The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 620 million people and taken over 6 million lives globally. The most common way COVID-19 is transmitted is from one person to another through small airborne particles. Indoor air quality research is paramount to moving forward and keeping people safe and businesses open. Syracuse University has been collaborating with Carrier Corporation to develop indoor air quality (IAQ) strategies that help to meet the current challenges of living, working and traveling in indoor spaces during a pandemic and better prepare for possible future epidemics and pandemics.
This R&T forum will introduce Carrier’s Healthy Building Program, and the important collaborative research with Syracuse University that will contribute to the design of risk mitigation and IAQ strategies – while considering effectiveness, cost and scale. These findings contribute to standards, guidelines and best practices needed to develop effective and sustainable strategies. These include multi-scale IAQ control strategies at building, room, personal and breathing-zone levels and consider outdoor ventilation, filtration systems, air distribution and cleaning methods, personal ventilation and masks.
Michael Birnkrant, Healthy Buildings and Homes Engineering Lead, Carrier Corporation
Carrier’s Healthy Building Program: Challenges and opportunities When Focusing on People
Dr. Birnkrant leads Carrier’s Indoor Air Quality group, pioneering new HVAC solutions to improve human health in buildings, recently delivering a layered strategy for pandemic resilience in buildings. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and doctorate degree from Drexel University.
Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang, Executive Director, SyracuseCoE, Professor and Director, Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University
Multiscale Strategies for Improving IAQ and Reducing the Risk of Infectious Disease Transmission
Dr. Zhang has more than 30 years of research experience in built environmental systems (BES) and is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering & Computer Science at Syracuse University. He is one of three co-leaders of the University’s Energy and Environment research cluster and leads the Heathy and Intelligent Built Environments subcluster. Zhang also serves as the director of the Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory at Syracuse University. Read Dr. Zhang’s full bio here.
This forum will be moderated by Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang.
SyracuseCOE announced that it is accepting proposals for up to $10,000 from current and new Partners, including the larger University community. The Innovation Fund is funded by member companies of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program to help companies overcome barriers in the process of commercializing potentially transformative innovations. Read more about the Innovation Fund and apply here.
Deadline is Thursday, October 20th, 5:00 pm
Companies at all partner levels—Industry, Affiliate and Start-Up—are invited to apply. Projects must address a challenge within SyracuseCoE’s core focus areas, which include indoor environmental quality, clean and renewable energy, and water resources. Collaborations with academic researchers from Partner institutions are strongly encouraged; however, proposals must be submitted and led by SyracuseCoE Partner firms.
Previous companies that received Innovation Fund awards include:
Applications, due by Thursday, September 15th, at 5 p.m. ET, will be invited to give a proposal pitch, with a panel of judges. If you’re interested in joining the Partner Program, contact Tamara Rosanio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following more than two years of excellent service, Eric Schiff has stepped down from his role as interim executive director of SyracuseCoE, with the appointment of Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang as executive director. Schiff took on the half-time position May 1 of 2020 and led the Center through the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. He provided careful thought leadership and captured opportunities to bolster critical research communications through webinars, research briefs and via local and national media, as scientists recognized that COVID-19 spreads indoors and swift indoor air quality innovation was needed.
Prior to his position at SyracuseCoE, he was the chair of the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences and has been a professor of physics at Syracuse University since 1981. The Center benefited from Schiff’s long history leading complex, multidisciplinary projects that require industry and academic collaboration to innovate energy-related problems through research, development and demonstrations. He has been a principal investigator for externally funded research projects from government agencies (Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and the Empire State Development Corp.) and corporations (United Solar Ovonic LLC, Boeing Inc., First Solar Inc. and SRC Inc.). From 2014-17, he was granted leave to serve as a program director at ARPA-E, an agency of the Department of Energy.
“There have been challenges, but also unprecedented opportunities to address the public health crisis through innovation, particularly in the indoor air quality and environmental systems arenas. Eric was instrumental in supporting SyracuseCoE researchers and companies to develop impactful solutions through technology and research innovations.” says Bing Dong, SyracuseCoE associate director. “It has been a privilege working with him and we thank him for his dedication, mentorship and leadership.”
As he returns to his full-time position in the physics department, Schiff will continue serving as principal investigator on SyracuseCoE’s EPIC Buildings Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy
The Innovation Law Center (ILC) provides legal research, education, and information useful to assessing the commercialization prospects for new technology. The research is also useful when bringing new technologies from an early stage to investment ready. When it comes to commercializing new technology, knowing what you don’t know is half the battle. The ILC provides entrepreneurs and companies research important to identifying potential challenges and devise effective strategies to successfully bring that technology to market. Research includes prior art searches, market and competitor analysis, and regulatory landscapes. The ILC has helped hundreds of companies and institutions make their technology vision become a commercial reality.
If you are a company or institution focused on bringing new technology to market, the ILC is available to assist and guide you. Established in 1990, the ILC’s technology commercialization academic and applied learning programs were the first of their kind to examine the legal principles necessary to usher science and technology innovation from its earliest stages to successful commercialization.
Learn more about the importance of early-stage research in the development of intellectual property and new technologies, as well as the IP, markets and regulatory assistance available from the Innovation Law Center to support companies in the EPIC Buildings regional cluster.
Sarah Klee Hood, Senior Director of Operations, The Tech Garden
Caitlin Zubrowski, Upstate Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Program Manager, NYSERDA
Brian Gerling, J.D., Director, Innovation Law Center, NYS Science & Technology Law Center
Molly Zimmerman, Managing Director, New York State Science & Technology Law Center at Syracuse University
Dominick Danna, B.A. Chemistry, B.S.E., Engineer-In-Residence, Innovation Law Center, Market Expert, NYS Science & Technology Law Center, Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University College of Law
David Eilers, M.B.A., Market Expert, Innovation Law Center, Adjunct Professor, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University College of Law
Cecily Capo, J.D. Candidate, Syracuse University College of Law
Ryan Milcarek, Assistant Professor at Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University
Ellie Rusling, CEO, MicroEra Power
Tom Vaccaro, Engineering Manager, National Grid
NYSTAR, the New York Science, Technology, and Innovation division of Empire State Development is the primary funding source for the NYS Science and Technology Law Center at the ILC. New York State offers resources designed to enable new and existing businesses to become more competitive through the use of innovative technologies. Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) programs and centers emphasize the importance of working with industry as a way to leverage New York State’s technology strengths to produce new products and promote economic development.
Karma Sawyer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Tuesday, March 8, 2022
A SyracuseCoE Research & Technology Forum
Today’s buildings use 74% of our nation’s electricity and account for 35% of our carbon emissions. The associated costs to occupants and the country are enormous. In the future buildings will be affordable, carbon-free, comfortable, and healthy. This exciting vision for the building sector relies on marketing products for increased electrification of building loads and for state-of-the-art building controls.
Dr. Karma Sawyer, Director of the Electricity Infrastructure & Buildings Division at PNNL, discussed innovative approaches to controlling and optimizing smart, electric devices in buildings in coordination with the grid and distributed energy resources. These will facilitate the decarbonization of the power grid while ensuring resilience and reliability.
Dr. Sawyer also discussed opportunities related to technology transfer and user facilities at U.S. Department of Energy National Labs, including Pacific Northwest National Lab and others.
Presenter: Karma Sawyer, Director of the Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings (EI&B) Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Dr. Sawyer is responsible for shaping and managing a vision and strategy to assure that PNNL addresses DOE’s most important energy efficiency, clean energy and electricity infrastructure challenges.
Prior to joining PNNL, Karma served as the Program Manager for Emerging Technologies at DOE’s Building Technologies Office. In this role, she developed and executed multi-year R&D strategies across a range of building technologies. She also worked collaboratively with the national labs and external stakeholders to advance cross-cutting initiative, such as the Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings, Advanced Building Construction and Grid Modernization Initiatives. From 2010-2013, Karma served as an Assistant Program Director and Fellow at ARPA-E, focusing on carbon capture and thermal storage technologies.
Dr. Sawyer earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. She also holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Syracuse University.
This presentation was part of the EPIC Buildings Program, created to accelerate innovations for energy hardware in NYS that enhance Grid-Interactive and Energy & Efficient Buildings (GEBs). Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and organized in collaboration with CenterState CEO’s Clean Tech Center.
15 university-based student teams from throughout the New York / Tri-State region competed in the Regional EnergyTech University Prize business plan competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT). The competition was hosted by SyracuseCoE, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and CenterState CEO’s CleanTech Center on February 18th. The inaugural competition was designed to challenge post-secondary students to develop and present a business plan leveraging lab-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. Teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential and propose a strategy are eligible to win a share of $250,000 in cash prizes. There are three phases to the event, the Explore Phase, the Refine Phase and finally, the Pitch Phase.
The “Smart i-Floor” proposal, submitted by a student team from University of Connecticut, was selected as the EnergyTech UP Regional Winner for the New York Tri-State area. The team was awarded $2,500 for their plan for durable integrated tiles that sense information and harvest energy from each footstep. The winning team will move on to compete in the next phase of the competition, the Refine Phase, held as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Energy Week in mid-March, where they’ll refine their market analysis and business opportunity.
Additionally, two student teams were selected as Technology Bonus Prize Semi-finalists:
Fossil Energy and Carbon Management: Pantheon, A Carbon-Negative Cement Replacement, The State University of New York at Binghamton
Solar: Tri-Sol: A 3-in-1 Solar Skylight System, University of New Haven
Technology Bonus Prize Semi-finalists from all eleven (11) regional Explore Events will compete for $2,000 prizes in each of the six (6) categories; winners will be invited to compete in the Refine and Pitch Phases alongside the Regional Winners.
“Competitions like DOE’s EnergyTech UP give students a valuable opportunity to envision and communicate the transformation of a technical energy innovation into a successful business,” said SyracuseCoE Executive Director, Eric A. Schiff. “SyracuseCoE was pleased to host the event.”
Judges for the New York / Tri-State regional competition included Jackie Amable, managing director of Nextcorps’ Venture for ClimateTech; Andrew Graceffa, principal of the Energy & Sustainability division of SOCOTEC USA; and Jamie Newtown, head of Digitalization and Innovation at Ramboll Americas. Two teams from Syracuse University competed in the competition against teams from Columbia, University of Connecticut, Cornell, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers, SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Buffalo. Over 80 people attended the virtual event. For more information about the competition including other regional events, visit the EnergyTech University Prize webpage.
Proposals for up to $10,000 are invited from current and new SyracuseCoE Partner companies. The Innovation Fund is funded by member companies of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program to help Partners overcome barriers in the process of commercializing potentially transformative innovations. Apply here
Companies at all Partner levels — Industry, Affiliate and Start-Up — are invited to apply. Projects must address a challenge within SyracuseCoE’s core focus areas. We encourage projects that include research engagements with faculty and students, support for product development and testing, market analyses, proposal match requirement, and more.
Previous companies who were Innovation Fund winners include:
Applications, due by Thursday, February 17th, 2021 at 5:00p ET, will be invited to give a proposal pitch, via Zoom, with a panel of judges. Visit the SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund webpage to learn more, or, if interested in joining the Partner Program, contact Tamara Rosanio at email@example.com.
Register your team and submit your idea by the Jan. 31, 2022, deadline!
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) recently launched the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), an engaging competition that challenges post-secondary students to develop and present a business plan that leverages lab-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. EnergyTech UP awards more than $250,000 in cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization.
The competition gives students the opportunity to learn, lead, and grow, offering cash prizes to winners based on the strength of their proposal, not the strength of their background.
Interested in competing?
Explore possible technology opportunities on the Lab Partnering Service, read more about prizes and the official rules
Register a team and/or submit an idea is Jan. 31, 2022.
Compete on in the virtual regional competition, hosted by NYSERDA, SyracuseCoE and the CleanTech Center on February 18th from 3 to 5pm to qualify for the national competition. More information will be announced.
The OTT has named NYSERDA, in collaboration with SyracuseCoE and CenterStateCEO’s Clean Tech Center, as one of fifteen Regional Convener partners of the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP). In this role, these organizations will host the competition’s Explore Event, virtually, on February 18th from 3:00 to 5:00pm for students in the surrounding geographic locations.
During the first phase of EnergyTech UP, students explore business and energy technology opportunities and present their findings at the regional Explore Event, virtually, on February 18th from 3:00 to 5:00pm. At the end of the event, judges will identify the top team selected to move on to the national competition in March.
In addition to winning cash prizes, students competing in EnergyTech UP will:
Receive tailored mentorship and Energy I-Corp materials
Develop business plans specifically for the energy industry
Work directly with the U.S. Department of Energy and national laboratories
Network with industry professionals at Carnegie Mellon University’s Energy Week.
This challenge is designed to be approachable, equitable, and scalable, allowing students with- or without a background in energy or business to successfully compete.
To hear more about EnergyTech Up, follow SyracuseCoE on social media (links below) and DOE / OTT on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
About the EnergyTech University Prize
Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is a collegiate competition challenging multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages DOE national 4 | EnergyTech University Prize Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions laboratory-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. EnergyTech UP awards cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization. Learn more.
SyracuseCoE pays tribute to Syracuse native, friend and advocate, Joanne Lynn Shenandoah-Tekalihwakhwa.
Member of the Wolf Clan, Oneida Indian Nation, part of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy), human rights activist and Grammy-award winning singer, Joanne Shenandoah, passed away on November 22, at the age of 64.
The critically acclaimed singer and musician has had a strong relationship with Syracuse University, lending her talents on many occasions over the past two decades. Shenandoah performed in the fall of 2001 at the Maxwell’s Schools announcement of a new minor in Native American studies.
She contributed significantly to the dedication and open house of the Syracuse Center of Excellence headquarters building in 2010, by writing and performing a song, Your Legacy, in honor of the event and for SyracuseCoE and its collaborators. Shenandoah appeared on stage with her sister Diane and daughter Leah Shenandoah.
Syracuse University gave her an Honorary Doctorate of Music in 2002 for her service to others and embodiment of community spirit. Her connection to the university was strengthened, in part, by the school’s role in preserving local tribal heritage and dedication to recognizing the Indigenous People on whose ancestral lands Syracuse University now stands.
In 2011, Shenandoah was an original board member of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge, created in partnership with Syracuse University. The non-profit institute provides traditional knowledge through education on original people’s concepts of peace, sustainability and planetary survival. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Atlas Award for her work within the climate change movement.
In addition to many other awards for her music and activism, Shenandoah received a Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Native American Music Album for her contributions to Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth, a compilation. She has appeared at numerous prestigious events alongside transformational world leaders including, His Holiness the Dali Lama and Nelson Mandela. Her website’s “celebrity” page shares photos of the singer with American music royalty, including June and Johnny Cash, and a long list of acclaimed artists she has performed or recorded with.
Joanne Shenandoah will be remembered for her enchanting singing voice and for her voice as Ambassador of Peace, Advocate of the Earth and Educator of Indigenous Knowledge.
Research & Technology seed funding is available through the 2022 SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellows Program – Deadline extended to January 21st
Faculty from Syracuse University and SyracuseCoE Partner institutions – SUNY ESF and SUNY Oswego – are invited to submit proposals for innovative research and development efforts in clean and renewable energy, energy-efficiency & healthy buildings and water resources. This funding is intended to catalyze externally-sponsored projects and to contribute to economic and workforce development of New York State businesses.
Up to $15,000 per award is available for projects without industry collaboration. Up to $25,000 per award is available for projects that engage a New York State company seeking technology, intellectual property, or technoeconomic expertise. SyracuseCoE intends to make multiple awards under the announcement. Awards will total approximately $100,000 in this round. Funding is expected to be available starting in February 2022.
Proposals should address how the use of the Faculty Fellow seed funding could lead to a significant “next step” in research and technology development, strengthen New York industry engagement and help establish SyracuseCoE and its Partner institutions as thought leaders in the targeted area.
The 2022 Faculty Fellows Program is open to faculty members who hold full-time appointments at SyracuseCoE Academic Partner institutions: Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF, and SUNY Oswego. Tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty are eligible. SyracuseCoE welcomes proposals that engage multiple faculty members, including cross-campus teams from multiple departments, colleges, and/or institutions. Teams are encouraged, but not required, to include non-university participants. However, funds may be disbursed only to academic institutions.
The Basics of of Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) A SyracuseCoE Research & Technology Forum, November 30, 2021
In the U.S., more than 70% of electricity consumption comes from buildings. As the world’s population continues to urbanize, building energy demand will place an increasingly hefty burden on electric power transmission and distribution networks. In addition, the intermittent and unpredictable nature of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy, lead to mismatches in energy supply and demand, resulting in energy price volatility and unstable profiles in building loads and network voltages.
To address these challenges, the Department of Energy’s Building Technology Office is developing a Grid-Interactive Efficient Building (GEB) strategy which aims to optimize across distributed energy resources (DERs) to advance the role buildings can play in energy system operations and planning.
Join to learn the basic concepts, potential applications, and current challenges of GEB. The presentation will be followed by Q&A.
Bing Dong, Associate Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University
Dr. Bing Dong is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Syracuse University. He also serves as Associate Director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems. His research interests include building energy efficiency, occupant behavior modeling at both building and urban scales, buildings-to-grid integration, building controls and diagnostics, and big data analytics. Dr. Dong was Subtask A leader for IEA EBC Annex 66, “Definition and Simulation of Occupant Behavior in Buildings”, and currently serves as Subtask 2 leader for IEA EBC Annex 79, “Occupant-Centric Building Design and Operation”, an interdisciplinary, international research collaborative effort involving more than 100 researchers from 16 countries. He has led 22 research projects that lead to research awards totaling over $10 million funded by NSF, Department of Energy, ARPA-E, NYSERDA, and other industry partners. He has over 100 journal and conference papers published and received the 2018 IBPSA-USA Emerging Contributor Award and the 2019 NSF CAREER Award. He is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Building Simulation and serves as research committee chair for ASHRAE’s Occupant Behavior Working Group, and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Building Physics (2021-2024). Dr. Dong received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.
David Lovelady, Director of Distributed System Operations, National Grid
Mr. Lovelady has over 15 years’ experience in the energy industry starting with hands on experience as a maintenance technician through to transmission and distribution system consulting, teaching, management and now as a Director of Distributed System Operations at National Grid.
Lovelady formerly served as a Principal Engineer at National Grid, driving the technical and economic implementation of NY REV policies and National Grids strategic vision into distribution system planning. He is currently focused on microgrids, distribution automation, DERMS and DSP business strategy.
Prior to joining National Grid Mr Lovelady held several roles at Siemens PTI, the most recent as manager of the Power Academy training business, responsible for driving aggressive growth strategies, development of new training courses and services and the management of a team consisting of engineering instructors, sales, marketing, course coordinator and administration staff.
Eric A. Schiff, Executive Director, SyracuseCoE and Professor of Physics, Syracuse University
As SyracuseCoE director since 2020, Eric Schiff has been working on ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community. He has many years of experience as a physics professor, a semiconductor and solar cell researcher, a university and government administrator, and an industry consultant. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued its Round 2 SBIR/STTR Phase 1 Topics of Interest notice on Monday, Nov 8th, with letters of intent due on Jan 3rd. These programs provide research & development funding for small businesses to support technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.
This webinar, held on Friday, Nov 12th explored the topics of interest targeted by the DOE in this funding opportunity. Learn about the application process and hear from those who have navigated the process successfully, winning Phase I awards of $50,000 – $250,000 and follow-on Phase II awards of $1,600,000.
SBIR = Small Business Innovation Research STTR = Small Business Technology Transfer
The SBIR and STTR programs are competitive programs designed to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in research/research and development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. These initiatives enable small companies (500 or fewer employees) to explore their technological potential and grow their commercialization success. In FY 2020, participating federal agencies awarded small businesses over $3 billion to develop and commercialize new technologies.
What is the EPIC Buildings program?
SyracuseCoE’s EPIC Buildings program was created to accelerate development and commercialization of innovations for energy hardware innovations in the upstate New York region that enhance Grid-Interactive & Energy-Efficient Buildings (GEBs).
Buildings account for more than 70% of U.S. electricity consumption and power sector CO2 emissions. By combining energy efficiency and demand flexibility, grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) can remake buildings into a clean and flexible resource, saving billions in power system costs, reducing carbon emissions and relieving stress on the nation’s grid. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) work to remake buildings into a clean and flexible energy resource by combining energy efficiency and demand flexibility with smart technologies and communications to deliver affordable, comfortable, productive, and high performing homes and buildings.
SyracuseCoE held a kickoff webinar showcasing the new EPIC Buildings program based on a $750,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate development and commercialization of innovations for energy hardware innovations, in the upstate New York region, designed to enhance ‘Grid-Interactive’ & Energy-Efficient Buildings.
The panel included Monica Neukomm, Technology Manager for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) in the Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), as well as by Ed Bogucz, Bess Krietemeyer, Bing Dong from Syracuse University, and Sarah Hood and Juhanna Rogers from CenterState CEO and Joseph Borowiec from NYSERDA.
Syracuse University has received a $750,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate development and commercialization of innovations for ‘Grid-Interactive’ & Energy-Efficient Buildings. The project is focused on strengthening the regional innovation cluster in Upstate New York, including resources available through the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) and CenterState CEO. This is one of ten awards made by DOE’s Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) and is the only EPIC project focused on building technologies.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated anew, indoor spaces are crucial to the health, comfort and productivity of occupants. At the same time, building operations are responsible for nearly half of the energy used in the US. The DOE’s Building Technology Office envisions that a clean-energy future requires innovations for “grid-interactive buildings & energy-efficient” (GEBs) that integrate energy generation or storage capabilities and management systems that interact with the regional electrical grid.
Participating companies will receive assistance to develop and commercialize energy hardware innovations for buildings, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, building envelope systems, building-integrated energy generation and harvesting technologies, and building-integrated battery and thermal energy storage systems. Beyond the innovation cluster, the goals of the project are to promote equity & public health in this sector and further the nation’s transition to net-zero carbon emissions.
“This award gives us the opportunity to strengthen and grow the regional cluster of businesses that are developing building technology innovations and products,” said Eric Schiff, interim executive director of SyracuseCoE. “This project supports SyracuseCoE’s mission to catalyze these innovations in New York State.”
The project will sponsor a series of events and resources for networking, technical, marketing and equity issues, as well as provide access to funding opportunities and national lab resources. Startup companies can join theClean Tech Center in Syracuse which offers a suite of services with additional financial support from NYSERDA. All companies can propose collaborative projects involving intellectual property, prototypes, and proof-of-concept for their potential products for buildings.
“The ‘smart’ and high-performance building technologies regional innovation cluster is critical to Central New York’s economy. We are excited to partner with the SyracuseCoE on this project as it will leverage and build on that existing regional expertise, and strengthen strategies to improve public health, particularly in disadvantaged communities, ” said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Ensuring that we can help companies and innovators advance these systems to drive more equitable health outcomes is central to our vision of creating a place where business thrives and all people prosper.”
KICKOFF EVENT A kickoff webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 19th at 4 p.m. The event will give a brief introduction to the program, including the opportunities available for CNY companies. Event panelists will discuss the needs and opportunities for energy hardware innovations for “smart buildings,” including products that promote equity and health in addition to grid interactivity and energy efficiency. Monica Neukomm, Technology Manager for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB), with the DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) will join the panel. The event will also be joined by Eric Schiff, Ed Bogucz, Bing Dong, and Bess Krietemeyer from Syracuse University, and Sarah Hood and Juhanna Rogers from CenterState CEO, and Joseph Borowiec from NYSERDA.
For more information about the program, contact Tammy Rosanio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Widespread school closings, like we’ve seen through the COVID-19 pandemic, create long-term individual and societal costs. It is in the best interest of children and families for schools to remain open. To do that, every effort must be made to keep children healthy.
In the last year, we have learned a great deal about preventing COVID-19 transmission with in-person instruction. The delta variant now challenges us to make use of every layer of prevention. The good news is that children are at a lower risk than adults and there is a new body of evidence that shows that kids can be kept safe at school with a holistic, multi-layered plan to reduce exposure, limit transmission and respond to outbreaks.
This fall, how can schools prioritize risk reduction measures for COVID-19?
We spoke with Harvard researcher and exposure science expert Joseph Allen and East Syracuse Minoa School Superintendent Donna DeSiato to describe the most valuable strategies and how they can be effectively implemented in schools, even with limited budgets and staff.
Dr. Allen is an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity, with John Macomber at Harvard Business School. He began his career conducting forensic health investigations of sick buildings in several hundred buildings across a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, biotechnology, education, commercial office real estate and manufacturing. At Harvard, Dr. Allen directs the Healthy Buildings Program where he led the creation of ‘The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building’. To drive research into practice, he works with Fortune 100 companies on implementing Healthy Building strategies in their global portfolios. He earned his Doctor of Science (DSc) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees from the Boston University School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology from Boston College.
Dr. Donna J. DeSiato, Superintendent, East Syracuse Minoa Central School District
Dr. Donna DeSiato, a respected leader in the field of public education, proudly serves as superintendent of the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District since 2005. She has previously served as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Services, Director of Elementary Education, principal, vice principal, instructional specialist and teacher in the Syracuse City School District. Dr. DeSiato’s professional experiences include building, district and state level leadership in building collaborative partnerships, strategic planning and leading systemic transformation in learning. ESM is recognized for developing a broad array of career pathways including innovative STEM learning models in partnership with business and higher education with Siemens, King & King Architects, SUNY ESF, LeMoyne College, Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College, along with the study of the development of pharmaceutical drugs through RχeSearch: An Educational Journey supported by Bristol Myers Squibb. Most recently in 2018-19, ESM launched the first Aviation Career Pathway High School Courses in New York State and the ESM Spartan Academy as one of 19 Early College High Schools in New York State. In 2013 the District was awarded the “Be the Change for Kids Innovation Award” by the Nanoscale College of Science and Engineering and New York State School Board Association and in 2015 ESM was recognized nationally at the White House as one of the first STEM Learning Ecosystems. Dr. DeSiato is a Trustee at Onondaga Community College, President of the Syracuse University Study Council and serves on the Executive Committee of the New York State Council of School Superintendents and the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority. Dr. DeSiato was awarded the 2015 Margaret Ashida STEM Leadership Award by the New York State STEM Education Collaborative, the STEM Woman of the Year Award by the CNY STEM Hub in 2016 and the STEM Outreach Individual of the Year 2020 Award by TACNY. She is highly regarded in education and in the business community for her leadership in innovative learning models and preparing graduates for our global society.
Dr. Eric A. Schiff, Interim Executive Director, SyracuseCoE and Professor of Physics, Syracuse University
As SyracuseCoE director for the last year, Eric Schiff has been working on ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community. He has many years of experience as a physics professor, a semiconductor and solar cell researcher, a university and government administrator, and an industry consultant. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
SyracuseCoE warmly welcomed back friends and collaborators as we celebrated the many accomplishments of student-supported projects at the 2021 SyracuseCoE Innovation Showcase and Summer BBQ. Exhibits and posters were displayed featuring innovative projects, ideas and research, including:
Student summer internship projects
Student researchers working with SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellows and in SyracuseCoE Labs
Syracuse University Industrial Assessment Center Projects
The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has welcomed Syracuse University and SyracuseCoE as a Channel Partner. IN2 is a $50 million technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Housed at NREL in Golden, Colorado, IN2’s mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology entrepreneurs. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN2 has since expanded its focus to advance technologies that address the sustainable production of agriculture and housing affordability. IN2 supports clean energy startups and agriculture companies by providing funding for projects of up to $250,000, including technical assistance that leverages the capabilities, facilities, equipment and deep expertise that exists at NREL, as well as at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Danforth Center).
“Relationships with DOE national labs are critical to growing the clean tech innovation cluster in New York State,” said SyracuseCoE director Eric Schiff, “and we are thrilled to become an IN2 Channel Partner. In addition to providing much-needed support for project funding, startups that are invited to join an IN2 cohort are paired with experts from NREL or the Danforth Center who can help them address critical milestones on their paths to commercialization.”
SyracuseCoE is one of only two New York State-based cleantech partners to join the nation-wide network of Channel Partners, which includes more than 60 colleges and universities, business incubators and accelerators, and their affiliated clean technology programs. To date, 56 portfolio companies have each received up to $250,000 in technical and project assistance from the program. For every IN2 program dollar awarded, on average, IN2 companies raise more than $95 dollars in external follow-on funding. IN2 portfolio companies have gone on to raise $1.1 billion from external follow-on funding, creating 774 jobs.
An invitation-only program, IN2 relies on Channel Partners like SyracuseCoE to refer promising companies to the program for consideration in a competitive application and down selection process prior to being invited to join the next cohort. Cohort 10, a Cleantech Demonstration Cohort, will be launched within the next few months. For more information about IN2 and the application process, please contact Tammy Rosanio at SyracuseCoE, email@example.com.
Together, SyracuseCoE researchers and SyracuseCoE Partner Density have developed a novel occupant-centric building management system using specialized sensor technologies, leading to reduced energy use and refined performance.
As vaccinations rates rise across the U.S. and restrictions begin to be eased, you may be considering going out to your favorite bar or club. But as the pandemic continues, just how relaxed can we be? Interim Director Eric Schiff spoke with Paste Magazine to discuss the reopening of venues and indoor transmission of COVID-19.
“To wear a mask just for, let’s say, 10 minutes on the hour at the most, when you go to the bar or the bathroom, leaving 50 minutes of unmasked breathing—that would be almost no protection,” Schiff said.
What should restaurant-goers take into consideration before reserving that table? What can restaurateurs do to make indoor dining safer?
Approximately one year ago, the coronavirus pandemic shut down some of our favorite places to go – bars and restaurants. Frustrated and desperate, restaurateurs have been agile by innovatively reworking their business models, where possible, just to stay open. Take-out, outdoor dining and ghost kitchens helped keep restaurants afloat, but most state and local guidance does not allow 100% occupancy yet.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. With vaccines rolling out and community transmission rates slowly descending, many are anxiously pondering – how safe is it to go out to eat now?
Listen to a round table discussion with three experts: a buildings expert, a restaurateur and a public health expert who bring perspective and clarity to this complex question. The conversation highlights the factors that contribute to a safer restaurant reopening and dining out experience. Audience members ask the expert panel intriguing questions during the Q&A session.
Charles Bertuch, P.E., Principal, Bergmann Architects, Engineers and Planners Bertuch has more than 30 years of professional experience as a consultant and plant engineer. He is currently Principal – Energy Solutions for Bergmann Associates in Syracuse, NY. He holds an M.S degree in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University. Visit Bergmann’s website.
Caitlin Gambee, Co-Owner, The Brewster Inn, Cazenovia, NY Gambee focuses on many of the important non-culinary aspects of running an award-winning restaurant and inn. She does the day-to-day bookkeeping as well as managing front desk / concierge staff, overseeing the hotel, managing the marina and all of the consumer-facing communications including website, social media, email blasts, etc. Her background is in marketing and events and she previously ran public relations and community relations campaigns for clients including the Boston Celtics, Dunkin’ Donuts and Converse. Visit The Brewster’s website.
Lisa Letteney, P.E., Director, Division of Environmental Health, Onondaga County Health Department, Syracuse, NY Letteney is currently the Director of Environmental Health for the Onondaga County Health Department and has been with the department for over 33 years. She holds an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and is a NYS licensed P.E. (Professional Engineer). In her Director’s position, she oversees the following programs: Food Protection (Restaurant Inspections), Temporary Residences and Recreational Facilities (Hotel/Motels, swimming pools, beaches, camps), Environmental Lead, Public Water Supply, Septic Systems, Mosquito Control, Rabies, and Tanning. Visit Onondaga County Health Department’s website.
Eric A. Schiff, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, SyracuseCoE and Professor of Physics, Syracuse University
As SyracuseCoE director for the last year, Eric Schiff has been working on ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community. He has many years of experience as a physics professor, a semiconductor and solar cell researcher, a university and government administrator, and an industry consultant. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Visit Schiff’s SyracuseCoE Leadership webpage.
2020 was a challenging year. The world has faced unprecedented challenges, requiring governments, communities, businesses, schools, and families to quickly re-think their approach to health and safety in the built environment. There has never been a more crucial time for research and entrepreneurship to promote healthy buildings and urban environments – a key focus of SyracuseCoE’s historic mission. From the beginning of the pandemic, it was clear that the Center had an opportunity to play a vital role in developing COVID-19 resilience in the built environment.
As our partners and faculty pivoted in response to the pandemic, so did SyracuseCoE. Leadership and staff looked for ways to bolster COVID-related research and commercialization activities by stakeholders. When the pandemic first began to unfold, SyracuseCoE assumed responsibility for wide dissemination of important resources and research-based information from its global community of stakeholders to the wider public. Early on, the Center shared funding opportunities and the latest guidance to help businesses navigate a safe re-opening process. As it became clear that indoor air quality and aerosol spread was critical to the transmission of the virus, SyracuseCoE used its voice to promote essential and informed discourse designed to advance a more COVID-resilient built environment. Further, we frequently broadcast the most up-to-date findings while also highlighting key leadership events with “trusted experts” from a community of world-class researchers specializing in topics related to indoor environmental quality.
Funding for COVID Related Innovations
SyracuseCoE continues to work closely with industry partners to support their efforts to develop technologies that target COVID-19, leveraging expertise from Syracuse University researchers and other faculty, generating new applications for existing products and transforming manufacturing operations to produce much needed supplies for frontline workers. For the Fall 2020 round of the SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund, an award by and for SyracuseCoE Partners, all proposals were required to address pandemic-related issues. In October, SyracuseCoE awarded four Partner companies $10,000 each for their COVID-related projects: Acumen Detection, Air Innovations, Elizion Tech, and M3 Innovations. Acumen will be working with SyracuseCoE researchers to develop a device to test for COVID-19 in the air. This could allow schools, offices, and other gathering places to detect if someone spreading COVID-19 has infected a room. Further, Acumen has also contributed to the Syracuse University wastewater testing project and has been manufacturing COVID-19 diagnostic tests since March. Air Innovations is enhancing their HEPAirX ventilating air purifier and HVAC unit to reduce disease transmission through UV-C light. It will also have the ability to turn any enclosed space into a negative pressure room. Elizion Tech will produce medical grade bio-based thermoplastics to be used in manufacturing sustainable, biodegradable, and recyclable filtration materials for personal protective equipment. M3 Innovations is developing ultraviolet options for lighting for sport venues that will combine high quality illumination and disinfect them when unoccupied.
Research for Resiliency
In an effort to make key findings from the Center’s researchers more accessible to a broader audience, we launched the SyracuseCoE Research Brief Series. The series started in an effort to quickly disseminate pertinent research that can inform reopening plans for schools and businesses. The first research brief from SyracuseCoE interim executive director Eric A. Schiff shows the efficacy of mask-wearing and ventilation in reducing the risk of transmission in classrooms. The second brief gives an overview of how displacement ventilation and semi-open partitions can be used as a defense strategy against airborne diseases. Since these briefs have been available, they have been viewed thousands of times and there has been a 29% increase in new visitors to the website. This brief series allows SyracuseCoE to highlight the work of our researchers, spark discourse with other top scientists, and advance scholarship and expertise in these critical areas of study.
Zhang isn’t the only SyracuseCoE researcher trying to understand COVID-19 in the built environment. The most recent research brief explores SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow Teng Zeng’s study on wastewater testing for COVID-19 and pharmaceutical drugs. Zeng received funding from the 2020 SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellows Program to research the relationship between pharmaceuticals found in Central New York sewer sheds and increased rates of COVID-19. Joining Syracuse University’s David Larsen’s team of researchers conducting wastewater sampling on campus, Zeng wanted to see if there was a connection between drug use and COVID-19 prevalence. After 4 months of sampling, Zeng found that sewer systems with a higher detection for pharmaceuticals also have a higher detection rate for the RNA associated with SARS-CoV-2. The association means substance detection in wastewater systems may be a tool for predicting COVID-19 hotspots and could help inform local or regional COVID-19 prevention plans.
Thought Leadership Events
The coronavirus halted in-person events in 2020, so the SyracuseCoE Research & Technology Forums made a digital debut in a new, all-virtual format. These forums bring partners and faculty together to present research and exchange dialogue on innovative products and technologies. So far, two forums have been focused on helping students and teachers return safely to classrooms by sharing the latest COVID-19 risk-reduction tactics, such as increased ventilation, air purifiers, and masking. Looking forward, SyracuseCoE plans to offer additional digital round tables, given the increased accessibility and attendance of the online format. Recordings of forums have also been made available through a new SyracuseCoE podcast.
SyracuseCoE’s mission is to develop innovations in environmental and energy technologies that promote sustainable well-being in built and urban environments. Syracuse University and the Central New York Region has established strengths and expertise in critical COVID-related topics such as indoor air quality and wastewater resources. Looking ahead into a post-pandemic world, SyracuseCoE will continue to be a hub for researchers and companies to drive innovation and create a more resilient built environment.
Proposals for up to $10,000 are invited from current SyracuseCoE Partner companies for the first round of the 2021 Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is funded by member companies of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program to help Partners overcome barriers in the process of commercializing potentially transformative innovations. Apply here
Companies at all Partner levels — Industry, Affiliate and Start-Up — are invited to apply. Projects must incorporate a SyracuseCoE core focus area, and preference may be available for projects that address the ongoing pandemic, as well as post-pandemic challenges. We welcome research engagements with faculty and students, support for product development and testing, market analysis, proposal match requirement, and more. Innovation Fund proposals must be submitted and led by Partner Program members, but may include collaborations with academic partners or with firms outside of the Partner Program.
To date, SyracuseCoE has helped finance more than 49 projects by 30 companies, totaling over $527,000. While the 2020 proposals were required to address the COVID-19 pandemic, current applications do not have to meet this qualification.
Previous companies who were Innovation Fund winners include:
“The Innovation Fund Awards are a great example of how members of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program can use their membership resources to take advantage of meaningful opportunities and overcome potential barriers to commercialization,” said SyracuseCoE interim executive director Eric Schiff. “The awards, based on technical merit and sound principles, have tremendous potential to strengthen each company through the success of their projects.”
Applications, due by Thursday, March 11th, 2021 at 5:00p ET, will be invited to give a brief pitch, via Zoom, with a panel of reviewers. Visit the SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund webpage to learn more, or, if interested in joining the Partner Program, contact Tamara Rosanio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the program, SyracuseCoE helps provide experiential learning opportunities for students and exposes Partners to new talent
SyracuseCoE is now accepting applications from its Partners for up to $3,000 to fund a summer intern through the2021 Summer Industry Collaboration Internship Program. The program supports paid internship opportunities for SyracuseCoE Partner Program companies to host a student pursuing a degree in science, engineering, or architecture. This opportunity allows the student to gain crucial knowledge, develop valuable industry relationships, and refine their technical skills by engaging in hands-on work at SyracuseCoE Partner firms related to SyracuseCoE focus areas: indoor environmental quality (IEQ), high performance/green building, clean and renewable energy, and water resources.
The deadline for companies to apply to the 2021 SyracuseCoE Summer Internship Program is Friday, February 19, 2021.
SyracuseCoE intends to fund 6 students, with up to $3,000 per company. To qualify, firms must be members of the 2021 SyracuseCoE Partner Program. To date, 42 companies and 121 students have participated in this program, which is supported by annual fees paid by SyracuseCoE Partners. For full details, click here.
Wastewater testing is increasingly used worldwide to monitor trends in pharmaceutical and illicit drug use. Between April and July of 2020, wastewater samples from six sewer systems in Onondaga County, NY were tested to assess pharmaceutical and illicit drug use patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that samples from sewersheds showing greater pharmaceutical and illicit drug use also contained more SARS-CoV-2 RNA – the genetic material found in the coronavirus. Testing identified higher levels of 26 pharmaceuticals, including medications for depression, epilepsy, allergies, and high blood pressure, as well as illicit drugs like opioids, cocaine, and amphetamines. For example, Figure 1 illustrates greater blood pressure medication consumption (left panel) and greater opioid consumption (right panel) in locations with wastewater samples containing coronavirus RNA. For all six substance groups (antidepressants, antiepileptics, antihistamines, antihypertensives, synthetic opioids, and central nervous system stimulants), the sewersheds with the lowest consumption rates had an average COVID-19 positivity rate of 1.5% – 2.5%, while the sewershed with highest consumption rates had a COVID-19 positively rate of 4%. This study demonstrates the need to establish regional and national wastewater testing initiatives to monitor COVID-19 spread and its implications for prescription and illicit drug use.
Kerrie Marshall (email@example.com) is the Assistant Director of
Communications at SyracuseCoE, the SU Center of Excellence in Environmental
& Energy Systems. Arik Palileo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a SyracuseCoE Communications Intern.
Eric Schiff (email@example.com)
is the Interim Executive Director of SyracuseCoE. Teng Zeng (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Assistant Professor of Civil and
Environmental Engineering at SU, a SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow and the lead
author on this study.
Young people are looking to make a good life in smaller, more tight-knit communities like Syracuse, NY – mid-sized cities that are less crowded, with lower costs of living and shorter commutes. With support from SyracuseCoE and others, a CenterState CEO project, Good Life CNY, aims to highlight Central New York as a region of growing opportunity for those looking to relocate. Visitors to the site, launched almost one year ago, can find information on the housing market, local schools, and job opportunities. The site also highlights various CNY hotspots, including restaurants, breweries, parks, and much more.
“The Good Life CNY initiative was built to promote the many job opportunities and high quality of life in the Central New York region,” said CenterState CEO Chief of Staff Benjamin Sio. “Companies are coming together through this initiative, to offer a collective message that they are looking for talent and CNY is a great place to live and work. We can see that it is working because people are visiting the site and many job seekers have found employment through the job board.”
Good Life CNY has amassed over 100,000 page visitors since early this year, surpassing their original goal by 600% percent. Almost 6,000 job seekers have used the site to learn more about companies and job opportunities in Central New York and have clicked to view open jobs over 10,000 times, again outnumbering early expectations.
The top geographic areas of visitors to the website, including New York City, Boston, Baltimore and Detroit, reflect areas with higher numbers of people interested in considering relocation to CNY. The age range of visitors was mostly in mid-to-late 20s to around 44 years old. Topics of greatest interest to those considering re-locating were food & dining, lifestyle, pets, news & politics, employment, sports & fitness and outdoor activities.
Any individuals looking to relocate to the area or companies in the CNY region looking for skilled employees can learn more at goodlifecny.com.
SyracuseCoE is welcoming four startups to the Partner Program:
Elizion Tech – Elizion Tech is a groundbreaking company leading the way in cutting-edge materials and product development to address 21st-century challenges. They leverage research-driven technology to make the world a better place — if it isn’t innovative, scalable, scientifically-validated, and green, it isn’t an Elizion product. Made of dedicated engineers and scientists, their team is committed to improving quality of life around the world by applying accessible, innovative technological solutions. Learn more about Elizion Tech.
IoT Right – Built from the ground up with the ability to interface with any sensor, network, or cloud – IoT Right provides the business intelligence their clients need to maximize their impact. They offer open, secure and easy to use end-to-end IoT solutions to fit any IoT vertical market. IoT Right’s one platform can integrate any system; crossing the cloud, operating at the edge, and putting full control at your fingertips. Learn more about IoT Right.
Urbata Inc. – Urbata is a building-data utility that streamlines the seven essentials of architecture: use, spaces, systems/ﬁxtures, energy, transit, site and history. With both public and private partners, Urbata is designing architecture principles into urban tech, anchoring the innovations of the future and illuminating buildings that need attention and retroﬁtting. By creating a building-centric utility, Urbata can illuminate the myriad issues that others have missed or ignored in our most valuable resources. Learn more about Urbata Inc.
Well Building Controls – description forthcoming
The SyracuseCoE Partner Program engages collaborating firms and institutions to address global challenges in clean energy, healthy buildings, and water resources. Members conduct targeted research, demonstrate new technologies, commercialize innovations, and educate the workforce. Visit the webpage or contact Tammy Rosanio at email@example.com for more information.
SyracuseCoE has awarded $40,000 to four partner companies through the second round of the 2020 Innovation Fund. For this round, partners were invited to submit proposals in SyracuseCoE core focus areas that directly address the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to leverage the region’s great capabilities in indoor air quality to reduce disease transmission in the built environment. The Innovation Fund is funded by member companies of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program and aims to help companies advance product development and technological innovation.
Acumen Detection Inc., to provide an rt-PCR machine, positive controls and other reagents, and advice, guidance and support to SyracuseCoE researchers developing a test for COVID-19 in room air. This will allow schools, offices and other gathering places to detect if someone with COVID-19 has entered the space. Acumen Detection is a startup partner, co-located at the SyracuseCoE research facility, that is transforming the way dairy producers across the globe monitor the environment and health of their herds by providing pathogen detection at the point of need–on the farm. Acumen Detection joined the SyracuseCoE Partner Program in 2019 soon after its spin-off from SRC Inc.
Air Innovations Inc., is enhancing their HEPAirX ventilating air purifier and HVAC unit to reduce disease transmission with negative pressure settings and UV-C light. After conducting the redesign, marketing materials will be created to address the needs of the dental market. Air Innovations is an affiliate partner that designs, tests and manufactures environmental control systems for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), custom HVAC projects and unique environments. They specialize in achieving consistent results in temperature control (low temperature and precision temp control), humidity control (desiccant to near saturation) and air filtration (HEPA to molecular).
Elizion Tech will develop medical grade, bio-based thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) for the manufacture of sustainable, biodegradable and recyclable filtration materials. Several sources will be assessed for their feasibility of processing into a source component for subsequent manufacturing of the antipathogenic filtration technology. Such materials can be useful in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE). Elizion Tech, based in Ontario, Canada, is developing an antipathogenic nanocoating, PPE, air filtration systems, high-contact surfaces and other applications.
M3 Innovation, LLC, co-located at the SyracuseCoE research facility, is developing a revolutionary platform for sports venues that will both provide efficient high quality lighting and also use ultraviolet lighting to sterilize the facilities from bacteria and viruses (specifically COVID-19). M3 Innovation is a startup partner comprised of founders and former engineers from Ephesus Lighting Inc., focused on developing lighting technology for the LED sports lighting market.
“There is an established history of innovative research and commercialization in environmental and energy systems in the Central New York region,” says Eric Schiff, interim executive director of SyracuseCoE. “Many SyracuseCoE partner companies, like Ephesus Lighting, Air Innovations, NuClimate, SparkCharge and others, have used their Innovation Fund awards on their path to successful commercialization. We hope this award will give companies the potential to play a critical role in helping communities reopen and function safely as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
With these awards, SyracuseCoE has helped finance more than 49 projects by 30 companies, totaling over $527,000.
Proposals for the 2021 round of funding are due Thursday, March 11th. Become a member today! To learn more or apply, visit the webpage or contact Tammy Rosanio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The previous conference, IBPC2018 was held in Syracuse, NY and jointly organized by Syracuse University’s Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, College of Engineering and Computer Science and School of Architecture.
Researchers within building physics are invited to submit abstracts for IBPC 2021 by November 30, 2020, within the following three thematic groups:
Physics – heat, air moisture, light/daylight,
Objects – materials, building envelope, whole
buildings, indoor/outdoor environment
Sustainability – energy efficiency,
durability, circular construction, climate
To learn more about the conference venue, submissions, registration and organizing committee, visit ibpc2021.org.
Channel 9 stopped by to see how SyracuseCoE is helping Partner companies create and innovate technologies that address the COVID-19 pandemic. One such partner is Acumen Detection, who has shifted from building technology to test pathogens in cows to creating a molecular assay diagnostic test for real-time PCR for COVID-19.
View the news segment below and access the full Channel 9 news story here.
SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow and air quality expert Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang was invited to discuss ways to improve your home’s air quality for the Wall Street Journal, including air filters, purifiers, fans, and, most importantly, fresh air from outside. In light of COVID-19 and wildfires burning across the west coast, keeping your home well ventilated and air clean is a critical factor in keeping yourself and your family safe.
Professor Zhang was also joined by leading IAQ experts Joseph Allen, Healthy Buildings Program director at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Max Sherman, residential team leader of the Epidemic Task Force at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and Jeffrey Siegel, civil engineering professor at the University of Toronto.
Click here to access the Wall Street Journal article.
WAER’s John Smith interviewed SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang and SyracuseCoE Researcher Meng Kong and took a tour of the TIEQ lab to learn more about how ventilation can affect COVID-19 spread.
“This system we can set-up the conditions so that everyone gets their own filtered, clean air… which can prevent cross-contamination in the case of Coronavirus infection, we can really control that,” Zhang says.
SyracuseCoE Interim Executive Director Eric Schiff was interviewed by the publication for his recent paper on potential transmission rates in the classroom. With poor ventilation and no masks, one super-spreader, someone who is 100% more infectious than a typical carrier, has the potential to transmit COVID-19 to 80% of students in a 20 person classroom. With proper mask wearing and sufficient ventilation, that rate can drop to 5%.
To read the full article, click here. To access Schiff’s paper, click here.
Two SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellows, Robert Malmsheimer and Tristan Brown, have been appointed to New York State Climate Action Council Advisory Panels. The panels are tasked with determining possible emission reductions to help meet statewide emissions limits as well as outlining policy proposals or action plans in order to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Malmsheimer, Professor of Forest Policy and Law at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), will serve on the Agriculture and Forest Advisory Panel. Brown, Associate Professor of Energy Resource Economics as SUNY-ESF, was appointed to the Energy-Intensive and Trade-Exposed Industries Advisory Panel. As Faculty Fellows, Malmsheimer and Brown worked jointly to demonstrate the feasibility of the stacked energy concept of pathway combinations on the same land in southeastern New York and assess the feasibility of three individual and two combined pathways in preparation for integrated economic-environmental assessments to be conducted in the future.
To read the full story, click here. To learn more about the New York State Climate Action Council Advisory Panels, click here.
How do we minimize COVID-19 infection risk when we return to school?
Students are heading back to classrooms. Undetected, there may be one who’s infected by COVID-19. Beyond masking, what are the options for teachers and administrators to minimize the spread of disease through the air? Join us as we talk with Central New York experts about how air can be replaced or purified to help protect classmates and teachers. When do portable air purifiers make a difference if a superspreader is in the room? How do I choose purifiers that will be effective and economical? Where should I place them? How can I understand how air moves in my room? What are the possibilities for rearranging the flow to minimize the risk of disease transmission?
Vinny Lobdell, President, Healthway Family of Brands Vinny Lobdell attended Oswego State for 4 years focusing on Marketing and Economics. Later, he continued on to receive an entrepreneurial masters in partnership with the Entrepreneurs Association at MIT. Lobdell took the leadership role at HealthWay in 2008 and soon thereafter, HealthWay was named to the Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies in America. In 2017, Lobdell co-founded Intellipure, a fast-growing B-to-C brand with a heavy emphasis on creating the best customer experience through handcrafted, individually certified air cleaning systems. Today, HealthWay Family of Brands is recognized as the global leading manufacturer of air cleaning solutions for almost any application. Over the past 12 years, Lobdell has traveled to 50 countries educating and speaking to industry leaders, governments, and medical professionals on air pollution and the harmful effects that come along with occupying our built environments. In the last 6 months, HealthWay Family of Brands has been called on by NYC Health and Hospital, Atlantic Health Systems, The U.A.E. Ministry of health and hundreds of corporate clients to assist in getting people back to work. Several of these clients represent some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in the world. Healthway remains committed to the Central New York Community and has hired an additional 50 people and added 20,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space in Pulaski NY.
Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University and Visiting Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Nanjing University, China, SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow Jensen Zhang is Professor and Director of Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University (SU), New York, USA, and a Visiting Professor and Chief Researcher of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Nanjing University, China. He received his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked at National Research Council of Canada for 8 years before he joined SU. Zhang is a co-leader of the SU-wide research cluster in Energy and Environment that promotes and coordinates multi-disciplinary research on the campus. He is an expert in room air and contaminant distribution, material emissions, air purification, building enclosure performance, and combined heat, air, moisture and pollutant simulations (CHAMPS) for integrative design and intelligent controls of buildings. He has authored/co-authored over 200 technical papers and 3 American national standards. He is Associate Editor of Journal of Science and Technology for the Built Environment (STBE, formerly ASHRAE HVAC&R Research Journal) and The International Journal of Ventilation, and serves as a Member of the Editorial Boards of Building Simulations—an international Journal, International Journal of High-Rise Buildings, and the International Journal of Architectural Frontier Research. He is Fellow of ISIAQ and ASHRAE, and current Chairman of the International Association of Building Physics.
Eric A. Schiff, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, SyracuseCoE and Professor of Physics, Syracuse University Eric Schiff has a long history of leading complex research projects that bring together academics, industry scientists and other partners to discover solutions to society’s energy-related problems. He has been a professor of physics at Syracuse University since 1981, leading interdisciplinary research groups and collaborating with laboratories from other universities and private organizations throughout the world. He has been a principal investigator for externally funded research projects from government agencies (Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and the Empire State Development Corp.) and corporations (United Solar Ovonic LLC, Boeing Inc., First Solar Inc., and SRC Inc.). During his time at Syracuse, he has spent half-year sabbaticals at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and at Innovalight, Inc., a startup company. From 2014-1017, he served concurrently as a program director at ARPA-E, an agency of the Department of Energy. There he initiated the SHIELD research program of a dozen research projects seeking inexpensive efficiency retrofits for legacy single-pane windows. He also supervised a portfolio of additional projects on solar energy conversion and other energy technologies. Schiff’s own research accomplishments include development of low-mobility solar cell device physics for thin-film solar cells such as perovskites, amorphous silicon, and cadmium telluride. His fundamental physics contributions include work on electronic transport and defects in semiconductors as well as on plasmonics. He is co-author of more than 100 refereed research publications with more than 4,000 citations and he is co-inventor on three U.S. patents. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
In a classroom setting with low ventilation and unmasked students, a superspreader’s COVID-19 infection will spread to essentially the entire class.
Neither good ventilation nor good masking, acting alone, reduces the percentage of students infected below 10%
Used in conjunction, good ventilation and masking reduced the calculated infection percentage to 2%.
We’ve calculated the number of COVID-19 infections that will be spread from a single COVID-19 “superspreader” to students and teachers in a classroom shared for 4 hours. Without masking and with a low ventilation rate, nearly all susceptible students and teachers will be infected. Neither masking nor ventilation alone is sufficient to reduce the infection rate below 10%. Careful use of surgical masks along with good ventilation reduced the estimated infection rate to 2%. The bar chart below presents the estimated infection rates for low and for good ventilation, and for unmasked, cloth masked, and surgically masked students and teachers. The estimates are based on a comparison with the Guangzhou restaurant cluster of COVID-19 infections, and use the “Wells-Riley” model to calculate infection rates.
The author thanks Jensen Zhang (Syracuse University) for a critical reading of the manuscript. The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by an award from the New York State Department of Economic Development (DED) to the Center of Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) at Syracuse University. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the DED.
About the Author
Eric A. Schiff, Ph.D., is interim director of SyracuseCoE (Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems) and Professor in the Department of Physics at Syracuse University. email: email@example.com .
2 Jensen Zhang, “Integrating IAQ control strategies to reduce the risk of asymptomatic SARS CoV-2 infections in classrooms and open plan offices”, Science and Technology for the Built Environment 26, 1013-1018 (2020), DOI: 10.1080/23744731.2020.1794499. The effective ventilation rate Q is the product of the actual air flow and a factor that allows for imperfect removal or denaturing of virions in recirculated air.
4 The air changes per hour (ach) is calculated as 60 x Q/V, where the units of Q are cubic feet per minute and V is the room’s volume (in cubic feet).
5 The original Wells-Riley form assumes a time-independent density of airborne virus; we have generalized the calculation to include the initial increase of the virion density following the arrival of the superspreader in the room. The use of a relative exposure presumes that classroom occupants and the diners in Guangzhou have similar inhalation rates and other factors of disease susceptibility. The Wells-Riley concept of a “quantum” for airborne transmission of disease is commonly assumed in studies of ventilation effects on infections, but other forms have been studied. See G. N. Sze To, C. Y. H. Chao, “Review and comparison between the Wells–Riley and dose-response approaches to risk assessment of infectious respiratory diseases”, Indoor Air 20, 2–16 (2010). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202094/#b51 ; doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2009.00621.x
6 W. R. Chan, et al., “Ventilation rates in California classrooms: Why many recent HVAC retrofits are not delivering sufficient ventilation”, Building and Environment 167, 106426 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106426
Teng Zeng, Ph.D., Assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University.
“It’s important to be able to test ideas before applying to a federal agency for a full-blown project. My research projects are all outcomes of early SyracuseCoE support.”
Project: Zeng studies organic pollutants in water systems, both natural—such as lakes and streams—and engineered—such as waste and drinking water facilities. His goal is to understand how organic pollutants enter aquatic systems and the implications for their presence.
Nuts and Bolts: In a project with Sharon Moran, associate professor of environmental studies at SUNY-ESF, Zeng is collaborating with the Upstate Freshwater Institute and New York State Federation of Lake Associations, making use of a citizen science approach to look at patterns of organic pollutants in more than 100 New York lakes. Zeng analyzes water samples collected by volunteers—typically lakefront residents—and communicates findings back to them. Zeng says pollutants enter the water via septic systems or agricultural activities, as well as atmospheric deposition. “The pollutants aren’t necessarily bad for the health of the lake, but information is helpful as a tool to understand watershed management, particularly for lake residents,” he says. “Some lakes are relatively clean while others are heavily impacted by urban or residential activities.” The project was initially funded by SyracuseCoE and later by the National Science Foundation.
That’s Not All: In a project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Zeng is collaborating with SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow Christa Kelleher, assistant professor of Earth science, and environmental sociologist Rebecca Schewe, associate professor at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, to study the impact of manure and bio-solids on New York waterways. The goal is to understand the impact of bio-solids—treated human waste— used by farmers as fertilizer, which may transmit organic pollutants, including pharmaceutical residue, into waterways. “We want to find out what contaminants are present and, using hydrological modeling, how these contaminants are transported to streams,” Zeng explains.
SyracuseCoE Impact: Zeng says Faculty Fellow grants from SyracuseCoE have been essential to launching his Syracuse University research. “They are the only source of seed grants in my area of research,” he says. “It’s important to be able to test ideas before applying to a federal agency for a full-blown project. My research projects are all outcomes of early SyracuseCoE support.”
Led by Syracuse University, SyracuseCoE engages students, faculty, and collaborators at 200+ firms and institutions to catalyze innovations that improve energy efficiency, environmental quality, and resilience in healthy buildings and cleaner, greener communities.
Proposals for up to $10,000 are invited from current SyracuseCoE Partner companies for round 2 of the 2020 Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is funded by SyracuseCoE’s Partner Program to help Partners overcome barriers in the process of commercializing potentially transformative innovations.
The COVID-19 public health emergency has had an unprecedented impact on our nation’s economic health and well-being. Companies throughout New York State are contributing to solutions addressing these challenges, from developing new applications for existing products to complete transformation of manufacturing operations to produce items most needed by frontline workers. To support these efforts, proposals are restricted for this round to innovations that specifically target the COVID-19 public health crisis and are consonant with the Center’s focal areas: indoor environmental quality, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and water resources.
Applications of up to $10,000 are invited from current and
new 2020-21 SyracuseCoE Partner
Program firms. Companies at all Partner levels — Industry,
Affiliate and Start-Up — are invited to apply. Projects must address a
COVID-19 challenge with SyracuseCoE’s core focus areas of indoor environmental
quality, clean and renewable energy and water resources. We welcome research
engagements with faculty and students, support for product development and
testing, market analysis, proposal match requirement, and more.
Acumen Detection is an agtech, Start-Up member of the Partner Program who has already put a SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund award to work addressing the pandemic. Acumen, a recipient of a 2020 round 1 award, was previously commercializing its innovative technology for detecting the pathogens causing disease in dairy cows. “The Innovation Fund award we received earlier this year gave us an important opportunity to respond to the need for diagnostic testing reagents,” said CEO of Acumen Detection, Chuck Stormon. “We are adapting our testing technology and helping to find critical solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Acumen is developing a fast, point-of-use test that would
dramatically assist efforts to mitigate the virus as we return to work and
school. The company will manufacture and distribute test kits, once FDA
Emergency Use Authorization is received. In addition, SyracuseCoE is working
closely with the company’s CEO to help identify potential collaborators that
can help expedite their path to market on this critical effort.
“The Central New York region has a remarkable record of research, innovation, and commercialization in environmental and energy systems,” said Eric Schiff, interim executive director of SyracuseCoE. “The Innovation Fund awards have been used by many SyracuseCoE Partner companies to help further the commercialization of new products and services. Winning an award gives companies the potential to play a critical role in helping communities reopen and function safely as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Applications, due by Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 5:00p
ET, will be invited to give a brief pitch, via Zoom, with a panel of reviewers
in early October, 2020.
Visit the SyracuseCoE Innovation
Fund webpage to learn more, or, if interested in joining the Partner
Program, contact Tamara Rosanio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new school year is beginning soon. Understanding the ventilation and air quality of indoor spaces is critically important.From improved ventilation modifications, to HVAC and air filtration, to physical modification of spaces, this podcast discusses the current knowledge of how to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in indoor environments.
With strong recommendations from 239 scientists from 32 countries, including faculty from Syracuse University, the World Health Organization is now acknowledging the evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through aerosol droplets. Viral particles become airborne when people sneeze, cough, sing, talk or breath.
As students return to campuses and classrooms, how can faculty, teachers and building managers optimize ventilation and filtration strategies to help keep students and faculty healthy?
Cliff I. Davidson, Thomas C. and Colleen L. Wilmot Professor of Engineering, Environmental Engineering Program Director of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University
Cliff Davidson is the Thomas and Colleen Wilmot Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. He also serves as Director of Environmental Engineering Programs, and Director of the Center for Sustainable Engineering. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering Science from California Institute of Technology. Following his PhD, he joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty where he stayed for 33 years in the Department of Civil Engineering (currently Civil and Environmental Engineering) and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. He moved to Syracuse University in 2010.
Davidson’s research background is in the area of air quality, especially aerosol interaction with surfaces, including surfaces of fibers in a face mask or filter. He has also worked on environmental sustainability in other areas, such as the design of sustainable cities, the effectiveness of green roofs in reducing urban stormwater runoff, educational innovations for teaching sustainable engineering, and identifying the preferences of individuals and organizations for strategies to adapt to climate change. He has published over 130 papers in refereed journals and another 100 papers in peer-reviewed conference proceedings and book chapters. He has served on the editorial boards of four scientific journals, and is a Fellow in three national organizations, including the American Association for Aerosol Research, where he also served as President. He has recently been chosen as the 2021-2022 Distinguished Lecturer by the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors.
Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University and Visiting Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Nanjing University, China
Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang is Professor and Director of Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University (SU), New York, USA, and a Visiting Professor and Chief Researcher of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Nanjing University, China. He received his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked at National Research Council of Canada for 8 years before he joined SU.
Dr. Zhang is a co-leader of the SU-wide research cluster in Energy and Environment that promotes and coordinates multi-disciplinary research on the campus. He is an expert in room air and contaminant distribution, material emissions, air purification, building enclosure performance, and combined heat, air, moisture and pollutant simulations (CHAMPS) for integrative design and intelligent controls of buildings. He has authored/co-authored over 200 technical papers and 3 American national standards. He is Associate Editor of Journal of Science and Technology for the Built Environment (STBE, formerly ASHRAE HVAC&R Research Journal) and The International Journal of Ventilation, and serves as a Member of the Editorial Boards of Building Simulations—an international Journal, International Journal of High-Rise Buildings, and the International Journal of Architectural Frontier Research. He is Fellow of ISIAQ and ASHRAE, and current Chairman of the International Association of Building Physics.
Michael Wetzel is President and CEO of Air Innovations, a SyracuseCoE Partner firm that specializes in the design and manufacture of environmental control systems. Wetzel is a graduate of Clarkson University where he received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and is the holder of seven US patents.
Prior to Air Innovations, Wetzel was based in Strasbourg, France for four years working for a multinational company building cleanrooms in Europe and the Mideast. Previously he worked stateside as an engineering manager in the HVAC construction industry.
Senem Velipasalar, Ph.D., Associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University.
“This kind of technology could have many other energy-saving applications.”
Project: Developing a low-cost, high-accuracy sensor platform that detects human presence inside buildings to reduce energy use in residential settings by as much as 30 percent.
Backstory: About 13 percent of all energy produced in the United States is used to heat, cool and ventilate buildings. Much of this energy is wasted by heating, cooling and over-ventilating unoccupied or partially occupied spaces. Existing building automation systems rely mostly on motion detectors and are limited in their reliability and ultimate ability to substantially reduce HVAC energy use.
Nuts and Bolts: Through a $1.2 million ARPA-E grant, Velipasalar is leading a team that partners faculty from SU’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with SRI International, a leading nonprofit research center with expertise in embedded vision and machine learning. Their goal is developing a sensor platform using an infrared sensor, a visible-range camera, microphone and low-power processor to detect human presence— including in low light conditions and when people are static—and to develop algorithms to analyze and combine data from these sensors to enable occupancy sensing that would be impossible by each sensor alone. “We are making use of off-the-shelf components to develop a battery-operated, stand-alone platform that can perform occupancy detection in an efficient and reliable way on site,” she says.
SyracuseCoE Impact: Velipasalar, who has a strong record of securing NSF support, credits former SyracuseCoE executive director Ed Bogucz with informing and motivating the team about this funding opportunity, as well as guiding them through the ARPA-E proposal preparation. “The ARPA-E proposal and budget preparation is different from NSF,” she says. “SyracuseCoE was very helpful every step of the way, especially in helping us develop and manage the budget.”
Practical Application: While the ARPA-E project is designed specifically to reduce HVAC energy consumption, Velipasalar says, “This kind of technology could have many other energy-saving applications,” including lighting and sound systems.
Intellectual Collision: Velipasalar’s research is at the intersection of embedded smart cameras, computer vision and machine learning. Her focus on questions related to energy is a more recent development, an outgrowth of her connection with SyracuseCoE. In addition to the ARPA-E project, an ongoing project with Tarek Rakha, former SU assistant professor of architecture and SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow, investigates heat loss in buildings using thermal cameras on drones. Velipasalar and her Ph.D. student have developed an algorithm that autonomously detects heat leakages from thermal images of building structures.
Led by Syracuse University, SyracuseCoE engages students, faculty, and collaborators at 200+ firms and institutions to catalyze innovations that improve energy efficiency, environmental quality, and resilience in healthy buildings and cleaner, greener communities.
The Clean Tech Center at The Tech Garden is a NYSERDA-funded initiative focused on developing clean energy technology companies in Central New York. Clean tech is an emerging sector of products, services and processes that harness renewable energy sources, reduce the carbon footprint and advance sustainability. The Center offers support for entrepreneurs and early-stage companies through incubation, acceleration and retention. Company’s needs are evaluated and customized assistance is provided with funding, technical support, and commercialization.
One new venture, tkFabricate (tkF), that has joined both the Clean Tech Center and SyracuseCoE Partner Program is aiming to help New York State achieve its goal of a carbon-neutral economy. tkF is partnering with a Dutch initiative, EnergieSprong to develop and implement feasible, affordable and market-driven deep energy retrofits for multifamily residencies. By taking precedent from existing advanced manufacturing processes used in Europe, tkF’s innovative approach promises to minimize tenant disruption by implementing 3D scanning and modeling tools that facilitate design and installation. The construction industry will have increased productivity, resulting in a reduction of installation costs of mechanical systems and building facades via vertical supply chain integration design for manufacturing and assembly.
Acumen Detection, Inc., is an agtech start-up member of SyracuseCoE that is commercializing its innovative technology for detecting the pathogens causing disease in dairy cows. Operating its R&D and manufacturing out of SyracuseCoE, Acumen’s main technology is based on a DNA early-detection system developed over the years as an SRC, Inc., subsidiary. Originally envisioned during Operation Desert Storm to save the lives of troops that were subjected to chemical or biological attacks, Acumen adapted this technology to revolutionize the dairy industry by helping farmers protect the health of their herds from the spread of mastitis through early detection.
Now, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Acumen is adapting its testing technology again to address the critical need for diagnostic reagents. Identifying asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus from droplets that settle on surfaces has the potential to significantly improve our indoor air quality and public health. Acumen is working to develop a fast, point-of-use test that would dramatically assist efforts to mitigate the virus as we return to work and school.
To support the company’s activities in these efforts, SyracuseCoE and Syracuse University are providing additional lab space for their immediate use to continue their timely development. A recent SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund grant will help Acumen manufacture and distribute test kits, once FDA Emergency Use Authorization is received. In addition, SyracuseCoE is working closely with the company’s CEO to help identify additional potential laboratory collaborators that can help speed their path to market on this critical effort.
CenterState CEO continues to lead TEC Innovates’ workforce development efforts and, in partnership with Advance Media NY, has formally launched a talent attraction and retention initiative called The Good Life CNY. A branded website connects CNY companies’ open positions with job seekers. The all-in-one resource helps sell the region as a great place to live, work and play in order to attract talent for many of the region’s industries with the highest demand for skilled workers. The website weaves a narrative of the high quality of life available in CNY through diverse culture, seasons and activities, the availability of good education and all within an affordable, central location in the Northeast.
The majority of funding for this campaign is coming directly from the companies with the highest demands for talent, many within the TEC regional cluster. Syracuse University and SyracuseCoE have also invested in the effort, given the direct benefit to companies within the TEC Innovates cluster.
There has been a significant amount of traffic showing early success. In the past 6 months over 30,000 unique users visited the main site, mainly from nearby cities such as Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Columbus, and Detroit. Promisingly, the job portal has had over 3,000 unique users seeking to learn more about 7,600 CNY jobs.
CenterState CEO and Advance Media NY continue to elevate promotion of this effort within CNY and to communities with large populations of the talent our company’s demand. This effort is expected to run through the end of October 2020 with a possible continuation into 2021.
SyracuseCoE announced that two Upstate New York companies have been awarded funding through the SyracuseCoE 2020 Innovation Fund amounting to $20,000. The Innovation Fund is funded by the SyracuseCoE Partner Program and is designed to help companies commercialize products and technologies that have the potential to innovate and transform the market.
Acumen Detection is a Startup
Partner operating out of the SyracuseCoE headquarters building that is
transforming the way dairy producers across the globe monitor the health of
their herds by providing pathogen detection at the point of need – on the farm.
Acumen Detection joined the SyracuseCoE Partner Program in 2019 soon after its
spin-off from SRC, Inc.
Acumen Detection’s 2020 Innovation
Fund Project: In response to
the COVID-19 pandemic, Acumen has applied its work to address the critical need for
diagnostic reagents. Identifying asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus from
droplets that settle on surfaces has the potential to significantly improve our
indoor air quality and public health. Acumen seeks to develop a fast, 4-hour,
point-of use test that would dramatically assist efforts to mitigate the virus
as we return to work and school. The grant will help Acumen manufacture and
distribute test kits, once FDA Emergency Use Authorization is received.
Green Building Consulting (NGBC) is a SyracuseCoE Affiliate Partner and
longtime collaborator. NGBC designs, teaches, and builds in Nature’s Image™
making use of their deep experience in the design sciences of biomimicry,
resilience science & theory, and building science.
Building Consulting’s 2020 Innovation Fund Project: This project
synthesizes innovative research in resilience science, healthy buildings and
passive strategies into a Resilience Audit and Standard‚ the “Assessment for
Developing Adaptation, Persistence & Transformability for Buildings” (ADAPT
for Buildings). The goal is to provide the
design, development, engineering & construction industries,
and building owners, with a state-of-the-art framework and tool containing
quantifiable, verifiable metrics to use to analyze the performance of healthy
and resilient buildings. Ultimately, the ADAPT for Buildings tool will take
form as a virtual, interactive App and workbook for multi-industry use.
Innovation Fund Awards are a great example of how members of the SyracuseCoE
Partner Program can use their membership resources to take advantage of
meaningful opportunities and overcome potential barriers to commercialization,”
said SyracuseCoE interim
executive director Eric Schiff. “The
awards, based on technical merit and sound principles, have tremendous
potential to strengthen each company through the success of their projects.”
After an initial review by SyracuseCoE staff, selected applicants
were invited to participate in a digital proposal pitch to a panel of judges,
including members of the SyracuseCoE Industry Partners Council, collaborators
and others. Eligibility forawards is extended to all current
members of the SyracuseCoE
Partner Program. Proposals may include collaborations with
non-Partner Program firms and academic partners; however, proposals must be
submitted and led by members of the Partner Program.
Since 2014, more than $487,000 in project funding has been awarded under this
program to support 45 projects conducted by 28 companies.
Congratulations to WexEnergy, a SyracuseCoE Start-Up Partner and actively engaged TEC Innovates firm, on its receipt of The New York Community Trust Impact Prize at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering’s Urban Future Prize Competition. The award includes a $50,000 cash prize and membership in the clean energy-focused ACRE incubator, located at NYU Tandon’s Urban Future Lab in Brooklyn, New York.
Bing Dong, Ph.D., Associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University.
“The facility is a fabulous test bed, unique in the United States, that provides me unprecedented capability to conduct the work I want to do.”
Project: Integrating battery systems into buildings to improve energy efficiency and reduce demand on the electric grid.
Backstory: Dong joined Syracuse University from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in August. An expert in intelligent building operation, he was recruited as a signature hire to bolster SU’s priority research cluster in energy and environment, bringing nearly $1 million in research funding with him. Dong says he was specifically attracted to SU by the opportunity to work at SyracuseCoE. “The facility is a fabulous test bed, unique in the United States, that provides me unprecedented capability to conduct the work I want to do,” he says.
Nuts and Bolts: Dong is developing and integrating a battery storage system lab at SyracuseCoE to explore ways to manage peak energy offset and smart grid to server interaction in commercial properties. The system will store energy at times when energy demand is low (such as the middle of the night), then at high demand times can provide 20 to 30 percent of building energy needs, offsetting energy costs and demand on the grid. Dong hopes to have the system operational by spring 2020 and then will begin collecting data and fine-tuning control systems to work optimally with building systems and National Grid signals. “The battery can last for 20 to 30 years,” he says. “Over time, this kind of system can save a lot of money for building owners.”
That’s Not All: Dong holds a prestigious five-year National Science Foundation Career Award that supports research on optimizing building-to-grid integration to server for better smart and connected communities. The goal is to better understand human use and energy demand in individual buildings in an attempt to stabilize the grid as a whole, creating smart cities. He also holds a U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E grant to test and validate protocols to quantify HVAC energy savings from occupancy sensing in buildings. One year into his three-year ARPA-E project, Dong plans to use SyracuseCoE as a test bed to collect data—installing occupancy sensors that will automatically adjust HVAC set points based on the occupancy of a particular space to save energy.
Real-World Application: Dong is looking for entrepreneurial opportunities with plans to form a startup company that uses artificial intelligence to control buildings connected to renewable energy.
SyracuseCoE Impact: In addition to projects designed to use SyracuseCoE headquarters as a test bed, Dong works from an office on the fourth floor. “There is no better place for me on campus than at SyracuseCoE,” he says.
Led by Syracuse University, SyracuseCoE engages students, faculty, and collaborators at 200+ firms and institutions to catalyze innovations that improve energy efficiency, environmental quality, and resilience in healthy buildings and cleaner, greener communities.
Paul Crovella, Ph.D., Assistant professor of forest and natural resources management, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
“Studies show that using wood in interior spaces has measurable health and well-being benefits. People feel comfortable in a natural environment. Their heart rates are lower.“
Project: Researching wood species suitable for mass timber construction to replace concrete and steel in commercial buildings.
Backstory: Steel and poured concrete production are two of the largest contributors to greenhouse gasses. By contrast, building out of wood has a carbon reduction impact. For many years, wood has been limited to residential construction using 2-by-4 or 2-by-6 lumber boards. New techniques allow construction using much larger pieces of timber that can be used as columns, beams, walls and floors, and can be used in structures up to 18 stories high.
“Performance is similar to concrete and steel in terms of strength and fire safety,” says Crovella. “While small pieces of wood burn easily, once wood is large enough in size, it is actually very difficult to start burning.”
Nuts and Bolts: Most research on mass timber construction has been conducted in Europe and North America. Crovella, who has been testing different species of wood for six years, has turned his attention to South America, where forest resources are abundant but little effort has been made to understand whether the wood is appropriate for mass timber construction. With support from a Faculty Fellows grant, Crovella is testing wood species from Brazil, finding they are more than twice as strong as current mass timber products in use. “The wood in South America grows under much different conditions, and because of that, the types of wood that grow are much denser than what we have in North America,” he says.
SyracuseCoE Impact: Funding from SyracuseCoE allowed Crovella to purchase the wood and build panels in his lab at ESF to do strength testing.
Added Benefits: In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, mass timber construction offers health benefits if the interior wood is left exposed and unfinished. “Studies show that using wood in interior spaces has measurable health and well-being benefits,” says Crovella. “People feel comfortable in a natural environment. Their heart rates are lower. Their stress hormone levels are lower.”
Extra Credit: Crovella has been on the advisory council for the New York State Green Building Conference for the last decade, helping plan the theme and structure of the event and to select speakers. He’s also served as technical advisor to two ESF/SU teams competing in the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon to design a net-zero building. Both teams he advised, in 2014 and 2019, were divisional winners in the national competition.
Led by Syracuse University, SyracuseCoE engages students, faculty, and collaborators at 200+ firms and institutions to catalyze innovations that improve energy efficiency, environmental quality, and resilience in healthy buildings and cleaner, greener communities.
Based on a presentation by Associate Professor Ed Bogucz, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University
Written by Renee Levy
When SyracuseCoE headquarters opened in 2010, it became a pioneering building in the city, the region and, perhaps, New York state. One of Syracuse’s first LEED Platinum buildings, SyracuseCoE was built as a showcase of green building technology; a living lab where such technologies are developed and tested; and a hub for technology transfer, connecting student and faculty researchers at Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF, SUNY Oswego and Upstate Medical University with local industry to develop technologies and commercialize innovative products for market.
One hundred years earlier, at the same location—on the corner of East Washington and Almond streets—Lyman C. Smith built the L.C. Smith and Bros. Typewriter Company. Smith was an innovator, local industrialist and benefactor of engineering education at Syracuse University. That symbiosis is no aberration. Syracuse University’s 150-year history is deeply intertwined with innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
When Syracuse University opened its doors in March 1870, Syracuse was a boomtown and the 29th largest city in the United States. The city’s growth had been fueled by the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which along with construction of multiple rail lines, established Syracuse as a thriving hub for advances in civil engineering and canal-to-rail intermodal transportation.
A Cradle of Industry and Innovation
Syracuse’s first known industrial incubator was the C.E. Lipe Machine Shop, established in 1880 by mechanical engineer Charles Lipe. At the 20,000-square-foot Lynch Building on South Geddes Street, Lipe worked on his own inventions and rented space to others, including Herbert Franklin, Alexander Brown and Smith, originally known for the L.C. Smith shotgun. The Lipe Shop became recognized as the “cradle of Syracuse industry” with a prowess for precision manufacturing: the ability to make small parts accurately.
Lipe and Brown invented the Hy-Lo Bi-Gear for bicycles. They later turned their attention to gears and transmissions for the auto industry. Franklin was experimenting with automobile design, and the first Franklin automobile was built at the Lipe Shop. Brown also teamed with Smith on improving the design of the typewriter. Along with Smith’s brothers, Wilbert Smith and Hurlburt W. Smith, they established the Smith Premier Typewriter Works and L.C. Smith and Bros. Typewriter Company, which later became Smith Corona.
In 1901, Lyman Smith donated $75,000 to Syracuse University to build Smith Hall and establish the L.C. Smith College of Applied Science. He later gave $40,000 to build Machinery Hall, all an effort to bolster engineering education.
By the 1920s, Syracuse’s largest employer was Franklin Automobile, with 5,000 workers. The company’s founder, Herbert Franklin, endowed the Franklin Chair in Transportation at Syracuse University (now known as the Franklin Chair in Supply Chain Management). The company had developed a new type of air-cooled engine that made its product lighter and more responsive than other automobiles at the time, which used conventional water-cooled engines. The air-cooled engine offered a significant reliability advantage in cold climates, given that antifreeze had not yet been invented.
Despite its technological sophistication, discounted pricing and the Great Depression led to Franklin Automobile’s demise, and the company declared bankruptcy in 1934, leaving behind a technologically skilled workforce with no jobs and a large, empty factory.
Local business leaders raised a $250,000 incentive to attract a manufacturing company to Syracuse. Investigating the possibilities, they were successful in recruiting the rapidly growing Carrier Air Conditioning Company. Willis Carrier had invented air conditioning in Buffalo in 1902 to solve the challenge of humidity control in printing plants. When Carrier’s employer ended production of the novel technology in 1914, Carrier started his own company in Newark, New Jersey. In 1922, Onondaga Pottery in Syracuse became the first customer to use Carrier’s new centrifugal chiller.
In 1937, Carrier consolidated its manufacturing from four locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the former Franklin Automobile factory in Syracuse. The company grew quickly.
During World War II, the federal government built a factory in DeWitt, a Syracuse suburb, for General Electric to build jet engines. After the war, the site was auctioned off. There were two bidders: Carrier Corporation—which needed larger manufacturing facilities—and Syracuse University—whose enrollment had tripled with Chancellor William P. Tolley’s strategic decision to open the doors to returning veterans on the G.I. Bill. Ultimately, the site was divided between the two.
In 1947, Carrier moved to the larger manufacturing complex off Thompson Road. (When a traffic circle was built in front of the plant in the 1950s, it was named Carrier Circle.) The L.C. Smith College of Engineering moved from Smith and Machinery halls to buildings adjacent to the Carrier Corporation. Engineering students from that time period recall being bused from the main campus to Thompson Road, where engineering classes were held from 1948 to 1952.
By the late 1970s, Carrier had grown to become the world’s largest air conditioning company, with more than 7,000 employees in Syracuse, in research and development, manufacturing and administration. In 1979, Carrier was acquired by United Technologies Corporation (UTC). By 2004, UTC moved Carrier’s headquarters to its own headquarters near Hartford, Connecticut, ending manufacturing in Syracuse. Approximately 1,300 research and development employees remained, and more importantly, so did much of the engineering brain trust that would become crucial to the creation of SyracuseCoE.
Responding to Industry Needs
But Carrier was far from the only innovation industry in town. Beginning in the 1960s, long before Silicon Valley, Syracuse developed as a hub for electronics and instrumentation, with key firms including Welch Allyn, GE Electronics Park, Anaren, Inficon, Martin Marietta and Thomson Consumer Electronics. At the same time, there were parallel developments at Syracuse University in the creation of related academic programs to meet the needs of emerging industries. For example, Syracuse University has the second oldest computer engineering program in the country, due to a longstanding relationship with IBM. Other innovative programs included a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, a minor in energy systems and a master’s degree in energy systems.
Central New York was also home to a cluster of successful engineering firms, most prominently O’Brien and Gere, founded by William Stanton Gere, a 1917 graduate of Syracuse University and son of one of Syracuse University’s first known civil engineering graduates, William Anson Gere, who earned his degree in 1884.
Ed Bogucz, founding director of SyracuseCoE, came to the L.C. Smith College of Engineering as a young faculty member in 1985, attracted by the University’s proximity to Carrier Corporation and the possibility of research collaboration through SU’s newly established Center of Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering (CASE) Center. It was a good move. His first sponsored research project was a project for Carrier funded through the CASE Center.
In the early 1990s, Syracuse University Chancellor Kenneth Shaw led a process to reduce the University’s budget and better respond to market demands. As part of the restructuring effort, the University combined the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and the School of Computer and Information Science to create the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). In 1995, Bogucz was named ECS’s interim dean, charged with developing a strategic plan for the college as it completed its downsizing.
Bogucz’s vision was to strengthen ECS by hiring faculty members in areas that aligned with strengths in the local economy and to strengthen collaborations with local firms. At the same time, the Metropolitan Development Association (MDA) was developing Vision 2010, a blueprint to strengthen the CNY economy. The regional blueprint identified seven key CNY industry clusters, including environmental quality and energy systems. In 1996, the College of Engineering and Computer Science adopted a strategic plan that included investments in faculty and facilities aligned with Vision 2010 priorities. In July 1996, Bogucz was named ECS’s dean, charged with implementing the plan.
To advance Vision 2010, the MDA organized working groups for each industry cluster. The working group for environmental and energy systems was co-chaired by Cornelius B. Murphy G’70, chief executive officer of O’Brien & Gere. In 1998, the group invited Bogucz to facilitate a brainstorming of possible areas for collaboration among Central New York companies. What emerged was a plan to develop new technologies for green buildings, an idea being developed by the fledgling U.S. Green Building Council and supported strongly by Carrier.
Planting Seeds for SyracuseCoE
From there, things moved quickly. In 1999, the College of Engineering and Computer Science recruited Jensen Zhang, the first faculty member hired to build capacity in areas related to indoor environmental quality. The following year, the MDA, now known as CenterState CEO, launched the New York Indoor Environmental Quality (NYIEQ) Center to promote regional university-industry collaborations. In 2001, Bogucz led efforts on a successful proposal to the state to establish the Environmental Quality Systems (EQS) Strategically Targeted Academic Research (STAR) Center, led by Syracuse University in collaboration with the NYIEQ Center, MDA and 10 academic and research institutions. H. Ezzat Khalifa, director of Carrier R&D programs at United Technologies Research Center, was hired to lead the EQS STAR Center.
Later that year, New York State announced a new Centers of Excellence program to foster collaboration between the academic research community and the business sector to develop and commercialize new products and technologies. In 2002, SyracuseCoE was established by New York State as one of the first five statewide Centers of Excellence, leveraging activities of the NYIEQ and EQS STAR centers, with a mission to encourage and fund collaborative projects that develop new environmental and energy systems products and services, serving as a conduit between university researchers and industry.
Since its creation, SyracuseCoE has supported more than 200 projects that assisted more than 70 local companies, which report creating or retaining more than 1,100 jobs to date. In addition, SyracuseCoE has supported more than 50 Syracuse University faculty members in seven schools and colleges through its Faculty Fellows Program, which provides competitively awarded funding for seed projects.
In 2009, SyracuseCoE hosted the ninth International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate Healthy Buildings conference and exhibition, which attracted more than 1,700 attendees from 44 nations. The following year, SyracuseCoE opened its LEED-Platinum living laboratory headquarters in downtown Syracuse, on the brownfield that was the site of the L.C. Smith and Bros. typewriter factory. A thriving hub for industry-University collaboration and an anchor to Syracuse’s Innovation Crossroads, SyracuseCoE’s unique facilities have attracted international research teams, including the groundbreaking COGfx Study on the impact of indoor environmental quality on human cognition led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2014.
Last year, leading researchers from 33 countries gathered in Syracuse for the seventh International Building Physics Conference, hosted by SyracuseCoE and chaired by Zhang, Syracuse University professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. It was the first time that the triennial meeting, the world’s premier building science conference, was held in the United States, attracted to Syracuse by the cutting-edge research and innovation related to indoor air quality, energy efficiency and high-performance building technologies.
Syracuse University and the Central New York community are undisputed leaders in the field, all because Syracuse University had the foresight to build programs, hire faculty and invest in facilities in areas relevant to local industry. The result: significant impact on our regional economy, our built environment and natural environments and our water resources.
SyracuseCoE invites proposals to the Innovation Fund from current SyracuseCoE Partner companies for up to $10,000. It is anticipated that there will be five awards. The Innovation Fund is funded by SyracuseCoE Partner Program and is designed to help companies commercialize products and technologies that have the potential to transform and innovate the market. You must be a member to apply, but it’s not too late, you can join the SyracuseCoE Partner Program today! Projects must be aligned with one or more of SyracuseCoE’s three core areas:
Indoor Environmental Quality and Building Energy Efficiency
Clean & Renewable Energy
Previous companies who were Innovation Fund winners include:
Technology transfer from a Syracuse University lab to local business could revolutionize the residential HVAC market.
When Upstate Parts & Supply needed engineering help to develop a new HVAC unit, it turned to SyracuseCoE, which connected the company to faculty members in Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). With assistance from SyracuseCoE and ECS faculty, Upstate successfully developed and commercialized its NuClimate Chilled Beam, which was subsequently licensed by Carrier, sold to Zehnder Group and has been installed all over the world.
If we’re successful, you could see new residential HVAC products on the market using this technology by 2025, not to mention the possibility of adapting the technology to retrofit current units. This is potentially a billion-dollar market.
John A. DiMillo
That track record is one reason ECS faculty members Thong Dang and Mehmet Sarimurat are partnering with Upstate Parts & Supply to pursue development of a concept developed in their SU lab that could revolutionize the residential HVAC market. Dang and Sarimurat envisioned developing a compact, high-efficiency air handler for residential HVAC systems that they believe will use 35 percent less energy than current models.
SyracuseCoE staff members assisted Upstate Parts & Supply and Syracuse University in developing a successful proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy for Phase 1 small-business technology transfer (STTR) projects. The $200,000 grant was the first federal Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding the firm has received in its 33-year history and one of only 12 awards the DOE’s Building Technology Office funded nationwide, demonstrating strong promise for the concept.
“The collaboration between SyracuseCoE, SU faculty and Upstate Parts & Supply is a model example of what SyracuseCoE does—providing a bridge to transfer SU technologies to a small company to aid commercialization that will eventually benefit the regional economy, consumers and the environment,” says Tammy Rosanio, associate director of partner programs.
The project seeks to develop a novel air handling unit for residential heating and cooling systems that synergistically integrates its fan and heat exchanger. This innovation, if successful, could produce an air handler that, compared to conventional units, is 30 percent smaller and uses 35 percent less energy, all while improving the overall performance of its HVAC system by at least seven percent.
Upstate Parts & Supply received the STTR grant July 1. According to John A. DiMillo, a company vice president, the Phase I grant supports advanced computational fluid dynamics studies performed by SU faculty and students to evaluate and refine feasibility of the concept. SyracuseCoE helped jump-start the project through work done this summer by students and faculty in SyracuseCoE’s Analysis and Design Center under the TEC Innovates program. A team of students will also be working with Upstate Parts & Supply during the academic year under a mechanical engineering capstone project to design and build a test stand that is capable of measuring the performance of an air-handler unit, work also supported by the TEC Innovates program.
The goal is to demonstrate feasibility by the end of June 2020 and pursue a Phase 2 grant. A successful Phase 2 grant of $1 million would support building and testing a prototype unit.
Projects engage 15 faculty members from 4 universities and a local startup partner
SyracuseCoE announced today that eight research and innovations projects led by its Faculty Fellows were competitively selected to receive awards totaling $109,368. The new projects engage 15 cross-disciplinary faculty members from Syracuse University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), SUNY Oswego and SUNY Upstate. In addition, Density, Inc. a SyracuseCoE industry partner company, is a co-investigator on one project.
The SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellows Program supports seed projects that strengthen faculty scholarship in clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality, and water resources. The program brings together a diverse community of faculty members from many disciplines. Researchers from four schools and colleges at Syracuse University, two at SUNY ESF, one from SUNY Oswego and one from SUNY Upstate received awards.
The goal of Faculty Fellows program is to bolster collaboration and discovery, strengthening Syracuse University’s growing research portfolio. The program is critical to SyracuseCoE’s core mission to create innovations in environmental and energy technologies. In addition, projects are encouraged to strategically target research topics that contribute to economic development of local and New York State businesses.
“We are extremely proud of the momentum that the SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellows Program has had in the past 4 years, growing to nearly 60 researchers,” said Laura J. Steinberg, SyracuseCoE interim executive director. “These awards can lead to a significant “next step” for faculty by fostering further exploration, allowing them to publish new findings or even by helping them to win additional funding.”
The projects, principal investigators (listed first), and their collaborators are:
A High-throughput Analytical Workflow for Identification and Quantification of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Environmental Water Samples
Teng Zeng, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
A New Approach to Evaluate Energy Savings, Thermal Comfort and IAQ from Occupant-Centric Building Controls
Bing Dong, Associate Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
Meng Kong, Research Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
Steven VonDeak, Co-founder and Chief of Staff, Density, Inc
Jianshun Zhang, Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
Development of Improved Poplar Lines for Biofuel Production
Heather Coleman, Associate Professor, Biology, Biotechnology, College of Arts & Sciences, Syracuse University
Establishment of Initial Exploratory Research for the Mycelium Research Group
Daekwon Park, Assistant Professor, Syracuse Architecture, Syracuse University
Jeongmin Ahn, Associate Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
Zhao Qin, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
Nina Sharifi, Assistant Professor, Syracuse Architecture, Syracuse University
Measuring the Vertical Profile of Air Pollution and Noise Near Interstate-81
Jamie Mirowsky, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Judy Crawford, Visiting Researcher, SUNY Upstate Medical University
John Hassett, Professor, Chemistry, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Meng Kong, Research Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
Net Zero Retrofit Campus Housing Pilot Project
Nina Sharifi, Assistant Professor, Syracuse Architecture, Syracuse University
Bing Dong, Associate Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
Production and Evaluation of Activated Biochar from Shrub Willow for Water & Wastewater Treatment Applications
Nosa Egiebor, Professor, Environmental Resources Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Tao Wendong, Associate Professor, Environmental Resources Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Synthesis of Silicon, Tin and Phosphorus Nanoparticles as Anode Materials for High-Performance Sodium Ion Battery for Grid Scale Energy Storage
Mohammad Islam, Associate Professor, Physics, SUNY Oswego
Projects were selected based on responses to a request for proposals issued by SyracuseCoE earlier this year. Each faculty member who is involved in a project is appointed as a SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellow for a three-year term. Eight new faculty members have been appointed. The program has supported nearly 60 researchers to date.
SyracuseCoE is New York State’s Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, which is led by Syracuse University in collaboration with SUNY ESF, SUNY Oswego, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity and dozens of industry partners.