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02-27-2012

Clarkson University Environmental Design Team Wins Highest Award at International Contest in South Korea

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/core2012.jpg .]

The Clarkson University Environmental Design Team won the highest award in the 2012 International Capstone Design Contest on Renewable Energy Technology (CORE2012) at Mokpo, South Korea, earlier this month. The competition is sponsored by Mokpo National University and the Offshore Wind Energy Center, both of South Korea.

In front of the Jogye Buddhist Temple in Seoul, graduate students Shaun M. Jones and Daegan A. J. Gonyer with team co-advisor Professor Stefan J. Grimberg.Graduate students Daegan A. J. Gonyer, an engineering science major from Groveton, N.H., and Shaun M. Jones, a civil engineering major from Potsdam, N.Y., traveled to Mokpo to present the work of the design team, along with team co-advisor Professor Stefan J. Grimberg, chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

At the competition 43 Korean national and 13 international teams competed for awards in both the national and the international categories. The international teams came from Australia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. 

The Clarkson design team shared the first-place platinum award in the international division for its work on the role of renewable energy in an integrated food and waste management system.

The other winning team’s project was titled “second use lithium battery integration in solar systems for load flattening and economic benefits.” That team represented Curtin University, Australia.

The goal of the Clarkson project is to integrate three novel technologies, resulting in a sustainable food production and waste management process.

Over the past three years, students designed, built and are now operating a cold climate greenhouse. The system is housed in a passive solar building and employs an aeroponic growing system, LED lights and extensive sensors and controls for energy efficiency. 

The greenhouse is part of an integrated process that also includes an anaerobic digester to convert campus food waste into heat and electricity. Effluent from the digester will be used as fertilizer for the greenhouse and as a soil amendment for Clarkson’s grounds, thus reducing the need of commercial fertilizer.

A high-efficiency solar thermal and a wood-pellet heating system provide additional thermal energy to the greenhouse and the digester as needed during the winter. The overall system will reduce the environmental impact of the campus by removing a portion of the waste stream, while generating renewable energy and locally grown produce. 

The Environmental Design Team is part of the SPEED program, one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives, exemplifying Clarkson's “defy convention” approach to education.

SPEED promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 350 undergraduates annually. Projects involve engineering design, analysis, and fabrication. In addition, students learn real-world business skills, such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communications skills.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: The Clarkson University Environmental Design Team won the highest award in the 2012 International Capstone Design Contest on Renewable Energy Technology at Mokpo, South Korea, earlier this month. Left to right: In front of the Jogye Buddhist Temple in Seoul, graduate students Shaun M. Jones and Daegan A. J. Gonyer with team co-advisor Professor Stefan J. Grimberg.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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