Biomimicry Design Challange

Ben Ocamb

Rochester Institute of Technology

We are creating an insulation that is economically and environmentally efficient that was inspired from the nest of and Arctic Hornet.

Biomimicry Design Challange

Ben Ocamb

Rochester Institute of Technology

We are creating an insulation that is economically and environmentally efficient that was inspired from the nest of and Arctic Hornet.

Fog Scrubbing

Mathis Weyrich

Cal Poly SLO

Fog Scrubbing

Mathis Weyrich

Cal Poly SLO

Well Database for South Sudan

Chris Kratzer

Rochester Institute of Technology

Well Database for South Sudan

Chris Kratzer

Rochester Institute of Technology

ESW Cornell: Small-Scale, Big Impact

Jacqueline Wong

Cornell University

ESW Cornell: Small-Scale, Big Impact

Jacqueline Wong

Cornell University

Greenhouse Aquaponics System

James Paetkau

Eastern Mennonite University

Greenhouse Aquaponics System

James Paetkau

Eastern Mennonite University

CommUnity Garden

Trish Tran 

University of California, San Diego

CommUnity Garden

Trish Tran 

University of California, San Diego

Project Water Matters

Nayeli Holguin

University of Texas, El Paso

Project Water Matters

Nayeli Holguin

University of Texas, El Paso

ESWcon19 Content

Keynote Speakers

 

Anthony Guerrero

Director of Facilities and Sustainability

NRDC - Natural Resources Defense Council

As NRDC's director of facilities and administration, Anthony Guerrero manages the core operations and sustainability functions at the organization. He spearheaded the initial creation of NRDC's internal operations sustainability policy and continues to evolve the organization's strategies to meet the “triple bottom line” (people, planet, profit/savings) across its offices worldwide, which include Beijing; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; Santa Monica, California; Chicago, Washington, D.C.; and New York City. Since joining the NRDC Anthony has expanded the effectiveness of the operations team by partnering with internal experts to provide strategic solutions while containing costs.

 

Key initiatives have included sustainable procurement, green commercial interior construction, elevating new worldwide green building standards, and onsite and shared-renewable energy strategies. In addition to being passionate about saving the planet, Anthony is committed to increasing the ethnic and gender diversity of the sustainability management profession.

 

Dr. Octaviana Valenzuela Trujillo

Professor of Applied Indigenous Studies

Northern Arizona University

Dr. Octaviana V. Trujillo has worked over the past three decades in the area of educational program development for Indigenous Peoples. She was the founding Director of the American Indian Graduate Center at the University of Arizona, where she later was Assistant Professor in the Department of Language, Reading and Culture and affiliated faculty with American Indian Studies. In 1994, Dr. Trujillo became the first woman to become chairman of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona. 

During her tenured leadership, she established the first department of education for the Tribal Nation and shepherded state and national legislation. Dr. Trujillo subsequently served at Arizona State University as Director of the Center for Indian Education and editor of the Journal of American Indian Education, the nation’s longest continually published refereed research journal on Native education. During her tenure there, she secured extramural research funding that quadrupled ASU’s Native education research, preparation of Native teachers and graduate students for the professorate. 

Dr. Trujillo is the founding chair of the Applied Indigenous Studies Department at Northern Arizona University. She is principal investigator of the National Science Foundation grant, Research Collaborative: Native Science Curriculum. Her work on Yaqui ethnohistory and laguage policy has produced work in three languages and includes publications Hiapsi Wami Seewam: Flowers of Life and The Yaqui: A People and Their Place. Most recently, she has worked with the United Nations and US Department of State, Fulbright Program with Indigenous Peoples human rights and leadership development. 

 

Michelle Rucker

Leading the Mars Integration Group

Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, NASA

Michelle Rucker is a native of Anchorage, Alaska and a 32-year veteran of NASA. She began her engineering career in the Houston oil industry designing down-hole sensors while pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University. Michelle joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the aftermath of the space shuttle Challenger accident, supporting the investigation team by conducting booster material test and analysis at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. During her 12-year service at White Sands, Michelle managed a range of projects, from failure analysis and subsequent recovery of the Gamma Ray Observatory propulsion system, to developing two-stage light gas guns for use in hypervelocity impact research. With an expertise in Space Shuttle oxygen systems test and analysis, Michelle transferred back to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 1998 to serve as Deputy Subsystem Manager for the International Space Station’s (ISS) environmental control and life support system. After tours of duty as deputy branch chief for the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and spacesuit systems branch, and deputy system manager for ISS exercise equipment, Michelle joined the Constellation Program in 2005 where she worked on Orion and then as the test and verification lead for the Altair lunar lander. She currently serves in the Exploration Integration and Science Directorate leading the Mars Integration Group, developing crewed Mars mission concepts. Michelle holds two U.S. patents and has authored numerous technical publications.  

 

Speakers

Stacey Sowards

Professor and Chair of Department of Communication, UTEP

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion Panel

Dr. Stacey K. Sowards is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at The University of Texas at El Paso.  Her research interests reside at the intersections of environment, race, gender, and social justice.  She has completed research projects about environmental issues on and about conservation in Indonesia and has worked in South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia.

William Hargrove

Director, Center for Environmental Resource Management, UTEP

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion Panel

Dr. W.L. Hargrove is Director of the Center for Environmental Resource Management (CERM).  He coordinates environmental research, education, and outreach activities, develops projects and proposals for funding, and serves as a point of contact for UTEP on environmental issues.  His professional career of 35 years has focused on environmental issues and natural resources management, especially water resources management.  Current projects focus on sustainable water resources management, environmental health, and health impact assessment.  In particular, he leads a large USDA-funded project aimed at sustainability of water resources in the border region.  Other recent accomplishments include a health impact assessment related to access to potable water in a U.S./Mexico border colonia and an assessment of the impacts of water and sanitation on public health and community development in three border communities.  He has extensive experience in leading interdisciplinary teams and in developing and supporting interdisciplinary educational programs. 

Jules Simon

Professor of Philosophy, UTEP

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion Panel

Jules Simon is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso. He writes, teaches, and lectures in the areas of Sustainability Ethics, themes in Philosophy of the City, ethical theory, and phenomenology. He has published several books: a monograph, Art and Responsibility: A Phenomenology of the Diverging Paths of Rosenzweig and Heidegger (2011), two edited books on ethics and genocide—The Double Binds of Ethics after the Holocaust: Salvaging the Fragments (2009) and History, Religion, and Meaning: American Reflections on the Holocaust and Israel, and a co-edited Festschrift for John Haddox, Thought and Social Engagement in the Mexican-american Philosophy of John H. Haddox: A Collection of Critical Appreciations (2010). He has also published dozens of articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and book reviews and has been invited to present lectures on his work in Colombia, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Israel, England, Wales, Canada, Norway, Finland, and at several universities in the United States.  During Spring 2017, he was a Research Fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Study in India to work on his current book project, Phenomenological Ethics. He was also an invited Guest Professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro in Mexico (Summer 2010) and Guest Professor at the University of Tübingen in Germany (Summer 2005). He is Scientific Director for the Center for Science, Technology, Ethics and Policy (CSTEP), a center of ethical inquiry that explores the ethical and political implications of existing and newly emerging phenomena in science and technology.

Deana Pennington

Associate Professor in Geological Sciences, UTEP

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion Panel

Dr. Deana Pennington, Associate Professor in Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, is a physical geographer with cross training in learning sciences. Her research focuses on how changes in climate and land structure impact surface processes such as water, wildfire, and biodiversity, especially focused on geospatial approaches to analyzing land change and socio-environmental systems. These studies have dictated that she also gain expertise in knowledge integration and synthesis in interdisciplinary teamwork, and emerging technologies for science, including cyberinfrastructure and informatics approaches. Hence, most of her work is at the boundaries between socio-environmental science, interdisciplinary teamwork, and emerging technologies.

Rigo Delgado

Professor of Health Sciences, UTEP

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion Panel

Rigo Delgado is a Health Economist and Management Consultant with over 25 years of experience in cost-effectiveness analysis, strategic planning, finance, and investment evaluation. He is currently the Academic Director for the undergraduate and graduate programs in healthcare management and an Affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Health Sciences at UTEP. 

He conducts research into translational health economics, population health analytics, and global health. Leads comparative effectiveness studies for new medical procedures and public health interventions.

Ron Wagler

Associate Professor in Science Education, UTEP

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion Panel

Dr. Ron Wagler is an Associate Professor of Science Education at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the founder and Director of the Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Oklahoma State University and graduated Summa cum Laude.

Before coming to UTEP, he was a middle school science teacher, a high school biology teacher, a university graduate teaching assistant, a university faculty lecturer, a university adjunct professor and a National Science Foundation graduate teaching fellow. Dr. Wagler was also a soybean researcher at the United States Department of Agriculture National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, an entomology researcher at Oklahoma State University and a thyroid research scientist at Abbott Laboratories. 

Miguel Fraga

Graduate Student, UTEP

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion Panel

Miguel Fraga is a Master of Business Administration student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Leadership with interest in project management and operations. He has been awarded by the National Institute of Health to conduct environmental engineering research at UTEP and Rice University. International experiences in which he has participated include: UTEP’s Global and Regional Sustainability Engineering Program at Piura, Peru, an engineering education internship at Berekuso, Ghana, and service learning disaster relief projects in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Academically, he has been recognized with ten merit-based scholarships. Miguel founded the Engineers for a Sustainable World -UTEP student chapter and currently serves as the Annual Conference Coordinator.

Helen Geller, Karina Garcia, Bryanna Neria, Kelsi Oyler, Eric Suh, Christy Adame and Jessica Salcido

Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach

The STEMGrow program is a partnership with El Paso Community College (EPCC) that focuses on achieving the next generation of student engagement and professional preparation. STEMGrow supports determined men and women in the region in transitioning between UTEP and EPCC to improve the graduation rate of students in STEM fields. It is designed to ensure that students who enroll at UTEP and EPCC have appropriate STEM guidance, advising and learning supports, and effective STEM instruction through their senior year so they can graduate with STEM degrees and pursue STEM careers or graduate programs.

Aggies Without Limits
New Mexico State University

International Service Projects

Aggies Without Limits of New Mexico State University was founded in the spring of 2007.  We are a nonprofit organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life.  Our Mission is “to bring students, faculty and community members together to improve the daily lives of developing communities through sustainable infrastructure. Aggies Without Limits helps those in need through involvement in sustainable engineering projects while at the same time fostering the development of internationally and environmentally responsible students and professionals.  Our members are not just engineering students, but people from all walks of life who want to give back to the planet through advocacy and activity.  

Shane Walker
Associate Professor in Civil Engineering

A Tale of Two Cities: Point-of-Use Drinking Water Treatment

Dr. Walker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, Director of the UTEP Center for Inland Desalination Systems, and recipient of the Alumni Academy of Civil Engineers Professorship. Dr. Walker teaches courses in the fields of Water & Wastewater Engineering, Environmental Engineering Chemistry, Physical/Chemical Treatment Processes, and Design of Membrane Filtration & Desalination Systems, and his research focuses on sustainable drinking water, especially high recovery inland desalination.

Scott Cutler

Founding Member of Frontera Alliance

Sustaining Our Desert Beauty With Strategic Intent

Scott Cutler is a founding member of The Frontera Land Alliance, Scott Cutler a retired Curator of Collections and Exhibits from the Centennial Museum at The University of Texas at El Paso. He has degrees in Wildlife Management and Biology. A resident of El Paso for more than 25 years, he has been active in numerous local conservation organizations involved with preserving open space

Gilberto Moreno
Lead Strategist and Consultant, Prestige Consulting Services

Sustaining Our Desert Beauty With Strategic Intent

As the Lead Strategist and Consultant for Prestige Consulting Services, Dr. Moreno has primary responsibilities for assisting clients in effectively managing organizational change. Dr. Moreno has extensive experience in delivering effective and practical solutions including strategic thinking/planning, reinventing organizations, technology transfer, leadership development, continuous process improvement, project management, and human capital development. Dr. Moreno has held enterprise marketing, systems, and executive management positions with IBM, Exxon/USA, and Viva Environmental.

Malynda Cappelle

UTEP

Sustainable Water Treatment: Finding ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle water resources

Malynda Cappelle has twenty years of experience focused on water and energy, primarily focused on water treatment technology and how to make use of it to address water and energy security, environmental quality, and climate change issues. Her career has spanned several areas including water conservation, industrial water treatment, and research and development. Malynda has a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering, an MBA, and PhD in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). At UTEP, Malynda’s research has been focused on high recovery desalination processes and improving the economic and environmental performance of water treatment processes. Along with Dr. Tom Davis and Dr. Shane Walker, Malynda has led piloting activities with novel membrane technologies at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant here in El Paso, and the Bureau of Reclamation’s Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Robert Foster
Assistant Professor, NMSU

The Geopolitics of Energy

Robert Foster is an assistant professor of renewable energy at the NMSU College of Engineering and is also an international renewable energy consultant. He has worked in solar, wind, micro-hydro, and geothermal energy systems for over 30 years in more than 40 countries. He was the technical lead for renewable energy development in Mexico and Central America for Sandia National Labs programs. He was was the Tiger Team Leader for Texas for the DOE Solar America Initiative. Robert served as the Chief Engineer for the USAID Afghanistan Clean Energy Program. More recently, he has been implementing direct drive solar chilling and solar water pumping technologies for East Africa. He is a former Chairman of the Texas Solar Energy Society and past President of the El Paso Solar Energy Association.

Victor M. Larios 

Full Professor, University of Guadalajara

Smart Cities Experiences in Latin America towards the UN 17 sustainable goals to transform the world

Victor M. Larios followed higher education degree programmes a the ITESO University in Mexico (BSc in Electronics Engineering) and the Université de Technologie de Compiègne in France (MSc and Ph.D.). He is a Full Professor at the Information Systems Department at the University of Guadalajara (UDG), and he is he is the Director of the Smart Cities Innovation Center (SCIC) and leads a group of researchers in Smart Cities and Information Technologies. His primary research interests are in Smart Cities, IoT Distributed Systems, Networking, Multiagent Systems, and Data Visualization. He has published more than 60 papers in international refereed journals and conferences and published a book in Serious Games. He is also in continuous collaboration with the High Technology industry and government in projects using design thinking and agile methodologies to accelerate technology transfer in living labs. He also contributed and coordinated international projects with Latin American Countries, European Union, U.S., and ONGs as IEEE where he is a technical advisor for the Guadalajara Smart City project. Victor M. Larios is a Senior Member at IEEE with 27 years of membership.

Silvia Leahu-Aluas

Independent Consultant 

Engineering a Circular City: El Paso, TX

Silvia Leahu-Aluas is an independent consultant, working within a network of great consultants and organizations to make open source circular economy, based on renewable energy and materials, the new model for sustainable and prosperous US industrial regions. Using an engineer's approach, she works to make the concept attractive and practical for the engineering and manufacturing communities.

She has 35 years of technical and managerial experience, in the capital goods industry and sustainability consulting.

She holds an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering, major Manufacturing, from the Technical University of Cluj, Romania and an MBA degree, major International Management, from the Indiana University - Bloomington. She is a member of Engineers for a Sustainable World, Open Source Circular Economy global community and Union of Concerned Scientists.

Lixin Jin 

Associate Professor, UTEP

Challenges and opportunities of sustaining agriculture in drylands: an environmental perspective

Lixin Jin is an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her research focuses on the complex interaction of water, air, biota, and rocks in natural and managed ecosystems.

Paul Hotchkin 

Associate Professor, El Paso Community College

Building better designers and societies through the practice of diary writing

Paul Hotchkin is Assistant Professor of Biology at El Paso Community College, Valle Verde campus. After earning his Masters in Biology from UTEP, he began to teach at the college level, with an emphasis on how science interfaces with ethics and design thinking. His work in this area has been featured at TEDx El Paso, and in laboratory manuals used at both UTEP and EPCC. Professor Hotchkin currently teaches Environmental Science and General Biology, and he uses teaching strategies that challenge his students to carefully observe the world around them, and then design solutions to the problems they see in that world. His workshop at this conference teaches the skills of observation and composition that form the foundation of good design thinking.

Andy Farias 

Lead of Vision, The Giving Project

Mobilizing Hope & Restoring Futures

Irasema Coronado 

Professor, UTEP

Whither Environmental Cooperation in North America

Irasema Coronado is a professor in the Department of Political Science, a contributing faculty member of the Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. program. From December 2012-January 2016 she served as the executive director of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Elaine Hampton, Danny Arellano, Cynthia Ontiveros, and Carlos Rodriguez 

STEM Education Associaties

Regulation’s Rickety Bridge: Lessons from El Paso ASARCO

There are four presenters. Carlos Rodriguez and Danny Arellano worked for ASARCO in El Paso for decades. They (and 65 other ex-employees) assisted Drs. Elaine Hampton and Cynthia Ontiveros document an important and eloquent aspect of border history in The Copper Stain: ASARCO’s Legacy in El Paso. The story highlights the complexities at the intersection of environmental regulation and environmental protection. Hampton is retired UTEP professor and owner of STEM Education Associates. Ontiveros is Principal at EPISD’s Young Women’s STEAM Academy.

Kyle Ibarra and Michael Villa

City of El Paso Mass Transit Department

Sustainable Infrastructure and Development

Kyle Ibarra and Michael Villa are program and project managers respectively, for the City of El Paso Mass Transit Department commonly known as Sun Metro. Michael has a BS in Physical Geography and has over 10 years’ experience as a government planner. Kyle has over 20-years’ experience in several civil engineering subdisciplines. He holds a BSE in Civil Engineering and an MBA in Global Management; is a registered P.E., credentialed PMP. And co-author of Addressing Sustainability and Strategic Planning Goals Through Performance Measures (2012)

 

https://trrjournalonline.trb.org/doi/abs/10.3141/2357-04

Lauren Baldwin 

Director of Sustainability, Creosote Collaborative

Building Resilience on the Border

Lauren has over five years of experience in sustainability program management and three years of experience marketing and branding for local businesses. As Sustainability Coordinator for the City of El Paso she helped acquire over $600,000 in grant funding, implemented projects that have diverted over 300 tons of waste from the landfill, and saved almost $30,000 on our City’s electric bills as a result of employee energy savings challenges. Lauren graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and a focus in Environmental Policy and Planning, and later received her MBA from the University of Texas at El Paso. She volunteers locally with the U.S. Green Building Council West Texas Advisory Council, Velo Paso Bicycle Pedestrian Coalition, and the West Texas Urban Forestry Council. She is also serving her second term as an appointee to the EPA’s Good Neighbor Environmental Board, which advises the Council of Environmental Quality and the President on environmental resilience issues in communities along the U.S.- Mexico border. Lauren is also a LEED-Green Associate Accredited Professional (through USGBC) and a certified Master Wellness Volunteer through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

Austin Izzo 

Student, University at Buffalo

University at Buffalo ICECAP: A case study of how to create a climate action plan

As current president of ESW-UB, Austin is a devoted ESW member who has been involved in the organization since freshman year. Austin’s involvement with ESW began as a project leader for the Parks Project and developed into a co-leader for the Buffalo Build Day project and vice president of ESW-UB in 2017-2018. Austin has led ESW projects focusing on introducing sustainable technologies into communities of need, bringing together students, community organizations, and community members themselves. Austin is a current environmental engineering student at University at Buffalo. Austin also holds an automotive technology degree from SUNY Canton where he studied previously before attending UB. Professionally, Austin has held many jobs in the automotive industry and is a certified Mercedes Benz Technician. Currently, Austin works for CannonDesign as a Sustainability Intern helping to create an updated climate and energy action plan for UB. Austin also has spent time performing energy models for the GRoW Home at UB as part of his work at CannonDesign.

John Sproul 

Program Manager, Center for Environmental Resource Management

Integrating Ecosystem Restoration into Water Management in the Paso del Norte Region: Rio Bosque Wetlands Park

John Sproul is a Program Coordinator/Manager in UTEP's Center for Environmental Resource Management. He has managed Rio Bosque Wetlands Park since 1999. He has a Master's Degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and is a Certified Wildlife Biologist.

Sylvia Nunez 

Former Director, Center for Research on North America

Whither Environmental Cooperation in North America

Professor Núñez is the former Director of the Center for Research on North America (CISAN), at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she also holds the position of tenured researcher of USA-Mexico Relations since 1989. Her field of expertise is social inequality, migration and gender in North America. She was awarded a Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and has been a visiting scholar in prestigious institutions such as Georgetown University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She is a Member of Metropolis ISC and acted as the Academic Chair of the Metropolis International Conference in Mexico City, 2015.

 

Session Abstracts

Social Sustainability - SS

Economic Sustainability - EcS

Environmental Sustainability - EvS

Project Management - PM 

Future of Sustainability - FS

Session 1

Sustaining Our Desert Beauty with Strategic Intent, EvSScott Cutler

Acacia Room

 

The Frontera Land Alliance (Frontera), a non-profit 501c3 organization, began in 2004 when community members realized there was an urgent need to preserve some of the important remaining natural and working lands in the greater El Paso and southern New Mexico region. The Frontera Land Alliance has developed the knowledge and expertise to provide guidance to land owners wanting to maintain the character of their land. This presentation outlines Frontera's strategic plan in working with government, non-government and private land owners to preserve their land with conservation easements. The Frontera Land Alliance believes all citizens have a shared responsibility to protect their natural world: to use what is needed, make smarter choices, and pass onto future generations the beauty, wildlife, water and natural resources existing today.

WATER MATTERS: Rainwater Harvesting in Colonia Las Pampas, EvS - Dr. William Hargrove

Templeton Suite

 

Las Pampas is a small colonia outside of Presidio, TX, on the U.S./Mexico border, where mostly elderly residents rely on hauled water. The Center for Environmental Resource Management (CERM) at UTEP proposed rainwater harvesting as a means of reducing the amount of hauling done by residents. In collaboration with our ESW Chapter, we installed rainwater harvesting demonstrations at two residences. The demonstrations were completed with donated labor, supplies, and very limited financial resources from CERM. The Coca-Cola Bottling Company in El Paso donated 27 275-gallon tanks. ESW volunteers donated labor as a service project. We installed each of the two systems on the weekend, the first one on April 28-29, 2017, and the second on November 10-12, 2017. The residents are using the water for gardening, landscaping, and small livestock. We estimated that the amount of hauled water was reduced by about half, or reducing the number of trips from 2-3 per week to one per week. An environmental benefit of the rainwater harvesting system is the reduction of roof runoff that contributes to localized flooding. These systems could be replicated in other colonias or low-resource communities. As a result of this demonstration, one resident and one local business (the municipal airport) have contacted us with interest in installing their own systems. The systems not only have educational value in the community but also have value in providing opportunities for engineering students to learn how to install the systems. At the breakout session, we will detail how this project was implemented, some lessons learned in working with low resource communities, and the benefits of the project to the ESW students who participated.

Sustainable Water Treatment: Finding ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle water resources, FS - Malynda Cappelle

Andesite Room

 

Freshwater supplies are becoming more stressed in more areas because of population increases, decreases in the amount and quality of water supplies, climate change, and increased competition between user groups is becoming more common. Desalination, will play a role in increasing and diversifying city and regional water supplies. Conventional desalination processes like reverse osmosis and electrodialysis have been around for decades and the cost has decreased substantially. Typical RO plants are limited (at least on a practical level) to 75-80% recovery without increasing the complexity of the plant design. Additionally, acceptable brine disposal options are often limited in these areas, presenting a major obstacle to implementing membrane-based desalination technology. Development cost effective water treatment strategies, including desalination strategy, could improve water, energy, and food security, and improve health outcomes. With the right type of desalination process and membranes employed, it is possible that desalination could be a tool that could be used to supplement or replace current water sources. Many factors affect the cost of desalination systems, but some general trends are observed when comparing systems. Novel thermal approaches such as membrane distillation are sometimes reported to have a lower cost per unit of product water; however, they generally have very low flux and low recovery. Much of the literature describing pilot testing, or renewable/remote desalination systems have been installed, show intentionally low recovery. Lower recovery can allow the concentrate to be used for other non-potable purposes such as toilet flushing, showering, and feed stock or can be disposed of with less environmental impact. One must optimize the water recovery with capital and operating costs so as to maximize the amount of water produced from brackish groundwater while minimizing the impact of concentrate disposal. This talk will present several case studies in order to facilitate a discussion on desalination as a way to provide water for municipalities, agriculture, industry, and the environment.

Building Resilience on the Border, PM - Lauren Baldwin

Cactus Flower Room

After working for the local government for six years and hearing directly from over 12,000 El Pasoans and Juarenses about resilience and sustainability, it becomes more clear what is needed to build resilience and create a sustainable community. This session will provide a public sector and private sector view of how to drive change in a positive way. Oftentimes, very well-intentioned people with great ideas just need a little bit of direction or repackaging to move their mission forward. This session will also touch on successful local sustainability programs and the great work of the EPA's Good Neighbor Environmental Board.

Sustainable Infrastructure and Development, EcS - Kyle Ibarra and Michael Villa

University Suite

 

Sustainability was first introduced to the City of El Paso through the implementation of four bus rapid transit system corridors throughout the city. This new transit service consists of various components that make the system rapid and efficient. These four corridors serve as the backbone for development along the five major regions of El Paso: the west-side, downtown, northeast, east-side, and lower valley. Route terminal nodes are established through the development of transfer center and transit-oriented develop, creating the sustainable goals of creating urban zones at each node that include mix-use development, mixed-housing types, and transit anchors creating the hub for the development. Performance measures for these endeavors were developed as a means of ensuring the program and developments meet established goals and ensuring their performance as sustainable development. The goals developed from these performance measures have now been expanded for sustainable energy operations sub-portfolio within the department. Sun Metro has aspirations and preparations for moving sustainability further in other areas currently not addressed.

Session 2

Mobilizing Hope & Restoring Futures, SS - Andy Farias

Cactus Flower Room 

 

Homelessness has not always been an issue that has afflicted people in the United States. Urban development has evolved over time but our approaches to housing and general welfare has lagged to the point of severe personal and societal detriment. Homeless people have become increasingly visible for a number of recent decades and its resurgence has been more noteworthy as cities struggle to balance quality of life with quality of place leaving men, women, and children vulnerable to socioeconomic variables beyond their means. Indicators have shown the problem in disrupting and ending homelessness is breaking its cyclical nature. Shelters and congregal places are not rehabilitative by design but meeting people experiencing homelessness where they are, engendering trust through generosity, developing relationship between human services nonprofits, and ultimately influencing the choice of housing are proven factors to restore people out of lived homelessness and into a growth track filled with hope.

Engineering a Circular City: El Paso, TX, EcS - Silvia Leahu-Aluas

Tempelton Suite 

I will lead a workshop with the objective of creating a layout for El Paso as a circular city, sustainable, self-reliant, resilient using the principles of open source of collaboration, sharing of ideas, technologies, solutions, amongst the city’s citizens and with cities around the world. We’ll answer together the following questions: 1. What is a circular city? 2. How to dream, design and manage it as an engineer? 3. How to ensure an ecological footprint within local and global resource budget? 4. How to rely only on renewable, clean, socially good resources? 5. What area will the city occupy while allowing for several “belts” around it for wilderness farming, transportation? 6. What economic activities are necessary, feasible and sustainable? 7. How does every citizen have a good and happy life, while living and working in a sustainable community? At the end of the workshop, we’ll have a map of El Paso, TX as all the workshop participants envision it.

A tale of two cities: point-of-use drinking water treatment, EvS - Dr. Shane Walker

Acacia Room 

Billions of people have access to water that lacks adequate quality for drinking. One possible solution is point-of-use (POU) water treatment devices, and this presentation contrasts technical and social considerations in two economically disadvantaged regions. Through charity-based partnerships, teams from El Paso, Texas have collaborated with community leaders in El Recreo, Ecuador (5 km east of Guayaquil). Many urban residents receive intermittent supply (several days per week) of piped water, while most of the suburban residents rely on truck-hauled water stored in used 200 L drums. Sawyer PointOne filters were provided house-by-house to hundreds of residents in both the urban and suburban areas, and the residents have responded very positively to the taste of the filtered water and are agreeable to the responsibility of regularly backwashing the filter. Based on work in El Recreo, research was performed to help residents of colonias in the region of El Paso, Texas. Focus group discussions revealed that most of the participating colonia residents who live west of El Paso rely on private wells, while most who live east of El Paso rely on hauled water. Water samples were collected from residences in colonias across the El Paso region, and analyses revealed that most samples (from both wells and hauled water) had total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations greater than 500 mg/L, the EPA secondary limit for drinking water. POU RO systems have been installed in colonias in the El Paso region. Comparison of post-surveys to pre-surveys reveals that colonia residents approve of the POU RO systems and have decreased their bottled water purchases.

Challenges and opportunities of sustaining agriculture in drylands: an environmental perspective, EvS - Dr. Lixin Jin

Andesite Room 

Drylands cover more than 40% of the terrestrial land surface and host more than two billion people, with most living in developing countries. The combined increase in population and food demand has converted natural dryland to irrigated agriculture coverage. Agriculture in drylands including those along the Rio Grande valley, loads salts through irrigation and leads to elevated soil salinity, sodicity and alkalinity. To slow the rate of deterioration of soil quality, local producers in the El Paso region annually use soil amendments and irrigate during non-growing seasons. All these activities add cost and make farmers vulnerable in the market, while challenging the agricultural sustainability and economic stability for the region. Thus, it is much needed to combine cutting-edge hydrological science, engineered desalination technology, remote sensing, and marginal benefit modelling, and integrate essential data across geoscience, engineering, and economics and social science. In addition, we are well poised for training the next generation of STEM experts at UTEP that are capable of analyzing, modeling and solving such sustainability issues in the region and in the world.

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion Panel, FS - Dr. William Hargrove, Dr. Stacey Sowards, Dr. Jules Simon, Dr. Deana Pennington, Dr. Rigo Delgado, and Dr. Ron Wagler; moderated by Miguel Fraga

Union Cinema

 

The grand challenges our world faces today: climate change, depleting natural resources, environmental degradation, global spread of pollutants, and the underlying links between these environmental issues and social, economic, and political complexities, require a new interdisciplinary approach to understand and solve. However, this is no easy task. Disciplinary paradigms, biases, and perspectives vary greatly, and interdisciplinary professionals must be willing to step far outside of their comfort zones if they might transcend these foundational differences. At this interdisciplinary sustainability discussion panel an enriching discussion on today’s most pressing sustainability challenges will be addressed by The University of Texas President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability. This committee is tasked with assessing and evaluating UTEP's current sustainability practices and advising the President on policies to create or revise and actions to take to further promote sustainability. The Committee is currently working on initiatives to develop sustainability curriculum, coordinating with UTEP Facilities and Food Services to foster sustainability practices, and developing other initiatives to promote sustainability awareness on campus. This committee is rich in interdisciplinary perspectives on sustainability due to its diverse members that range from engineering, philosophy, environmental sciences, business, communication, and education backgrounds of experience.

Session 3

Building better designers and societies through the practice of diary writing, SS - Paul Hotchkin

Templeton Suite 

Do you keep a diary, or have you ever thought about keeping a diary? How can diary composition relate to improving one’s thinking and designing skills? This workshop introduces powerful strategies for improving the observational skills that lead to better thinking and designing. After first describing the principles and techniques used by some of history’s most accomplished scientists, designers, and diary writers, we will immediately practice these composition techniques by writing short diary entries of our own during the workshop. If you are interested in improving your skills of observation, thinking, writing, or designing, then this diary composition workshop is for you!

International service projects, PM - Molly Williams, Jonathan Ortiz, Suzzan Nieto, Yomara Rios-Laurenzana, Selena Solis, Indira Aguirre

Cactus Flower Room

 

Describing the process of designing, fundraising, and implementing an international community service project based on sustainable infrastructure for rural communities.

Sustainability After Graduation - ESW-HQ

Acacia Room 

 

Come here some HQ folks discuss their experiences after graduation with sustainable jobs, opportunities and professional societies. Including the wonderful opportunities at ESW Headquarters!

Whither Environmental Cooperation in North America, EcS - Irasema Coronado and Silvia Nunez Garcia

Andesite Room

 

This presentation will focus on the past and future of trilateral cooperation in North America. In 1994, Mexico, Canada and the United States signed the North American Free Trade Agreement; the three governments also became signatories to the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). The NAAEC resulted in the creation of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, an institution that has yielded positive outcomes related to cross border environmental issues. In 2018, the three countries signed a new trade agreement- The United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA) and a new trilateral Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA) superseding the NAAEC. ECA will take effect upon entry into force of the USMCA. What does this mean for the future of the environment of North America? Will the ECA capitalize on the long history of trilateral cooperation to reduce pollution, strengthen environmental governance, conserve biological diversity, and sustainably manage natural resources?

Integrating Ecosystem Restoration into Water Management in the Paso del Norte Region: Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, EvS - John Sproul

University Suite

 

In an arid region with multiple competing demands for limited water resources, securing water to achieve environmental benefits is a challenge. Rio Bosque Wetlands Park is a 372-acre park next to the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas, that The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) manages under a long-term agreement with the City of El Paso's Public Service Board. In 1997, a project was initiated at the site to restore native river-valley ecosystems, most notably wetland and riparian ecosystems. For over a decade, lack of water during the growing season stymied progress restoring these water-dependent systems at the park. In recent years, that has changed, as regional water-management agencies and other project partners have cooperated to make year-round water available. The result has been a transformation in the Rio Bosque landscape.

Session 4

The Geopolitics of Energy, EcSRobert Foster

Acacia Room

 

Climate change is primarily linked to the burning of fossil fuels to provide energy for modern society. The problem is rapidly getting worse and time is running out to end business as usual. Renewable energy is the key solution for halting climate change. Fortunately, the renewables revolution is on. Photovoltaic (PV) module prices have dropped by 90 percent over the past decade and are expected to drop by half again in the next ~5 years. It is already cheaper to generate your own power on your rooftop than purchase power from the utility. Texas installed its first windfarm in 1994 and now leads the US in wind with about 23,500 MW installed producing ¼ of the nation’s wind energy. We will discuss global and local energy trends, challenges, and opportunities for reducing our carbon footprint.

Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach, FSHelen Geller, Karina Garcia, Bryanna Neria, Kelsi Oyler, Eric Suh, Christy Adame and Jessica Salcido

Cactus Flower Room

 

The pursuit of global environmental sustainability is now more than ever a major issue that brings attention to individuals worldwide. As these challenges become bigger and bigger, so do the responsibilities of the next generation of scientists and STEM leaders. We believe that in order to successfully find solutions to these phenomena we must take a different approach that looks at the common linkage and utilizes knowledge from different disciplines and specializations to solve these challenges. At this session a group of students from diverse disciplines will discuss the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to divergent research studies taking place at The University of Texas at El Paso. This group of students currently works on a range of research studies in the departments of Biology, Engineering, and Geology. Some of the current projects include installing water filtration systems in the Colonias of Hueco Tanks, implementing floating islands in Ascarate Lake with plants designed to help clean and filter the lake water to kill off golden algae, and biodiversity studies of pollinators to name a few. The work of these students provide different viewpoints in regards to achieving sustainability, and are also a great example of finding solutions via a multidisciplinary approach.The knowledge from diverse disciplines like biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, and geology allow for the students to fully immerse themselves into these projects, and successfully elucidate the different interconnections that their project entitles.

Regulation’s Rickety Bridge: Lessons from El Paso ASARCO, PM Elaine Hampton, Danny Arellano, Cynthai Ontiveros, and Carlos Rodriguez

Templeton Suite

 

Interactive session where participants hear stories from ex-employees of El Paso’s ASARCO smelter to examine abuse of environmental regulations in the metal industry. They re-imagine these histories using the context of current environmental regulations for metal industries. The goal is to understand the role of and complexities surrounding regulating industries and protecting the workers, the communities, and the Earth itself.

University at Buffalo ICECAP: A case study of how to create a climate action plan, FS Austin Izzo

Andesite Room

In 2009, the University at Buffalo committed to creating a net zero carbon campus by 2030. Now 10 years later this plan is being updated and revitalized with current technology and knowledge. The Integrated Climate and Energy Collaborative Action Plan (ICECAP), is the new updated plan being developed by a collaboration between UB and CannonDesign. This session will be an overview of the extensive data collection, findings of this data, and a walk through of the proposed carbon reduction strategies aimed at reaching net zero. This talk will be focused on walking through the strategies of such a large scale carbon reduction project but most importantly will also provide students the resources to partake in similar, smaller campaigns on other campuses across the nation. A brief discussion of the interactive interface being used to display the collected data will also take place (made with PowerBI).

Student Design Reviews 

University Suite

 

Checkout some of our student projects! Give advice, ask questions and get some ideas for projects of your own. You can see student abstracts here

Poster Presentations

Fighting Food Insecurity in Urban Elementary Schools

Serena Patel

University of California, Berkeley

ESW-Berkeley has partnered with the Hoover Elementary School Garden to engage elementary school students in the creation of an outdoor learning environment. Many of these children are from minority backgrounds, face issues of food insecurity, and live in areas with higher rates of pollution. Boutique environmentalism and buying organic are far from most family and teacher's minds. However, this pilot school-garden curriculum in the Oakland Unified School District has fostered a holistic garden community, a healthier environment, and provided organic, nutritious food and nutritional education to marginalized kids. ESW-Berkeley has supported Build Day in Spring 2018 to build a chicken coop, and has collaborated with the vast environmental community on campus to support work parties and curriculum development.

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Fugitive Dust Control Methods

Tayler Fox 

The University of Akron

Biomimicry Design Challange

Ben Ocamb

Rochester Institute of Technology

We are creating an insulation that is economically and environmentally efficient that was inspired from the nest of and Arctic Hornet.

Fog Scrubbing

Mathis Weyrich

Cal Poly SLO

Well Database for South Sudan

Chris Kratzer

Rochester Institute of Technology

During the dry season, remote villages in the Bahr el Ghazal region in South Sudan often have no access to clean water, requiring people to abandon their homes for the duration of the season. In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6, Water for South Sudan (WFSS) has built a total of 350 wells to date. WFSS currently compiles well data using a large spreadsheet in Excel. The data on the spreadsheet is not standardized, consistent, or protected. ​ Our project team compared different software applications, then proceeded to create the framework for a new database, complete with multiple entry forms and reporting features.

ESW Cornell: Small-Scale, Big Impact

Jacqueline Wong

Cornell University

The Cornell Chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World currently encompasses 11 individual projects that aim to tackle local and global sustainability challenges, from R&D and prototyping, to local partnerships and community outreach. Each project is placed under three themed sub-teams: Biofuels, Solar Powered Solutions and Renewable Energy Design. For ESWCon, we will present our latest results from one project under each sub-team: 1) Researching hydrothermal processing for post-wastewater treatment and their upcoming tests with local effluent (Biofuels), 2) Designing a solar-powered sensor circuit and parabolic collector for hydroponic systems (SPS), 3) Implementing a hydro turbine with minimal ecological impact at the Cornell Botanic Gardens

Greenhouse Aquaponics System

James Paetkau

Eastern Mennonite University

CommUnity Garden

Trish Tran 

University of California, San Diego

CommUnity Garden works to improve food security for low income high school students in the San Diego area through the implementation of community gardens at local schools and to expose students to STEM and sustainability through workshops that we create. Our project currently has two teams: the Outreach Team and the Hydroponics Team. The Outreach Team creates and presents STEM/sustainability based workshops and works in the garden with the students, while the Hydroponics Team is developing a hydroponics system which will combine our two goals -- a source of food for the students as well as an engineering project for them to learn from. By exposing young students to STEM and sustainability at an impressionable stage in their lives, we are shaping the next generation of scientists and engineers to be passionate about sustainability.

Project Water Matters

Nayeli Holguin

University of Texas, El Paso

 

Fugitive dust caused by infrastructure construction reduces air quality and may cause serious respiratory problems. Earthwork contractors apply dust control strategies to meet strict regulations for dust mitigation in arid regions. A life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) was performed to evaluate and compare the impacts of two dust control methods: water application—currently considered the best available technology by industry—and enzyme-induced carbonate precipitation (EICP), a new biogeotechnical technology being developed at Arizona State University. For each dust control method, indicators of resource depletion (e.g., energy and water consumption), climate change (e.g., global warming potential), acidification, respiratory inorganics, eutrophication, and smog formation were evaluated. The system boundary of the LCSA included the raw materials extraction, materials and energy processing, transportation, and treatment phases of each method. The potential impacts associated with water application exceed those of EICP for all impact categories, except for eutrophication, which is largely due to the ammonium waste by-product of the EICP process. The transportation phase is the primary contributor to impacts for water application, due to the need for daily treatments. In contrast, most of the impacts of EICP stem from materials processing. With respect to economic impacts, water application costs nearly three times more than EICP. A sensitivity analysis was performed to evaluate assumptions regarding materials transportation and equipment mobilization distances. Variations in transportation distances were found to have a significant impact on water application, but very little influence on EICP. Due to its predicted impacts, EICP is potentially more sustainable than water application. With further development focused on reducing waste by-products, EICP could become more viable for fugitive dust control.

With the recent drought in California and the threat of more to come, alternative ways to capture fresh water are in high in a list of demands. There tends to be highly populated areas near the sea, and while desalination is not currently an efficient process, the sea does offer another resource - fog. In many coastal areas, it is very common to see huge banks of fog roll out of the sea and onto the land. Even in extremely arid regions, fog is a common occurrence. Plants, insects, and trees have already identified this resource, and have developed various ways of scrubbing their own fog. Our team plans on adapting the fog harp into an early prototype to gauge the effectiveness of the harp depending on certain geographic locations and times of the year. We would like to specifically compare the scrubbing efficiency between the top of the hills north of campus and the town of San Luis Obispo. The data that we would gather would help us obtain a better understanding of our local environment, and potentially a more lucrative geographic location. Eventually, we hope to design a scrubbing device that could lower its footprint, as the large surface area it requires can affect its viability as a consumer device.

The goal of this project is to design and build an aquaponics system that will be installed in the greenhouse near the science center. An aquaponics system is a form of closed loop agriculture that combines aquaculture, the raising of fish, with hydroponics, growing plants without using traditional sources of soil. Water from the fish tank is pumped into the grow bed and the fish waste is utilized as a natural, organic fertilizer for the plants. The grow bed is filled with expanded clay pebbles that retain water and nutrients, when the grow bed is flooded with water, and then slowly allows these to be released to the plants throughout the grow bed. The excess water is then filtered back into the fish tank serving two purposes. The first of these purposes is that the water brings nutrients from the expanded clay pebbles that feed the fish, and the water falling from the grow bed into the fish tank disturbs the surface of the water effectively oxidizing the water in the fish tank. The fish are supplemented with duckweed that will be grown in an seperate tank. The final aspect of this project is that it utilizes a solar powered pump to distribute the water from the fish tank to the grow bed. This allows the project to be nearly completely dependent on natural energy. The club worked with people at Black Forest Run Farm who currently are utilizing a greenhouse aquaponics system during multiple stages of the project. The hope of this project is to provide sustainably grown food to either the cafeteria or the Sustainable Food Initiative here on campus.

Las Pampas is a small colonia outside of Presidio, TX, where mostly elderly residents rely on hauled water. CERM proposed rainwater harvesting as a means of reducing the amount of hauling by residents. In collaboration with the ESW Chapter at UTEP, we installed rainwater harvesting demonstrations at two residences. Coca-Cola Bottling Company in El Paso donated 27 275-gallon tanks. ESW donated labor as a service project. We installed each of the two systems on a weekend, the first one on April 28-29, 2017, and the second on November 10-12, 2017.  The residents will use the water for gardening, landscaping, and small livestock. We estimated that the amount of hauled water was reduced by about half, or reducing the number of trips from 2-3 per week to one per week. We installed each of these systems for a total “out of pocket” cost of about $1,000. Based on our estimated cost savings, it would take about 4 years for the system to pay for itself at a cost of $1000. We estimate the life of the system to be a minimum of 10 years and as much as 50 years. The primary environmental benefit of the rainwater harvesting system is the reduction of roof runoff that contributes to localized flooding. These systems could be replicated in other colonias or low-resource communities. As a result of this demonstration, one resident and one local business (the municipal airport) have contacted us with interest in installing their own systems. The systems not only have educational value in the community, but also have value in providing opportunities for engineering students to learn how to install the systems. The result is a high impact installation at minimal cost.

Project Delta and Mine-Recycle

Nayeli Holguin

University of Texas, El Paso

Project Delta was created by ESW - UTEP to evaluate and enhance UTEP current recycling system. Project Delta consists of three phases: definition, design, and implementation. The definition phase quantified data by conducting surveys, meeting with UTEP building managers, and extracting statistical data from campus buildings’ recycling systems. The design phase was initiated with a hackathon event. This event engaged students in a competition to encourage recycling practices around campus, through the use of technology, like programming an application. The design phase also involved the structuring of weekly recycling shifts. The students were to pick up recycling material from various locations and then weigh and record the data. The implementation phase began in Fall 2017 by executing a recycling campaign and shifts on campus in collaboration with the Center for Environmental Resource Management which promotes sustainability.Engineers for a Sustainable World- UTEP created a strong foundation for a method of recycling for the buildings at UTEP, starting with the buildings with most student, faculty, and staff traffic. Project Delta committees have attracted UTEP students and faculty to participate in recycling to a greater degree. This can been seen in the increased recycling rates during pick up. The increase in student and faculty awareness and participation will help meet UTEP standards of sustainability.

The BioEnergy Project: Creating a Food Waste to Food System Using Anaerobic Digestion as the Fulcrum

Enid Partika

University of California, San Diego

Anaerobic digestion technology uses the metabolism of anaerobic bacteria and archaea to break down food waste, municipal waste, or agricultural waste into simpler organic molecules and convert them into methane, carbon dioxide, and other trace gases, in addition to sludge byproduct that can be converted to nitrate-rich hydroponic fertilizer. While anaerobic digestion has been a technology used for many centuries, it has not yet been taken to the 21st century in terms of use in the modern urban small-scale setting. This project aims to tackle the trilemma of overfilling landfills, climate change, and increasing energy and food demand by creating a food-waste-to-food system that turns food waste from local restaurant vendors into hydroponic fertilizer that can be used for growing organic fruits and vegetables and biogas that can be used for heating and electricity generation. To improve the anaerobic digestion process central to this food-waste-to-food system, environmental factors such as pH, temperature, nitrates, ammonia, phosphorus, and potassium were monitored over three months in the anaerobic digester and digestate processing system that converts ammonia to nitrates using nitrifying bacteria. pH and Dissolved Oxygen (DO) were found to be the best indicators for digester and system health.

Engineers Dig Archaeology: Enabling Exploration and Conservation in Chavín de Huántar, Peru

D'Arcy Seamon 

Stanford University

Chavín de Huántar stands as one of the most culturally relevant archaeological sites in the Andes. Originally constructed around 400 BC, its religious ceremonial center contains hidden underground galleries and a maze of connecting tunnels. As one of the last remnants of the Chavín civilization, Chavín de Huántar is key to understanding the history of human culture and an iconic tourist attraction. However, most the site remains unexplored due to temperamental weather conditions and the confluence of two rivers near the site that causes integrity concerns, particularly during the wet summer season. The lack of data about conditions make it difficult to identify safe and appropriate periods for exploration and excavation, with the lack of appropriate site infrastructure further limiting opportunities to do so without jeopardizing the archaeological integrity of the site and the safety of tourists.

Testing Vantablack as a Solar Receiver Coating

Joshua Ray Eudave 

University of Texas, Austin

In this Presentation we will be discussing our methodology and plan going forward for testing the Efficiency, Thermal emittance, Solar absorbance and Degradation rate of Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes. Specifically the coating produced by Surrey Nanosystems known as Vantablack. In our presentation we will discuss how the construction of motor actuated Parabolic Dish will be utilized to concentrate roughly 1000 suns worth of sunlight onto a 1" Coupon of Vantablack encased in sealed volume of Argon Gas at 1 atm of Pressure.

Finding Sustainability in your Career as a Young Professional

Aum Gandhi and Sohn Cook

This presentation will focus on finding, obtaining, and retaining sustainability careers as a young professional graduating college or with less than 5 years of experience. The field of sustainability is diverse and may not exactly reflect what one studies in university or in the conceptual context. We define young professionals as persons aged 20 through 34 who are working in a professional and technical field. In 2016, there were 17.2 million young professionals in the workforce (US Census Bureau 2016). Young professionals face challenges than their parents such as levels of income, debt, socioeconomic climate, and economic mobility. While conventional wisdom will apply (networking, participating in associations, and internships), we will focus on the nuances and experiences of pursuing STEM careers in non-conventional fields and addressing recent trends in the sustainability industry and nonprofit sector.

ESW UB Solar Book

Justin Feldis 

University at Buffalo

While working on projects with my fellow ESW members I found that the ability to solder was keeping both projects and club members from reaching their full potential: people were nervous and intimidated by the idea of soldering and never pursued it. To solve this problem I wanted to create a workshop where members could work on a soldering project in a low-impact, safe environment. I designed a portable solar-powered phone charger for the workshop. The “Solar Book” is comprised of two 5v solar panels, two 3.7v lithium ion batteries, a battery charger board, a 5v USB output board, and a safety switch. Housed inside a 3D printed box, the charger opens like a book to expose the panels to sunlight to charge the batteries. The circuit design was simplified during the design process. Originally, I had intended to create a complex step-down unit on a bread board and have members solder their own board, but to make the project easier and more streamlined, I used a pre-build battery charger that included a 5V-USB input to allow for wall charging. Thus, the design is no longer limited to having direct sunlight. The workshop consisted of two sessions with 15 people per session. It began with a short lecture presented by myself and our partners at the Office of Sustainability. The presentation briefly outlined the circuit design and why each component is needed as well as the dangers of lithium-ion batteries. We then proceeded to the “tinkering laboratory” to construct the Solar Books. Here, each member are be given a brief tutorial in how to solder with a bunch of scrap components. They would then go through the provided steps and construct their chargers. Myself and other leaders in the club and tinker lab would walk around and help members as needed.

Build Day Lessons Learned

Carson McNatt 

Rochester Institute of Technology

Learn about what involved in running a Build Day event from this year’s Rochester Institute of Technology Build Day team, who designed and built a rainwater collection system for a local community garden. Topics include tips on how to work with community organizations, how to design around a single-day limit, how to organize the day itself, and various other topics.

Project Rise Up

Nayeli Holguin

The University of Texas, El Paso

Utuado, Puerto Rico suffered a strong hit that left them without a safe and fast route to leave the city. Most of the bridges are destroyed or severely damaged resulting in authorities to close them down. This inconvenience has blocked the residents from obtaining potable water, essential necessities, and food in a timely manner. Project Rise Up is our vision to offer help to the community of Utuado. This area had a previous bridge; however, it was washed away during Hurricane Maria. Through a collaboration with Aggies Without Limits at NMSU, 50 students worked for a month to build this bridge. The project began, by sending a group of seven: 3 students and 1 professor from UTEP and 4 students and three professors from NMSU to complete the surveying of the land. The trip exposed the organization to the amount of need the communities have as well as the amount of funds needed to house and feed the upcoming advanced group and building group to accomplish the goals. The second trip to Puerto Rico was done on May 14th through June 11th. The pedestrian suspension bridge, “Hamaca” has been finished with the help of many different people and community members. Engineering, media advertising, speech pathology, nursing and biology students were some of the majors that helped during this project, showing one more time that you don’t have to be an engineer to engineer change.

HPG Human Powered Generator

Raul Correa 

University of California, San Diego

On the California Coast, our reality consists of skaters riding past picturesque sunsets, complicated and advanced technology integrated into mundane lifestyles, and a seemingly outrageous electric bill. The UCSD’s HPG project has been inspired to innovate this lifestyle into a productive and sustainable model by creating a unique solution to charging phones using kinetic energy from the rotation of the wheels. Our goals to create a large impact begins with a challenging template of a skateboard. As innovation is never easy we hope to challenge the preconceived notion of kinetic energy. By building in a constraint of a small design it helps us to indirectly justify the application to other sources of mobility. Albeit, we wish at the very least to inform future innovators what the starting line is for kinetic energy.

Oral Presentations

Sustainable Awareness
Keira Higgins

Rochester Institute of Technology

Highlighting methods and the value of both public and ESW member mindfulness of sustainability. A sneak peak into the motivation for a plan to pile all of campus waste into a heap for all of campus to witness, a recap on Sustainable Networking and advocating for professional sustainability, and the importance of education on all levels of sustainability through panels, speaker events, and involvement. Making mindfulness the norm.

Build Day: Improving Communication with Collaborators

Stephie Lux

Cornell University

ESW-Cornell is part of the new ESW-HQ Build Day initiative. Build Day provides an opportunity for ESW members to work with a local organization to provide a sustainable engineering solution to a problem the group struggles with. At the end, the ESW team hosts a Build Day with the community to come together and make the project a reality. ESW-Cornell has been working with Ithaca Children’s Garden (ICG) since August for a Build Day set for April 27th. ICG has a high water table, located only about two feet below the ground, but cannot access it and did not have enough access to affordable water to keep their wetlands (i.e. bioswale, rice paddy) properly hydrated during the drier months. As such, ESW-Cornell wanted to dig a cistern to access the water table, and pump the water up to a hose valve for ICG to use as needed. The pump would be powered by a solar panel resting on an existing pergola structure at the garden. Our team, comprised primarily of electrical and environmental engineers, worked hard for months on designing a, electrical system and a cistern / pump system. ICG was initially happy with our plans and design, but told us recently that they would not have permits by April 27th for us to complete our project, although we thought we had addressed this when we began our work. Since then, there has been significant communication, and miscommunication, between ESW-Cornell and ICG in an attempt to reconcile our engineering interests with their what they felt could reasonably be achieved by the deadline. We have now settled on building 10 planter boxes and sharing other ESW projects with the community during Build Day. Of course, this is quite different from the original plan (although we are now hoping the permits can be procured next year to finish the original plan). I would like to share the ESW-Cornell Build Day team’s experience with an outside organization, and discuss our challenges, how we overcame them, and how they could potentially have been prevented. I want to talk about effective and transparent communication among collaborators in the hopes that we can contribute to added success for future Build Day teams.

Floating Wetlands, UC Berkeley

T.G. Roberts

University of California, Berkeley 

At lake Temescal in Oakland CA, algae poses a large problem for the plant and animal life, and is caused by high levels of nutrient runoff in the stream that feeds the lake. Algae is caused by excess nutrient runoff from urban areas, including homes and freeways. This runoff, paired with a great deal of sun, makes algae a huge problem in California lakes. Too much algae can be harmful for organisms that live in these lakes, as well as humans that use them for recreation. Lake Temescal has had to close almost every year for the past five years due to this harmful algae. This loss of a greenspace (if only temporarily) is a great detriment to a community that does not have many. The goal of our project is to remediate this harmful algae growth, naturally. Our solution to this problem was a floating wetland. Using wetland technology at the source of the problem (the stream inlet of the lake), our goal is to absorb these excess nutrients to stop algae growth. When the plants on the wetland grow, their roots will absorb nutrients from the water. Additionally, their roots will make a biofilm of bacteria under the island. The bacteria in this biofilm will then eat the nutrients as the water flows through it. Overall, we hope that this helps clean the water and lead to less algae growth. So far we have raised over $3,000 for the project, and recently finished building all four wetlands. The last step in our project is to launch them, which we hope to do in the next few weeks!

Engineers Dig Archaeology: Enabling Exploration and Conservation in Chavín de Huántar, Peru

D'Arcy Seamon

Stanford University 

Chavín de Huántar stands as one of the most culturally relevant archaeological sites in the Andes. Originally constructed around 400 BC, its religious ceremonial center contains hidden underground galleries and a maze of connecting tunnels. As one of the last remnants of the Chavín civilization, Chavín de Huántar is key to understanding the history of human culture and an iconic tourist attraction. However, most the site remains unexplored due to temperamental weather conditions and the confluence of two rivers near the site that causes integrity concerns, particularly during the wet summer season. The lack of data about conditions make it difficult to identify safe and appropriate periods for exploration and excavation, with the lack of appropriate site infrastructure further limiting opportunities to do so without jeopardizing the archaeological integrity of the site and the safety of tourists. To this end, Stanford ESW is developing sustainable roofing solutions and remote sensing technology to inform and allow further work at Chavín whilst accommodating and expanding tourism. The roofing solutions proposed are durable tensile structures designed to protect archaeological features while providing ample lighting for both archaeologists and tourists. Meanwhile, locally-sourced and -developed sensors will monitor humidity and temperature in the tunnels as well as river conditions. Their integration with Long Range (LoRa) transmission technology will enable data collection without undue interference with the site, allowing archaeologists to determine optimum conditions for exploration and excavation. If successful, these systems are targeted for wider production and deployment at other archaeological sites in Peru.

ESW UB Solar Book

Justin Fields

University at Buffalo

While working on projects with my fellow ESW members I found that the ability to solder was keeping both projects and club members from reaching their full potential: people were nervous and intimidated by the idea of soldering and never pursued it. To solve this problem I wanted to create a workshop where members could work on a soldering project in a low-impact, safe environment. I designed a portable solar-powered phone charger for the workshop. The “Solar Book” is comprised of two 5v solar panels, two 3.7v lithium ion batteries, a battery charger board, a 5v USB output board, and a safety switch. Housed inside a 3D printed box, the charger opens like a book to expose the panels to sunlight to charge the batteries. The circuit design was simplified during the design process. Originally, I had intended to create a complex step-down unit on a bread board and have members solder their own board, but to make the project easier and more streamlined, I used a pre-build battery charger that included a 5V-USB input to allow for wall charging. Thus, the design is no longer limited to having direct sunlight. The workshop consisted of two sessions with 15 people per session. It began with a short lecture presented by myself and our partners at the Office of Sustainability. The presentation briefly outlined the circuit design and why each component is needed as well as the dangers of lithium-ion batteries. We then proceeded to the “tinkering laboratory” to construct the Solar Books. Here, each member are be given a brief tutorial in how to solder with a bunch of scrap components. They would then go through the provided steps and construct their chargers. Myself and other leaders in the club and tinker lab would walk around and help members as needed.

Sustain-a-thon: a Sustinability Themed Make-a-Thon and The Making of New Project Teams

Victoria Thai, Samantha Fong and David Collin

University of California, San Diego

Sustain-a-thon was UC San Diego’s first sustainability themed make-a-thon. Compared to a traditional hack-a-thon, a make-a-thon provides a more hands on, design focused experience. As a prevalent member of both the engineering and sustainability communities, it was important to the UCSD chapter to create an event that promoted intersectionality between the two fields. This year’s theme, making a greener UCSD campus, had participants think of collaborative and innovative solutions to very tangible, real-life problems. This presentation will go over large scale event planning strategies, collaborating with other student organizations and campus departments and officials, and effective event execution.

New Project Teams: How do you turn great ideas into productive engineering projects? We had the same question. That’s why ESW-UCSD has a newly restructured year-long Research and Development program for members to do just that. Over the past year, the Research and Development team has been working on three different new projects to launch in the 2019-2020 year. The R&D program turns ideas into realistic undergraduate engineering projects. Each R&D member starts out with multiple ideas. After some research and discussion with their fellow members, each member chooses one of their ideas to be their project and then continues more detailed research. Collaboration between members is highly encouraged, as co-leads have been found to be a productive leadership structure. Throughout their research, they are taught many skills such as project management, S.M.A.R.T. goals, project documentation, budgeting, team structure, and more. After a year of being in the program, they pitch their project to our Board of Directors for approval to be a project in the next academic year. After approval, they have a thoroughly researched and detailed project idea for which they recruit members to create their project team.

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