IAP Independent Activities Period
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IAP 2009 Activities by Category

Energy, Environment, and Sustainability

2008 United Nations Climate Change Conference (Poland): Implications for Domestic Energy Policy, Copenhagen, and Beyond
Amy Fazen
Tue Jan 13, 07-08:30pm, 32-155

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

In early December 2008, the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference took place in Poznań, Poland. The conference ended with an agreement to shift into full negotiating mode in 2009 in order to draft an international response to climate change, to be agreed upon at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. Wondering what the Poznań (and Copenhagen) conference’s implications on future domestic and international energy policy will be? Come hear energy and climate policy experts from the greater Boston area discuss their views.
Contact: Amy Fazen, amcknigh@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative
Cosponsor: Energy Club

A First Course in Renewable Energy
Mohammad-Reza Alam MIT & Resolute Marine Energy Inc., Alec Marshall (TA)
Tue, Thu, Jan 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29, 11am-12:30pm, 1-390

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Limited to 30 participants.
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

This is an engineering introduction to renewable energy technologies and potentials. The course aims to introduce a general engineering/science audience to the basic concepts of renewable energy. In the interest of time some mathematical criteria will be covered, e.g. Betz limit for wind, limit of efficiency of WEC point absorber. Each lecture contains several examples from real world applications and in-progress industrial developments.

please consult the website for more information:

Lectures start on Thursday January 8th.
Contact: Mohammad-Reza Alam, 5-333, (617) 253-6807, alam@mit.edu
Sponsor: Mechanical Engineering

A Theology of Sustainability
Amy McCreath
Fri Jan 30, 05-08:30pm, Stata Center
Sat Jan 31, 09am-03:00pm, Stata Center

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 21-Jan-2009
Limited to 125 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

Re-imagine an abundant world measured not by personal consumption but by just and sustainable relations with nature and communities. Watching videos of presentations by leading theologians and grassroots activists and reflecting in small groups, we will look at the challenges and opportunities for creating a just, sustainable future for all. See www.trinitywallstreet.org/education?institute2009 for details on content. Friday dinner & Sat. lunch provided. To register, email Christina English at cenglish@mit.edu. $30 fee for non-students.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/tac
Contact: Amy McCreath, W11, x3-2983, mccreath@mit.edu
Sponsor: Technology and Culture Forum
Cosponsor: Episcopal Chaplaincy

An Inconvenient Meal: The Impact of Animal Agriculture on Global Warming and Climate Change
Ryan Shapiro
Wed Jan 28, 01-04:00pm, 2-131

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, animal agriculture accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) than any other human activity, including even transportation. Yet, the topic is almost wholly ignored by many leading environmental figures and advocacy organizations. This seminar addresses the factors that make animal agriculture the single largest contributor of GHGs, investigates the dearth of attention paid to this crucial issue, and assesses possible solutions to animal agriculture’s environmental impacts, ranging from dietary change to in vitro meat technologies.
Contact: Ryan Shapiro, (301) 602-3063, ryannoah@mit.edu
Sponsor: Science,Technology & Society

China From the Inside: The Environment
Mary Jue Xu, Julia Yoo, Karen Li
Mon Jan 26, 07-08:30pm, 1-190

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Movie with Dinner
Discussion lead by speaker to follow

" China is trying to feed 20 percent of the world's population on 7 percent of the world's arable land. A third of the world uses water from China's rivers. But rapid industrialization and climate change have led to bad air, polluted rivers and drought. Environmental activists, Party officials, academics and scientists are in a daily struggle over the damage to nature in China."
Web: http://www.pbs.org/kqed/chinainside/nature/index.html
Contact: Mary Jue Xu, maryxu@mit.edu
Sponsor: Amnesty International

Clean Coal Technology for Base Load Electric Power Generation
Ja'nos M. Bee'r
Thu Jan 15, 01-03:00pm, 66-110

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up


As CO2 emission control is gaining increasing acceptance, efficiency, and CO2 capture and storage are becoming key concepts for the technology of both new and existing generating plant. Technology options, including coal-fired steam plants with advanced steam parameters and coal gasification combined cycle plants, without and with CO2 capture and storage (CCS) are discussed and compared for efficiency, costs and operational availability.
Contact: Ja'nos M. Bee'r, 66-301, x3-6661, jmbeer@MIT.EDU
Sponsor: Chemical Engineering

Come Walk the Talk! ...on Energy
Jason Jay
Mon Jan 12, 01-03:00pm, 34-101

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Help launch Greening MIT, a community campaign for responsible use of energy and natural resources on campus!

Hear what Executive VP Terry Stone and your fellow students, staff, faculty, and administrators are doing to support campus energy efficiency and conservation, and how you can get involved. Enjoy an exciting visit from a local celebrity (come find out who!), free refreshments, and giveaways to help you engage your friends and colleagues in conserving energy on campus. Most importantly, take this chance to bring your own questions and ideas to the process!

This event kicks off Energy Futures week, a series of exciting and enriching events from January 12 to 15.

Cosponsors: Working Group on Recycling, Facilities, IS&T, Closing the Loop, Sustainability@MIT
Contact: Jennifer DiMase, E19-370D, 452-3199, jdimase@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative
Cosponsor: Environment, Health and Safety Office

Energy Efficiency Technologies at MIT
John Sterman, Harvey Michaels, Nicholas Gayeski, Walt Henry
Wed Jan 14, 02-03:30pm, E51-335

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

As we debate our energy future, we must remember that the energy coin has both supply and demand sides. Improving how we produce and distribute conventional energy supplies and develop clean renewable energy supplies are critical to meeting global energy challenges, but it's also true that the cleanest and cheapest power plant or gas processing facility is one you never have to build.

That's why the technologies to support demand-side management, energy efficiency, and conservation are so important and offer exciting opportunities for critical research and development.

MIT is exploring this frontier both in the lab and on campus. Come hear examples of what faculty, staff, and students are doing to advance demand-side solutions to our energy challenges and discuss how they are putting this knowledge to work at MIT.
Contact: Jennifer DiMase, E19-370D, 452-3199, jdimase@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative

Energy Storage Solutions to Alleviate Poverty: The Yunus Challenge Lunch
Laura Sampath
Wed Jan 28, 12-02:00pm, Student Ctr 3rd flr.

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

The 2009 Yunus Challenge to Alleviate Poverty: Affordable Small Scale Energy Storage Solutions...1 in 4 people in the world lack access to electricity. While low-cost renewable energy systems are increasingly accessible, batteries remain a costly, unsustainable way to store this energy.

How would YOU provide/address the energy needs of people living on less than $2/day? The challenge is not limited to electrical storage...be creative! Want to learn more? Want to recruit a team? Want to join at team? Come to lunch in PDRs 1&2 at noon.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/idi/yunus.shtml
Contact: Laura Sampath, 4-408, x3-7052, lsampath@mit.edu
Sponsor: Edgerton Center
Cosponsor: Public Service Center

Energy, Environment, and Sustainability Student Group and Project Showcase
Jennifer DiMase
Thu Jan 15, 06-08:00pm, Lobby 10

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

This showcase is a mix and mingle style poster session at which students who have been doing research or who belong to groups on campus that revolve around energy, environment, and sustainability will share and explain their work. This is a great opportunity to connect with fellow students active in a wide array of energy research and projects. Light refreshments will be provided. Come and learn about the great research and student group activities that your classmates have been working on!
Web: http://web.mit.edu/mitei/education/index.html
Contact: Jennifer DiMase, E19-370D, 452-3199, jdimase@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative

Issues in Technology and Policy Seminar Series
Renee Robins
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Many policy issues involve the application, commercialization, and control of technologies. This annual seminar series explores selected issues in technology and policy, such as technology & policy issues related to global warming, problems with the country's air transportation system, and other current topics. Bring brown bag lunch; light refreshments provided.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/tpp
Contact: Renee Robins, E40-381, x3-7662, rrobins@mit.edu
Sponsor: Technology and Policy Program

Carbon Efficient Supply Chains
Edgar Blanco
In this presentation we will introduce the key challenges in determining the carbon footprint of supply chains. We will discuss how public-private partnerships could be used to overcome some of these challenges. We will use the EPA Smartway Program as an example of aligning multiple incentives to achieve transparency and collaboration within the supply chain.
Tue Jan 13, 12pm-01:30am, E51-145, brown bag lunch; refreshments

On the Road in 2035: Reducing Transportation's Petroleum Consumption and GHG Emissions
John Heywood
This seminar will summarize the findings in the recent report of the same name. The multi-year research program assessed the technology and fuels that could be developed and commercialized in light-duty vehicles over the next 25 years, their potential impact on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions during the production and use of both fuels and vehicles, and the policy and fiscal measures that would be needed.
Tue Jan 27, 12pm-01:30am, E51-315 (changed), brown bag lunch; refreshments

Optimization and Multi-Stakeholder Objectives for Air Transportation Systems
Hamsa Balakrishnan
The design and operation of air transportation systems pose many control and optimization challenges. We would like to increase the efficiency of operations and their robustness, but need to take into account other stakeholder objectives such as maintaining safety and limiting environmental impact. This talk will discuss the challenges posed by uncertainty due to weather, airline competition and environmental concerns.
Fri Jan 30, 02:15-03:45pm, E40-298, brown bag lunch; refreshments

Lighting Audit of DuPont Athletic Center
Peter Cooper, Mary Wang, Mengjie Ding
Tue Jan 13, 02-05:00pm, 5-234

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event
Prereq: None

Interested in green architecture? This session is a hands-on introduction to sustainability in building design and operation. We'll go over the basics of lighting efficiency and then conduct a lighting audit of the DuPont Athletic Center. See how big an impact the littlest things have on energy efficiency.
Contact: Mengjie Ding, mengjie@mit.edu
Sponsor: Undergraduate Association
Cosponsor: MIT Energy Initiative

Nuclear Energy: What are the options?
Prof. Bruno Coppi, Prof. Andrew C. Kadak, Prof. Neil E. Todreas
Thu Jan 15, 01-03:00pm, 26-414

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

The severity of the climate problem, the world energy needs and the fact that it is not desirable to continue the present energy production based (91%) on the combustion of CO2 producing fuels lead one to consider a significant expansion relative to the present contribution (6%) of the nuclear energy option. There are issues involved with this that will be discussed, such as the existence in the U.S. of a "nuclear deficit" (lack of the necessary technological and industrial infrastructure), the need to have a vigorous research effort to develop new advanced fission reactors, a serious parallel program to produce a proof of scientific feasibility of a fusion reactor capable of producing net energy and the exploration of fission-fusion systems.
Contact: Dr. Stephen Steadman, 26-505, x8-8678, steadman@mit.edu
Sponsor: Lab for Nuclear Science

Single Stream Recycling Program
Jarrod Jones, MIT Recycling Supervisor, Casella Waste Systems, Inc.
Tue Jan 13, 12-01:00pm, 56-114

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Facilities’ new Single Stream Recycling Program allows people to put items like plastic, bottles and cans without food waste into desk-side recycling bins along with paper. Folks in the Main Group no longer have to separate paper from bottles and cans. Find out when the single stream recycling program will be coming to your building. Plus have your recycling questions answered by the staff who run the program.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/facilities/environmental/Single_stream_flyer_Aug2008.pdf
Contact: Ruth T. Davis, NE49-2200, x3-7299, rtdavis@mit.edu
Sponsor: Department of Facilities

Sustainability in Action: Greening your Place at MIT
Niamh Kelly, Steve Lanou, Ruth Davis, Laxmi Rao, Ann Wilson, Pam Lundin, Jialan Wang, Wendy Gu, Kathreen Thome
Wed Jan 14, 12-02:00pm, 68-181

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Signup by: 07-Jan-2009

Are you interested in taking action in your “place” at MIT to make a difference? Come join this interactive lunchtime workshop to learn about strategies and practices you can employ to reduce the environmental impact in your MIT “place” – office, lab, classroom or dorm. The workshop will present information and a new set of tools to help you make choices that reduce energy use and conserve resources at MIT and beyond, while brainstorming for new ideas and how to prioritize your efforts. Topics will include best practices for energy conservation, recycling, commuting and catering, while providing reference material to get you started. A light lunch will be provided. Walk the talk and bring your own plate and mug to minimize waste!

Please RSVP to jdimase@mit.edu.

Cosponsors: Department of Facilities, IS&T, Closing the Loop
Contact: Jennifer DiMase, x2-3199, jdimase@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Energy Initiative
Cosponsor: Environment, Health and Safety Office

The Renewable Energy Possibilities and Challenges in Drinking Water and Waste Water
Michael DiBara Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Tyler Leeds, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Allexe Law-Flood, Mass Department of Environmental Protectio
Thu Jan 29, 10am-12:00pm, 4-253

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 15-Jan-2009

Energy represents a substantial and rising cost to public water and wastewater utilities – on average about 31 percent of a utility’s operating budget. This discussion will highlight preliminary results from the Massachusetts Energy Management Pilot Program for Wastewater and Drinking Water and focus on two developing renewable energy project examples - hydroelectric through water flow (City of Worcester’s Water Filtration Plant) and biomass energy through anaerobic digestion of organic wastewater sludge (City of Pittsfield’s Wastewater Treatment Plant). During this discussion students will learn about the energy challenges and opportunities in drinking water and wastewater.
Contact: Lars Hasselblad Torres, W20-549, (617) 324-5176, lhtorres@mit.edu
Sponsor: Public Service Center
Cosponsor: Edgerton Center

What's the deal with hybrid and electric cars?
Michael Khusid, Irene Berry
Tue Jan 20, Thu Jan 22, 12:30-02:00pm, 1-134

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

Hybrid vehicles such as Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt have captured the headlines with their promise of providing the same level of comfort while drastically improving fuel economy.
On day 1, we will introduce the basic EV terminology and definitions, electric motors and batteries, and describe new technologies and advancements for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
On day 2, we will take an in-depth look at electric powertrains from mild hybrids to full battery electric vehicles, electric vehicle conversions, and current policies and incentives. We will cover some fun vehicles, such as Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car which can travel 244 miles on a single charge and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and our own Porsche 914, an all-electric conversion project by MIT Electric Vehicle team.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/evt
Contact: Michael Khusid, 31-140, x4-3720, mkhusid@mit.edu
Sponsor: Electric Vehicle Team

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Last update: 30 September 2004