Five Projects Receive Campus as Lab for Sustainability Grants

Thursday, June 1, 2017, By Rachel May

Syracuse University’s Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability (CALS) funding program has completed its second round of applications and awarded nearly $75,000 in funding to faculty and students.

The call for proposals sought projects that address climate disruption and offer opportunities for communication and outreach to the campus and wider community.

The following projects were selected:

  • College of Engineering and Computer Science students Alex Johnson, Yige Yang and David Zheng, under the supervision of Cliff Davidson, Thomas C. and Colleen L. Wilmot Professor of Engineering, and Assistant Professor Ben Akih-Kumgeh, will work on evaluating the water and energy performance of the large green roof at the Syracuse Center of Excellence building. Other advisors on the project include Assistant Professor Tarek Rakha (School of Architecture); Deanna McCay, EMPOWER program manager; Associate Professor Don Torrance (Newhouse School); Associate Professor Sharon Dotger (School of Education); and Assistant Professor Todd Moss, Whitman School.
  • Assistant Professor Bess Krietemeyer (School of Architecture), in collaboration with Professor Jason Dedrick (School of Information Studies) and Associate Professor Peng Gao (Maxwell School), proposed a project titled, “Campus Light Mapping: Analysis and Visualization of Sustainable Smart Lighting for Reducing GHG Emissions and Improving Campus Safety.” They will use GIS and energy simulation tools to map the nighttime illumination on campus, to identify opportunities for solar lighting and other efficient solutions, and to create a mobile map of safely lit walking routes around campus.
  • Assistant Professor Rakha and Associate Professor Senem Velipasalar (College of Engineering and Computer Science) will pursue a project to test unmanned aerial systems they have previously developed for measuring heat leakages from buildings. They will test the system on South Campus and use the results to inform the campus about energy efficiency issues and to offer suggestions for retrofitting the buildings.
  • Professor of Practice Svetoslava Todorova (College of Engineering and Computer Science) will collaborate with graduate students Katie Duggan, Elliot Twilley and Sounak Das on a mobile application to track the water and energy consumption of dormitory residents and to encourage behaviors that promote conservation of resources.
  • Emily Brown, legal writing professor in the College of Law, will supervise two law student research assistants, who will review climate change rules proposed by the federal government and distill the proposed rules into accessible summaries that can be quickly understood and shared via social media.

Funding for CALS grants comes from the Syracuse University Climate Action Plan. As energy efficiency efforts have been implemented in recent years, some of the savings have gone into a fund for this purpose. The initial round of funding, totaling $50,000, was awarded in January.

For the second round of funding, 15 applications were received, with requests for funding totaling nearly $200,000. The call for proposals encouraged multidisciplinary projects and projects from a broad range of disciplines; applicants and collaborators represented the School of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Information Studies, College of Law, Maxwell School, Newhouse School, College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Whitman School. The selection committee was drawn from an advisory group of faculty from all the schools and colleges.