From fuel cells to the smart grid, Northeastern University is leading the way toward a greener future. Here is a collection of blog posts about sustainability related research and events around campus.
April 26 marked the annual Riser Lecture at the Marine Science Center to honor Doc Riser, the founding director of the MSC. I’d had the event in my book for several months, but when it finally came upon us my schedule had been overridden with other junk, precluding me from being able to make it up […]
Civil and environmental engineering professor Philip Larese-Casanova has had a life-long love affair with metals. In his work in aquatic environmental chemistry, he looks at how metallic pollutants transform and behave in freshwater systems. “I just had an interest in the metals,” he told me in an interview last month. “Maybe it’s because I see […]
Last spring, four members of the Husky Environmental Action Team, or HEAT, got down and dirty with campus trash. For the last 20 years, building services director Mark Boulter has organized the annual “dumpster dive” to get a sense of what the Northeastern community is throwing away. This was the first time students got to […]
“If we want to use research to inspire action by cities and have that research be inspired by what cities currently do to affect their vulnerabilities, it really means we must work closely together with decision making communities and stakeholder groups,” said Northeastern professor Matthias Ruth, who holds joint appointments with the School of Public […]
By now you’ve probably heard of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the problems they had in their first weeks in the air. Basically, the Dreamliner is an extremely fuel-efficient airliner. It was the first to use composite materials to reduce weight and the first to use “large format” lithium-ion batteries. Due to fuel leaks and […]
“Living in panama and working on the reefs I would watch white band disease sweep through the population,” said assistant professor of earth and environmental science Steve Vollmer. He pursued post-doctoral research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Islan. The disease he’s talking about is one of 22 that affect coral reefs. […]
A few months ago incoming faculty member Brian Helmuth saw a camel on the side of a river in the East Hammar Marsh in Basra, Iraq. “At first I thought, ‘oh yeah you know that’s cool,’” he recalled. “And then I realized, yeah — camels don’t belong in marshes.” The Hammar Marsh, seated at the […]
Here are two problems our planet needs help with: 1. Getting rid of all the trash we pile on top of it 2. Making electricity for us in a healthy, sustainable way Mechanical and Industrial engineering professor Yiannis Levendis has it covered. He recently filed a patent for a reactor that efficiently turns plastics and […]
This month’s issue of the National Science Foundation newsletter, Current, highlights civil and environmental engineering professor Auroop Ganguly. The article talks about Ganguly’s work modeling future water availability using various scenarios of population growth and climate change. The article also references a video of Ganguly being interviewed for Live Science in collaboration with the NSF. […]
“Corals are analogous to trees in tropical rain forests,” said Steve Vollmer, assistant professor at Northeastern’s Marine Sciences Center. “They provide the essential habitat for the unprecedented diversity of organisms that exist on reefs. If we lose the corals, we will lose our coral reefs.” So results published by Vollmer and his colleagues in Science […]
Perhaps you saw the news the other day in the Boston Globe about a nasty red seaweed washing up on the shores of Nahant, MA, where Northeastern’s Marine Science Center is located. The story quotes marine biology professor Matt Bracken, whose lab focuses on marine biodiversity. I spoke with Bracken this afternoon to find out […]
I wrote a story for today’s news email about civil and environmental engineering chair Jerry Hajjar‘s new NSF grant to develop building design methods that take eventual deconstruction into account. Here is a graphic of the clamping system he discussed in the article: Image courtesy of Mark Webster for Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.