-situ treatment train for remediating PFC contaminated groundwater.

Fault Protection for Smart Grid
Luanna Siqueira
Dr. Tom Ortmeyer

Electric power transmission and distribution lines are the most vulnerable element in electric power systems. They are subject to short-circuit faults caused by external and internal factors. Protection systems detect faults or abnormal conditions to remove them quickly, but only the faulty element can be removed. This ensures greater continuity in the supply of electric power. This study considers two components of system protection engineering.

The Role of Messaging in Patterns of Energy Usage Behavior — with funding from the National Science Foundation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Clarkson University
Lydia Fox
Dr. Stephen Bird and Dr. Susan Powers

Despite the negative impacts of wasteful energy use, it is difficult to change consumer behavior — particularly among those, like students, who do not directly pay for utilities. This research examines targeted messaging as a means to significantly reduce resource consumption. Preliminary results suggest this tactic can reduce energy use.

Optimization of Ducted Wind Turbines
Hebron Yam, Steven McCauliff
Dr. Kenneth Visser

As the burning of fossil fuels causes increased environmental impacts, technology that captures energy from the wind continues to advance. Ducted Wind Turbines (DWTs) have design features capable of increasing the wind speed at the rotor and the overall power extracted from the wind. The goal of the project is to build a DWT prototype that will be tested at the Clarkson University wind-turbine test site. The prototype will minimize initial investment by decreasing the amount of construction materials. It can also maximize power output by optimizing duct geometry, thereby promoting public use of alternative energy.

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