Carnegie Mellon University

Student Projects

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EST&P students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of energy related projects with engineering faculty. This table represents examples of their projects within the engineering departments (CEE= Civil & Environmental; ECE= Electrical & Computer; EPP= Eng. & Public Policy; MEG= Mechanical; MSE= Materials Science).

Dept. Project Topics
CEE
  • Explored the possibility of micro grids for various US Department of Defense installations.
  • Developed a basis for risk algorithm to identify energy values and a ranking system based on operational criticality to help assess the energy security at Naval installations.
  • Developed an energy management controller for use as a skeleton for developing advanced energy systems.
  • Set-up a distributive computing infrastructure and implemented distributed optimization approaches on a cluster of computers. Used MATLAB Distributed Computing Server and Parallel Toolbox to perform job scheduling and task allocation.
ECE 
  • Studied the behavior and performance of DC micro-grids
  • Constructed a case study on Flores Island from the Azores group of islands and discussed the reduced use of diesel as a direct consequence of wind farm installation. Discussed reliability of the grid in the face of intermittencies due to renewable energy integration.
  • Developed course content for the course “Electric Energy Conversion and Management” scheduled for Fall semester of 2014.
EPP
  • Studied how building owners of Class B & C commercial properties make decisions regarding energy efficiency investments in their properties (Funded by a foundation and NSF). Conducted expert interviews to generate building owner interview protocol.
  • Accessed the climate impacts of decision making attributes of constructing a new coal plant versus a Natural Gas Combined Cycle plant using multiple metrics.
  • Developed a mathematical model to simulate a multi-component gas separation in polymer membranes and to estimate the system size for defines separation targets.
  • Applied the model to membrane based carbon capture in an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant.
  • Evaluated life cycle water use factors for membrane applications in carbon capture for pulverized coal and IGCC power plants.
  • Evaluated the technical and economic impacts of utilizing treated municipal wastewater (MWW) for cooling systems in thermos-electric power plants.
MEG
  • Conducted elemental carbon/organic (EC/OC) analysis on the filters that have particulates collected from different locations around Pittsburgh.
  • Studied the climatic effects of atmospheric particulate matter (aerosols), global and regional models of atmospheric chemistry and models for air quality in developing countries.
  • Performed meteorological clustering analysis of particle size distribution in the Southern Great Plains of USA.
  • Performed a thermodynamic, economic and capacity study of molten carbon fuel cell capable of effectively capturing CO2 emissions from fossil fuel based plants.
  • Used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods to investigate a specific condensation phenomenon found with an air quality instrument.
MSE
  • Focused on developing transparent, flexible displays from a conductive polymer of carbon nanotubes.
  • Surveyed the literature for comparable life cycle assessments (LCAs) already performed, researching papers covering alternative manufacturing processes using induction furnaces and electrically-assisted manufacturing.
  • Performed LCA using available data in the literature and assisted with the final documentation.
EST&P
  • Conducted Info sessions and assisted prospective students
  • Generated energy newsletters
  • Created student, alumni, and faculty profiles
  • Collected benchmarking data for the EST&P program