Sustainable engineering: the carbon issues

We’ve been looking for a green engineering video ever since our last article on the subject. This excellent briefing definitely makes up for the wait.

Last time the iij wrote about this subject (October 2010) we expressed our hope that you would be soon able to find it in Wikipedia. We’re still waiting.

The talk is called:

Using Carbon Footprints at Home, Campus and in the Community to Reduce Environmental Impacts

It was given by Professor Sean McGinnis of the Virginia Tech Green Engineering program, at an event held at Virginia Western Community College on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 as one of a series of talks in a ‘celebration of Earth Week

If you’re curious about the curriculum of a green engineering course, here’s a slide deck from the Virginia Tech College of Engineering.

During the same week, National Instruments announced a Green Engineering grant program.

Here’s an extract from the press release:

National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) today announced its 2011 Green Engineering Grant program, a worldwide competitive program that fosters rapid design, prototyping and commercialization of promising new renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart grid systems. Through the program, NI will donate up to $25,000 USD equivalent in NI LabVIEW graphical system design software tools and training to eligible startups to help advance clean energy development in applications such as solar, wind and biofuel technology. The 2011 program has a special focus on technologies that improve the smart grid and provide the foundation for a clean energy future.

“The NI Green Engineering Grant program helps remove technological barriers by providing access to the training and tools needed to bring smart grid and renewable energy solutions to market.” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of National Instruments.

“With only three employees, we work hard to develop clean energy solutions for people in developing nations,” said Matt Bennett, vice president of research and development for Windlift, a startup company that develops mobile airborne wind energy systems, including onboard energy storage for mobile microgrids in post-conflict reconstruction and disaster relief. “The NI Green Engineering Grant gave us the tools to facilitate rapid development of our technology, helping us to progress from concept to prototype in just eight months. Also, the same hardware and software will carry through the entire technology development process, providing a smooth transition when we are ready to enter production.”

To date, the NI Green Engineering Grant program has delivered NI software and training to more than 40 startups and small companies working on a variety of revolutionary renewable energy applications. The following examples demonstrate how past grant recipients are using NI tools in their renewable energy solutions:

Powering remote villages with portable airborne wind technology

Producing quality transportation fuels from inedible plants

Generating electricity by harnessing ocean thermal energy

Readers can learn more about the 2011 NI Green Engineering Grant program by visiting www.ni.com/greengrant