A manufacturer of software that can help engineers determine a product’s carbon footprint has agreed to donate funds from its sales to support Formula Hybrid, the annual international student competition based at Thayer. Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. will donate $1 for every download of its SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress software, up to $10,000, to Formula Hybrid, which encourages students to design high-performance fuel-electric hybrid vehicles. “SustainabilityXpress will aid in students’ decision-making processes regarding sustainability and the life cycle of components or materials they use in building their plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles for the Formula Hybrid competition,” says Formula Hybrid deputy director Wynne Washburn.
Scientific American recently featured Professor Victor Petrenko’s technology for de-icing car windshields, power lines, airplane wings, and bridge cables. Petrenko’s IceController delivers a swift jolt of high-power electricity that immediately melts ice where it meets surfaces, letting the ice slide away. “The objective is to heat an interface in between the ice and the surface from ambient temperature to ice[’s] melting point quickly and with a lot of power,” Petrenko told Scientific American. His company, Ice Engineering LLC, has installed the technology on the Uddevalla cable bridge in Sweden and a 107,639-square-foot glass dome in a mall in Moscow.
Scientists from around the world are joining forces to help resolve issues related to the sustainable production of energy from biomass. The Global Sustainable Bioenergy (GSB) project, led by Professor Lee Lynd, kicked off in November with a meeting in Malaysia. “A key focus of our project is to look at future scenarios that are not continuous with current trends,” says Lynd. “By showing that bioenergy-intensive futures that honor other important priorities are physically possible on a global scale, it is my hope that the GSB project will motivate and inform action toward this end.” Lynd, the Paul H. and Joan A. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design, describes the project — and his longtime passion for biofuels — in a Jones Seminar that is available on YouTube.
The Eastern Snow Conference awarded Si Chen Th’10 the Wiesnet Medal for best student paper at its conference last June. Chen presented the paper “In-situ Observations of Snow Sublimation Using Scanning Electron Microscopy.”
A $2-million award from the National Science Foundation will enable Professor Simon Shepherd to help expand the international Super Dual Auroral Radar Network, or SuperDARN, used to study the space plasma environment that surrounds the Earth. Shepherd is part of a collaborative project with colleagues from three other schools to construct an array of ground-based remote sensing instruments. “This data will help us better understand the near-Earth space environment and ultimately better predict geomagnetic storms and their effects on terrestrial and space systems,” says Shepherd, who will oversee the construction and operation of at least one of four new radar sites. He will be joined in that effort by co-principal investigator Raymond Greenwald Adv’70.