2017 SyracuseCoE Symposium Presenters

Keynote Presenters

Name: Brewster McCracken

Title: CEO

Affiliation: Pecan Street Inc.

Bio: Brewster McCracken is CEO of Pecan Street Inc., the applied research institute founded by The University of Texas. Pecan Street provides data-intensive research support for university-industry applied research by carrying out behavioral and technology interventions and by operating Dataport, the world¹s largest research database on customer energy and water use. Most of Dataport¹s water data comes from measurement instruments that Pecan Street designs, manufactures and installs.

Smart Grid Today named him one of the nation¹s ³50 Smart Grid Pioneers², and GreenBiz.com named him to its VERGE 25 list of 25 U.S. smart grid leaders.

Before his position with Pecan Street, Mr. McCracken was elected to two terms on the Austin City Council, serving in a city-wide at-large position. Through his elected position, he served as a board member of Austin Energy and Austin Water, and he chaired the council¹s Emerging Technologies Committee.

Presentation Title: Bring on the Data: How You Can Use Data to Solve Cities’ Greatest Resource and Environmental Challenges

Abstract: Cities wrestle with resource and environmental challenges that differ in character and temporal scale compared to the private sector and even other levels of government. Determining how data can advance public interest solutions requires a deep understanding of the underlying challenges and of the range of possible data. Drawing on Pecan Street’s data-intensive multi-year field research on customer end uses of electricity, gas and water, as well as his six years as an Austin city council member, Brewster McCracken will describe the top resource and environmental challenges confronting cities. He will show how advances in data collection and sharing open opportunities for analysts to tap new data sources to create measurable, achievable and replicable environmental advances at the local level.

Name: Jeffrey M. Peterson

Title: Senior Advisor for Entreprenuership

Affiliation: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, (NYSERDA)

Bio: Currently serving as the senior advisor for entrepreneurship, Jeff’s primary focus has been on building the foundation for a customer-focused entrepreneurial ecosystem to catalyze and facilitate the transition of ideas/inventions around the clean energy market into scalable business enterprises. Recently, that focus has been on the design of initiatives to partner with universities to bring to market innovative clean energy technologies & business models. Extracurricular activities over the past few years include: Member of the Advisory Board for the RPI Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship program, past member of the Board of Directors of the American Solar Energy Society; and, peer review of manuscripts submitted to Elsevier publication: “Energy Policy – International Journal of the Political, Economic, Planning, Environmental and Social Aspects of Energy”.

Presentation Title: Clean Energy Innovation and Research Partnerships for a Sustainable Future

Abstract: New York State has committed to aggressive energy goals to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to build and replace our aging energy infrastructure with one that can meet extreme resiliency challenges. Universities across New York are, and can continue to be, an integral part of meeting these energy challenges. NYSERDA is looking to establish stronger relationships with academic institutions and to find ways to increase the involvement of the university community to develop and bring innovative clean energy products/models to market, become widely recognized as regional catalysts for sustainability and educate the next generation of energy industry engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs.

Session Presenters

Name: Norhan Magdy Mohamed Bayomi

Title: PhD Candidate

Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bio: Nourhan is an Egyptian architect and Research Assistant at the Urban Metabolism Group at MIT. She received her BSc. from Cairo University in 2008, MSc. in Environmental studies in 2012 and MSc in Building Technology from MIT in 2017. Nourhan is interested in climate change and possible impacts in developing regions. Her work is focused on Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is focused on exploring prospects for climate change mitigation through sustainable development of energy systems. Especially addressing main obstacles and challenges facing the region with respect to decarbonization of energy systems, low carbon energy supply and renewable energy technologies. Currently, Nourhan is developing an online web-tool dedicated to the MENA region (MENA-CC). This tool seeks to contribute to the enrichments of climate change mitigation potentials in the region alongside with developing more rigorous INDCs (Intended National Determined Contribution) for both country level and regional level.

Presentation Title: Climate Goals and Energy Transition in The Middle East

Abstract: Energy is a key ingredient to facilitate economic development in the Middle East. Expectations for a rapidly growing economy in the next decade will likely cause an increase in the fraction of energy consumed domestically tumbling what is available for export. Rising living standards, energy-intensive urban expansion and mounting power demands compound the energy challenge in the Middle East. After Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, countries in the Middle East have committed to curb their GHG emissions and increase the deployment of renewable technologies. As a result, energy systems have been under significant transitions driven by environmental policies and economic development. The presentation underlines the role of energy supply and power generation sector in the Middle East to meet climate goals. Emissions addressed in the talk are examined under the 450- pathway for the Middle East, developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to contribute to the global goal of staying below 20C. The focus is given to four countries, namely Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, which account for around 76% of the region¹s CO2 emissions. The main objective is to first, highlight current power generation strategies and assess their contribution under 450-emission scenario. Finally, live demo of an interactive web tool (MENA-CC.com) is presented that is developed and directed towards climate change challenges and rapid urbanization in Middle East and North African countries (MENA Climate Change Accelerator). The Climate Change Accelerator allows users to have open access to energy data sets, graphically conduct country-to-country comparison, examine different power scenarios and assess emissions trajectories relative to the 450-emission target.

Name: Aditi Bhaskar

Title: Assistant Professor

Affiliation: Colorado State University

Bio: Dr. Aditi Bhaskar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. She specializes in changes to hydrologic systems from urban development, with a focus on interactions between groundwater, streams, stormwater, and landscape irrigation. Dr. Bhaskar received a Sc.B. in Geology-Physics/Math from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was a graduate trainee of the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) in “Water in the Urban Environment” at UMBC. Dr. Bhaskar was an NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, which took her to the Eastern Geographic Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia, before joining CSU.

Presentation Title: Effects of Watershed-Scale Green Infrastructure on Stream Base Flow

Abstract: Distributed, infiltration-focused approaches to stormwater management are being implemented to mitigate the effects of urban development on water resources. One of the goals of this type of stormwater management, sometimes called green infrastructure, is to maintain groundwater recharge and stream base flow at pre-development conditions. However, the connection between infiltration-focused green infrastructure, groundwater recharge, and stream base flow is not straightforward. Here, continuous water table fluctuations are used to quantify the movement of infiltrated stormwater, and base flow records during and after urbanization are used to quantify trends in base flow. This study focuses on a 1.1 km2 suburban, green infrastructure watershed in Clarksburg, Maryland, USA, which was urbanized with 73 infiltration-focused stormwater facilities. Development occurred from 2004 to 2010 and resulted in the placement of 73 infiltration-focused stormwater facilities, including bioretention facilities, dry wells, and dry swales. Changes to annual and monthly streamflow during and after urban development (2004—2014) were examined in comparison to nearby forested and urban control watersheds. Total flow and base flow were found to have increased in the study watershed during development as compared to control watersheds. These changes may be due to a combination of urban processes occurring during development, including a decrease in evapotranspiration and the increase in point sources of recharge. Precipitation that fell on a forested landscape pre-development would have been stored in soil moisture and eventually transpired by plants; in an urban landscape, precipitation may now be recharged to groundwater and contribute to base flow. A transfer of evapotranspiration to base flow is a possible unintended alteration to the urban water budget from use of infiltration-focused stormwater facilities.

Name: Charles Driscoll

Title: Distinguished Professor and University Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering

Affiliation: Syracuse University

Bio: Charles T. Driscoll is a Distinguished and University Professor at Syracuse University. Driscoll’s scholarly work addresses the effects of disturbance on forest, freshwater and marine ecosystems, including air pollution (acid and mercury deposition), land-use, and climate change. Current research focuses on: recovery of eastern forest watersheds from elevated acidic deposition; atmospheric deposition, watershed and surface water transport and transformations, and biotic exposure of mercury; co-benefits of carbon dioxide emissions controls from power plants; ecosystem restoration; and ecosystem response to changing climate. He has been a principal investigator of the Hubbard Brook Long-Term Ecosystem Research project, and is currently a co-investigator. Driscoll has testified at Congressional and state legislative committee hearings, and served on several local, national and international committees. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Presentation Title: Air Quality, Health, and Ecosystem Co-benefits and Dis-benefits of Policy Options for a U.S. Powerplant Carbon Standard

Abstract: Carbon dioxide emissions standards for US power plants will influence the fuels and technologies used to generate electricity, alter emissions of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, and influence ambient air quality and public and ecosystem health. An analysis was conducted of how three alternative scenarios for US power plant carbon standards could change fine particulate matter and ozone concentrations in ambient air, and the resulting public health and ecosystem co-benefits, including improving the heat-rate efficiency of individual facilities, a carbon-tax scenario and a scenario of a flexible approach that promotes energy efficiency and renewables similar to the Clean Power Plan. The results underscore that carbon standards to curb global climate change can also provide immediate local and regional health and ecosystem co-benefits, but the magnitude depends on the design of the standards. Recently the U.S. EPA is expected to replace the Obama era Clean Power Plan. We are evaluating the dis-benefits associated with a series of emission roll back scenarios.

Name: Deshawn Coombs

Title: PhD Candidate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Affiliation: Syracuse University

Bio: Deshawn Coombs is a PhD Candidate working with Dr. Akih-Kumgeh in the Thermodynamics and Combustion Laboratory within the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University. The main thrust of his research is to advance computer-aided engineering of clean and efficient combustion technologies. He carries out computational combustion analysis with the hope of establishing generalizations and simpler models that can be used in rapid analysis of combustion systems.

 Presentation Title: Simulations of Forced Ignition

Abstract: Forced ignition, the initiation of combustion processes by rapid and localized introduction of energy, is central to the successful operation of many combustion systems. It is therefore of interest to extensively investigate this process, from the introduction of energy to the successful transition of an initial kernel to a self-sustained flame or quenching of the kernel. The physics of this type of ignition is complex, occurring on a wide range of length and time scales. Simulations can play an important role in the understanding of the interplay of fluid mechanics and the ignition process. This understanding can be translated into computational tools for the rapid analysis of design options for new combustion systems. This talk reviews the various strategies used in simulating forced ignition processes and presents new results on the simulation of laser-induced ignition of natural gas. Some generalizable features are identified in the early phase of the process.

Name: Adria Finch

Title: Director of Innovation

Affiliation: City of Syracuse

Bio: Adria Finch is a member of the City of Syracuse’s Office of Innovation. As the Director of Innovation she embeds innovation throughout City Hall, and has introduced programs that empower employees to incorporate innovative practices into their daily tasks. Adria also identifies challenges that exist within the city and works with others to generate new ideas and solutions to address those challenges. She is currently overseeing the launch of a series of initiatives to address housing conditions in Syracuse’s low-income communities. Previously, she developed and implemented thirteen initiatives to improve Syracuse’s infrastructure. Adria holds a Masters of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Masters of Science in Biomechanics from East Carolina University, and a Bachelors of Science in Physiology from Ithaca College.

 Presentation Title: Developing Smart City Infrastructure by Using Data and Innovation

Abstract: With thousands of potholes to fill, hundreds of water main breaks to fix, numerous departments to coordinate, and little budget to manage it all, the City of Syracuse needed to pursue innovative ways to manage its infrastructure. The Office of Innovation used data to both understand the problem and help implement solutions, amongst them collecting pothole information using GPS units, detecting leaks in water mains using sensors, and predicting water main breaks using data mining and machine learning techniques. Through this work, the City has been able to save more than $1million and has improved pieces of infrastructure throughout Syracuse.

Name: Kristina Gutchess

Title: PhD Candidate

Affiliation: Syracuse University

Bio: Kristina Gutchess is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University. She completed her B.S. in Geology in 2013 at the State University of New York College at Cortland. Her research interests focus on improving our understanding of how solutes and water move through catchments and the ways in which both natural and anthropogenic systems may impact these processes. To carry out her research, Kristina uses geochemical tracers combined with stochastic modeling approaches to complement direct field observations. She is currently working with a semi-distributed model interface to assess the potential impacts of changing climate on future road salt contamination in a mixed-land use catchment in upstate New York.

Presentation Title: Back to the Future: INCA Simulations Suggest Climate May Drive Decreases in Future Stream Salinity in New York State

Abstract: Catchments in the northeastern United States have undergone a ubiquitous rise in salinity as a direct result of the application of road salts to paved surfaces. Modeling studies have traditionally evaluated the impacts of altered salting practices, but few have incorporated long-term changes in climate. To test how changing climate may impact future stream salinity, we use the integrated catchment (INCA) model to simulate concentrations of chloride in a mixed land use catchment in Upstate New York. We couple climate simulations with projected changes in land cover and population through the 21st century. Model predictions suggest that stream salinity will continue to increase for the next several decades, followed by a decrease in concentrations thereafter (around 2040-2069), in tandem with declining winter snowfall totals and thus, reduced seasonal road salt inputs. Our findings reveal that human impacts and changing climate ultimately interact to shape future catchment scale responses.

Name: Roger Hubeli and Julie Larsen

Title: Assistant Professors

Affiliation: School of Architecture, Syracuse University / APTUM

Bio: Assistant Professors Roger Hubeli and Julie Larsen are co-founders of Aptum Architecture, an award-winning practice that focuses on material research and its influence on architecture. Their most recent research, teaching, and professional design work revolves around the notion of digital fabrication and tectonics and their potential to mediate between architecture, systems and ecologies. They are in an ongoing collaboration with CEMEX Global R&D in Biel, Switzerland. The collaboration is based on using advanced concrete technology as a catalyst for design innovation. Roger Hubeli received his degree as an Architect from the ETH in Zürich, Switzerland and is a member of the Swiss Architecture and Engineering Association. Julie Larsen graduated with an M.Arch from Columbia GSAPP in New York. Before joining Syracuse University they taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, ETH Zürich in Switzerland and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Presentation Title: Buoyant Composite Structures: Prototyping a New Coastal Infrastructure

Abstract: Rhizolith Island is a proof of concept project that investigates advanced composite concrete fabrication of floating elements that aggregate into a resilient coastal infrastructure to revitalize depleting mangrove forests along vulnerable, flooded shorelines. The elements of the islands are designed with a composite of high strength, lightweight, and porous concrete to establish a unique relationship between the physical and ecological performance of coastal infrastructure. The different material properties given by the composite construction allow for aggregated islands to become a resilient barrier that initially protects and enables new mangroves to grow and then intentionally breaks apart. The paper will focus on the fabrication of elements and how the composite material changes the performance of the elements over time, from a protective barrier to an intentionally ‘failed’ and broken barrier that ultimately gives the site back to nature.

Name: Mohammad A Islam

Title: Assistant Professor of Physics

Affiliation: State University of New York at Oswego

Bio: Dr. Mohammad Islam received his BS degree from the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his PhD degree in Applied Physics from the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University. Prior to joining the State University of New York at Oswego he was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Pennsylvania State University and a research faculty at Drexel University. Dr. Islam’s current research activities include the synthesis and characterization of oxide and semiconducting nanoparticles, nanoparticle film deposition and the fabrication of rechargeable Lithium ion batteries and Sodium ion batteries using nanostructured electrodes. Dr. Islam investigates the evolution of lattice dynamics of rechargeable battery electrode nanomaterials as a function of battery cycles using a combination of theoretical and experimental tools including Density Functional Theory and Raman spectroscopy.

Presentation Title: High Capacity Lithium Ion Batteries Composed of Cobalt Oxide Nanoparticle Anodes and Raman Spectroscopic Analysis of Nanoparticle Strain Dynamics in Batteries

Abstract: Cobalt nanoparticle thin films were electrophoretically deposited on copper current collectors and were annealed into thin films of hollow Co3O4 nanoparticles. These thin films were directly used as the anodes of lithium ion batteries without the addition of conducting carbons and bonding agents. Lithium ion batteries thus fabricated show high gravimetric capacities and long cycle lives. For approximately 1.0 μm thick Co3O4 nanoparticle films the gravimetric capacities of the batteries were more than 800 mAh/g at a current rate of C/15 which is about 90% of the theoretical maximum. Additionally, the batteries were able to undergo 200 charge/discharge cycles at relatively fast rate of C/5 and maintain 50% of the initial capacitance. In order to understand the electrochemistry of lithiation in the context of nanoparticles, Raman spectra were collected at different stages of the electrode cycles to determine the chemical and structural changes in the nanomaterials. Our results indicate that initially the electrode nanoparticles are under significant strain and as the battery undergoes many cycles of charging/discharging the nanoparticles experience progressive strain relaxation.

Name: Lisa D. Iulo

Title: Director, Hamer Center for Community Design; Associate Professor of Architecture

Affiliation: Penn State

Bio: Lisa D. Iulo is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the Hamer Center for Community Design in the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on building and planning for a more sustainable and resilient built environment. Specifically, Lisa’s work has been recognized in research and creative practice related to residential green building and affordable housing, energy efficiency and strategies for the implementation of renewable energy at the building and community scale. She has been working with colleagues and students to better understand the building/community relationships and opportunities where research, data and improved decision-making can inform the design of resilient sustainable homes, buildings and communities. Lisa has been a member of the faculty at the Penn State since 2003. Her teaching and research is closely linked to outreach and community engagement with a goal of facilitating collaboration across disciplines.

Presentation Title: Resilient Sustainable Buildings, energy and Urban Communities

Abstract: Ensuring resilient sustainable buildings (RSB) requires collective decision making by a diverse set of designers, policy makers, and organizations providing basic services to buildings. Services include electrical power, transportation, communications, water, fuel, and sewer distribution systems. Despite systematic efforts to reduce dependence of buildings on external services, it is not likely for any building to be completely independent from basic services. Tradeoffs exist in terms of environmental, economic and social impacts, especially when independent energy services are considered. The design of resilient and sustainable buildings needs to consider the integration and performance of building systems and the connecting network of public and private organizations that provide basic services to maintain the functionality of the building. This research poses a system of systems approach, considering the building in the context of its community, as necessary to realizing more sustainable resilient buildings.

Name: Naomi Keena

Title: PhD Candidate

Affiliation: Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Bio: Naomi Keena is an architect and PhD Candidate at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Her dissertation focuses on implementing data visual analytics as a means to investigate the lifespan of buildings during the early stages of architectural design. She received her BScArch and BArch Architecture from University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. Naomi holds an M.S. Architecture from Pratt Institute, where she was studying on a Fulbright Fellowship. She has over five years professional, architectural experience with internationally renowned firms in both the US and Europe. She has taught architecture at both undergraduate and graduate level at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, UK. She has published and presented her work at architecture, computer science, and environmental policy conferences in the U.S.

Presentation Title: Interactive Visualization for Interdisciplinary Research

Abstract: One of the most valuable means through which to comprehend big data and make it more approachable, is through data visualization. At the Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology (CASE) we are developing concepts and frameworks for a novel interactive visualization platform. The aim of which is to facilitate CASE’s interdisciplinary research, by enabling comparison across a large range of heterogeneous data types and analysis techniques across multiple scientific and socio-demographic categories and scales — from metadata to microdata. Through the development of an interactive dashboard, users can juxtapose and recombine the data and data analyses across diverse studies, variables, methods, and participants. Multiple studies on how best to visualize the multivalent parameters of interdisciplinary work are under investigation, highlighting how the use of interactive data-driven visualizations are proving very useful in managing and analyzing the interdisciplinary work of the center in the pursuit of common research goals.

Name: Christa Kelleher

Title: Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences & Civil Engineering

Affiliation: Syracuse University

Bio: Prof. Christa Kelleher is an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University with shared appointments in Earth Sciences and Civil Engineering. Her research interests are at the interfaces between climate, hydrology, humans, and ecology. She uses observations and mathematical models to investigate the organization of hydrology and water quality across spatio-temporal scales. Christa is also working with unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as drones) to understand patterns of hydrology and water quality in Syracuse.

Presentation Title: Patterns and Processes: Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Assess Urban Stream Temperatures

Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are one of the latest iterations in new technology that is shaping the way we collect environmental data towards inferences regarding patterns of stream water quality. We present an application of UAV technology to infer patterns of stream temperature along a 2km stretch of Onondaga Creek in Syracuse, NY punctuated with culverts and other streamflow contributions. UAV images were used to understand the relative temperatures of the stream, temperatures of contributions from culverts, as well as the distances at which these culvert contributions affected stream temperatures. Overall, we demonstrate the utility of UAVs for remote data collection, and reveal unexpected patterns regarding the impact of culverts on creek temperatures.

Name: Sage Kokjohn

Title: Assistant Professor

Affiliation: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Bio: Professor Kokjohn uses detailed engine modeling and experiments to explain the mechanisms controlling high-efficiency combustion systems. His areas of interest include turbulent combustion model development and identification of pathways to achieve robust, high-efficiency energy conversion. He has published over 60 articles related to energy research in academic journals and conference proceedings and has been issued three US patents. He currently has ongoing projects funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Caterpillar, Ford, and Toyota.

Presentation Title: Advanced Combustion: Challenges and Opportunities

Abstract: Liquid hydrocarbon fuels have unprecedented energy density and are expected to be the dominant energy storage media for many years. The presentation will discuss the state-of-the-art of energy conversion using combustion through modulation of fuel reactivity. Existing technology will be reviewed and challenges and opportunities will be highlighted. Dual fuel reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion will be shown to be a promising method to achieve high efficiency with near-zero NOx and soot emissions; however, the requirement to carry two fuels on-board limits practical application. Several approaches will be discussed to address this issue and enable fuel flexible, high-efficiency operation.

Name: Laura Lautz

Title: Jessie Page Heroy Professor & Department Chair

Affiliation: Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Bio: Lautz is a hydrogeologist who studies how hydrologic processes influence water quality and movement through watersheds. She is particularly interested in how water and solutes move through paired surface and groundwater systems, heat tracing, and the nexus of water and energy systems. She works on interdisciplinary research projects, within which she uses field experiments coupled with computer modeling experiments. Lautz has been awarded over $4 million in funding as principal investigator on National Science Foundation (NSF) projects. Lautz has received awards for teaching and research, including the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award from SU and a CAREER award from the NSF. She holds a B.S. in geology from Lafayette College, a M.Ed. in teaching and curriculum from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in geology from SU. She currently serves as Director of the EMPOWER NSF Research Traineeship Program, and Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences at SU.

Presentation Title: Urban Stream Water Quality in Degraded Versus Natural Reaches

Abstract: Urban streams commonly suffer from degraded water quality and limited surface water-groundwater interaction due to channel incision and straightening, armoring of the stream bed and banks, and degradation of riparian floodplains. Reestablishing hydrologic connection between urban streams and hyporheic and riparian zones may be effective for naturally attenuating nutrients and salts. We observed longitudinal and seasonal changes in water quality in an urban stream in Syracuse, NY. The stream is heavily degraded for the upper 4 km and then transitions to hydrologically connected to a broad, intact riparian floodplain, with a meandering channel, complex bedforms, and large woody debris for the most downstream 1.5 km. Results show water quality is impacted by road salt runoff. Groundwater modeling illustrates mechanisms of salt storage in and discharge from the riparian aquifer. Nitrate injection experiments quantify seasonal changes in nitrate uptake in the contrasting stream sections. Results indicate intact riparian floodplains regulate urban stream water quality and should be preserved or restored.

Name: Sarah H. Ledford

Title: Post-doctoral Fellow

Affiliation: Temple University

Bio: Dr. Ledford completed her Ph.D. at Syracuse University in 2016 studying the impact of surface water-groundwater interactions on nutrients and chloride in an urban stream. Prior to this, she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque, NM, and completed her B.A. at Vassar College. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Temple University where she is funded by the William Penn Foundation and the National Science Foundation to study nutrient cycling, in-stream metabolism, and sediment loading in an urban stream heavily impacted by development and wastewater treatment plant effluent. Her research also aims to bridge the gap between scientists, managers, and regulators when working to improve stream water quality.

Presentation Title: Evaluating Controls on Metabolism and Nutrient Processing in a WWTP-impacted Urban Stream

Abstract: Identifying controlling factors on microbial and algal growth in high nutrient streams is key to helping improve stream water quality. Nitrate (N), phosphate (P), fDOM, dissolved oxygen (DO), specific conductivity, and depth were measured at hourly intervals for a month in the summer of 2016 at a site approximately 15 km below a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent outfall in suburban Philadelphia, PA. N concentrations showed no signs of processing in the distance from the WWTP, while P concentrations had a distinct diurnal signal. One-station metabolism modeling from diurnal DO patterns showed gross primary productivity of 0.3 to 3 g O2 m-2 d-1 and ecosystem respiration between -1 and -4 g O2 m-2 d-1, in line with observations from other urban streams. Due to the high availability of nutrients, especially N, and normal levels of productivity, we hypothesize in-stream nutrient processing may be light-limited in this system.

Name: Seong-Young Lee

Title: Associate Professor

Affiliation: Michigan Technological University

Bio: Dr. Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University in 1998. He has authored and co-authored more than 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. His research interests are highlighted in the area of Renewable/Alternative Energy Systems, Bio/Jet/Alternative Fuels Combustion, Solar and Fuel Cells, Plasma-Assisted Combustion, Development of Chemical Reaction Models, CFD Modeling of Reacting Flow Systems, and Emerging Laser-Based Technique Development applicable to harsh combustion environments such as the gas turbine and internal combustion engines. His projects have been funded by US Government Agencies including NSF, DOE and private companies.

Presentation Title: Dimethyl Ether (DME) as Alternative Fuel to Internal Combustion Engine

Abstract: Dimethyl Ether (DME) is an excellent candidate as an environmentally-friendly internal engine fuel. However the low viscosity of DME can cause leakage from fuel supply and parts in fuel injection system can be worn out due to its low lubricity attribute. Therefore, a completely new designed fuel injection system needs to be developed to run high injection pressures of DME, up to 1500 bar. Using the hydraulically activated electronic unit injector (HEUI) system, stable injection has been achieved and complement the combustion studies in the constant volume combustion vessel. Spray combustion test with various ambient conditions was conducted to characterize vaporizing spray, ignition, and flame propagation under high exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) conditions. These results will allow identification of the most appropriate chemical kinetic mechanism and spray models for the future computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model use. The results of spray, autoignition and modeling effort are presented and discussed.

Name: Nii Ofei Daku Mante

Title: Research Chemical Engineer

Affiliation: Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International

Bio: Dr. Ofei Mante is currently a Research Chemical Engineer at RTI International’s Energy Technologies Division. He has over 10 years of experience in thermochemical conversion of biomass. His research efforts are geared towards addressing technical barriers and challenges related to thermochemical processing and conversion of biomass. His focus is on using thermal, chemical, and innovative catalytic processes based on a biorefinery concept but analogous to the existing petroleum refinery to produce a wide variety of biomass derived intermediates that can be used in today’s processing infrastructures for liquid fuels, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, plastics and other essentials of modern life. Prior to joining RTI, He was a tenure track Assistant Research Engineer in the Sustainable Energy Technologies Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) where he was responsible for the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program for biomass thermochemical conversion. His current research focus is on the conversion of biomass into biofuels and bioproducts via catalytic pyrolysis and hydrotreating.

Presentation Title: Recovery of Lignin-derived Bioproducts from Biocrude

Abstract: Bioproducts is an emerging area of research that presents an opportunity to develop technologies for co-production of high-value chemicals/products alongside biofuels for additional revenue generation in an integrated biorefinery. At RTI International, current research efforts are targeted at developing an advanced biofuels technology that integrates a catalytic biomass pyrolysis step and a hydroprocessing step to produce infrastructure-compatible biofuels and a separation technology to recover high-value bio-products from the bio-crude intermediate prior to upgrading into fuels. Additionally, technologies for lignin utilization are being explored to produce chemicals and materials. Results from a comprehensive separation strategy show efficient recovery of valuable methoxyphenols from bio-crude. These chemical building blocks can be used to demonstrate that bioproducts could enable cost-effective production of biofuels via integrated catalytic biomass pyrolysis and hydroprocessing. The presentation will highlight the progress that has been made on producing and recovering bioproducts.

Name: Brewster McCracken

Title: CEO

Affiliation: Pecan Street Inc.

Bio: Brewster McCracken is CEO of Pecan Street Inc., the applied research institute founded by The University of Texas. Pecan Street provides data-intensive research support for university-industry applied research by carrying out behavioral and technology interventions and by operating Dataport, the world¹s largest research database on customer energy and water use. Most of Dataport¹s water data comes from measurement instruments that Pecan Street designs, manufactures and installs.

Smart Grid Today named him one of the nation¹s ³50 Smart Grid Pioneers², and GreenBiz.com named him to its VERGE 25 list of 25 U.S. smart grid leaders.

Before his position with Pecan Street, Mr. McCracken was elected to two terms on the Austin City Council, serving in a city-wide at-large position. Through his elected position, he served as a board member of Austin Energy and Austin Water, and he chaired the council¹s Emerging Technologies Committee.

Presentation Title: Data-driven Insights on Residential Use of Electricity and Gas

Abstract: Drawing from Pecan Street¹s data-intensive multi-year field research on customer end uses of electricity, gas and water, Brewster McCracken will show how high-resolution, highly-granular data can provide more precise, actionable information on the impacts of new technologies, demand management tools and fault detection.

Name: Lauren McPhillips

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation: Arizona State University

Bio: Lauren McPhillips is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Arizona State University with the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network. There she is part of an interdisciplinary, multi-city effort to assess cities ability to deal with extreme flooding and heat. She received her BS, MS, and PhD from Cornell University where she investigated hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in a range of systems, most recently focusing on nutrient cycling function of green stormwater infrastructure and also previously worked as a Research Associate in the US Geological Survey’s Water Resources Division in Reston, VA. In summer 2018, Lauren will be returning east to begin a position as Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at PennState.

Presentation Title: Evaluation of Intentional and Accidental Stormwater Management Features Across Multiple US Cities

Abstract: With the pressures of urbanization and climate change, cities are looking to better manage stormwater and thus prevent flooding and water quality issues. Here I will compare how different cities in the United States are managing stormwater through planned strategies like green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), as well as unintentional features like vacant land. These cities include Baltimore MD, Phoenix AZ, Portland OR and Syracuse NY. Analysis of GSI explores how density of GSI varies across the cities and how types of GSI vary between cities and over time. Assessment of vacant land reveals differences in total vacant area across the cities as well as soil type and land cover of vacant properties, and runoff modeling highlights how this manifests in variable potential to retain stormwater in vacant properties. With all of this insight, we hope to help cities continue to push the boundaries on improving their stormwater management strategies.

Name: Xianzhi Meng

Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Affiliation: University of Tennessee Knoxville

Bio: Dr. Xianzhi Meng is a Postdoc Research Associate in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Xianzhi completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and got his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology. After graduation, Dr. Meng joined Dr. Ragauskas’ research team at ORNL/UTK in 2016. His research interests are improving the utilization of lignocellulosic biomass by understanding its characteristics and creating sustainable chemical solutions essential to converting lignocellulosic biomass resources to biomaterials, biofuels, and biochemicals.

Presentation Title: Structural Characterization of Co-Solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation Pretreated Lignin

Abstract: A novel pretreatment named Co-solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF) using THF with dilute acid to reduce biomass recalcitrance was recently developed. During CELF pretreatment, more than 90% of lignin could be extracted and dissolved into the liquid hydrolysate. Physicochemical characteristics of the extracted lignin, known as CELF lignin, including molecular weights, monolignol composition, and hydroxyl groups content were measured by various analytical techniques such as GPC, 13C-1H HSQC NMR, 31P NMR. GPC results indicated a dramatic decrease in MW of lignin after CELF pretreatment. HSQC NMR revealed that lignin β-O-4 linkages were significantly decreased after CELF pretreatment. 31P NMR showed that CELF pretreatment resulted in significant decrease of aliphatic OH group, possibly due to the oxidation of lignin side chains. On the other hand, the content of total phenolic hydroxyl groups was significantly increased, suggesting the drastic cleavage of interunit linkages in CELF lignin as confirmed by 2D NMR.

Name: Aditi Nagardeolekar

Title: Graduate student

Affiliation: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Bio: Aditi Nagardeolekar is a Doctoral Candidate at SUNY-ESF, majoring in Bioprocess Engineering. She holds a Master’s degree in Bioprocess Technology and is a registered pharmacist in her home country of India. She is currently working on isolation and purification of lignins from angiosperms, to produce fine chemicals of added value. Her research interests include lignocellulosics, pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals. She has been a member of the American Chemical Society and the Technical Association of the Paper and Pulp Industry.

Presentation Title: Lignin as a By-product of Hot-water Extraction: Potential Increase in the Value of Biorefineries Based on Angiosperms

Abstract: Hot-water extraction (HWE) is a suggested pre-treatment for xylan-rich angiosperms that selectively removes hemicelluloses (xylans) from the biomass via autohydrolysis, producing cellulose-enriched biomass. Lignin is also partially removed during the process. HWE was conducted at 160oC for 2 hours in a 65 ft3 digester at SUNY-ESF, on three US-grown species, viz. miscanthus (Miscanthus sp., Family: Poaceae, perennial grass), wheat straw (Triticum sp. Family: Poaceae, agricultural residue) and willow (Genus: Salix, Family: Salicaceae, short rotation hardwood). Lignins were isolated from the extracts, characterized by analytical and spectrometric techniques, and were investigated for the production of formaldehyde-free adhesive blends and as an antioxidant. The hot-water extracted biomass may be recommended for pellet production. The isolated lignins were purified by a mild alkaline treatment. Promising results were obtained, indicating that the economic viability of biorefineries may be improved by utilization of all streams resulting from the biorefining processes.

Name: Kyoo-Chul (Kenneth) Park

Title: Assistant Professor

Affiliation: Northwestern University

Bio: Kyoo-Chul (Kenneth) Park joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as an Assistant Professor in January 2017. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. At both institutions, he was a recipient of four awards including the MIT Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award for Outstanding Graduate Research and Harvard Postdoctoral Award for Professional Development.

Presentation Title: Bio-Inspired Atmospheric Water Generation

Abstract: Designing surfaces that enable droplets to grow rapidly and be shed as quickly as possible by capturing vapor and small airborne droplets is fundamental to dew and fog harvesting systems, thermal power generation, distillation towers, etc. However, cutting-edge approaches suffer from intrinsic trade-offs that make it difficult to optimize both growth and transport at once. Here we present engineered surface designs based on principles derived from biological examples that synergistically couples droplet growth and transport and outperforms other synthetic surfaces in terms of atmospheric water generation. Inspired by an unconventional interpretation of the role of the beetle’s bump geometry in promoting condensation, we show how to maximize vapor diffusion flux at the apex of convex millimetric bumps by optimizing curvature and shape. Integrating this apex geometry with a widening slope analogous to cactus spines couples rapid drop growth with fast directional transport, by creating a free energy profile that drives the drop down the slope. This coupling is further enhanced by a slippery, pitcher plant-inspired coating that facilitates feedback between coalescence-driven growth and capillary-driven motion. We further observe faster onset and a greater volume of collected water compared to other surfaces. We envision that our fundamental understanding and rational design strategy can be applied to a wide range of liquid collection applications and can be further combined with fog harvesting.

Name: Mina Rahimian

Title: PhD Candidate

Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University, Stuckeman Center for Design Computing (SCDC) and the Hamer Center for Community Design

Bio: Mina (Vina) Rahimian is a PhD candidate in architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. She works at the intersection of computational design and sustainability. Her general area of interest lies in technological and data-driven responses for solving wider urban energy problems. Mina¹s PhD research focuses on using machine learning models to unpack the relationship between urban form and energy performance in community microgrids. She¹s also developing a software prototype to predict the energy performance of microgrid-connected communities via their spatial configurations. Mina is currently working with Autodesk’s sustainable business team to develop a distinct point of view and thought leadership platform for the topic of Smart Cities.

Presentation Title: Community Microgrids: the Interconnection of Infrastructure, Superstructure, and Citizens

Abstract: In recent years, microgrids have been emerging as the local power infrastructure for communities in urban areas. The rise of community microgrids in cities is specifically geared towards reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions as well as developing energy independent, resilient urban settlements. Developing high energy performance community microgrids to meet these goals, requires a scientific understanding of not only the deployed technologies and digital systems at a microgrid¹s infrastructure level, but also consideration of communities as superstructural built environments and the people who inhabit them. Such holistic view on the performance of community microgrids embodies a high level of complexity. With today¹s availability of big data on people, buildings and urban settings, and energy flows in cities and communities, we can initiate a conversation on community microgrids as a whole. Benefiting from principles of data mining and machine learning techniques, this presentation looks into attempts to redefine community microgrids as both user-centric energy sharing networks, and as building-integrated energy systems.

Name: Stephen Shaw

Title: Associate Professor

Affiliation: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Bio: Dr. Shaw is as Associate Professor in Environmental Resources Engineering at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His research interests focus on assessing whether standard hydrologic engineering design approaches are effective when applied in a changing climate.

Presentation Title: Analyzing Hydrologic Time Series Through the Lens of Change Points: Identifying Evidence of Natural Variability in Streamflow Across the U.S. Between 1940 and 2014

Abstract: In this study, we introduce a new method for identifying change points in stream flow records. Change points can be defined as rapid shifts in the sustained mean level of a given stream flow. Our change point identification approach makes use of over 1500 stream gage records in the U.S. that have continuous records between 1940 and 2014. Instead of examining the hydrologic record of each gage in isolation, we search for widespread, concurrent change points across multiple gages. This new change point identification method found 19 change point clusters extending over multi-state areas between 1945 and 2009. The prevalence of distinct change points in the stream flow records of most U.S. streams suggests observed changes in U.S. hydrologic time series are still dominated by natural variability and do not yet strongly reflect anthropogenic climate change. Acknowledging the role of natural variability in the recent observed stream flow record can help us more clearly consider how recent extreme hydrologic events should inform future design standards for water resources infrastructure.

Name: Min-Kyu Song

Title: Associate Professor

Affiliation: Washington State University, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Bio: Min-Kyu Song is an Assistant Professor at Washington State University (WSU). He received his Ph.D. degree (2011) in Materials Science & Engineering with a minor in Electrochemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he performed the research focused on the design, synthesis, and characterization of novel/nano materials (electrodes, catalysts and membranes) for batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. Prior to joining WSU in 2015, he conducted postdoctoral research (2012-2014) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (The Molecular Foundry – US Department of Energy Nanoscale Science Research Center). He also worked at Hyundai Motors Company for six years (2001-2006) as a research staff member on the development of fuel cell vehicles. Central to his efforts is the design of functional materials and manipulation of their electro-chemical and physical properties, with a current emphasis on advanced energy storage systems for electric transport technologies and stationary applications.

Presentation Title: Design and Synthesis of Materials for Advanced Batteries and Sustainability

Abstract: The performance of current lithium-ion batteries (e.g., graphite-LiCoO2 system) is not capable of meeting tomorrow’s ever-increasing energy storage requirements for advanced transportation and portable applications. For instance, new energy storage systems with significantly higher specific energy and excellent cycle life must be developed if electric vehicles are to be widely adopted as replacements for gasoline-powered vehicles. However, the obtainable specific capacities of current electrode materials remain insufficient to meet these critical goals. Therefore, explorations of new materials and novel chemistries are urgently needed to go beyond incremental improvements in the specific energy of existing batteries. Silicon-based anodes and Chalcogen-based (Sulfur, Selenium, and Oxygen) cathodes have gained intense attention for next-generation batteries because they have the potential of providing much higher specific energy than those of existing lithium-ion batteries. However, there remain fundamental challenges for these systems to be considered as a practically viable option. In this seminar, I will describe our recent efforts to design/synthesize novel materials based on earth-abundant and sustainable resources and develop high-performance electrodes/electrolytes to dramatically enhance battery performance in order to meet the requirements of the rapidly progressing emerging technologies.

Name: Daniel Studer

Title: Research Engineer

Affiliation: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Bio: Daniel joined NREL in 2009. As a member of the Commercial Buildings Research Group, he has focused on the development and execution of whole-building energy simulations using EnergyPlus and OpenStudio to identify large-scale areas for reducing and optimizing commercial building energy consumption. Recently, Daniel has been focused on adapting and applying EnergyPlus to the maritime environment, in an effort to increase the energy efficiency of large ships. An avid traveler, Daniel enjoys sailing during the summer, and skiing during the winter.

Presentation Title: Using Models to Drive and Sustain District Efficiency

Abstract: This presentation will highlight two recent tools developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, URBANopt and the Building Agent Dashboard, and how they can be used to influence the energy performance of district-scale projects during design and operation. Building off of the U.S. Department of Energy’s OpenStudio platform, URBANopt provides a modeling framework to address systems-level science and engineering questions at district and larger scales, enabling the rapid evaluation of design and technology alternatives to achieve low or even net-zero performance at the district-scale. The Building Agent Dashboard uses a combination of statistical and physical models, and machine learning algorithms, to identify in real-time when a building is performing abnormally. This information can be used to drive the immediate remediation of operational issues, helping facilities achieve their energy-performance goals. Discussion will also touch on how each resource can be leveraged and incorporated into private-sector offerings to deliver real-world savings.