Download the Request for Proposals/Instructions Here

Fill out the online application form here (deadline March 16, 2022)

                                                                                                                                                                             Download the 2022 Budget Template


Syracuse University considers its facilities and operations to be seamlessly integrated with the academic and research mission of the institution. A portion of the savings from energy efficiency and sustainability projects is set aside to fund academic research, student projects, and course development that can further engage the campus in addressing climate change and sustainable systems. The Campus as a Lab for Sustainability (CALS) program has funded many projects since January 2016.


CALS Sponsored Projects

2020-2021 Awards

Valeria Villanova (Student, School of Architecture), Syracuse Architecture Goes Green

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEI) based within the School of Architecture is looking forward to implementing reuse, reduce, and recycle practices. As of now, these practices have been applied to studios for first-year students: bins have been assigned to collect paper, cardboard, and chipboard to be recycled, while shelves have been assigned for reusable materials. However, the goal is for our whole community to impact as much as it can help. In order to do that, these measures shall be implemented school-wide to studios from all years. Furthermore, the project would also assign a storage space within Slocum Hall to store supplies graduating seniors will no longer utilize nor take home, so first-year students, the rest of the school, and students from other schools and other majors can go to for reused supplies instead of constantly buying new ones. This measure would both help reduce waste and consumption and help students save money. To achieve this goal as successfully as possible, the project is in need of acquiring storage boxes along with shelves that would keep the supplies separate for an easy donation of supplies and easy access to donated supplies. For long, the woodshop in Slocum Hall's Ground Floor has been the unofficial space where all the leftovers of materials end up for other students to pick them up as they please; the problem is, this space is neither appropriate, nor it is organized to store supplies, nor students outside Slocum know about it. For this lack of organization, the majority of students are unaware of what to donate or what to grab to reuse. Because of this emerges the idea for our project, and in order for the outcomes of this project to come out as successfully as possible, the designated spaces for reused and recycled spaces must be as organized as possible.

Seyeon Lee (School of Design), Does SU Housing Care about the Environment?

Every year, over 3,500 first year students from all over the United States and foreign countries enter Syracuse University. Our current Campus as Laboratories project (Does the School Of Design care about the environment? PI: Manfredi) identified that most students’ understanding of waste management systems differ, therefore appropriate environmental education must be implemented at all levels of classrooms, resident halls, campus, and community.

Nina Sharifi (School of Design), Energy and Environmental Analysis for a South Campus Dormitory

The objective of the proposed project is to deliver energy and environmental analysis for a South Campus dormitory building at Winding Ridge Road, and to provide a digital  information display to inform and educate the SU community on energy use and environmental quality on South Campus. The data will be utilized to evaluate and propose a possible Net Zero Energy Retrofit (NZER) approach that can be replicated in other SU campus housing facilities and directly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The interdisciplinary project, led jointly by the Schools of Architecture and Engineering, will engage students in data collection design, data logging, analysis activities, and visualization in collaboration with the iSchool. The proposed project aims to increase awareness about environmental sustainability by utilizing data already collected by SU Facilities, and obtaining the additional data necessary to present clear linkages between energy use, air quality, carbon footprint, and the potential impact of a Net Zero Energy + Zero Carbon Campus. It also aims to promote reductions in GHG emissions directly by increasing energy use and environmental quality awareness for members of the campus community.

Don Carr (School of Design), Designing a sustainable Bio fiber textile for campus housing at Syracuse University

Syracuse University provides a range of student housing options for a large percentage of its students. These dorms and apartments are maintained and refurbished on a yearly basis and represent a significant investment in durable goods. Currently, each of these living spaces contains various forms of interior furnishings that over time become worn, threadbare, and soiled. Given this heavy usage, the investment in interior furnishing textiles such as curtains and furniture coverings present a unique opportunity to envision a sustainable alternative. Therefore, we propose creating a Bio fiber textile that can be developed here on our campus as a joint effort between the School of Design and the Biomaterial Institute. This would begin as a lab-based research effort leading to the production of Bio fiber textile that will replace current textiles used throughout our campus.

2019-2020 Awards

Prof. Lisa Olson-Gugerty (Public Health) Bee Orange, Honey Bee Project

Honeybees are a unique group of pollinators. They sip nectar to fuel their flight and they actively gather large amounts of pollen to feed themselves and pollinate local plants and vegetation.  Their contribution as a pollinator helps support one-third of the world’s food production as well as the reproduction cycle of hundreds of bee-friendly plants.  This in turn benefits the local ecosystem and cultivates biodiversity.  Unfortunately, North American beekeepers are experiencing high colony loss due to a variety of diseases, the use of pesticides, and the reduction of pollinator-friendly and native plantings. To help bolster the local ecosystem and biodiversity, we are proposing to establish honeybee hives on Syracuse University grounds, offer educational workshops on beekeeping for the University and local communities, and support bee-friendly initiatives throughout the area.

Prof. Louise Manfredi (School of Design) and Prof. Seyeon Lee are creating a learning environment that enforces the ideas of reduce, reuse and recycle

Printing and prototype fabrication are a vital facet of design education. These physical products which consume vast quantities of materials are key to evaluating ideas, and training students to effectively communicate design intent to their professors and future clients. Despite the University’s initiatives for campus-wide sustainability efforts, waste generated from repeated design iterations is still a big problem in studio culture. In the School of Design (SoD), material reuse strategies are underdeveloped, and unclear or absent disposal guidelines are problematic.

Read their report here.

Prof. Jeongmin Ahn (Engineering) is creating a revised integrated anaerobic digester and fuel cell power system

The objective of this proposal is to deliver a proof-of-concept integrated anaerobic digester with a flame-assisted fuel cell that can convert municipal and agricultural waste into heat and electricity efficiently and inexpensively. The unit will be used as an educational tool for the undergraduates and graduates to integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through hands-on, real-world sustainable energy generation in the classroom. The research plan focuses on understanding and replicating the parameters in the field for digesters utilizing agricultural and municipal waste to enable research and development of a combustor and fuel cell that are inexpensive, durable and commercially viable.

Prof. Baris Salman (Civil and Environmental Engineering) is creating a hands-on course component on Smart Stormwater Management

Recent developments in wireless sensor technologies, data analytics tools, cloud computing, and smart infrastructure design have reached to a point where deployment of these transformative technologies for real-time stormwater infrastructure monitoring, management, and smart decision-making is more easily achievable. The main goal of this proposal is to develop course components on Smart Stormwater Management to enhance our students’ exposure to these critical advancements. The hands-on course components will be designed primarily to enhance the educational opportunities offered in “CIE 639/ECS 636: Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Management”, which is a graduate-level class offered by the primary investigator (PI), Dr. Baris Salman. Students will be involved in constructing a sensor network on south campus drainage networks featuring both green and gray infrastructures. The sensor network will comprise of wireless sensors that can measure and record various characteristics (e.g., velocity and flow, water quality, water level, etc.) of the stormwater in the drainage systems. An electronic tablet will be used to collect data from different wireless sensors. Students will use the smart Product Lifecycle Management (sPLM) platform to store, analyze, and interpret the collected data. These hands-on components will be supported by other educational activities, such as analyzing stormwater drainage networks, generating digital brochures, and communicating efforts and findings through presentations. It is anticipated that the proposed work will have a considerable impact in raising the human capital (improvements in students’ skills, knowledge, retention, satisfaction). This project can also be used as leverage in securing future research grants on smart infrastructure management.

2018-2019 Awards

Prof. Don Carr (School of Design) and ESF Student, Andrew Lunetta, to build tiny home prototype on campus

Prof. Jeongmin Ahn (Engineering), to design a safer, more efficient, low cost battery for electric vehicles

Engineering student Caitlin Eger, to use emerging geophysical technologies and drones to map near-surface campus hydrology to determine locations on campus that would benefit from green stormwater infrastructure installations or retrofits.

Prof. Philip P. Arnold (Arts and Sciences), Exploring Haudenosaunee and Scientific Perspectives


2017-2018 Awards

Engineering students Alex Johnson, Yige Yang, and David Zheng, to evaluate the water and energy performance of the Syracuse Center of Excellence green roof;

Prof. Bess Krietemeyer (Architecture) and Jason Dedrick (iSchool), to map the lighting on campus and assess its effectiveness at providing illumination and safety;

Prof. Tarek Rakha (Architecture) and Prof. Selem Velipasalar (Engineering) to test drone technology for measuring heat loss from buildings on South Campus;

Professor of Practice Svetoslava Todorova (Engineering), for a student engagement project about water and energy use in residence halls;

Legal writing professor Emily Brown (Law), to create a public database of legal summaries of Federal laws and proposals related to climate change.


Prof. Steve Chapin and Prof. Peter Wilcoxen, for an electric vehicle lab;

Prof. Amber Bartosh and Prof.. Mark Povinelli, for a virtual reality simulation about energy awareness;

Prof. Jeongmin Ahn, to research membrane technology to reduce GHG emissions;

Grad student Kristina Gutchess, to evaluate water and salt runoff on campus;

Prof. Jason Fridley and Prof. Doug Frank, to study carbon cycling in plants;

Grad students Hugh O. Burnham and Adam Fix, to develop an oral history of climate activism at SU